Picnic on sprawling lawns, take off on a hot air balloon ride, spot deer and play golf at the estate of a centuries-old manor house.
Spend a day enjoying the architectural and recreational attractions at Ashton Court Mansion. Discover a stately home set amid a glorious 850-acre (344-hectare) estate that includes a deer park, rolling lawns and woodland. Home to outdoor adventures, dog-friendly cafés and a balloon festival, Ashton Court Mansion attracts over 1.5 million visitors year round.
A house has stood on these ground since possibly the Saxon era and later passed between the hands of merchants and noblemen. The wealthy local merchant John Smyth purchased the property in 1545 and for 400 years descendants of his family enlarged and remodeled it. Today you can admire an eclectic fusion of Gothic, Renaissance, Jacobean, Tudor and Victorian features, among other architectural styles. Access to the interior is restricted to private events, although there’s a café in the mansion’s former stables.
The estate spreads in all directions from the house and its grasslands are ideal for setting up a picnic. Spot free-roaming fallow and red deer in the reserves created by John Smyth in the 16th century. A mountain-bike trail cuts through a wooded area and bikes are available to rent. Have fun on the two nine-hole golf courses in addition to disc and foot golf courses. Test your navigational skills on an orienteering trail.
Visit the estate in August for the free Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. For 4 days hundreds of balloons of all shapes and sizes turn the sky into a kaleidoscope of colors. There’s a craft fair, food stands, live music and the opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of Bristol on a balloon ride.
Reach Ashton Court Mansion by catching a bus from Bristol city center. Drivers can use the metered car park situated adjacent to the mansion. The northern entrance to the estate is a 30-minute walk from Clifton Suspension Bridge.