Exploring Bristol – Clifton Suspension Bridge

posted in: Outdoors, Travel | 4

I strongly believe that adventure (today’s BEDM topic), is there to be found wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is, after all, a state of mind rather than a verb with a written-in-stone definition. 

Exploring Bristol - My Feet on the River Path

When I was away for work recently the weather was gorgeous and with several hours to kill before sunset the last thing I wanted to be was sitting in my hotel room or, worse, spending all my money in Bristol’s plethora of open-til-late department stores. I zoomed out in Google Maps just a teeny bit and saw a nice large bit of green next to a winding bit of blue… Clifton Downs and the River Avon. Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge were just over two miles from where I was sat on the end of my hotel room bed; I needed little more persuasion – I pulled on my trainers, grabbed my sunglasses and my phone, and rushed down the stairs and outside to explore Bristol.

Naturally I didn’t take the direct route – the best adventures happen when you deviate from the route a little. I meandered through the sloped streets of Bristol (including the brilliantly named “Worlds End Lane”) until I reached the Downs and could see the suspension bridge from above.

Exploring Bristol - Worlds End Lane, Bristol

Exploring Bristol - White Hart Steps

Exploring Bristol - White Hart Steps

I loved the position of this bus stop… steps in all directions. I decided not to wait and just keep walking.

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge

The views from Clifton Downs both towards the bridge and Bristol and through Avon Gorge were absolutely fantastic. It was great to see so many people up on the hilltops enjoying the green space.

Exploring Bristol - From Clifton Suspension Bridge

Exploring Bristol - From Clifton Suspension Bridge

I decided it would be rude not to walk over the Clifton Suspension Bridge itself to see the view from the other side – and the middle. It’s free for pedestrians and cyclists (motorists just £1 each way). The day I went, and I suspect for a little while longer yet, only one footpath across was open due to some renovation work taking place. I was treated to some great, if not a little windy, views of the River Avon, and learnt a little about Brunel and his engineering skill at the same time. Only a little bit of learning, though, you understand!

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Anyone got a massive spanner?

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Once I’d returned across the bridge I headed down the Zig Zag path, a steep descent down the side of the cliff to water level. From there I walked along the river all the way back into Bristol, spotting “Brunel’s Other Bridge”, some absolutely gorgeous river-side apartments, a number of house boats, the SS Great Britain, and hundreds of other people enjoying the early evening sunshine.

Exploring Bristol - Zig Zag Path

Exploring Bristol - Clifton Suspension Bridge from the River Avon

Exploring Bristol - Brunel's Swivel Bridge

Brunel’s “other” bridge – a swivel bridge – which seemed to be stored under a road bridge out of the way. 

Exploring Bristol - Along the River Path

Exploring Bristol - SS Great Britain

My meanderings ended up as six or seven miles including a few steep inclines and one very steep descent – a very nice way to spend a couple of hours in the sunshine and the perfect way to earn my pizza at The Stable.

I’m very thankful that the weather allowed me to go on my very own mini Monday evening adventure, a solo expedition through the streets of Bristol to the awesome views from high up over the River Avon and along the river path back into the city.

Exploring Bristol - SS Great Britain

All photos taken on my iPhone 5. Just in case you’re interested.

 

 

4 Responses

  1. Kezzie

    This is a fascinating post!!! I’ve never been to Bristol and I’d very much like to!!! I’ve been reading some Railway detective novels and there are various references to ‘Mr Brunel and his bridges’ – nice to see the ones in Bristol I read about in photos! x

    • Splodz

      Hey Kezzie and thanks. It was so nice to have the time to explore a little. Obviously if I’d had all day it would have been better as there was so much else to see, but I did have to work in the day time. Yes Brunel has has a lot to answer for down in Bristol!

  2. Dragons And Fairy Dust

    I love little rambling paths and steps like this. The suspension bridge looks amazing as well, what a feat of engineering. Thanks for linking to #outandabout

    • Splodz

      It’s nice to find some little paths to explore, even if it’s mostly by accident.

What do you think? Comment below...