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Leigh Woods is a 2-square-kilometre (0.77 sq mi) area of woodland on the south-west side of the Avon Gorge, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, within North Somerset opposite the English city of Bristol and north of the Ashton Court estate, of which it formed a part. Stokeleigh Camp, a hillfort thought to have been occupied from the third century BC to the first century AD and possibly also in the Middle Ages, lies within the reserve on the edge of the Nightingale Valley. On the bank of the Avon, within the reserve, are quarries for limestone and celestine which were worked in the 18th and 19th centuries are now derelict.
In 1909 part of the woodland was donated to the National Trust by George Alfred Wills, to prevent development of the city beside the gorge following the building of the Leigh Woods suburb. Areas not owned by the National Trust have since been taken over by the Forestry Commission. Rare trees include multiple species of Sorbus with at least nine native and four imported species. Bristol rockcress (Arabis scabra) which is unique to the Avon Gorge can be seen flowering in April; various species of orchids and western spiked speedwell (Veronica spicata) are common in June and July. It is a national nature reserve and is included in the Avon Gorge Site of Special Scientific Interest,
Leigh Woods Reviews
Visited for first time today with 2 collies and 4 adults. Parked near the coffee van and followed the purple trail, then walked the red trail. Took around 1hr 15. Not too muddy on these tracks... more »
The old , young and very young walked through this wonderland of trees paths and mud on a Sunday morning . A lovely walk with lots to see , well laid-out by the NT and informative , well worth avisit more »
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