On hot sunny days, when you want to be outside, but not in the beating sun, a wooded walk is perfection. If you’re looking for an alternative to Leigh Woods, read on, I’ve got just the walk for you. And this one’s got a waterfall. How about checking out Greyfield Wood?
Greyfield Wood is about 35 minutes from Bristol centre, down the A37 towards Shepton Mallet. There’s parking spots. It’s managed by the Woodland Trust and used widely by the local community in very much the same way as Leigh Woods – everything from forest schools to mountain bike trails.
I’d say it was most suitable for kids who enjoy walking, adventure play and nature, maybe from 5 years and up if you are going to make a day of it. However, our three year old adores it. The elderly or infirm might find it tough going. It’s hugely dog friendly. There are no toilets or refreshments on site. It’s absolutely classic picnic territory, even a thermos of soup in the winter.
Why go there?
As a regular user, I’d say it has two advantages over Leigh Woods – it’s quieter, and it’s got water play – gentle streams, rope tyre swings, things you can dam up, and, a gorgeous double waterfall that you can walk right up to.
It’s on a valley, so you have a top plateau of cool deciduous trees, and many, many dens, forts, dips and fairytale stumps to explore. You can head down the relatively steep path (doable but not easy with a buggy), across a stunning meadow to the waterfall, where you’ll find more adventures.
Accessible all year round, but most impressive in Spring, probably, the double waterfall is straight out of a Game of Thrones set, or, perhaps, it’s more Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. It’s not roaring or tumultuous, you could wade over to it with decent wellies, and you can climb up the side of it. But it’s moss-lined, cool, swirling and beautiful.
And you can sit down and have a drink and watch the kids run wild. And the dog.
What about a pub lunch?
Now you’re asking! Nearby, you’ve got The Hunter’s Rest, which is in a beautiful spot and has a large playground. You’ve also got The Station Inn, which also has playground, a converted railway carriage and lots of outdoor fun. There’s Haynes fish and chips in High Littleton, too where you could stop and eat in.
You won’t regret making the extra journey out of town and into the countryside. If you’re really up for it, you could actually get the bus, with the 376 Mendip Explorer passing within half a mile of one of the entrances to the wood.