Surprising Bristol – Part Two

Hi,

This post should be read after ‘Surprising Bristol – Part One’
Catch a number 8 bus from St Augustines Parade to Clifton. This service runs every 12 minutes, do not get on the number 9 as this will go the ‘wrong,’ longer, more time consuming way. Go nine stops to Clifton Down (ask the driver for the Clifton Suspension Bridge stop, and to let you know when to get off) Cross the patch of grass in front of you to the road, look right. And if you want to go to the bridge, just look for the queue of cars. Follow that way to the bridge. (straight ahead)

 Walk to left of the bridge in the picture above and a path will lead downhill to the viewpoint mentioned below. There is a walkway beside the road on the bridge, from which you can get photo’s of the view of the gorge. The safety fence can get in the way a bit.

You can take a boat trip from Bristol city centre to view the bridge from a lower angle. I hope to cover this in (coming soon – Surprising Bristol – Part Three), on another trip to the area.  Alternatively go left down Sion Hill after crossing the green, and you will happen apon a closeup viewpoint of the bridge with various seats;

Have a look at the information board. This area seems to be very popular for local sunbathers and picnics too.
As you look ahead down Sion Hill you will see the often packed cafe terrace of the ‘Avon Gorge Hotel’. http://www.theavongorge.com/about/photo-gallery.shtml The room rates are way too pricey for budget travellers such as ourselves. But the White Lion Bar & Terrace is open to all, at reasonble prices too considering the view of the Suspension Bridge. Carry on down Sion Hill until you see the sign on the left for Royal York Crescent. There is a pub on the corner called ‘The Portcullis’, there is a theme developing here :-). This pub is well known in Bristol for it’s range of real ales and has previously been a Bristol Branch Camra pub of the year, I had a very nice ‘Almondee’ stout, whilst having a rest from the rigours of sightseeing. Go in to Royal York Crescent on the left.
And now a walk along a Georgian terrace that would not look out of place in Bath. ;

Keep going along the lovely Georgian crescent until you reach a road going left and right.(Regent Street ) Go left and then right into Boyces Avenue. Along this thoroughfare are various cafes and independent shops, which can also be found in Clifton Arcade which is off this road on the right. Go through this arch to Victoria Square;

This view is from the other side in Victoria Square looking back towards Boyes Avenue. Victoria Square is a haven from traffic just a few yards away, although the bus does run along the South Eastern edge of it.

Go back through the arch, and at the end of Boyes Avenue turn right. There is a Tesco Express here, if you need anything. Or a cafe with a terrace to breathe in the traffic fumes by the bus stop. No letter designation to the bus stop I’m afraid, but it is on it’s own just past Tesco’s though. Catch the number 9 and go 2 stops to The Victoria Rooms bus stop (it is just past 2 roundabouts near each other). Follow the bus direction along Queen’s Road as the stop is not adjacent. You will see it on a roundabout;

 On the opposite side of the road is a church and the West of England Academy of Art;

This gentleman is unwittingly going in the direction of where we want to go, continuing along Queen’s Road. Stay on this side of the road and you will arrive at The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in a few minutes of strolling. Immediately before this building go left into University Road  for these buildings;

And then back down to the Museum & Art Gallery, which has exhibited graffiti art from the city’s local boy made good, ‘Banksy’ The facade with the University Willis memorial building is very scenic, imoho;

We were planning to go on from here down the hilly Park Street to see some ‘Banksy’ graffiti art, There is a website that will show locations of all graffiti art in Bristol (there is a lot of it!);  http://www.bristol-street-art.co.uk/map-of-bristol-street-art        Also we were going to ‘The Georgian House’ (free, I love freebies), ‘The Council House’ Council offices with a bit of imagination for a change, and finish at the Cathedral. We had agreed to meet at friends of ours at their house in the North of the city, who we had not seeen for years. The bus to our friends location is right by my elbow when I took the last photo.  So we had unfortunately ran out of time to do everything, and reluctantly caught the bus and visited our friends in the Northern suburbs.
To continue the tour;     Visit ‘The Georgian House’ in Great George Street on the right of Park Street. Look out (in Park Street) for the ‘Banksy’ graffiti of a man looking looking out of a window the wrong way, while a man hangs on to the window ledge, naughty boy lol.

Further down the same side as ‘The Georgian House’ is ‘The Council House’ council offices. Looks a lot better than the usual Council concrete eyesore;

And just across the College Green is the Cathedral;

  From the Cathedral face College Green and go right to Park Street. Turn left in to St Augustines Parade and P&R services 902 & 903 catch their P&R bus from the ‘Ci’ stop that was used to go to Clifton.
Customers of P&R service 904 Bath Road  need to cross the road to Broad Quay, keeping the paddling pools and fountains to your left. The bus stop is ‘Cn’   And that is the end of the tour.
The title is spot on, Surprising Bristol, indeed. Go there before everyone finds out how good it looks.
Those all important tips;  Take a few clothes pegs for the aforementioned string clothes line. Can also be used to keep curtains closed in sunny bedrooms. Or to protect your modesty. 2. Half a squash ball – less a sporting item, more a universal plug. You  may not find stoppers for your sink or bath. This one will always work. Take the other half too, you are bound to leave the original in a hotel sink somewhere.

And Another Thing……… I have been looking at ‘letting the train take the strain’ as Jimmy Saville once said. But the fares are eye wateringly expensive compared to using a car. A couple of years ago for example, it was cheaper to go to Newcastle by aeroplane rather than a train(£50 against £94). Ridiculous. The government are desparate to get cars off the road, presumably so there will be more room on the road for their far too large limousines they need for ‘security’. Here’s a trick for the Transport Minister, make the train fares cheaper then people will use them more, it is not difficult. And don’t penalise passengers with over top fares when they want to use peak time services, run more trains. Simple. Instead of flying off to the Carribean to see how rum punches are made in five star hotels, get off your lazy backsides and go to France and Germany. There you will see how to run a professional reasonably priced railway system. And one that has proper high speed trains at 200mph and not thirty years old ‘technology’ still running British trains at 125/140 mph. And can we have the direct service ‘oop North’ Eurostars avoiding London like we were promised, when the money was put up to finance the Channel Tunnel. The decades of underfunding of OUR railway system by successive Governments is a national embarassment. Another very satisfying rant over.

Coming soon to a blog near you   We will be coming back to Bristol soon(we hope) and our Bristolian friends want to tag along too. Make way on the blog for Surprising Bristol – Part Three. Containing(maybe)Water Ferries and the Floating Harbour, Boat trips on the River Avon, SS Britain, Georgian House, Cabot Tower, The Council House, Cathedral and ‘Banksy’ graffiti art. We had better stock up on the Ralgex to get us through that lot of sightseeing. And maybe add more photo’s to the first two blog pages of Bristol. There really has been so much to see that our creaking ole’ joints are bloody painful, even using the bus instead of walking (serves us right, old gits that we are)

Any comments good or bad welcome. Any comments about our really bad gramer will b laffed @.
Website List Good for maps; http://visitbristol.co.uk/site/about-bristol/travel-and-maps/bristol-maps/
General information on what to see; www.about-bristol.co.uk/ 
Bus maps & timetables; http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/content/Transport-Streets/Public-Transport/buses—routes-and-timetables.en
Park & Ride; http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/transport-and-streets/parking/park-and-ride/
If you would like to avoid planning a bus trip and still go by bus, but obviously, it will be more expensive; http://www.bristolvisitor.co.uk/
Bristol street art (graffiti) map of locations; www.bristol-street-art.co.uk/map-of-bristol-street-art

Thanks for reading,

Mr & Mrs G

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