Large green spaces on the edge of the city suitable for picnics, exercise, sport and events.
Admission and opening times
There is no charge for admission. The Downs is open at all times. Access may be restricted for special events.
Clifton Down and Durdham Down are north of the city centre.
There is no dedicated car park. Find out where to park in Bristol.
To find out about accessibility at The Downs, you can look at an access guide on DisabledGo.
Facilities and features
- The Downs Cafe
- toilets and baby changing facilities at Sea Walls (on Circular Road)
- benches and picnic areas
- children's playground on Sion Hill
- pdf BBQ area on Ladies Mile (3.82 MB) , you can only BBQ on the flagstones set into the signposted area
- six outdoor exercise stations
- football pitches and changing rooms
- Avon Gorge
- Clifton Down Camp, an Iron Age hillfort near the Clifton Observatory
- Clifton Observatory, camera obscura and cave
- Roman Road on Durdham Downs
- parts of The Downs are scheduled ancient monuments
Toilet opening times
Toilets are open daily from 8am to 5pm.
Closed: 25 and 26 December, and 1 January.
Closing times may vary due to enhanced coronavirus (COVID-19) cleaning regimes.
The Downs Committee
This is a group that manages The Downs and makes decisions about the area and events held there. Members are Merchant Venturers, councillors and council officers. You can look at agendas, minutes and reports from Downs Commitee meetings.
Following a recent governance review and consultation, The Downs Committee has adopted:
These outline the structures and processes in which the committee operates.
The Work Plan is a working document and updated versions will be published regularly at Downs Committee meetings which can be found in the agenda papers for those meetings.
The Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife project
This is a group of organisations that support the wildlife in the park and run events and tours. For more information visit the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project website.
The Friends of The Downs and Avon Gorge is a community group that supports the park. For more information or to join visit the Friends of The Downs and Avon Gorge facebook page.
Events on the Downs 2022
- Adventure Cinema Go to https://www.adventurecinema.co.uk/ (opens new window): 5 to 7 August
- Downs Concerts Go to https://teamlove.org/ (opens new window): 2 to 4 September
- Bristol SU Welcome Fair Go to https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/ (opens new window): 23 to 24 September
- Circus: 27 September to 16 October
All events remain subject to site permissions and licensing approval.
There is an off-road cycle path from Saville Road to Stoke Road. You can't cycle on footpaths, woodland and grass areas of The Downs.
You can ride horses around the football pitches except on Sundays and bank holidays. You can't ride horses on the football areas or the area from Bridge Valley Road to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The Downs is exposed, which is good for flying kites.
Outdoor fitness sessions
There are sessions run by:
Nordic walking is outdoor fitness walking using specially designed poles. Find out about sessions at the Downs at the Bristol Nordic Walking website.
You can download our walking routes:
1.4 miles (1 hour)
pdf Bird trail leaflet (680 KB)
0.4 miles (30 minutes)
pdf Lichen trail leaflet (2.05 MB)
0.7 miles (30 minutes)
pdf Meadow trail leaflet (1.80 MB)
1.4 miles (1 hour)
pdf Tree trail leaflet (1.08 MB)
Seasonal family trails
pdf Spring family trail leaflet (1.26 MB)
pdf Summer family trail leaflet (1.71 MB)
pdf Autumn family trail leaflet (2.03 MB)
pdf Winter family trail leaflet (1.32 MB)
pdf Durdham Down history trail leaflet (2.04 MB)
pdf Clifton Down history trail leaflet (1.86 MB)
Wildlife on the Downs
pdf Bristol Downs wildlife sheet (1.00 MB)
Awards and heritage
- Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Site: an important place for geology and geomorphology
- Site of nature conservation interest: protected area of importance for wildlife
- Dark Sky Discovery Site: a good place to look at the night sky