Parks of Bristol

Parks of Bristol

The English city of Bristol has a number of parks.

Large parks

Bristol City Council own three major parks: The Downs, Blaise Castle and Ashton Court.

The Downs lie two miles northwest of the city centre and totals 400 acres (1.6 km²). The Downs are divided into Clifton Down to the south and Durdham Down to the north, with a main road running between them. At the south end of Clifton Down is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and both look over the Avon Gorge. The Downs were given to the city by the Society of Merchant Venturers and are protected by an 1861 Act of Parliament.

Blaise Castle estate, situated five miles north of the city centre, includes a recreation ground and large playing fields, as well as woodland, a mansion, and a small gorge, totalling 650 acres (2.6 km²). The mansion house is now a branch of Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.

At 850 acres (3.4 km²) Ashton Court estate is Bristol's largest park. Though the estate lies largely within the boundaries of North Somerset it is maintained by Bristol City Council, and has been publicly owned since 1959. The park contains horse riding and mountain biking trails, and a deer park, and is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its ecology. The mansion house is now a conference centre.

Parks close to the city centre

There are only a few small parks close to Bristol city centre:

Castle Park is adjacent to Broadmead shopping centre, the under-construction Cabot shopping centre and the Floating Harbour. The park was created after wartime bombing destroyed most of the mediaeval buildings which stood here. The ruined shells of two churches, St Peter and St Mary le Port, still stand in the park (with the aid of concrete reinforcements) and the foundations of Bristol Castle are also a feature. There are small formal gardens around St Peter's church, which is maintained as a war memorial.

Bristol City Council has announced its intention to develop around one third of Castle Park - the western side around the site of St Mary-le-Port church. The development be shops, offices and residential accommodation.

Brandon Hill is a hill between the city centre, Clifton and Hotwells. At the summit is Cabot Tower commemorating John Cabot a pioneer who sailed in 1497 from Bristol to Newfoundland. The park is steep and is divided into informal gardens, a small nature reserve and open grassland. The Avon Wildlife Trust headquarters are beside the park.

To the northwest of Broadmead shopping centre is St James' Park, a small park divided into two sections by a sunken walkway which links Broadmead to St James' Church and Bristol Bus Station.

West of the city centre between Bristol Cathedral and the Council House is College Green.

Queen Square, a large Georgian square in the centre, carried the inner ring road from 1936, until it was dismantled and the square restored in 2000.

Other parks

Parks in Bristol's suburbs include:
* Arnos Vale Cemetery
* Begbrook Green Park
* Bristol & Bath Railway Path, a green corridor following the route of a dismantled railway.
* Canford Park
* Chester Park
* Cotham Gardens
* Dame Emily Park
* Eastville Park
* Greville Smyth Park
* Leigh Woods (within North Somerset)1
* Mayfield Park
* Mina Road Park
* Oldbury Court Estate (known locally as Vassalls Park)
* Page Park
* Peretts Park
* Redcatch park
* Redland Green
* Snuff Mills1
* St Agnes Park
* St Andrews Park
* St Annes Park
* St George Park

* Victoria Park

# Owned by the National Trust.

External links

* [ Bristol City Council: Parks and open spaces]
* [ Save Castle Park]

* Photographs: [ Castle Park] , [ Brandon Hill] , [ The Downs] , [ Eastville Park] .

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