A Walking Tour in Bristol

Bristol Walking Tour

Do you like TV documentaries?  Do you listen to Radio 4?  Do you read non-fiction?  Do you enjoy being told a story?  Then I’m confident an informative walking tour would enhance your Bristol City stay.

A web search is your starting point for any number of walking tours, including “Bristol Highlights” (which is the one we took) and others focusing on “Bristol Merchants and The Slave Trade”, or visiting the sites of local-lad Banksy’s murals.  (You’d heard rumours Banksy was a girl?  Well…on our tour the Guide pointed out his alma mater and assured us many could attest to his identity.)

Banksy Bristol

The cost varies, but, for example, the 2 hour “Bristol Highlights” tour is conducted by a qualified Blue Badge Guide and costs just £6 per person.  Unfortunately, the morning start wasn’t suitable for our group of seven and so I started to explore the possibility of a private, exclusive, tour.  I found a number of commercial tour operators but – frankly – the costs were prohibitive, e.g. £29 per person.  However, I’m glad I persevered because it seems the Blue Badge Guides are self-employed and can be contracted for private tours.  I came to an arrangement with the Blue Badge Guide who had conducted the same “Bristol Highlights” tour that morning for 27(!) “walk-ins” to the Tourist Information Office, to repeat the tour exclusively for us that afternoon at a cost of just £80.

Isambard Brunel

Our Guide – it goes without saying – had the gift of storytelling along with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the significant dates in Bristol’s history.  (He couldn’t fail to impress someone who submitted an entire History examination paper without once referencing a specific date – or indeed the reigning monarch!)  He touched on ancient history; the growth of the Bristol docks and trading; Bristol’s role in the Slave Trade (no more, and no less, than a number of other cities heavily involved in overseas trading; both here and in Europe); Bristol Cream Sherry; and good ol’ Isambard Brunel and the railways.

Bristol Cathedral

An enthusiastic, knowledgeable and local Guide will not only introduce you to the ‘major’ sites such as Bristol Cathedral – which arguably you might have tripped over unaided – although apparently a lot of people do mistake St Mary Redcliffe Church for Bristol’s cathedral – but point out the less-obvious such as how the whole consists of parts dating back to the 12th century but then the twin towers were completed comparatively recently in 1888 (you can hardly see the joins).

St Mary Recliffe church

We learned there are underground caverns (inaccessible now) where the warehouses once stood and these proved invaluable in protecting the expensive (and highly flammable) goods destined for import/export and provided a USP (unique selling point) for Bristol Docks.  We heard that Cary Grant used to come back to Bristol regularly to visit his Mum.

Cary Grant Bristol

Whilst I’m sure every Guide has a tried and trusted “script”, a knowledgeable Guide will be quite prepared to answer queries or spend more time on a topic in which people show a particular interest and they are always pleased to receive snippets of knowledge from their visitors which, I’m sure, they add to their own collection.  For example our Guide pointed out the Wills Building donated to the University by the tobacco family which employed thousands in the area and I was able to tell him there was also a factory in Swindon where my mother worked in the early ’50s.

Wills Memorial Building Bristol

If you like a story…if you like learning new facts…consider arranging your own exclusive walking tour whilst you are in Bristol, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

A special thanks to Anne Brown-Robins, who wrote this post following a recent stay with us at Bury Hill Farm Bristol.

Other tours you may also be interested in:-

Blackbeard 2 Banksy

The Bristol Food Tour

Bristol Brewery Tours

Bristol Audio Walking Tour

Bristol Harbour Festival 19th – 21st July 2024

Bristol Harbour Festival

The Bristol Harbour Festival  – Friday 19th July to Sunday 21st July.   Celebrating its 52nd year, this free festival brings over 250,000 people together and is held annually to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage and the importance of Bristol’s docks and harbour.

Most of the activities are free, including live music, street performances, dance acts, interactive theatre, international circus acts, daredevil stunts and a variety of other live entertainments which are held on or near the waterfront of Bristol Harbour.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The outside venues include Queen Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Narrow Quay, Merchants, Quay, Hannover Quay, Millennium Square and Cathedral Walk, with seagoing vessels moored nearby. The liveliest part of the festival is quayside and the main attractions are entertainment designed to engage all the communities of Bristol, as well as entertain the thousands of visitors to the city.

Find your way around the Bristol Harbour Festival’s Performance Areas – Downloadable Map  See the program of events further down the page.

Market Locations

Narrow QuayMerchants QuayQueens Square and Hannover Quay

Bristol Harbour Festival Markets

The City has hosted the festival since 1971, when it was started as part of an, ultimately successful, attempt to save the docks from being filled in.  In 2012, the festival attracted over 200,000 visitors, its highest ever attendance at that time, with the Irene and the Matthew being two of the tall ships in attendance that year.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The festival is held every year in July over a weekend and many of the bar and restaurants put on extra entertainment to keep visitors happy during the late evenings. In 2018 visitors were be able to watch for the first time, the Power8 rowing sprints battle it out on the water, as teams from eight cities compete to be the best.

The highlight of this year’s festival will be the arrival of three very special tall ships – The Etoile Molence, Irene and Iris.  Also Power8 Sprints will also be headlining with their 350 metre, high octane rowing action on the water.

Bristol Harbour Festival

More than 250 boats of varying shapes and sizes will be tied up at every available mooring along a four-mile stretch of the Harbourside, with familiar sights such as the SS Great Britain and the Matthew all set to appear.

Bristol Harbour Festival

There’s so much entertainment to keep you engaged, including music at the huge outdoor concert area “the Lloyds Amphitheatre”, top quality circus and street theatre acts from Circus Bijou.  Western Boat Show, showcasing all kinds of sailing boats and power boats, rowing competitions, general fun and games in the water, dedicated family areas, plus the Continental Food Market at Queens Square, a fantastic line-up from across France, Italy, Spain and Germany providing olives, cheese, crepes and more, an experience for the taste buds together with traditional gifts and crafts and lots of Harbourside fun for everyone.

Bristol Harbour Festival

Travel – Head for the City Centre, follow signs for Harbour Festival.  Further travel info Here.

