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East Harptree woods and the Smitham chimney – a great walk near Bristol

If you’ve got access to a car and fancy somewhere for a different walk with the kids, the dogs, or both, we recently discovered East Harptree woods for the first time. You can find out all about its location, history and accessibility here from the Forestry Commission.


It’s about a 25 minute drive south from Temple Meads out to that part of the Mendips. We parked very easily in the large car park on a week day, even in half term. It’s got mostly flat and even pathways of light stone, plus those lovely, natural pine needle covered, springy surfaced paths you get through deep forest. We used our toddler trike and it was easily navigable and would be with a buggy or other kid’s bikes too.


You can catch sight of the Smitham Chimney, a relic of the heavy industrial history of these parts, by following one of the signposted paths. We loved just messing about in the trees, building dens, eating sandwiches and listening to the birds. There’s a beautiful view back onto the Chew Valley Lake to be found, as well.



The best bit? We were there for three hours and saw six other people and one other dog. Dogs are allowed to scamper about off lead if they can be controlled, and our puppy loved it.


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