Pill to Sea Mills – with an added grass fire

One of the walks I’ve repeated is from Pill, over the Avon via the M5 road bridge and down the river to Sea Mills.  I first walked this with Tracy Homer in August last year, and then again in November, but I really wanted Vik to see it too, because there is just so much to see.  It takes in some really interesting spaces, especially the industrial ones, and it’s seeped in history – but this time it got very dramatic, as we got to see one of the impacts of the heatwave from closer than I even thought I would.

Here’s the map of our walk, from 5th August 2018:

An album of (a lot of) my photos – mouse/swipe over the first one to start the slideshow, or click through to the album

Fighting the Sea Mills grass fire

…and here are Vik’s gorgeous photos from her holga and deliberate double exposures from her Fuji PET – hopefully you can start the slideshow below, or click through for her album.

Folly

I’ve got some specific photos, some soundscapes and a mini film below, with thoughts on some of the things we saw, if you want more…

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A walk around some functional Avon spaces

At the end of July Matt, Vik and I were looking for a walk to do away from people, which was a bit complicated, with the Chocolate Path closed, and crowds filling Bedminster and Southville for Upfest.  It can be challenging, finding walks that start in the city centre and includes places we haven’t been, but the ferry trip down the New Cut and the Avon that Matt and I had taken had inspired me, and so we went to explore some of the places I’d seen from the boat – the functional spaces.

Here’s where we walked:

And here’s my flickr album from the walk – hopefully if you mouse/swipe over the first photo, it will start a slideshow, but if not, you can also click through.

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So what did we see?

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A shady heatwave walk

It was bad enough walk-commuting in the heatwave without melting, let alone walking for fun,  but luckily exploring the water means there are a lot of shady walks.  On 24th July, Tracy Homer and I took the bus out of the city to walk and talk, from Abbott’s Pool, down through Paradise Bottom and along the Avon back into Bristol.  Here’s where we walked:

and my flickr album of photos from the walk:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbot's Pool, a wild swimming spot

So where did we go?

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How the heatwave changed the mud texture

You know I love the mud in the Avon, especially the silt banks that block the second entrance lock to the Floating Harbour at the Cumberland Basin.  I love the way the light catches on the ridges and textures – but something about the summer heat and maybe the lower river levels seem to have changed the consistency of the mud.  It looks more porridge-y, and like the meanders have flattened down.

I like it just as much, though.  A flickr album of photos from walking home on 19th July, with patches of seaweed on the oddly flattened mud:

Avon mud textures

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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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Low tide adventures

The heatwave may have dried up the rivers, scorched the grass and given farmers a terrible year, but I have some good memories too.  Back on 3rd July I walked home from work “the long way round”, and went to the very end of the Floating Harbour, where it meets the Avon in the curve of the Entrance Lock walls.  It was low tide, a gorgeous day, and one of the highlights of my summer.

Here’s a flickr photo album of 35mm film shots from my Olympus XA2 (if you mouse/swipe over the first photo below, hopefully you’ll get a slideshow…)

Someone else's footprints

And some words about some of the photos, and a sound:

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Weird Bristol Walk, June 2018

I am a huge fan of Charlie Revelle-Smith‘s Weird Bristol twitter, sharing little nuggets of information about the city – and so I was excited to share the druid gravestone that Vik and I saw in Avonview Cemetery on our way home from the Bristol Walk Fest walk around the Avon Valley.  We’d been talking about going on a walk together, and this was the perfect place to start, to look around the cemetery and come back via some of my favourite weird Bristol places.  On 28th June, in the heatwave, we got on a bus after work and went exploring.

Here’s the map of where we went:

And here’s my flickr photo album (click through or mouse over the first picture to start a slideshow)

Netham Weir

Make sure you follow Charlie’s twitter – and look out for his Weird Bristol book that’s coming out soon!  And to find out more about him, listen to my podcast interview with him from last July.

Continue reading “Weird Bristol Walk, June 2018”