Parking

There is plenty of parking and it is advised to arrive early to get as close as possible to the available Harbourside Parking.  You will also find parking within a short walking distance of the Harbour at the following places –

St Mary Redcliffe Car Park, NCP – Redcliffe Parade, NCP – Queens Charlotte Street, Trenchard Street Car Park, The Gallery Car Park, Nelson Street Car Park, College Street Car Park, Mardyke Wharf Car Park, Oldfield Place Car Park

** Previous **Program of Events **Update Pending**

Saturday 20th July

Music – Amphitheatre – Music Stage

12.45 pm             Bristol Community Big Band

2.00 pm               The Hucklebuck – Blues Music

3.15 pm               Camo Clave – Cumbia Music

4.30 pm               Phantom Ensemble

5.45 pm               Matuki  – Afrobeat, reggae fusion

7.15 pm               Doreen Doreen – Marsh up Band

8.45 pm               Rod Smith RSD

Music – Brunel Stage at SS Great Britain

11.00 am             Framptoon Shantymen – All Male Choir

12.00 pm             Samba – Reggae drumming band

1.00 pm               Ceili – Traditional Irish/Celtic acoustic music

2.00 pm               Gentle Hooligans – Rock ‘n ‘ roll fusion

3.00 pm               JI & The Rainbirds – Up beat feel-good folk

4.00 pm               Eden Root’s Reggae Band – Red hot Reggae

5.00 pm               The Bare Souls – Rock, blues, soul and funk fusion band

Music – Centre Stage at Cascade Steps

12.00 pm            The Great Sea Choir

12.50 pm            Rosina Keri – passionate dreamy pop

1.40 pm               The Harrisons – Blues, country and americana band

2.30 pm               Barnacle Buoys – Acapella sea shanty singers

3.25 pm               Julu Irvine & Heg Brignall – Folk duo

4.20 pm               Mireille Mathlener – Vocalist

5.15 pm               Laimu – Sultry vocals

Music – Dockside Stage at the Grove

2.00 pm               Punk Rock Aerobics

3.00 pm               Richard the Fourth – Neo soul and slow funk

3.30 pm               Hush Mozey – Miz of spa, punk and garage

4.30 pm               The Rupees – Hi energy rock band

5.30 pm               Sam Brockington – Fantastic vocal talented singer

6.30 pm               Farebrother – Indie rock quartet

7.30 pm               Joe Probert – Super cool soul

8.30 pm               Katy J Pearson – Catchy melodies

Dance and Entertainment at Millenium Square

11.45 am             Bollyred Dance Company

12.15 pm            Urban Cookie: Dance Zumba Gold

1.20 pm               Performance from Gerry’s Attic Dance Company

1.55 pm               Making Tracks Youth Music

2.55 pm               2 O’clock Beauty Queens

3.15 pm               Dance Extreme BS13/Storm

3.25 pm               Bristol Salsa Ladies Styling Team

3.30 pm               Subline Dance Troupe

3.40 pm               Rise Youth Dance

5.00 pm               Hype Dance

5.20 pm               Swing Dance Bristol and Swing Riot

Entertainment, Family Fun Activities, Music and Food at The Circus Playground – Queens Square

Continental Market Food – a selection of everything you will expect will be on offer

Bubbline – Fun with bubbles

A.P.E Project CIC – Mobile Adventure Playground

Sounds Right Phonics Bristol – Music, games, movement, bubbles and poms poms for little ones

Marky Jay – Compere & Street Theatre – Jokes, Juggling and puppets

Avon Valley Wildlife Park – Interact and discover more about small animals

Bristol Taiko – Traditional Japanese Drumming

Bocadcalupa Arts – Bee Garden

Avon Valley Wildlife Trust

Baby Racing

Cirocomedia – Youth Circus Showcase and Workshops

Giddy Kipper – Sloth Time

Tiny Little Clouds Theatre – How to Build a rainbow

Don’t Drop The Beat – Live Drumming and Juggling

Above & Beyond – Mini Flying Trapeze Rig

Dragonbird Theatre – Pyjama Island

Angie Mack – The Super Hooper Jula Hooping Street Show

Korri Aulakh – World Class Aerialist performances

Rob Lewis – Cello

Kat Lyons Storytelling and Spoken Word

King Edmunds Acrobatic Club

Angie Mack – Have a go Hula Hoop Workshops

Cathedral Walk – Spoken Word, Music and Performances

11.30 am             Poetry Machine – Performance

12.00 pm            South West Showcase – Performance

1.00 pm               Yoniverse Takeover – Performance

2.00 pm               Guest Artist – Joelle Taylor – Performance

2.30 pm               Poetry Machine – Performance, Family

2.50 pm               South West Showcash – Performance, Family

4.30 pm               Guest Artists – Rebecca Tantony and Dominie Hooper – Performance & Music

On the water Themes Maritime & Sports

10.00 am             Family Maritime Trail – Complete the trail for a chance to win a boat kit

12.00 pm             Young Shipwrights Boat Race – Cardboard boat race

12.45 pm             The Aircraft Carrier Challenge

1.15 pm               Bristol Cardboard Boat Race – A 250 metre cardboard boat race

2.30 pm               Newfound Friends – Dogs shows us their lifesaving skills

3.50pm                Jet Ski Stunts

Bristol Harbour Festival – Sunday 20th July

Music – Amphitheatre – Music Stage

12.00 pm             Tan Teddy – Sharing Jamaican culture through song

1.10 pm               Nuala Honan – Folk music from Bristol based Australian singer-songwriter

2:20 pm               Amdodu Diagne & Yakar – Modern blues and funk

3:30 pm               Dizaeli – Jazz-tinged band

5:00 pm               Sheelanaig – Balkan swing, celtic music

Brunels Stage at SS Great Britain

11.00 am             South Wales Clarinet Choir

12.00 pm            North Somerset Samba – Reggae drumming band

1.00 pm               Bee Bakare – Soulful pop

2.00 pm               Zyla – Soul-infused funk

3.00 pm               Sol Feo – Rock, funk, grunge, metal and folk bended band

4.00 pm               Baraka – Afro beat dance band

Centre Stage at Cascade Steps

12.00 pm            Storm Force 10 – Shanty band

12.50 pm            Jodie Mellor – Singer

1.40 pm               Bristol Sea Slugs – Shanty, folk band

2.30 pm               Charlie Limm – Vocalist

3.25 pm               Jazz the Two of us – Jazz classics with a twist

4.20 pm               Maaike Siegerist – Swinging jazz and dark folk

5.15 pm               Sounds of Harlowe – Grunge soul collective

Dockside Stage at the Grove

1.00 pm               Gabriel Templar – Indie pop

2.00 pm               Luke Marshall Black – Vocalist

4.00 pm               RVBY – Quirky pop

5.00 pm               Agata – Vocalist

6.00 pm               Imprints – Gypsy, pirate, folk-rock band

Millennium Square – Bristol Dances

11.00 am             Diddi Dance

11.45 am             Dancin Tots

12.20 pm             Afon Sistema – Brazilian Dance in Bristol

1.10 pm               Mumtaz Dance Company – Bollywood Dance

1.25 pm               Original Spinners – Dance, Performance

1.40 pm               Untold Dance Theatre – Dance

2.00 pm               Cabaret and Drag Dance Show

3.10 pm               Funk Supreme

3.20 pm               Piloexcersize – Dance

4.20 pm               The Hills School of Irish Dance Performance and Workshop

5.00 pm               Celidh Dance with Mr Medler – Dance

Cathedral Walk – Spoken Word, Music and Performances

11.30 am             Poetry Machine – Performance

12.00 pm             South West Showcase – Performance & Music

1.00 pm               Guest Artist – Dizraeli – Performance & Music

1.30 pm               Poetry Machine – Family Performance

2.00 pm               The Urban Word Collective Takeover – Performance

3.00 pm               Guest Artist – Deanna Rodger – Performance

3.30 pm               Bath Spa University Poetry Showcase – Performance

3.45pm                South West Showcase – Performance

4.30 pm               Guest Artist – Toby Thomson – Family Performance

On the water Themes Maritime & Sports

10.00 am             Family Maritime Trail – Complete the trail for a chance to win a boat kit

