30.13 ha (74.45 acres)

Grid reference:

ST 800 597

Map reference:

Explorer NULL
OS Landranger NULL

Avoncliff Wood is a peaceful ancient wood, untouched for many years, that contains an enormous carpet of wild garlic with lots of old ancient ash coppice and oak trees. Bordering the wood are grassland fields and newly planted woodland and orchards that have numerous footpaths, including a path running alongside the River Avon.

The ancient woodland is currently closed to the public. We are using this wood as a living laboratory to see how it flourishes without disturbance. However there are many paths that skirt the wood and cross fields around it, allowing glimpses into its hidden wonder.

How to get to Avoncliff Wood

Avoncliff Wood lies between the villages of Avoncliff and Freshford just within the southern range of the Cotswolds Area Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is located four miles as the crow flies from Bath city centre, a World Heritage Site to the west, which can be reached in seven miles along the popular Kennet and Avon Canal and Sustrans cycle route.

Less than two miles to the east of Avoncliff lies the historic town of Bradford on Avon, also on the canal and cycle path route.

We strongly advise all visitors to the wood to come on foot, bike or to use public transport. There is no car park for the wood and very limited parking in Avoncliff village, which is down a steep and narrow road to the village from Upper Westwood. Please note: there is no through road in Avoncliff.

There are railway stations in both Freshford and Avoncliff, which are a short walk to the wood (around 15 minutes and 5 minutes respectively). Trains run from Bath Spa and Bradford on Avon.

Buses run from Bath and Bradford on Avon, to Westwood or Limpley Stoke villages, with a 20-minute walk to the wood.

Facilities and access

Several public footpaths cross the fields and newly planted woodland at Avoncliff, however there is no public access into the ancient woodland.

The most popular footpath runs through the river bank meadow alongside the River Avon from Freshford to Avoncliff. It links The Inn at Freshford, with The Cross Guns pub in Avoncliff.

Two public footpaths also run through the field to the east of the wood in a north/south direction on the steep hill to Upper Westwood. Access here is through a neighbouring wood or the country lanes in Upper Westwood.

Routes are a mix of grassy paths through the newly planted woodland and meadows, as well as a paved riverside path. The paths can be muddy after rain.

There is no parking at the wood. Limited parking is available in a private pay and display car park in Avoncliff village down a steep road to the village from Upper Westwood. Please note: there is no through road in Avoncliff.

The nearest toilets are located in the nearby pubs at The Cross Guns and The Inn at Freshford and are for customers only.

Wildlife and habitats


Left undisturbed for generations, with no formal paths and little human intervention, the wood has flourished into a tranquil haven for wildlife. Greater horseshoe bats and orange-tip butterflies are just some of the species that have been recorded here.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Swathes of wild garlic spreads across the floor at Avoncliff. Its wide variety of fungi, trees and plants make it an ideal home for wildlife.

Look out for:



About us

Tree guards: research into plastic-free alternatives

Our bold pledge to stop using new single-use plastic tree guards on our land in 2021 put us at the forefront of the movement to eradicate plastic from planting schemes UK-wide. We’re funding research to find viable alternatives and are now moving towards sustainable tree protection in other areas.

Find out more about our research

About Avoncliff Wood


Avoncliff Wood and the surrounding fields were acquired by the Trust in January 2019, thanks to the response to a fundraising appeal. Four hectares of new native broadleaf woodland were planted shortly after, along with a community orchard featuring West Country apples and pears. The ancient woodland is being protected as a living laboratory, while the areas around its edges are being left to regenerate naturally to buffer the wood and create new homes for wildlife.

Support us

Your support matters

This wood was secured for the future thanks to your response to an urgent appeal. Discover how you helped us bring another incredible place safely under our wing, and what the future holds for Avoncliff Wood. 

See what we've achieved

Things to do at Avoncliff Wood


Avoncliff Wood Management Plan

PDF  (343 KB)