18 Apr 2022
I didn't really set out with a theme of flowers and gardens in mind for this walk. I just fancied heading up to Clifton Village to get lunch. As it turned out, though, Spring was springing, so a minor theme emerged as I started off with the graveyard flowers of Hope Chapel and wandered up to see the beginnings of the new wildflower garden at Clifton Hill Meadow.
With a special Platinum Jubilee celebration on offer, too. I imagine The Mall Gardens will do that rather well.
The "Brigstowe Village Band" is a whimsical name. Brigstow—the bridge at the meeting point—is the origin of the modern "Bristol". Apparently they're "modelled on the village bands of Thomas Hardy’s day when local musicians played for all the local gatherings and celebrations."
06 Feb 2021
A lovely walk in the early spring sunshine with my friend Lisa. We headed directly for Jacobs Wells Road, to start off around the scene of one of our earlier walks, but this time took in Jacobs Wells from QEH upward, stopping to snap some photos of a Bear With Me, some interesting areas between Park Street and Brandon Hill including a peculiarly quiet enclave with a ruined old build I'd never found before, then crossed the Centre to grab take-away pies from Pieminister (I had the Heidi Pie) and head back to my place down the harbourside.
I hear the cellars are quite impressive, but I've never been. Established 1793, and at least they chose a trade that was less harmful for other people than slavery, and less harmful for their customers than tobacco. Of all of Bristol's trades, this is probably the one that's got the least horror stories behind the money-making, but I imagine some of it may still have been pretty horrifying, just a bit less obvious.
Nice place; I bought some bread and some Bristol blue cheese.
28 Jan 2021
With very little photography, and no new streets. Still, I did manage to buy milk at the "Simple Cow" vending machine—and "simple" is very definitely false advertising; it took me bloody ages to work out how to use the thing—and snap the new ACER/SEPR piece down in Cumberland Piazza.
It's really nice milk. And handy with the strain Ocado are under at the moment.
16 Feb 2021
There's a dearth of my favourite coffee places on a Monday and Tuesday at the moment. Both Twelve and Imagine That are closed on Monday and Tuesday, and Rich from Hopper Coffee doesn't seem to have come back from Christmas break. Today I pushed on a bit further than normal around the harbour and got to Little Victories, the always-reliable sister cafe to Small Street Espresso, based at Wapping Wharf. Along the way I saw graffiti, my second reference to one of Bristol's twin cities in two days, and a rather sleek little boat outside Rolt's Boat Yard.
26 Feb 2021
I'm on the first day of a long weekend, and I certainly picked the right one for it. This may be the first proper spring-like day of the year in Bristol; it was glorious.
I headed up to Clifton, around the area where I got my Covid vaccine jab the other day, to knock off a few remaining roads in that area and because it would be good exercise for an extended lunchtime walk.
Along the way I saw some very Clifton sights, including an Aston Martin, some Jacobethan architecture, and some private college sports grounds. Mostly, though, I just enjoyed the sunshine, and took every opportunity I could to snap views across the city.
A little glimpse behind the scenes. Salmon and broccoli quiche, apple, banana, carrots, thanks for asking.
14 Mar 2021
An enormous walk today, or at least it felt enormous. My feet are sore, anyway. I started off recreating a couple of local historical photos in Hotwells, but then headed for my traditional walk along the towpath in the Avon Gorge to the far extreme of Leigh Woods, up and through the woods to the height of the Suspension Bridge, finally crossing into Clifton Village for a well-deserved vanilla latte.
I say "traditional" because this used to be a very regular route for me, first walking, years and years ago, and later jogging—this route combined with a circuit of the Downs on the other side used to be my way of making sure I was fit to do a half-marathon (I did six of them in total, between 2010 and 2014).
I miss the routine of this walk, even though it's a long way and it used to pretty much wipe me out when I did it—I'd come back home and collapse and do very little for the rest of the day. But perhaps that's what Sundays are for, and I should try to remember that.
Doing this walk regularly was quite a meditative experience. Not so much of that today, but once I got to the further extreme of the towpath, where the roar of the Portway traffic on the other side of the river dwindles and I turned into Leigh Woods to climb ever closer to birdsong and further from rushing cars, I did seem to recapture a little of the feeling of previous walks. (I would say my mind cleared, but I was mentally singing along to Life Without Buildings' The Leanover for most of the wander. There are worse songs to have stuck in one's head, though; it's a great track...)
