Bristol ferry trip down the New Cut

This summer, I experienced something that was legitimately one of the very best things I’ve done in Bristol, and something I’ve longed to do for years – I went on the Bristol Ferry trip down the New Cut, to Netham Weir.

This is a rare trip anyway, as the Bristol Ferry Boat Company only run a couple of these a year, but for the last year they haven’t run them at all, as Ashton Avenue Bridge was covered in scaffolding for the Metrobus works.  In the past I’ve only seen these trips after they happened, but for the 6th July expedition,  I booked my tickets early, and persuaded some friends to come too – my good friend Matt Gibson, Charlie Revelle-Smith of Weird Bristol fame, and landscape architect Wendy Tippett, who I podcasted with last year about the Sylvia Crowe landscapes of the Cumberland Basin, and her architect husband Andrew.

Here’s the map of our trip:

and my album of photos – click through, or mouse/swipe over the first photo below, and hopefully you’ll see a slideshow.  I took a lot of photos, so I’ve written about them as well below…

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If you want to know about the New Cut, before I start, check out my podcast interview with Roy Gallop of the Friends of the Avon New Cut, who told me about the history of this very special part of the Avon.

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Compare and contrast – Gaol Ferry Bridge

I have always been fascinated with how the same thing can look so different when taken with different cameras – everything from what’s included or discarded by the size of a lens, to the way colours come out, or just a different atmosphere.  But I think I’ve hit a new high in compare-and-contrast, and it’s making me laugh.

I tend to take photos of the Avon when I cross the footbridges, so one night last week we were walking home from town over Gaol Ferry Bridge, and the river was full, so I took this on my phone, looking east:

Gaol Ferry Bridge night

Moody, dark, and I like that it still shows the wind on the river.   At the same time I took one on my Olympus XA2 – my 35mm point & shoot.  I used the edge of the bridge as a tripod, because it would have a longer exposure.   And here’s how it came out:

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December reflections

Last week there was a rare run of gorgeous winter days: cold, crisp and clear, all amazing light, long shadows and beautiful reflections on the Avon.

Some photos from the Chocolate Path, when the light was especially pretty in between cloudbursts.  Such a lovely walk.  The photos are in order from Gaol Ferry Bridge down to the Avon viewpoint, and back again to Vauxhall Bridge.

Gaol Ferry Bridge reflections

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Soundwalk: Gaol Ferry Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge along the Chocolate Path

Today’s Soundwalk was from Gaol Ferry Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge, along the Chocolate Path, at 6pm on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

Looking down the river to the west, it was all reflections, with the water on the mud shining silver – but looking sideways at the River, the mud and water were both a warm brown, with clouds of sediment just under the water.  Very green trees after the recent rain, and it feels like there have been more rockslides into the New Cut, because of the high tide maybe?