Looking for the Malago (January explorations)

I’m temping at the moment, which I do from time to time, and always try to use it as an opportunity to explore, especially places I don’t usually go.  Of course, it’s hard to do that in January, when it’s murky in the mornings, usually dark when I’m walking home, and it’s been raining almost every lunch time.  But I have had the opportunity to look for the River Malago, and that’s been fantastic.

I’ve walked along the Bedminster parts of the Malago so many times, and back in October, I walked the stretch through Manor Valley Woods for the first time, and I’ve always wanted to look for the source of the river in the Dundry hills, so I’m really happy to be looking for the river in different places.  I have some January Malago photos – not great pictures, but ones infused with memories for me.

This is the place that the Malago leaves the woods on the Dundry, and enters the city:

Malago plank bridge

The Malago, from the plank bridge

And more photos from a muddy lunchtime mini-exploration here:

Looking for the Malago

After it joins the city, it runs through a copse through a Withywood housing estate, then goes underground and runs through Withywood Park.  I’m pretty sure the line of the path is the line of the river.

The line of the Malago, Withywood Park

The line of the Malago,Withywood Park

The line of the Malago, Withywood Park

There are lots of little streams that join the Malago around the river (and I love how the street names reflect that – Riverland Drive, Three Wells Road, Paybridge Road, Horsepool Road).  One of the streams that joins the Malago runs alongside the University of Withywood:

Withywood Malago

Last week I wanted to find the bits of the river that join these together, and walked the backstreets and alleys of Bishopsworth, racing the dusk.  The light was falling fast, so I couldn’t take photos with my film camera, and I didn’t have a map, so was piecing a route together using my phone map and guesswork (that turned out right!) but it was a really fun yomp, getting to the point the Malago went underground to enter Manor Woods Valley.

The river was fast, full of rain, and I could hear it so much more often than I could see it, as it disappeared behind fences and walls, and into gardens.  At least with the trees being bare, I could see more of it than I would in the summer

Chasing the Malago through Bishopsworth

But all this just makes me hungry to walk it more.   I’ve always loved the urban rivers in Bristol, and I’m really happy to be close to them.  If you want more of my photos, I have an album of Colliter’s Brook and more secret rivers, taken a few years ago, Horfield Brook, and more of the Malago.   I can’t wait for the weather to improve, when I can aim for a full walk from Avon to source.

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