5 great North Somerset woodland walks

PUBLISHED: 09:46 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:53 23 April 2015

Leigh Woods (Bluebells in Leigh Woods near Clifton © Graham Duerden, Flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Leigh Woods (Bluebells in Leigh Woods near Clifton © Graham Duerden, Flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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From Clevedon Court’s dense tree canopy to the shady beauty of Prior’s Wood, the forests and woods of North Somerset make great places to walk this summer - Here are 5 well-signposted local woodland walks we recommend

Leigh Woods (Track, Leigh Woods for ST5474 © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)Leigh Woods (Track, Leigh Woods for ST5474 © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Leigh Woods

Difficulty: Easy

Time: Approximately 45 minutes

The 2.5km purple trail round Leigh Woods is one of the best ways to get the most out of this very accessible forest. The level paths make this walk suitable for wheelchairs and easy going with a buggy. Several of the sculptures in Leigh Wood are on the purple trail and if you take one of the smaller side paths into Nightingale Valley - about half way round - you get a fantastic view over the Avon Gorge to the Clifton Bridge. The Purple Trail begins in the car park at the north entrance to Leigh Woods, where there’s a picnic area and toilets.

Bluebells in Prior's Wood near Portbury (© Kelveden, Flickr licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)Bluebells in Prior's Wood near Portbury (© Kelveden, Flickr licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)

Prior’s Wood

Difficulty: Easy, with some hills and streams

Time: approx 1.5 hours

Prior’s Wood is an Avon Wildlife Trust biodiversity project with protected status - plus, one of the loveliest woodland walks in North Somerset. Famous for bluebells in spring, the woods are good for bird spotting and the dense canopy of oak, hazel and lime leaves is pleasantly shady on a warm summer’s day. If you start your walk just outside the village of Portbury you’ll find a car park and interpretation board. Follow the way-marked circular path which takes about 1.5 hours round and lets you enjoy most of the wood.

Clevedon Court Woods. (Woods on Court Hill for ST4171 © Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)Clevedon Court Woods. (Woods on Court Hill for ST4171 © Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Clevedon Court Woods

Difficulty: a variety of woodland walks, some steep climbs

Time: From 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on route

Managed by the National Trust, the woods near Clevedon Court are well sign-posted and offer a variety of different walks. A good choice for a family day out, with plenty of wild space for children to run around and explore. If you want to simply walk the woods from end to end, there’s a car park off All Saints Lane at the Clevedon entrance and one on Hill Lane at the Tickenham side.

Weston Woods (Footpath to Kewstoke for ST3263 © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)Weston Woods (Footpath to Kewstoke for ST3263 © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Weston Woods

Difficulty: a variety of easy walks, suitable for young children

Time: Up to 2 hours

For a great woodland walk with added sea views, Weston Woods just outside Weston-Super-Mare are perfect. There’s plenty for children to discover here, from huge, ancient trees to Iron Age forts. The well-kept paths make most routes pretty easy going for even the youngest child. Weston Woods also has a woodland play area and if you walk towards Worlebury Hill there’s a clearing which gives you a clear vantage point north along the coast to the pretty beaches at Sand Bay.

Blaise Castle Woodland Walk

Difficulty: medium, with some climbs

Time: approx 40 minutes

The Castle Walk at Blaise is a woodland route that lets you explore the estate’s historic man-made and natural features, including the old mill, the Robber’s cave and the castellated Gothic folly. The walk is well-signposted in orange and suitable for most walkers and children.

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