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.
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.
I loved the position of this bus stop… steps in all directions. I decided not to wait and just keep walking.
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.
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!
Anyone got a massive spanner?
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.
Brunel’s “other” bridge – a swivel bridge – which seemed to be stored under a road bridge out of the way.
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.
All photos taken on my iPhone 5. Just in case you’re interested.