Photo Shoot Location Ideas Bristol
30 Jun 2020
If you’re struggling to think of a location for your photo shoot, I’ve put together all my favourite picturesque spots that I love to take pictures in. I am constantly updating this page as soon as I find a new, exciting spot. All the photography is by me, Bristol Contemporary Photography!
If you’re looking for an engagement shoot, family shoot, maternity shoot or any other kind of natural light photo shoot in any of the Bristol locations below (or somewhere new!), then please get in touch today!
1. Clifton Suspension Bridge, The Observatory & Clifton Village
Clifton Suspension Bridge is probably my most requested spots! The bridge is so Bristol, and if you’re happy to take the small trek up to the Observatory the views of the bridge and the Avon Gorge and breathtaking. The park next to the bridge makes for a lovely backdrop (especially beautiful in Autumn) and we can take a stroll back through Clifton Village and the Mall for a few photos with the iconic Clifton townhouses.
Access: I suggest meeting outside the Avon Gorge hotel and walking up from there. Parking can be really tricky during peak season so please make sure to leave enough time before your session (there is on street Pay & Display around the Mall but no car parks.)
Notes: This is a VERY busy spot, particularly in Summer. I normally suggest meeting early in the day for this location or in cooler months to avoid crowds. There is a short steep hill to get up to the Observatory.
2. Brandon Hill & Cabot Tower
Sometimes I can’t believe that this haven is in the city centre! Brandon Hill has a variety of different backdrops, including the iconic Cabot Tower, wildflower meadows, formal planted gardens, waterfalls and 180 degree views overlooking South Bristol.
Access: I normally suggest meeting in Berkeley Square where there are Pay & Display parking spaces. If you’re getting public transport, the park is accessible from Park Street or The Triangle. There is a Multistory Carpark on Jacobwells Road.
Notes: Some of the spots in the park can get very busy in summer, but it’s normally fairly easy to find a few private spaces away from the public. It is quite hilly and we might walk up and down quite a bit! Let me know if this is an issue for you.
Clevedon Marine Lake & Poet's Walk
This is such an amazing location for a shoot, especially at sunset! If you walk up the short but steep hill to the top, the sun sets directly in to the sea. You also have views of Clevedon Pier and beautiful walks around this outcrop. One of my faves!
Access: Pay & display car park and parking outside the Salthouse.
Notes: If you want shots across the Marine Lake, you either need to get up REALLY early or brave the cold in winter. This area is incredibly busy in summer evenings. The fields at the top of the hill are normally dead quiet – it is a steep walk to the top though so do bear that in mind!
Old Sneed Park & Bishops Knoll
I only found this spot recently and honestly couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. This is a lovely quiet nature reserve just past the Downs with duck ponds, wildflower meadows in summer and a forest walk.
Access: There’s free residential parking on the road before the walk.
Notes: There’s sometimes a few people around the ponds but the rest of the area is generally very quiet.
Bristol Harbourside & Queen's Square
Bristol Harbourisde boasts more iconic areas for photos. The steamcranes, the railway, the Mshed, Pero’s Bridge and The Matthew are all fantastic backdrops and it’s always lovely to be by the water. There’s fantastic light looking towards Millenium Square in the evenings.
Access: Easy to get to by public transport. There are a few carparks around. The cheapest is Trenchard St which is a 5-10 minute walk to No.1 Harbourside. I normally park at Mud Dock. Whapping Wharf car park is always very full!
Notes: Especially in summer, this area gets incredibly busy with people drinking on the streets. If you don’t mind people walking past, there are normally a few empty spots near MShed.
Ashton Court Estate
Ashton Court has some exceptionally lovely grounds and is a beautiful location for a shoot. The mansion itself is pretty iconic, and my favourite yellow porch is brilliant for colourful photos, but you also have the beautiful views over Bristol, the avenue of trees, the walled rose garden and acres of fields and forrest depending how far you want to go.
Access: Large pay and display car park
Notes: Sections can be busy, but Ashton Court does seem to swallow people, so you wont feel too exposed! It looks particularly lovely in Autumn.
