Eastwood Farm and Strad Brook, June 2018

Vik and I had been to Eastwood Farm as part of the fantastic Bristol Walk Fest Friends of Troopers Hill walk, but we wanted to have another look, so on 23rd June, our friend Matt drove us over to have a look.  We ended up walking around Eastwood Farm (and dipping cameras into the lagoon!) then crossing the Avon on the Beese’s Ferry, and walking up the Strad Brook, the stream that divides Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Here’s the map of the walk:

And the first batch of photos, a flickr album from Eastwood Farm:

Underwater, Eastwood Farm

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Kayaking on the Floating Harbour

Back on 8th June, Vik and I went kayaking on the Floating Harbour.  Ever since we moved to Bristol I’ve wanted to canoe or kayak, but it’s been endlessly frustrating failing over and over again, because I’d basically need to buy my own boat and space to leave it – or so I thought!  Then I read about Go Canoeing Week, and one of the options was a canoe trip around the Harbour with All Aboard watersports, so we booked it!

The initial tour didn’t happen, but we re-booked, and it felt luxurious, just Vik and me having a bespoke session.  We have different levels of expertise, because a million years ago I was an outdoor activity instructor, teaching canoeing and kayaking (among other things) in the Lake District, while Vik has been in a kayak once.  We were in little short surf-style kayaks, which are super-maneuverable, but were a bit frustrating for Vik as a practically first-timer, and we had a bit of teaching, and then went for a trip.  My photos are here:

Seagulls fighting over a chicken leg

and check out Vik’s photos too:

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Exploring the source(s) of the Avon

Back in June, the lovely Matt Gibson took Vik and me for a roadtrip, to explore various sources of the Avon – Wor Well, where the Tetbury Avon starts; Joyce’s Pool, where the Sherston branch of the Avon sometimes begins; to see a long barrow; and around Malmsbury, where the two branches meet.  It was a lovely day, and I have photos, a sound and some thoughts.

Here’s the map of where we went:

and I have a flickr album of all the photos from the day, but I’ll have specific albums below too.  As always, mouse over the first photo to start the slideshows…

Wor Well, the source of the Tetbury Avon

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The Avon Valley walk around rivers of east Bristol

I really enjoyed the Bristol Walk Fest, and the last walk we went on was completely fantastic, one I’ve seen in the past, and wanted to do:  the Avon Valley Walk, run by Susan and Rob Acton-Campbell of the Friends of Troopers Hill.  It sold out very fast, but Vik and I put our names down on the waiting list, and were lucky enough to get places.  I have to admit, that when we were on the bus on the way over, and a massive torrential thunder storm started, we were a bit worried, but it was a fantastic day, taking in a secret bath-house, an incredible tree, water meadows, riverside lunch, a ferry, and so much more.  If you ever get the chance to go on a walk run by the Friends, do it!

I’ve tried to map the walk – apologies to Rob and Susan if I got it wrong!

And I have an album of my photos over on twitter (hopefully if you mouse over/click on the first picture, it should start the slideshow too…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath house in the woods

And Vik has a couple of her holga photos from the day, which I love, over on her flickr album:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The green, green grass of home....

So what did we do?

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An “ordinary” walk around the Harbour

Last Friday Vik and I met after work, did a bit of shopping on Park Street, and then walked home on our usual route from the top of the Triangle – down Jacobs Wells Road, along the Floating Harbour, through Underfall Yard and along the south side of the Harbour, over Vauxhall Bridge and home.  I must have taken parts of this walk thousands of times (though if I had the choice I’d take the Chocolate Path, as I did commuting for years, but now it’s been closed by Bristol City Council and left to fall into the river…) and I am always in awe that this is one of my standard routes around the city.

It had rained for most of the day, and the light was spectacular, with more rain clouds overhead, with sunshine making clouds glow against the greys, if you looked in the right direction.

I have some photos in this flickr album – hopefully you can also make it work as a slideshow here…

Avon reflections

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Dru Marland’s latest maps

Back in February I went down to the Kennet and Avon Canal, to podcast-interview Dru Marland about living on the water, her life as an artist and poet, and a lot more.

Since then, Dru has made more gorgeous maps celebrating the water and the area, and they, like her other illustrations and poetry books, can be bought from her Etsy site.  But look how lovely they are!  Big thanks to Dru for letting me put them here.

First, her new Kennet & Avon Canal Map – the Summit and East End (this is a companion map to her previous K&A West End map)

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The stream in Paradise Bottom

OK, I have to start by saying I love the name Paradise Bottom!  It’s a valley with a couple of streams in it at the most northern part of Leigh Woods, on the bank of the River Avon.  This part is owned by the Forestry Commission, and it includes what was an arboretum, designed by Humphry Repton in the 18th Century, so there are all kinds of interesting trees.  The main stream starts at a pond at the top, with other springs and streams joining it, and more ponds further down in the woods, before the stream joins the Avon.

I’ve walked and cycled on the path along the Avon, but never gone up into it before, so Matt Gibson and I went exploring last Sunday, looking for the water.

My photos are here – it was dappled woodland light, which all my cameras found hard, but wow it was beautiful!  Golden-green sunlight through the leaves, the smell of wild garlic everywhere, and I have some clips of what it sounded like below.  Mouse/swipe over the first photo, and it should bring up the slideshow…

Waterfall from a Paradise Bottom pond

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