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…
Continue reading “The stream in Paradise Bottom”
Back at the start of May, I had a morning trip to Leigh Woods, and it was wonderful – a perfect Spring day, with the clouds whipped across the sky, the light changing continually, from sunny to cloudy and back again. It was such a perfect Spring day, and I loved exploring the Stokeleigh Camp Iron Age Fort, so on the way back down Nightingale Valley, I turned north and walked up the silt banks, through the long grass, and along the tide lines. I have photos, and sounds, below, but let’s start with photos. The album is on flickr, but if you mouse over the first picture, it should bring up a slideshow…
and here’s the map of where I walked – without all the back-and-forth of looking at the same things over and over!
Continue reading “Leigh Woods and the Avon silt banks”
Because we’re on the water, and in the south, it doesn’t often snow in Bristol, and if it does, it rarely sticks, so the huge “Beast from the East” snowmaggedon was a huge deal here, that I’m sure people in Scotland and the Frozen North are rolling their eyes at. But not having to get anywhere, with a warm house and a stocked pantry, it was a ton of fun, just for a weekend.
On Friday Vik and I walked along the Avon and up to Stokeleigh Camp, the Iron Age fort in Leigh Woods, and back. While the parks and slopes were full of children sledging, once we got to the Avon footpath, it was really empty, with much less traffic on the Portway than usual. All the interesting layers pulled into focus, outlined by snow, from the terraces of Hotwells, to the striations of the Gorge.
Up in the woods it was pretty magical, with everything so quiet we could hear the falling snow hit the evergreen and remaining dead autumn leaves. We walked around the Fort walls and talked about what it might have been like to live there, as the wind blew swirls of snowflakes off the drifts on top of the earthworks. As we walked home, a skier passing us on the Nightingale Valley path, the tracks we and others had made were already covered in snow, and it felt like we were the first people to walk on the path, and on the silt banks. It was a gorgeous day.
Photos are in the album – mouse over/click the first image to get the slideshow, or go straight to flickr.