12.00 pm             Young Shipwrights Boat Race – Cardboard boat race

2.30 pm               Newfound Friends – Dogs shows us their lifesaving skills

The Circus Playground – Queens Square

Entertainment, fun for the family, food and Music all day from – 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.

Avon Wildlife Trust, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Bubblina – Family entertainment with bubbles, Sound right phonics Bristol, Circomedia – Circus Workshops – Great Family Fun, Traditional Japanese Drumming, A.P.E Project CIC – Mobile Adventure Playground, Marky Jay – Street Theatre, Bocadalupa Arts – Bee Garden and much more.

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoy the content – Whilst visiting Bristol you may also find the following useful

St Nicholas Indoor Quirky Market

Looking for Self-Catering Accommodation in Bristol? – check availability HERE or clare@buryhillfarm.com for more information.

Great Self-Catering Accommodation in Bristol – Perfect for Families and Hen Parties

 

Weekend Away Bristol

Summer Festival for Dogs – DogFest – Bristol

Bristol Dogfest Ashton Court 2019

Dogfest Bristol is an action-packed weekend in the amazing grounds of Ashton Court Estate, surrounded by thousands of gorgeous dogs.  This event is for the whole family to enjoy where you can treat your four-legged friend to the best day out ever!

Dogfest Noel Fitzpatrick Bristol

The event is hosted by legendary Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, it all began back in 2013 originally a one day get together in Surrey.  Noel wanted to create something where everyone who loves dogs could be amongst like-minded people.  Over the years, Dogfest has grown in leaps and bounds to now become an amazing weekend for people across the country to enjoy.  It now has annual events in Bristol at Ashton Court, Herefordshire at Knebworth House and Cheshire at Tatton Park.

What to expect

This exciting festival has something for all dog lovers including amazing and daring action performances, dog dancing and agility displays, expert advice about caring for your pooch, shopping, music, food and so much more.

You can take part in many activities watching your dog doing something that they haven’t had the opportunity to do before.  Some activities have a small extra charge.

Hay Bale Racing – Watch as your dog leaps over a series of hay bales all the way to the finish line.  This is a friendly, not serious, competition dogs will be timed, with prizes being awarded for the fastest time of the day.  There are even extra treats given for the funniest runs too.

Flyball – A team of will guide you and your dog as they leap over hurdles, towards a box that releases a tennis a for your dog to catch as they land on a spring-loaded pad.

Dog Agility Dog Fest Bristol

Agility – Run by the Guild of Dog Trainers, a team of experienced dog handlers who will help novices to learn how to approach the obstacles correctly and safely.  Obstacles include jumps, A-frames, pole weaving and tunnels.

Obedience Challenge – Challenge your dog training skills to see if your dog will respond to your commands whilst completing a timed course.  On command your dog will be expected to be able to sit, stand, lie down, high five/paw, stay and come.  Prizes are given for the most obedient dogs and the fastest round.

Dog Diving Dogfest Bristol

Dog Diving -The most popular have-a-go activity and such a great activity to watch.  Dogs jumping into a big pool of water, having a splash and a swim.  Places are first come, first served, you won’t want to miss this one!

Temptation Alley – Dogs are enticed by treats and toys as they head down the course.  The aim of the game is for them to resist the temptation and get to the finish line without stopping or eating the goodies on offer along the way.  Would your dog be able to resist?

The Activity Arena

One of the most popular attractions at the show, the Activity Arena is jam-packed with exciting displays and demonstrations.  Look out for sports with dogs, Flyball which is fast and furious and the dogs absolutely love it.  Also there is the fantastic show from ShadowQuest Display Team, whose highly trained dogs abseil from a 30ft tower and zip wire across the arena.  Another amazing display is from Conquest-K9 featuring non-stop action with agility, 6ft high jumps, fire hoop jumps and criminal work.

Dog Show Dogfest Bristol

Fun Dog Show – Of course, the festival has to, have a dog show.  A chance to show off your special pooch to the audience.  Open to everyone, each day enter a class in one of the four Fun Dog Show Rings.  Winners of each class go through to a category final and winners of their category will then go through to the overall “Best in Show” held at the end of the day. Advanced entries are advised. 

Previous classes have included these fun categories ranging from Loveliest Lady – Best Female Dog – 1yr +, Most Fabulous Fella – Best Male Dog – 1 yr +, Cool Pup – 6 months to 1 yr, Best Rescue Dog, Golden Oldie (Best Dog Over 10 years), Dog with the Waggiest Tail, Dogs Got Talent and many more. 

Puppy Paddling Dogfest Bristol

Puppy Zone – Specially created to give you advice and a chance to learn more about the new member of your family – Organised by Puppy School the UK leading network of well-trained and professional puppy trainers.   Advice and techniques for training, play, discover, chill and learning.

Dog walking Ashton Court Bristol

Walkies – The Great Dog Walk.  Twice a day at 11am and 3pm join thousands of others on a 2km or 4km walk around the glorious grounds of Ashton Court Estate with your four legged friends.  Led each day by Noel Fitpatrick and Clare Balding.

Kid’s Area – A place for your children to enjoy themselves and burn off some steam.  Have fun and play games and enjoy the new obstacle course for children under 14.

This festival focuses on bringing together a community of dog lovers from across the country, to celebrate and rejoice in the bond shared between dogs and people.  Take a picnic and enjoy the whole day in the glorious grounds of Ashton Court Estate.

 Book your tickets.

Address – Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol  BS41 9JN

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North Somerset Show Bristol – May Bank Holiday

North Somerset Show Bristol Bank Holiday

I enjoyed a fabulous day out on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, at The North Somerset Agricultural Show at Bathing Ponds Fields in Wraxall, Bristol.  It was an early start as I wanted to watch the cattle showing and take lots of photos as this, for me, is the star of the whole show and my family were showing our Jersey and Hereford cattle.  It was a very successful day (although tiring for the team) with great results  – 4-second places, 3-first places and Reserve Champion, what a great way to start the year, at the first show of the season.