Anyway. Apparently the walk made me more likely to ramble in words, too. I'll stop now :)
That's actually finest Bristol tap water, not Evian.
I wasn't going to take a very long walk on this nice spring evening; it just happened. I was going to knock off a path or two on Brandon Hill, home over centuries to hermits and windmills, cannons and Chartists, and then just wander home, stopping only to fill up my milk bottle at the vending machine in the Pump House car park.
However, when I heard a distant gas burner I stayed on the hill long enough to see if I could get a decent photo of both the hot air balloon drifting over with Cabot Tower in the same frame (spoiler: I couldn't. And only having the fixed-focal-length Fuji with me didn't help) and then, on the way home, bumped into my "support bubble", Sarah and Vik, and extended my walk even further do creep carefully down the slipway next to the old paddle steamer landing stage and get some photos from its furthest extreme during a very low tide...
Well, one mission, anyway. I popped out for milk, taking my reusable bottle along to the vending machine in the Pump House car park.
I got interested in Bristol's medieval water supplies after poking around near Jacobs Wells Road and Brandon Hill. It was during that research I found out about a pipe that's still there today, and, as far as I know, still actually functioning, that was originally commissioned by Carmelite monks in the 13th century. They wanted a supply of spring water from Brandon Hill to their priory on the site of what's now the Bristol Beacon—Colston Hall, as-was. It was created around 1267, and later, in 1376, extended generously with an extra "feather" pipe to St John's On The Wall, giving the pipework its modern name of "St John's Conduit".
St John's on the Wall is still there, guarding the remaining city gate at the end of Broad Street, and the outlet tap area was recently refurbished. It doesn't run continuously now, like it did when I first moved to Bristol and worked at the end of Broad Street, in the Everard Building, but I believe the pipe still functions. One day I'd like to see that tap running...
There are a few links on the web about the pipe, but by far the best thing to do is to watch this short and fascinating 1970s TV documentary called The Hidden Source, which has some footage of the actual pipe and also lots of fantastic general footage of Bristol in the seventies.
On my walk today I was actually just going to the building society in town, but I decided to trace some of the route of the Carmelite pipe, including visiting streets it runs under, like Park Street, Christmas Street, and, of course, Pipe Lane. I also went a bit out of my way to check out St James' Priory, the oldest building in Bristol, seeing as it was just around the corner from the building society.
There are far too many pictures from this walk, and my feet are now quite sore, because it was a long one. But I enjoyed it.
The doorbells on the old Jacobs Wells Road swimming baths.
I bumped into my friend Lisa in town during yesterday's wander, and we decided to have a wander today, too. We managed quite a long ramble, starting up through Clifton and nipping down Park Row to investigate the two tower blocks I'd noticed popping up behind Park Street yesterday, then took in a few roads I'd not managed to get to before, including cutting through the grounds of Bristol Grammar School.
The shop we saw from the back from the entrance to Irving House a little while ago...
07 May 2021
I saw this tweet the other day and started thinking of my second Covid-19 vaccination as my "Sequel Injection" (to a geek, it's funny. You'll have to take my word for it.) Whatever you call it, this morning I went and got it.
It was in the same place I got my initial injection—my left arm! No, okay, it was at the Clifton College Prep School. I didn't take any photos of the event itself; the NHS production line is so efficient you barely have time to do anything else, even if the privacy of other patients wasn't a factor.
Along the way I mused at all the road resurfacing going on in Clifton, and also discovered a secret (okay, not-well-known and possibly slightly trespassey) way into Canynge Square, and on the way back I knocked off a few streets from my "leftovers list" of north-east Clifton. I've got much of Clifton done now, with the only obvious "to dos" on the east side of Whiteladies Road...
It was quite a long walk, and I'm feeling pretty tired now, though that might be the effects of the jab too, I suppose. Anyway. Tomorrow and Monday I'm walking outside Bristol, I think, and I imagine my feet will need some recovery time on Sunday, so it might be a while before I post another Wander.
I always imagined they just made this stuff by mixing Blue Nun with Black Tower at the industrial complex that surely manufactures all three of 'em.