Stokes Croft Graffiti & St Pauls
You can’t get much more Bristol than Graffiti and some of my favourite spots are around Stokes Croft. Around the back of the main high street are some incredible spots with bright, colourful artwork. You can walk along and through to St Paul’s in to the beautiful Portland Square for a contrast with a more green background. This is quite an edgy little area and great if you’re wanting something a bit different.
Access: It’s a short walk from Cabot Circus through the Bear Pit, so I would suggest either parking at Cabot or The Galleries and walking over. Public transport is readily available.
Notes: Round the back streets does tend to be very quiet with few people walking past. Some areas can look a bit unsightly but trust I can use the best angles!
I love this crazy bit of land around St George in Bristol! Trooper’s Hill is covered in pink heather and with slate outcrops and red clay, the landscape is more what you would expect on Dartmoor than in the middle of the city. The views from the top are pretty lovely, but really I just love using this interesting landscape!
Access: Free parking on the roads around Trooper’s Hill. There are a few entrances so I usually suggest meeting by the chimney at the top!
Notes: Generally a few dog walkers around but the paths are fairly empty. The top gets notoriously busy in August when it’s the balloon fiesta but otherwise a quiet location.
Kings Weston House
Although this absolutely stunning spot is a wedding venue, the grounds are open to anyone and there are some incredible spots. The beautiful flower beds, walled garden, water feature and a walk through the woods to the folly creates some perfect photo shoot locations. Kings Weston House itself is a wonderfully picturesque backdrop!
Access: Large free car park
Notes: Generally busy with dog walkers and picnic-ers, but it isn’t too hard to find a quiet spot. Best avoided on a Saturday when a wedding might be taking place.
Long Wood & Stoke Park Estate
If you’ve driven out of Bristol on the M32 I’m sure you will have noticed the yellow house up on the hill, and the walk through the woods and in to the Stoke Park Estate is a lovely little route! With beautiful forest and views over Bristol, there’s a little bit for everyone here.
Access: Free two hour parking bays on Long Down Avenue. I’ll meet you at the entrance to Long Wood opposite Bushy Leas.
Notes: It’s a short flat-ish walk through woodlands and open fields to the view point and is generally very quiet.
Conham River Park
There’s a lovely little loop you can do in this area so you can get a lot of different backdrops! If you walk up the Avon Nature Trail to the open space at the top, head through the forest and then down back along the river you’ll have plenty of picturesque spots to enjoy.
Access: Free car park
Notes: Busy with dog walkers etc but fairly easy to find a quiet space!
Leigh Woods is one of the most loved spots around Bristol, with acres of forest just on the outskirts of the city. Although the car park can look intimidatingly busy, you don’t have to walk far to get off the beaten track and get a whole lot of woodland to yourself!
Access: Large free car park
Notes: In May, bluebells carpet the floor in many spots making it an ideal time for a shoot! Obviously the area does get extremely muddy if the weather has been bad so sensible shoes are a must.
Snuff Mills & Oldbury Court Estate
Just the other side of the car park at Snuff Mills you walk in to a beautiful English country garden with planted flower beds over looking the river. You can then take a short walk through the woods by the water for a lovely picturesque spot for photos!
Access: Free car park at Snuff Mills
Notes: Parts of the river walk do get congested, but it doesn’t take a lot to avoid people either waiting for groups to move on or just finding a quieter spot!
Large open spaces, woodland, wildflower meadow and the lake. All of this in about a 10 minute walk makes Eastville Park a lovely spot for a photo shoot!
Access: Free car park at the bottom of Park Avenue
Notes: Although it gets busy around the pond, it is surprisingly easy to find a quiet spot. The park is closed for various festivals over summer.
Portishead Lake Grounds, Portishead Beach & Woodhill Bay
Portishead Lake Grounds and beach is such an amazing sunset spot! It always surprises me how quiet the beach area is, even if the park around the Lake Grounds seems busy. You can also walk up to Portishead Point for views over Woodhill Bay. Definitely a spot for summer evenings!
Access: Meet at the Lakeside Cafe carpark, where you have easy access both to the lake grounds and the beach.
Notes: Nice flat walk with no need to travel too far. In summer, it’s worth meeting at 8pm for the sunset shots and beautiful light. Although it’s not the most picturesque beach, it is absolutely perfect for photos!