North Somerset Show Bristol Bank Holiday

The Show is on the first Bank Holiday Monday in May and is run by The North Somerset Agricultural Society, formed out of the North Somerset Ploughing Society in 1840 by a small group of farmers.  Its sole purpose was to further agricultural development by communicating agricultural issues and providing a showpiece to the general public.

This popular event attracts over 20,000 people and showcases local agriculture, food and farming as well as country crafts and pursuits.  Show stoppers are tractor pulling, livestock showing and horse show jumping.

North Somerset Show Bristol Bank Holiday

North Somerset Show is massive, with so many sporting activities to partake in or to watch.  I think my favourite (after the livestock) was the dog agility competitions, they had 3 rings for different levels of difficulty.  It’s super competitive and the dogs absolutely love it, with some of them barking around the whole course.

You can easily spend a whole day here and be constantly entertained, there are displays and competitions going on all at the same time in different areas of the show.  I wandered for hours and enjoyed every single minute of shopping at the trade stands.  They have all your country needs, including clothing and gifts, crafts, art, photography, pet supplies etc.  A vast array of food stalls inside and out.  All of this is amongst the different arena displays showcasing, sheep shearing, falconry, motor bike displays, strongest man event, Vintage Tractor displays, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Air Rifle Shooting, Blacksmith Competitions, pony games, motorbike displays, the list just goes on and on.

North Somerset Show Bristol Bank Holiday

A Great day out – put the date in your diary for next year!

Address – Bathing Pond Fields, Bristol Road, Wraxall, BS48 1NF – Website and useful Information  

Gates open to the public at 9.am and close at 5pm – Car parking is free.  Dogs are welcome.

Independent Review – May 2019

North Somerset Show Bristol, the first of the new season green field experiences this local family friendly show is the perfect size to get around in a day, see old faces, learn new ideas, inspire the next generation and generally appreciate how lucky we all are to live locally in the beautiful farmer-friendly county of Somerset … whether you like tractors, animals, games, sports, shopping, eating, drinking, chatting, bartering … watching or doing it you can pretty much do all of this with the whole family in tow !

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoy the content

Are you looking for Self-Catering Accommodation in Bristol for you and your friends?  – Check out our Holiday Cottage

Exciting Boat Trips from Bristol’s Floating Harbour

Bristol Ferry Boats Fun things to do

Fancy a Boat Trip with Bristol Ferry Boats? – Bristol Ferry Boats offer a number of different trips, a great way to see the City from a different viewpoint.  Bristol Ferry Boats has been running since 1977.  The iconic blue and yellow Ferry Boats can be seen travelling around the harbour almost every day of the year.  They provide a community focused, friendly ferry service and pride themselves on their unrivalled reliability.  Visitors are safe in the knowledge that they run their service every day except Christmas day, come rain or shine.  You will always receive a warm Bristol welcome their staff.

Bristol Ferry Boats Bury Hill Farm

Wednesday Sundown Sailings – A lovely cruise around the Harbour, listening to music, watching the sun go down.  The trip includes tapas and cheese to complement two drinks of either Gin, Sherry or Rum (drinks depend on dates booked).  There are two departure times from the City Centre at 7pm and 9pm the trip lasts for 2 hours.

Brunel’s Bristol Boat Tour – A comprehensive tour of Brunel’s famous Bristol Landmarks.  Departing from Bristol Temple Meads, sailing past the SS Great Britain and on toward the historic lock gates, where Brunel’s other Bridge is laid.  Traveling away from the harbour along the Avon Gorge underneath the famous Clifton Suspension Bristol and then returning back to the Bristol Floating Harbour.  A great way to see some of Bristol’s Landmarks.  This trip lasts for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Avon Gorge Trip – An exciting cruise along the Avon Gorge, with commentary throughout.  Departing from SS Great Britain leaving the floating harbour, along the Avon Gorge, underneath the amazing Clifton Suspension Bridge, Passing the ancient port of Sea Mills and the Village of Pill and onto Avonmouth (if the tide allows) and then returning back to the floating harbour.  This trip lasts for 3.5 hours. 

Bristol Ferry Boats Map

 

Booze Cruises and Boat Parties – Private Hire – There is a variety of packages on offer – Vintage Tea Party, Bubbly Breakfast, Booze Cruises and Party Packages offering trips to dockside pubs and bars.  Catering for parties ranging from 25  to 45 people, with fully licensed bars and music.  You have the opportunity to hop on and off of the boat and visit a wide range of Bars and Pubs.  These are fantastic trips, perfect for any celebration and for Hen Parties, a great way to start your weekend visit to Bristol.  There are many options available to create a bespoke party.  Find out more HERE.

Sunday Riverside Roast – A lazy cruise along the River Avon, departing from Welsh Back.  This is a very relaxed river cruise, after sailing through the City, see Bristol’s countryside from the water as it travels along the feeder canal and through Netham Lock along the riverbanks of St Anne’s and Conham River Park.  Enjoy the wildlife, you may see Otters, Swans, Deer, Foxes, Squirrels, Kingsfishers, Ducks etc.  Gently cruising onto the very popular Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms to enjoy a delicious roast dinner and then have time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Tea Rooms until it’s time to make the journey back to Bristol.  This trip lasts (including your meal) for 3 hours.  Ticket prices include your food – Adults £25.00, Concessions £19.00.  Advance Bookings are essential as these trips are very popular.

Friday trip to Beese’s with live music – A Great way to start the weekend, departing from Welshback, a super river cruise sailing from Bristol, through the countryside to the very popular Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms, where you can enjoy a meal and watch a live band most Fridays.  Some Fridays the tide doesn’t allow for these trips, but that’s only a few.  Drinks are available to buy onboard during your trip.  This is a one-way trip, so that you can enjoy the whole evening dancing, you will need to book a taxi for the return journey.    Advance bookings are essential.

Live Music Beese's Tea Rooms Bristol Bury Hill Farm

Band line ups – examples

Belle Rose

 Fiesta Latina

Dysfunktional

The Mayfair Players

Funk Husky

Soul Reason

The Bad Losers

The Jumps

Dukes of Mumbai

Dappa Don & The Playaz

Stiff Upper Lips

JJ Gatsby

Natty Daps

More about Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms

Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms is a hidden treasure, set beside a pleasantly wooded stretch of the river Avon. For some, a haven of tranquillity, where generations of city dwellers would put their cares of the city behind them for a time.  Visitors range from families, ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers and, of course, river-users swimming or rowing leisurely by.

