04 Dec 2020
I tried to find the Strangers' Burial Ground the last time was up in Clifton, but I'd not realised that Lower Clifton Hill continues further on after the turning with Constitution Hill. Sadly it was chained shut, but it still looks beautifully-maintained, perhaps by the same man referenced by this story from John Hodgson, which helped me find it. Apparently Thomas Beddoes is buried here.
10 Apr 2021
There's a bit of Southville that I've been meaning to get to for some time, where the streets seem to take some strong inspiration from London. There's a Camden Road that crosses with an Islington Road, and a Dalston Road, even an Edgeware Road. For me these names are more evocative than the rather more exotic names I passed by to get there—Sydney Row or Hanover Place, say, because I've actually been to the places in London. The last time I was in Islington I saw Monkey Swallows the Universe play at The Angel, and I can't think of Camden without remembering a gondola trip with my friend Tara where a cheery youth played Beatles music for us on a saz...
I really liked this little area, with its mostly well-kept pretty houses and hints here and there of the creative side of the residents. It's arty and down-to-earth at the same time, and I wouldn't mind living there, I think.
On the way there I got the chance to walk through Underfall Yard for the first time in a while, and on the way back I had my first take-away hot food for many months, grabbing some crispy fried squid from the excellent Woky Ko at Wapping Wharf.
You're not going to miss that coming toward you.
15 Apr 2021
Just a quick trip to Imagine That for a flat white and a date ball (they're really nice), snapping the general sights along the way. No new roads, as has rapidly become the default on my lunchtime wanders, but as I'm in the routine of this project it almost seems strange not to pop my wanders up on the site.
14 Jul 2021
As it turned out, I didn't manage to get a coffee on my lunchtime coffee trip, as Imagine That were briefly shut down by a Covid-19 exposure notification (false alarm, it seems.) On the plus side, my trip was made worthwhile by spotting a couple of people from the University of Bath Mechanical Engineering Department testing an autonomous body-finding catamaran, which isn't a phrase I was ever expecting to write...
Turned out it was these two researchers running the show...
17 Jul 2021
Okay, not much in the way of actual pasture to be had in Bedminster these days, like most of Bristol, but I did take advantage of the current rather toasty weather in Bristol to go and sit under a tree in Greville Smyth Park to read a book for a while before firing up the GPS and taking a little detour around some back streets of Ashton and Bedminster rather than going straight to Coffee #1 for an espresso frappé. This is the first walk in a while where I've actually crossed off an entire new street (the frankly unexciting Carrington Road) as well as exploring a couple of back alleys, just because they were there, really. Along the way I spotted a few examples of graffiti of various qualities, including a live work-in-progress by SNUB23 on Ashton Road and the finished Six Sisters project on North Street.
On a gorgeous summer's Saturday like this the steps by the Cottage pub would normally have been absolutely rammed with people drinking. I suppose there's still plenty of social distancing going on. Doesn't look like anyone's got a drink, either, so perhaps the Cottage have had to stop letting people take beer out here for the duration? I did pass their outside bar a minute later, though so perhaps not.
I'm so un-used to drinking now that I'd probably be laid out by a single beer in the sunshine. My Covid months have been largely dry.
25 Sep 2021
I needed to pop to the library, as they'd kindly dug a book out of the reserve store at the B Bond warehouse for me and emailed me to let me know it was ready. So, I took a little trip to town, straight down the Hotwell Road, and spent a few hours reading before stretching my legs with a walk to a new cafe in the actual castle (or remnants thereof, anyway) of Castle Park, before heading back home down the other side of the harbour. As well as books and coffee, I bumped into a remote-controlled pirate ship, which isn't something you see every day, even in Bristol.
17 Jan 2022
This was basically the quick lunchtime jaunt I tried to do at the beginning of January, only this time I actually managed to get to roughly the viewpoint I'd been hoping for to recreate a historical photo of the Bristol International Exhibition.
I did this walk about a month ago, but I've been a bit poorly and not really up to doing much in my spare time, and it's taken me this long to even face processing even these few photos. Hopefully normal service will be resumed at some point and I can carry on trying to walk any roads and paths that I need to do to make this project feel complete...
Bower Ashton is an interesting little area just south of the river from me—in fact, the Rownham Ferry used to take people over from Hotwells to Bower Ashton, operating from at least the twelfth century to around the 1930s.
It's a strangely contradictory little area, with a cluster of old and new houses sandwiched in between the busy A-roads and significantly more industrial area of Ashton and the bucolic country estate of Ashton court roughly east to west, and also between Somerset and Bristol, north to south.
I've been around here before, mostly poking around Bower Ashton's arguably most well-known bit, the Arts faculty campus of the University of the West of England, but I'd missed at least Parklands Road and Blackmoors Lane, so I initially planned just to nip across briefly and wander down each in turn. On a whim, though, I texted my friends Sarah and Vik in case they were out and about, and ended up diverting to the Tobacco Factory Sunday market first, to grab a quick flat white with them, extending my journey a fair bit.
To start with, though, I nipped to a much more local destination, to see something that you can't actually see at all, the Gridiron...
(I also used this wander as a test of the cameras in my new phone. I finally upgraded after a few years, and the new one has extra, separate wide and telephoto lenses compared to the paltry single lens on my old phone. Gawd. I remember when speed-dial was the latest innovation in phones...)
Funny how the architect's drawings of things rarely have the giant busy road next door in them, innit?
05 Jun 2022
Another day not dissimilar to my last wander: I'm feeling a bit tired and rather than just moping around the house I thought I'd find some tiny bit of somewhere that I'd not yet walked and get outdoors. This time I headed for the Tobacco Factory Market in Bedminster, as I often do, but went the long way around via Ashton Court Mansion as I knew there were some footpaths and a small section of road I'd not ticked off up there. Finishing all the Ashton Court footpaths will be quite a long job, but you've got to start somewhere...
I did feel rather better by the time I got home, and, pretty much astoundingly given the weather forecast, managed to avoid the rain completely.
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."