River Avon at Hotwells by Anthony O'Neil © geograph.org.uk/p/1861336

Blaise Castle EstateBristol
Kings Weston Road
Lawrence Weston
Henbury
Somerset BS10 7QS

 

Bristol does not have a large central park, but it does have access to the 650 acres (263 ha) of beautiful parkland and gardens surrounding Blaise Castle House Museum. The park is also known as the Bristol Blaise Castle Estate.

The park and gardens were laid out by leading landscape gardener Humphry Repton (1752–1818). Parts of Repton's designs still exist, notably the impressive carriage drive which winds its way from Blaise Castle House. The Regency architect John Nash was responsible for the design of the Dairy Building and the addition of the conservatory.

More about the Park
The gardens also include a limestone gorge through which the Hazel Brook flows. The gorge features a selection of stunning landscapes, including Goram's Chair, a limestone outcrop often used by climbers. Lover's Leap and Potter's Point are two panoramic viewing spots.
 
In the gorge is the Stratford Mill, settling ponds and associated estate pathways. At the gorge's southern end, Hazel Brook joins the River Trym, which continues its flow towards Sea Mills and the River Avon.
 
The Castle
On a hill above the gorge is a sham castle overlooking Bristol, Avonmouth and the Avon Gorge. It was built in 1766 and designed by the architect, Robert Mylne. On a clear day there are magnificent views of The Cotswolds and South Wales.
 
It is now believed that the design and the choice of the Gothic castle style may have had political connotations. Although referred to as a ‘folly’, it was inhabited well into the 20th century with sumptuous internal decoration.
 
The Castle is opened by volunteers from Friends of Blaise on every third Sunday in the month, May to October, Bank Holidays, from 14:00-16:30 hours.
 
Displayed inside the castle are old pictures of the castle and historical details. A small shop sells post cards and cut out models of the castle - all profits are reinvested in the estate
 
At the gorge's southern end, Hazel Brook joins the River Trym, which continues its flow towards Sea Mills. Other features within the estate include two pools: two man-made caves, the Giant's Footsteps, and the picturesque village of Blaise Hamlet.
 
 
 
Caves
The man-made Caves are a feature beside the carriage drive from the House to the Castle. Butcher’s Cave gets its name from the reddish tinged rocks inside, resembling hanging joints of meat. Robber’s Cave is constructed with large rustic local limestone blocks over shallow excavated holes.
 
The Dairy Garden
The space occupied today by the Dairy Garden and performance area was previously the site of the old manor house. The garden contains flower beds, a water lily pond, a low rock garden, an urn on a pedestal and a Maidenhair tree. The Dairy building designed by John Nash and built in 1804, is set in the garden. Although it has a pretty cottage exterior, it was essentially a working building.
 
Giant’s Footprints
Despite the romantic name, this is in fact a natural geological feature. Local legend blames the footprint on a giant called Goram who stamped his feet into solid rock while in a tantrum.
 
It is in fact a form of limestone erosion which develops where the rock layers are more or less horizontal and contain vertical stress fractures called “joints”. The joints are lines of weaknesses where slightly acid rainwater can dissolve away the limestones which then widen into footprint-like pockets.
 
Lily Pond
The Lily pond was created by J. S. Harford Junior during the mid 19th century. It is concrete lined and surrounded by exotic tree species such as Caucasian Wingnut and Wellingtonia.
 
Wildlife & Conservation
The estate has several different woodlands to explore, some of which are ancient. It has a fantastic range of many other habitats too. Pools, streams, grasslands, woodlands and scrub; rock faces, overhangs, scree, caves, quarries and a varied geology - all combine to provide a rich diversity of wildlife and a rich experience for visitors. There is an Estate ranger service on site most days.
 
The estate has a number of sporting facilities providing access for playing cricket, horse riding, orienteering, walking and informal play.
 
Plan Your Trip
Admission Cost
Free
 
Opening Hours
All year from 07:30 hours
Closing times vary with the time of year but usually it is dusk.
Check ‘Overview’ on the official website below.
 
Disabled Access
Five disabled parking bays are located in the main car park (access via Henbury Road). One disabled parking bay in the smaller car park (access via The Dingle). Cafe and Toilets accessible via tarmac and flat paths. Obtain key from the cafe.
 
Facilities
Cafe
Large children’s play area with dedicated zones for younger and older children:
Toilets with baby changing facilities
Benches and picnic areas
BBQs permitted - please raise BBQs off the ground to avoid damaging the grass.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Lastminute here:
 
 
Contact & Further Information
 
Walking Guides
Guides in pdf format can be downloaded from the above website link.
 
Getting There
Blaise Castle Estate is approximately five miles (8 km) from Bristol city centre. The main entrance is via the car park off Kings Weston Road, with a small car park off The Dingle. There are numerous pedestrian access points. A permissive cycle route runs through from Coombe Dingle to Henbury Road.
 
- By Car
Exit M5 at Junction 17 and take A4018 (signposted West Bristol).
 
Carry on straight until the third roundabout, then take the right turn into Crow Lane passing a small bank of shops on the right. At the end of this road turn right into Henbury Road. Continue around the mini roundabout into the one way system. You will pass 'Blaise Inn' on your right and bend to the right. Continue straight on to find the free public car park about 300 yards (273 metres) on the left.
 
- Car Parking
Two car parks are available. The main one is located off Kings Weston Road (BS10 7QS) and the smaller one is off The Dingle (BS9 2PA). Car park closing times vary with the season.
 
- By Bus from Bristol
Bus numbers 1, 40 and 40a.
 
- By Rail
If travelling by train arriving at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station, take the number 1 bus from outside the station.
 
Google Maps - Blaise Castle