Beeses Tea Rooms Bury Hill Farm

In more recent years, Beese’s can be a lively place, whether it’s a friends’ get-together, a birthday or wedding celebration, or one of Beese’s music nights.

Beese’s is open each year for the spring and summer.  They have live music most Friday evenings, including a mix of known Bristol bands and visitors from afar.  There has been an annual beer festival since 2009.  Visit their Website for more information.

 

Back to Bristol Ferry Boats –  There are 5 Ferry Boats all painted in iconic yellow and blue colours.

Margaret was built in 1952 and acquired in 1977 she has capacity for 28 passengers.  She has a wooden hulled open launch and was Built in Appledore for service in Lynmouth to replace a vessel wrecked in the flood of 1952 and later used as a ferry across the Avon between Shirehampton and Pill.

Independence was built in 1927 and acquired in 1980 she has capacity for 46 passengers.  With a wooden hulled open launch and was previously used on the Severn and Wye, and on the Erewash Canal.

Emily was built in 1927 and acquired in 1992 she has capacity for 48 passengers.  With a wooden hulled enclosed launch. Built in Bideford and was previously used at Scarborough and in Gloucester Docks.

Bristol Ferry Boats Bury Hill Farm

Matilda was built and acquired in 1997 and has a capacity for 50 passengers.  With a Steel hulled enclosed launch, with a length of 14.02 m (46.0 ft) and a beam of 4.61 m (15.1 ft). Purpose built for Bristol Ferry Boats.

Brigantia was built and acquired in 2006 and has a capacity for 50 passengers.  With a Steel hulled enclosed launch. Purpose built for Bristol Ferry and based on the design for Matilda but equipped with a retractable wheelhouse and a wheelchair lift.

Both Matilda and Brigantia are licensed to operate on the tidal Avon downstream from Bristol through the Avon Gorge to Avonmouth, as well as throughout Bristol Harbour and on the Avon upstream to the city of Bath. The other vessels are restricted to Bristol Harbour and the upstream Avon.  Margret is the original yellow and blue ferry boat and is a true west country survivor.

Visit their Website for more information.

Independent Reviews:-

Having had a less than successful trip to We the Curious, we saw the yellow boat arrive and jumped on board. The full tour takes you from the City Centre to Hotwells and back, and then goes off in the other direction to Temple Meads and back. You can choose the full 80 minute tour, a 40 minute (half tour) or simply use the craft as a taxi or bus in the harbour area.
We chose the 40 minute trip to Hotwells and back and saw Bristol from a viewpoint I had never experienced before. You travel past The Matthew and The Great Britain, have a good view of the cathedral, the harbour-side industries and the old pubs, with a great view of the multi-coloured buildings of Hotwells.
A very friendly crewman was there to help people on and off and call out the stops and sell the tickets.
We will definitely go back and do the full tour (tickets lasts a day and lets you hop on and off) when the weather is a bit warmer. Great fun and great value.

Beese’s Riverside Bar and Tea Rooms
 
This is a great little quirky place next to the river. If you are used to eating in chain establishments it may not be for you as it is quite ‘characterful’. We only had a cream tea but the Sunday lunches that people were tucking in to looked good too. The walk along the river and ferry across added to the charm.

More things to do in Bristol near the harbourside

Entertainment Bristol Harbour Festival
Harbour Festival
St Nicholas Market Bristol
St Nicholas Market
Bristol Walking Tour
Bristol Walking Tour

Free things to do with the Kids in Bristol – Visit Grimsbury Farm

Grimsbury Farm Bristol

Grimsbury Farm

Grimsbury Community Farm is open to the public every day 365 days a year from 9am – 6pm, there is a car park on site and entry is free.

Evidence of farming activities on this site have been found going back to medieval times, although ownership and detailed usage have changed many times over this period. Through marriages (involving the Stone and Tilly families in the mid-1700s) this site became part of the much larger Tilly estate which was in excess of 1000 acres. Following more changes in ownership, it was sold off in lots by the then owner, Rev. Edward Batchelor in 1862. The last private ownership was that of the Warner family who finally moved out in the 1970’s, whereupon Kingswood District Council took ownership.

Today, the farm is owned and managed by South Gloucestershire Council, where its function is that of a community farm open to all as a place to relax and enjoy, or even to learn new skills.

Grimsbury Farm Bristol

Throughout the year there are lots of different activity days and events including new births – lambs, calves, piglets, goat kids, ducklings etc so always plenty to do or see.

A Typical year on the of farming activities include:

Spring – Lambing, Vaccinations and worming.  Scanning cows to see if they are pregnant.  Putting the animals out into the field to eat grass. Planting sprint crops.

Summer – The sheep are sheared to keep them cool in the heat. This wool is sent to the market. Lambs are weighed.  Harvesting of spring and winter planted crops.  Bailing straw from left over crops to us as animals bedding at the farm.

Autumn – Calving of Cows, sending lambs to market, moving some of the cows and sheep into the barns for the winter.  Cultivating the land and sowing winter crops.

Winter – Female sheep are scanned to see if they are pregnant and also wormed and vaccinated. Cows are mated for Autumn calving. Maintenance is carried out on all the buildings, machinery, hedges and fences.

There is a lovely Café “The Barn Café” providing children’s meals, a range of light bites, sandwiches & rolls, pasties, a selection of homemade cakes and also has daily specials – all very reasonably priced and freshly prepared. The Café is open daily hours do vary but usually 10am – 3.30pm.  Besides providing food for humans you can also purchase small packs of feed for the chickens & ducks, sheep & goats or pigs who you can feed on you way around the farm.

Grimsbury Farm Cafe Bristol

A rather damp Sunday afternoon didn’t seem like the best of times to visit Grimsbury Community Farm but we had a pleasant surprise when we arrived, the Farm has plenty to see even on a rainy day there are fairly dry pathways around the farm from where you can see an array of animals including : Pygmy Goats, Sheep, Dexter Cattle, several different breeds of Pigs, chickens, ducks, Donkeys & ponies to name but a few. As you wander around the Farm there are lots of signage & information boards telling everything from the history of the farm to details of the breeds of animals and details of individual animals, which are both very interesting and educational.

Grimsbury Farm Bristol

Upon arrival we decided to pop into the Barn Café (which is situated by the car park) for a nice cup of tea and a slice of lovely homemade Fruit Cake, we then had a wander along the pathway behind the café where you can see some of the ducks & chickens and then up to one of the barns which houses most of the Farm’s “babies”. In the barn was a Large Black Sow called Diana with her 11 piglets and 12 Gloucester Old Spot piglets –  we read that the mother of these unfortunately died shortly after giving birth and it’s a testament to the care given by the staff at Grimsbury that all 12 piglets had survived hand reared !

