Monday, 30 September 2019

Crossing Clifton Suspension Bridge


Thanks for popping in.

The elegant Clifton Suspension Bridge stretches before us high, high above the thin ribbon of the River Avon at low tide nestled deep within the gorge below.  Knees might wobble!

Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a magnificent feat of Victorian engineering.  In 1754 wine merchant William Vick left £1,000 in his will to build a bridge over the Avon Gorge but it wasn't until June 1831, once investment interest had increased the amount available and a competition had been held for the design, that work started on Brunel's wrought iron bridge.  It opened in December 1864 that the bridge opened, 5 years after Brunel's death.

There is a £1 toll to cross the bridge by motor vehicle but it's free for pedestrians so let's stride out to look over to the Bristol side first.

As you can see, the path is well fenced!

You really get a sense of how high you have climbed up the hill, way over the tops of the trees.  The clearance above high water level is 75 metres with the bridge being 101 metres tall.  It's 412 metres in length.

I'm not so good with heights these days, so I didn't linger to take too many photos!

Once you reach the other side, there's a Visitor Centre full of interesting facts, stories and information.  There isn't a cafe but nearby is a coffee cart.

Tomorrow, we'll visit the Visitor Centre and return over the bridge.


Friday, 27 September 2019

Five Walking through Bristol to Clifton


Thanks for calling in.

We've been to Bristol for a couple of days, it's not that far away but it can be expensive on the train - very annoying - unless you buy Advance tickets and use a railcard.  However, when you get there, there are loads of places to investigate  and things to do.  I've blogged about Bristol before, which you can find under the Bristol label above.  Last time, we kept getting lost but fortunately we seemed to crack navigating around this time - maybe the maps helped!   Let's head for the Clifton Suspension Bridge in five easy chunks,

1.  We'll start our walk at the beautiful Castle Bridge at Finzel's Reach and cross the Floating Harbour to Castle Park.  The Left Handed Giant brewpub looks exciting. 

a.  Finzel's Reach is a medieval part of the City which used to be home to sugar refiners and brewers and is now being turned into a waterside development to live, work and play.

b.  Floating Harbour is a waterway through the City, effectively a bypass from the tidal River Avon.

c.  Castle Bridge is a curving pedestrian bridge only opened in 2017.

It's a really pleasant walk beside the water watching the City unfold, passing bridges, colourful houses, cobbled streets, old warehouses and dockyards.

2.  Crossing the Floating Harbour at Pero's Bridge with its horn-shaped counterweights, which balance the lifting sections of the bridge, takes us to Harbourside, packed full with an Amphitheatre, educational amusements like We the Curious, the Aquarium and views over to Spike Island with moored ships like The Matthew and Brunel's SS Great Britain.

3.   The coloured houses of Hotwells and Clifton Wood come into view and eventually the Clifton Suspension Bridge itself, which seems to be round the next corner for quite a while.

4.  As the Floating Harbour joins the River Avon, it's time to take the pedestrian bridge over the roads to go up the steep hill, passing yet more coloured houses as you puff up the hill and catch your breath whilst taking a photo.

5.  At last you've reached the beautiful grassy slopes of Clifton Village, a stone's throw from the bridge itself.  Phew!

In Monday's blog post, we'll cross the bridge, taking in the glorious views of the Avon Gorge and Bristol itself.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 26 September 2019

West Green Gardens


Thanks for popping in.

West Green Gardens, how I love you!  You'll find lots and lots of posts on this smallish National Trust partnered garden in my blog.  Gradually, more and more people are discovering its beauty, wonderful café, pretty shop and exciting events.

Enjoy a walk around with me on a sunny September day.

I've never seen the water level so low in the lake, the water is usually right to the brim and the pond and stream were almost dried up.

Inside the greenhouse, the table was laid for a special event. What a lovely place to celebrate with grapes dangling from the ceiling.


Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Turquoise Books


Thanks for visiting.

Now that I've picked up my crochet hook again, my reading has taken a back seat but here are three books that have come my way.

I really enjoyed this book from an Author I had not heard of before.  It's a family story, clearly written and full of advice as well for those who find themselves in similar situations to the characters.  It starts at a Golden Wedding Anniversary where all the family gather to celebrate, when the unknown daughter from the father's secret relationship from many years ago turns up unexpectedly, having recently traced him. You can imagine the repercussions!  

I've now read several of Maggie O'Farrell's novels and have enjoyed most of them, including this one.  According to Goodreads :

'This Must be the Place is a novel about family, identity, and true love: an intimately drawn portrait of a marriage, both the forces that hold it together and the pressures that drive it apart. O'Farrell writes with complexity, insight, and laugh-out-loud humor in a narrative that hurtles forward with powerful velocity and emotion. This Must be the Place is a sophisticated, spellbinding summer read from one of the UK's most highly acclaimed and best-loved novelists.'

Although I had some issues with the prose, this book had a great story with plenty of colour, twists and turns.  Again Goodreads advises:

'Morgan McCarthy's THE HOUSE OF BIRDS is a beautiful and bewitching story of love, war and second chances that will be adored by readers of Kate Morton, Louisa Young and Virginia Baily.'

 I don't think I would look out for any other books by this particular Author.

Sometimes you just can't put a book down and others just don't click, do you find that?


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Blue Skies over the Park


Thanks for visiting, it's lovely to see you, well not see you but you know what I mean!

We've had such wonderful blue skies, I couldn't resist a trip to my favourite park, South Hill Park, which is always a treat.

Google has jazzed up my photo, making it even bluer to match the skies.  I love it when Google does that!

Look at that grass stretched out towards the fountain!

Looking out of the window, the sky seems even more blue.

It's a pity we have a monsoon today!