Your guide to Bristol’s City Centre parks
Did you know that Bristol has over 400 gardens and parks to explore? The city itself has an array of green spaces, but more importantly, there are many right in the city centre for those visiting the city to be able to view!
Address: Broad Weir, Bristol BS1 3XB
Situated just off Bristol Bridge, this city centre park is host to a number of historical features and is ladened with memories.
Within the centre of the park boasts the Grade II listed St Peter’s Church and features remains of the Bristol Castle’s keep, walls and Vaults which was bombed in World War II. The castle that used to be here was one of the largest castles in the country during its time! The steps that still exist were host to an underground route from the castle that could help occupiers communicate with others in the outside world!
The silver birch trees lined within the park were planted in memory of the seven beaches of the D-Day landings and there is also a plaque with all the names of the victims of the 1940 air raid. You can also sit amongst memorial trees planted in honour of Anne Frank.
The park also includes a physics garden for growing medicinal plants that is maintained by St Mungo’s Broadway, plus there is a bandstand used for events and music sessions.
To find out more about the history behind this park go to: http://www.locallearning.org.uk/castle-park/
There is also a leaf trail for visitors, should you wish to explore the trees and leaves of this park, which can be found here.
Address: Bristol BS1 4LH
If Georgian Grandeur is your thing, then Queens Square is the place to visit.
Situated between the Harbourside and the old city, Queen’s square is a central park that is home to an array of beautiful Georgian townhouses.
This square was badly hurt during the Bristol Riots of 1831. Nearly 100 of the buildings located in and close to the square were burnt to the ground. Hundreds of protestors died and rebuilding of this square took over 80 years.
Address: College Green, Bristol, BS1 5UY
Situated at the bottom of Park Street, one of Bristol’s most famous streets and most famously known for being at the front of Bristol’s City Hall, College green is surrounded by a number of historic and important public buildings.
Queen Victoria’s statue stands proudly at the apex of the Green and to the south west of the grounds lies the Central library.
This green is a popular place for young people to meet and due to its closeness to the City Hall it often finds itself the main meeting point for protests against government policy. It is also a regular venue for media launches, charity fundraisers and product launches.
Most recently on the 29th February 2020, College Green gained worldwide attention with the Youth Strike 4 Climate protest run by Greta Thunberg. Over 30,000 people joined in this protest seeing the green trampled turning it into mud. However, with the generosity of people through a fundraising page, the green was restored in a matter of days.
For more on the history of the park here.
Address: Park St, Bristol BS1 5RR
Set just off of Park Street this historical park is the oldest park in Bristol!
Situated in the middle of it is Cabot Tower, built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot’s voyage from Bristol and North America. Designed by Bristol architect William Venn Gough, the tower is free to climb up.
The views form this park enable you to see a vast amount of the city and the historical Harbourside.
Avon Wildlife Trust and the city
Slightly off topic, but if wildlife is your thing, then Avon Wildlife Trust have a wonderful project called ‘My Wild City’ that is encouraging city people to get involved in enjoying and caring for wild spaces.
With The National Lottery Heritage Fund support, over the next 3 years this trust and Bristol City council will be focusing on eight local wildlife sites across the city to make improvements to wildlife.
Join their events, courses and guided walks here.
Do you know any more hidden gems? We would love to hear from you!
The Urban Creation Team