Also in the barn were a Muscovy Duck and her ducklings, some lambs and a pen of rabbits.

On the way out of the barn we stopped to pat a sheep that was hand reared & bottle fed and roams freely around the farm happily accepting pats & attention from visitors, we then walked on around a path between the fields, past the outdoor paddocks housing some of the pigs onto the Pigmy Goat’s paddock and there met a very inquisitive little Billy Goat who just loved attention & posing for photos.

In the fields opposite were the Farm’s herd of Dexter Cattle (the UK’s smallest breed of cattle) some with calves too and some of the Farm’s sheep, some of these had red or blue markings on their behinds – which shows they have been served by the Ram and will be due to have lambs in the spring.

Further along there is the “Tree Life Centre” and Picnic Area and we then passed another field of sheep where some children were feeding some of the sheep who were very happy to nibble the food from the children’s hands.

On our way back to the car park we also passed the large Children’s play area which has plenty to keep the kids entertained including, seesaws, sliders, swings, climbing frames & mini adventure playground etc and plenty of benches around for weary parents to sit too.

So although it would be obviously more appealing to visit in the spring or summer there is still plenty to do & see even on a dull winters day at Grimsbury Farm !

Address – Grimsbury Community Farm, 90 Grimsbury Rd, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 9SD

And if you fancy dinner afterwards, why not try a local Pub and restaurant ” The Folly”  and round off your day!

A Wonderful Christmas Experience – Bristol

Christmas Experience Avon Valley Country Park Bristol

Avon Valley Country Park – Whatever the weather there is plenty to do for all the family.  It is an 80+ acres Country park in Keynsham Bristol, next to the River Avon a place to have fun, meet the animals from Rabbits to Horses.  There are many activities throughout the day, every day including animal demonstrations, talks and handling, fun games and craft activities.

There’s a massive indoor soft play area with slides, rope swings, canon area and a toddler village for the under 5’s.  The outdoor adventure park has animal petting area, train rides, fishing, boating on the lake, go-karting, jungle land, wall climbing, crazy golf, feed the lambs, a Maize Maze, junior sandpit, country trail, tractor rides, picnic areas, gift shop and so much more including a café serving excellent food.  There are hours and hours of fun to be had.

There are many other events during the year, but my favourite is the Christmas experience.  Running from the end of November until Christmas Eve.  The park is transformed into a Winter wonderland and the children can enjoy Christmas activities like gingerbread man biscuit decorating, card making, touring the toy factory, help the elves make toys for Father Christmas, posting their very important Christmas list in the magical post room, visiting the Enchanted Village.  This is a special event which you must purchase tickets well in advance, but you also get use of the whole park.

We visited on the 2nd December 2018 and took 2 of our nephews.  We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the whole park.  The children were given a special Christmas passport for the Christmas experience and some tokens for the quad bikes.  We spend a couple of hours wandering around seeing the animals, having a ride on the train.  They each took turns on the quad bikes and enjoyed the adventure playground.  It was a little bit drizzly, so we spend the last hour an hour in the inside play area.  We got a bite to eat and a cup of coffee whilst they burnt off their energy enjoying themselves on the slides and soft play area.

Then it was time for us to check in for the Christmas experience.  It’s very well organised, the children are totally memorised by the whole thing.  You are led from one lovely themed room to another with the elves entertaining them the whole time.  Each activity must have taken around 20 mins, all the children in the group, which was about 12, got really involved with everything they were given to do, their passports were stamped after each activity.  Then there was a chance to have a relax and wait for the big event, to see Father Christmas.  While we waited for our time slot the children could enjoy the merry-go-round and the tea cup ride, feed the reindeer, sit down and have a chat with the elves who were helping them complete their present list and getting them posted in the Post Room.  Enjoy their free cup of hot chocolate and play and have fun around the many decorated trees and Christmas themed life-sized ornaments.  You really did feel like you were at the North Pole.

Avon Valley Country Park

Smaller groups of 6 went in to see Father Christmas and Mrs Claus, the children were sat together on a bench, with the adults sitting at the back, the room was like what you see in fairy tale books. We must have spent another 30 minutes in there.  They each has their turn to tell Father Christmas what they wanted for Christmas and were given named gifts.  It was a very magical experience for everyone.

All the children left believing and then you could still spend further time in the area outside / inside and enjoy more rides until you were ready to take the train to leave.  We all had a really great time.  Would really recommend this experience.

Other Themes during the year include, October Half Term, children can enrol in the parks Witch & Wizard School with activities like, slime in potions classes, spell classes, teachers showing off their broomstick skills, pumpkin carving, broom decorating.  Sessions run throughout the day.  Children can take home with them a witch or wizard hat, broomstick, broomstick flying licence.

Halloween is always a very popular time, during October the park will be running a scary theme called Fear at Avon Valley Scream Park.  This event is classified as 12a. Any persons under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult.  Be prepared to be scared and dare to go into the Mazes or Escape Room, Frightening Street Theatre or ride of the Fairground Rides.  Or enter the Killzone an interactive experience, test your shooting skills and kill as many Zombies as you can before they get to you!   Will you make it out of the Corn Field?  It’s totally terrifying.

There is also Halloween themed events for children, where they can carve pumpkins and do other activities and the whole park is covered in pumpkins.

Avon Valley Country Park –  Pixash Lane, Bath Road, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP – 0117 986 4929 – 17 minutes by car from Bury Hill Farm.

Opening times vary through out the year , for more information visit their Website

Strolling around Kingsgate Park, Yate Bristol

Play area and Lake Kingsgate Park Yate Bristol

We went for a walk in this lovely park in Yate, it was a really warm early autumn afternoon we took our dog too.  I’d read there was a lake, so I loaded up a bag with chicken pellets and some chopped up iceberg lettuce, which our chicken love and so I thought I’d see if the ducks would appreciate them too.

The park has a number of entrances, we entered from a road named Elmwood, off of Sundridge Park.  There’s a small carpark there for approx 10 cars there is also lots of parking on the road.  The park is as you would expect full of mature trees and open grass land.   It has some nice additions, such as a very large Bug Hotel, Close to the Elmwood entrance and a large totem pole just in front of the entrance to the younger children’s playground which is in the centre of the park. 

There are quirky swings made from fallen trees, a climbing frame with tunnels and a slide, a junior roundabout, mini obstacle course, seesaw, tyre swings and plenty of seating.  It’s completely enclosed by a fence and surrounded by shrubs and trees.  There is normally an ice cream van in this area, but sadly that day we missed it.

