24 Jan 2021
I started this wander with my "support bubble" Sarah and Vik, after Sarah texted me to say "SNOW!" We parted ways on the towpath and I headed up into the bit of Leigh Woods that's not actually the woods—the village-like part in between Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, where I'd noticed on a map a church I'd not seen before. I found St Mary the Virgin and quite a few other things I'd never experienced, despite having walked nearby them many, many times over many years, including a castellated Victorian water tower that's been turned into a house...
Houses in this street seem to go for a million quid each at least...
21 Nov 2020
A rather more wide-ranging weekend wander with Sarah and Vik, taking in some mock Tudor bits of Bedmo (I should note that I've subsequently been corrected to "Bemmie", but I'm an outsider and have been calling it "Bedmo" for short for decades...), a chunk of Ashton, a path up Rownham Hill called Dead Badger's Bottom(!), The Ashton Court estate, a bit of the UWE campus at Bower Ashton, and some of the Festival Way path.
I kid you not. This path along Rownham Hill is called Dead Badger's Bottom.
Getting towards the height of the Suspension Bridge. I think I needed a breather at this point.
As with most of Bristol's information boards, it's barely readable, having been scrawled all over by children.
That's the end of Prince's Buildings in Clifton Village you can see peeking out on the far side of the gorge.
Ornamentation on one of the houses on Burwalls Road
19 Jun 2021
I hadn't really planned to go out for a wander yesterday; I just got the urge and thought "why not?" (Well, the weather forecast was one possible reason, but I managed to avoid the rain, luckily.)
I wanted to finish off the A369—as it turns out I may still have a small section to go, but I've now walked the bulk of it out to my one-mile radius—and also a few random tracks in Leigh Woods. I'm still not really sure that I'm going to walk them all, especially after discovering today that "the map is not the territory" applies even more in the woods, where one of the marked tracks on the map wasn't really that recognisable as a track in real life... I'm glad I'd programmed the route into the GPS in advance!
Anyway. A pleasant enough walk, oddly bookended, photographically at least, by unusual vehicles. Leigh Woods was fairly busy, especially the section I'd chosen, which was positively dripping with teenage schoolkids with rah accents muttering opprobrium about the Duke of Edinburgh. I'm presuming the harsh remarks were more about taking part in his award scheme than the late Consort himself, but I didn't eavesdrop enough to be certain...
I think it was at this point I decided not to bother walking alongside the road up Rownham Hill and instead divert into Dead Badger's Bottom, which is a prettier alternative. That could be a slogan for this rather mundane strech: "The road up Rownham Hill: less attractive than a dead badger's bottom".
There are some really good photos of the Cumberland Basin and Hotwells area taken from viewpoints on this hill, but the trees have long since overwhelmed the possibility of a good view up here. Don't get me wrong: I like trees, but I do rather wish you could still take photos from up here.
I suppose the thing to do in 2021 is to send a drone up and try to find the same viewpoint that way.
So I guess someone's living here, then.
I went off the beaten track onto something more overgrown and ended up with a closer view of the railway.
I passed some of a team of what looked like intrepid volunteer litter-pickers on my way up the hill, kitted out with borrowed Bristol Waste litter-picking tools. Sad, but I suppose there's always a balance between people leaving their crap behind and other people picking it up.
21 Dec 2021
The recent lack of posts here is mostly due to my feeling very run down following having a couple of wisdom teeth extracted. Having had an emergency appointment yesterday1, hopefully I'll be on the mend now, though it does mean I'm on the kind of antibiotics where you can't touch alcohol for the whole of the Christmas period. I have tried to keep myself a little distracted from the pain by working on the nuts and bolts of this website—you should notice that the front page loads rather faster now than it used to, and that there's a shiny new statistics page that I'll probably be continuing to work on. Oh, and you should find that the tags below the photos are now clickable and will take you to a page of all other wanders that have photos with the same tag.
