I am aware that many of you will read the title of this blog post and will be wondering why on earth am I writing about a cemetery?!
But with its 45 acres of beautiful green space, Victorian architecture and rich local history, Arnos Vale Cemetery is the perfect choice for family walks, nature trails and picnics!
Arnos Vale is a Victorian garden cemetery and national heritage site in Brislington which is free and open to the public every day of the week from 9am – 5pm.
Arnos Vale Cemetery offers a peace and tranquility hard to find in our city at times. It is lovely to hear only the birds singing and the sound of the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves of the old trees that have stood watch over the cemetery for many years long.
Established in 1837, Arnos Vale Cemetery was designed in the style of a Greek Necropolis with magnificent gravestones in the shape of angels, roses, crosses and many more.
The epitaphs and inscriptions are also fascinating and give you a real sense of the people who lie beneath them, as well as pieces of the history that this cemetery offers.
Notable people interred at Arnos Vale Cemetery include George Muller, founder of the former Müller Orphanage located in Ashley Down, and my son and I were lucky enough to spot his grave when we visited.
Because of its plentiful grassland and woodland, Arnos Vale Cemetery boasts plenty of nature so is a wonderful spot for nature trails, bug hunting and butterfly spotting!
Not only this, but it is also home for many species of wildlife including bats, badgers and foxes.
Arnos Vale Cemetery is also a lovely place for picnics in the Summer months!
I grew up in Bristol and remember when years ago, the cemetery’s private owner announced plans to clear and commercially develop a large section of the Cemetery, which at the time was neglected and overgrown.
Fortunately the owner’s plans were met with mass disapproval by the people of Bristol and a group of locals set up a committed campaign to prevent these plans from going ahead.
Following this, huge work was undertaken to restore the cemetery to its former greatness and now we have a wonderful place of natural beauty and rich local history to be very proud of.
Today the site relies entirely on donations to keep it open and maintained.
If you would like to visit Arnos Vale Cemetery you can find it on the A4 Bath Road, Brislington, BS4 3EW. It is free to visit, however donations are welcome.
There is also a café on site should you need a cuppa and a slice of delicious cake, plus a gift shop which the kids will enjoy.
To find out more about Arnos Vale Cemetery please visit https://arnosvale.org.uk/.