Kingsgate Park Yate Bristol

Behind the junior park there is a more open area with a basketball court and more climbing obstacles, slides and seating.  A row of more trees separates this part of the park from the large bespoke climbing adventure park for the older children.  The adventure park has been built within the trees, making it feel like you are in the jungle.  There are rope walkways, rope bird cages, a small tree house, fireman poles and alongside there is a zip wire.  This section of the play area is also fenced for safety and dogs are not allowed.

Play area and Lake Kingsgate Park Yate Bristol

Beyond the play area the lake is home to lots of wildlife.  The ducks and swans really enjoyed the chicken food and lettuce.  It was quite comical to watch the ducks diving down to reach the pellets as they sunk into the water.  There were young swans sitting on a floating island in the middle of the lake which eventually joined the adult swans to eat the food too. It’s surrounded by hilly grounds, there are lots of areas to explore and plenty of places to chill out and relax.

Diving Ducks on Lake in open space Kingsgate Park Yate

The Park hosts community events during the year such as an annual Easter Eggs Hunt and a number of Music Festivals, including “Yate Rocks” which is in it’s 13th year, a free music festival also offering, dancing displays from local clubs and academies, arts & crafts, children’s activities and games and community stalls with a great range of local products, novelty gifts and a wide variety of refreshments.

A very popular café is just outside the park it’s called Vintage Birdcage Cakery, it’s a really beautifully decorated café with pretty bunting and fairy lights and serves breakfasts, loaded jacket potatoes, salads, sandwiches, paninis, toasties, baguettes, bespoke homemade cakes, cream tea, milkshakes etc including a children’s menu, the list goes on and caters for everyone.  They even make muffins for dogs.  Open every day until 4.30pm apart from Sunday when it closes at 3pm.    Website

Cakes and sandwiches at Vintage Birdcage Cakery

Address – Kingsgate Park Sundridge Park, Yate, Bristol BS37 4EP  –  5.2 miles – 12 minutes from Bury Hill Farm by car.   Website

Review – August 2018

Lovely park, big play area with swings etc. and plenty of space to kick a ball around, a few picnic tables dotted around, also a lake with swans and ducks. Really well maintained. On the sides of the park is a pub and a beautiful cafe called the Birdcage, Both accessible from the park.

Review – July 2018

The team that runs the Park are always doing some fantastic family friendly events. It’s a good location not too far from the shopping centre and it has a great park for young and slightly older which is often maintained.

If you’re a Pokémon Go user there’s two pokestops and one pokegym so you’ll spend a while running between them and the not so far from that location either. Host to Easter events, Yate Rocks and a swan feeding pond (with food sold at a very close establishment) there’s always something to do.

A Recommended Day Trip in Bristol

St Nicholas Market Bristol

St Nicholas Market

A lively market place found in the heart of the old part of the city.  It was established in 1743 and is the oldest and most popular market in Bristol.  Located at the top of Corn Street in “The Exchange Building”.  It has been named one of the ten best markets in the UK and Britain’s Best Large indoor Market in 2016.  It is quintessential of what a market should be and home to the largest collection of independent retailers in Bristol, making it one of Bristol top attractions.

Its historical architecture, quirky ambience and fantastic stalls bursting with a wide variety of goods, crafts and street food combine to make the perfect place to shop, wander, eat, relax and enjoy. With over 60 independent stalls, with things you just wouldn’t find in regular shops this market is a must see for any visitor to the city.  St Nicholas Market is also home to several outdoor markets which take place in the pedestrian street which is alongside The Exchange Building.

It has a varied mix of stalls selling original fashion, vintage, hand-crafted accessories, records, unique gifts and everything in between and an underground treasure trove of Indian goods just at the entrance to the Exchange Hall where you can pick up Mandala tapestries, rugs, textiles and designer made stained glass, tiaras, jewellery and more.  This shop is called Lunartique and is a colourful treat and owned by a very talented lady named Helen Christini.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

The indoor market has three sections and is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm:

EXCHANGE HALL – a large open plan trading area with a broad collection of permanent stalls selling funky knitwear, individual bags and hats, shirts, scarves, handmade jewellery and gifts, novelty gifts, celebration cards, travel bags, gadgets, Organic Natural Olive Oils, flaming hot sauces, Handmade wooden crafts, wind charms and chimes, dream catchers, second hand records and books, pictures, candles, toys and much more.  The majority of which are handmade by local traders.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

In between the Exchange Hall and the Glass arcade is a café called Royce Rolls selling a huge range of rolls and sandwiches with interesting homemade fillings, Organic Soup, Salad boxes, Oven baked jacket potatoes and a delicious selection of gluten free and vegan cakes.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

GLASS ARCADE – home to a unique offering of world foods.  This brightly coloured selection, includes award winning pies handmade pies from Pieminster, Handmade falafel, hummus and pitta from Eat a Pitta, homemade cakes and buns from Ahh Toots, authentic Szechuan street food from Chilli Daddy, Japanese cuisine, Gyoza and delicious filled dumplings from Eatchu, traditional Portuguese food from Portuguese Taste, Pure Pasta sell pasta, sandwiches, lasagne and other Italian meals from Pure Pasta, Soup and Sandwiches, authentic flavoursome Moroccan food from the Moroccan Café, healthy nutritional fresh juices and smoothies from Big Juice Bar to name just a few and not forgetting Lucy Anna Flowers, supplying the best quality flowers sourced locally.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

COVERED MARKET – a series of unique shops in alleyways – One of the oldest bookshops in the South West called Beware of the Leopard Books, boutique Danish Costume Jewellery, second hand fine jeweller from A&P Jewellery, Zimbabwean and South African Food and drinks from Kalahari Moon, Phone accessories and repairs from Phone Junkies, delicious chocolates, sweets and handmade truffles from A Bar of Chocolate, Haberdashery, beads, ribbon and craft supplies from Sew n Sew, records from blues to reggae in Wanted Records, Handmade one off glass, concrete planters, ceramics, books and homeware from Gravel Pit.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

During the week there are Markets on the street in front of The Exchange Building.

Tuesdays and Fridays – 11am – 2.30pm – Street Food Market, 15 stalls offering the best of Bristol street food from Thai to British, Indian to Japanese.  Regulars are Caribbean Mutton Creole/Cajun Cuisine from Blue Fire Smoke and Grill, Indian curries and accompanying side from Indian Masala, homemade exquisite sausages from The Italian Sausage, Indonesian Street Food from Enggi’s Kitchen, Japanese Street Food from Momo Bar, Thai food from Niang’s Thai Snacks, Gourmet doughnuts filled with homemade delicious jams and custards from Pippin Doughnuts.