Today I felt like I needed to drag myself out of the house, but I didn't want to go too far, and I needed to get to the Post Office up in Clifton Village to post a Christmas card (spoiler for my parents: it's going to be late. Sorry.) As luck would have it, idly looking at the map I spotted that I'd missed off a section of Burwalls Road in the past, and that's basically one of the long-ways-round to Clifton Village, crossing the river to Rownham and walking up the hill on the Somerset side before coming back across the Suspension Bridge.
As I was heading for Burwalls Road I decided to make Burwalls itself the focal point of the walk, but unfortunately the mansion grounds are private and the place is hard to snap. Still, at least it gave me a destination. Burwalls was the mansion built by Bristol press magnate Joseph Leech, who I've mentioned before after buying a vintage book he wrote on a previous wander. There's a good article about the house on House and Heritage which has some photos from angles I couldn't ever get to. (Well, maybe with a drone, but it seems like the kind of area where they may be kitted out for clay pigeon shooting, so I probably wouldn't risk it.)
1 My dentist admitted that she probably needed to keep her internal monologue a bit more internal after we started the appointment with her staring into my mouth and immediately saying, "oh, that's weird." These are words one doesn't want to hear from a medical professional.
As my plan was to knock off the remaining section of Burwalls Road, my first photo is the small segment of Burwalls itself that you can see from near my house. Burwalls is the mansion on the hilltop, peeping out about halfway from the left edge of the photo and the Suspension Bridge.
Speaking of major roads, this is why you wont' see a track down the actual road here on my maps: no pavements. On the plus side, there's the forested path with the amazing name of Dead Badger's Bottom starting on my right, and a little raised off-road walkway in the trees on the left, starting about where you can see the speed limit sign.
Presumably the logical reduction of this, just "TRESPASS", wasn't as catchy.
A delightful little return to the road, which peters out in a disconcerting rough slope in between two blind bends on a busy road with no pavement. It's not spectacularly pedestrian-friendly over here. This might explain why I never walked down the bit of Burwalls Road opposite. The forest path up Dead Badger's Bottom1 on the far side of the road skips the first section.
1 No, I will never get tired of saying that.
My destination. It is not glamorous, but it needed ticking off the list.
03 Jun 2022
I managed to go for a wander a while ago that was meant to finish off a little tangle of paths in Leigh Woods, or at the very least finish off my wandering of the Purple Path there. And I managed to miss doing either of those things through some kind of navigational incompetence.
Today I woke up with a bit of a headache, feeling a bit knackered as soon as I dragged myself out of bed, but at least with the energy to realise that I'd be better off (a) going for a walk in what looked likely to be the last of the Jubilee weekend sunshine than (b) moping around the flat until it started raining, at which point I could mope more thoroughly.
I had a look at my map, considered going to Ashton Court, but remembered that there was a music festival there today, and instead found these little leftovers of Leigh Woods and decided to have one more try at walking them.
At this point I'd just walked up the steep bit of Rownham Hill and was already too hot and a bit knackered. Still, at least it's levelling out.
This is a sentiment that I've often shared, I confess, but never been motivated to express in the form of paint.
I imagine the delighted customer who emplaced the previous missive on the end of the shelter had stood here for a significant portion of their life. Well, that's often how I end up feeling while waiting for a bus in Bristol.
Sidcot School, advertised at the end there, is one of only seven Quaker-run schools in England, founded 1699, situated in the Mendips. A fee-charging school, they do of course have a network of their own minibus services—ten routes in total—to ferry the kids there and back, so they probably don't have to wait for First to turn up.
While my main target is Leigh Woods, I do also want to nip into Ashton Court and walk a little path I missed last time I was in the field with the little steam railway in it, so to the gatehouse we cross...
There was actually a gatekeeper today, as it's the weekend of the Love Saves the Day festival, being held at Ashton Court for the first time this year, I think. Happily, as long as you just want to walk a stretch of the grounds away from the festival site, they just wave you in. I wanted to walk a footpath behind the railway track I walked past back in...gosh! November 2020. I've been doing this a while, haven't I?