Wednesdays – 9.30am – 2.30pm – Bristol Farmers’ and Producers Market an award-winning weekly market offering fresh produce direct from independent producers across the city. Traders include – Apple Juice from English Apple Juice, Smoked Fish from Felce Foods, Meat, Pies and Quiches from Frocester Fayre Farm, Handmade Hummus from Moist, a superb range of bread from family owned Pullins Bakers, a great Venison range from Robert Hawker Venison, traditional Italian and Spanish cured meats combined from Somerset Charcuterie, Quality homemade cakes and sponges from Taynton Farm.  Elm Tree Farm a 47-acre Farm based in Bristol offering support for leaning disabilities and selling the products produced. Products range from apple, eggs, cucumbers, marrows, lettuces, Aubergines, sweet corn, apple juice, herbs, cut flowers and anything else you can think of.  The list for the Farmers Market goes on and on.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

Fridays and Saturdays – 9am – 5pm – The Nails Market – 30 local independent traders selling a fantastic range of handcrafted jewellery, vintage clothes, original artwork and an array of gifts – Traders include – Bespoke handmade pottery by Liz Isaacs, fused glass window hangings and jewellery from Mivart Colour, Bristol Landscape Photography from Roger James Hinchliffe Photography, Art, Books and collectables from Simon Ellis, Art and fashion from Tobias Illustrate, Vintage Clothing from Urban Fox, the naughtiest, tastiest homemade chocolate brownies from Naughty Brownies. Plus, a range of unique and creative seasonal guest stalls.

Mondays – 10am – 3pm – The New Bristol Vegan and Wellbeing Market – Bristol’s only dedicated Vegan Market with an array of plant powered goodness guaranteed.  Delicious Street food options, sweet treats, fresh produce and vegan essentials.

St Nicholas Market – The Exchange Building, Corn Street, Bristol BS1 2DP

Parking – The Galleries, just a 2 minutes’ walk. Newgate, Bristol BS1 2DP – Travel 20 minutes by car.  https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/st-nicholas-markets/home

A Wander in Winterbourne

Jersey Cow Winterbourne Bury Hill Farm

Exploring Winterbourne, Bristol

It was a lovely warm Saturday afternoon and I decide to go for a little stroll around Winterbourne’s footpaths and lanes to do some foraging and to explore. The Donkey’s and Cow’s followed me along the drive, I think would have like to come. I turned left heading down Cuckoo Lane. Almost straight away I came across a wall of lovely ripe and ready for picking black berries, I left them where they were, as I would be returning the same way and would pick them on the way back.

I continued up Bury Hill and along the lane, I’d also planned to visit Bury Hill Fort today too, after reading a recent newspaper article about it.  The Iron Age fort was built about 700 BC. The double earth ramparts are well preserved except on the western side.  One side of the fort is along a steep hill edge above the River Frome, the other 3 sides are flat.  The flat sides have been destroyed by quarrying.  There is a central ditch, with ramparts built on both the inner and outer sides of the ditches.  The Romans occupied the fort, to defend against invasions from South Wales.

Walking in the Country Winterbourne Bristol

We’ve lived in Winterbourne for 23 years and haven’t been, so today was the day.  Access to the Fort is via a stone stile.  There is a sign indicating the public footpath just off of Bury Hill.  You can walk through the field and exit the other side by another stone stile. There’s not really a lot to see now, you need to have a really good imagination.

I continued my walk along Bury Hill turning right at the small triangle of grass, the junction where Bury Hill crosses with Church Lane and went towards the Frome Valley River.  It was lovely to see people out enjoying the sunshine, running, walking their dogs and riding their horses.  This part of Bury Hill joins onto the Frome Valley walkway.  I continue along Frome Valley River heading toward a bridge, I wasn’t sure which way I would go from there, but once at the bridge, I decided to do a bit of off roading and walked along the river following the walkway.

Walking in Winterbourne

The canopy of the trees were now completely joined together and the damp, crisp forest like smell made for a completely different atmosphere.  I highly recommend having no idea where you are going on your wander and just seeing where you end up, we all have phones now which will help us out when we think we are lost.  I took photos and enjoyed the journey.  Dog’s love this part of the river as it is shallow and the can run in and out of the water and have a fab time.    There is a small very old bridge that you must cross before exiting up the hill, I then found myself amongst the houses in Winterbourne.

Walking in the Country Winterbourne Bristol

I knew exactly where I was and instead of turning back I decided to continue as there was another part of the River that I have also never walked along.  I passed the Pub the “Cross Hands” on Down Road.  They were having a Cider, Cheese and Chillies Event today.  It’s a friendly proper old-fashioned pub, with tons of character and has a large enclosed garden out the back, family are welcome.  They always have different things going on during the year as they are at the heart of the village.  The Cross Hands doesn’t do food, but it does have lots of guest ciders, ales, snacks and a cosy atmosphere and always has fabulous hanging baskets and window boxes overflowing with beautiful flowers outside.  On this occasion I daren’t stop, I was on a mission today to visit places I hadn’t been to before.

Cross Hands Pub Winterbourne

I headed down, Down Road towards the dingle, over Damsons Bridge, and through the footpath gates to continue my journey along the River Frome.  The trees are smaller along this section and the hedges are like tunnels, with some Blackthorn absolutely covered in Sloe Berries.  These are what I was looking for a Forager’s Favourite, but for me I was thinking more for Sloe Gin ready for Christmas.

I wasn’t the only one foraging, one of the fields that run all the way down to the river there where 5 squirrels all burying nuts.  I wasn’t quick enough to get them all together with my camera sadly.  It would have been a great photo.  There were also plenty of Rose hips for me to pick, I’m going to make my first ever Rose Hip Jelly.

In the distance I get a good look at The Huckford Viaduct, a bridge composed of several small spans for crossing a valley, which extends over the River Frome just north of Winterbourne Down.  It was built in 1902 as part of the Wootton Bassett to Patchway railway line. It now forms part of the “Badminton” line from Bristol Parkway to Paddington station.  The viaduct rises to 100 feet above the river and is made up of 11 massive brick arches. The Frome Valley Walkway also passes through one of these arches.

Winterbourne Viaduct

The pathway had many twisted and turns, it was a really good walk and as I went around the bend at the top, I could see so much.  Horses in the fields, Birds of Prey in the sky.  It was a lovely view.  I could have gone on but by now I’d been steadily wandering for 2 ½ hours, I still had to walk back and I needed to pick some Black Berries for the next days pudding, Apple and Blackberry Crumble, first one of the year, it was delicious.  So, I headed back.

Map of my Walk

Frome walkway  http://www.fromewalkway.org.uk/frome_valley_booklet.pdf

#winterbourne #winterbournedown #countrywalks #walkingbristol #foraging #thingstodobristol