A self-made walking tour

Central to the backgarden tourism manifesto should be (a) rediscovering your town in a new way and (b) doing things that are free. There’s no need to spend money getting to know a place when it costs nothing to keep your eyes open.

Plus, feeling bent in the spine and cotton-wool headed from a morning spent in the office, come lunchtime a bright winter walk seemed just the very thing needed. (It was either that or flagons of caffeine).

So join me on a short (about 40 minute) lunchtime walk around the Bristol harbourside and back up to Broadmead…

embassyTucked away on one side of Queen Square (about 400m from my office) is the first American consulate abroad, which was founded in Bristol in 1792 – at the height of the slave trade. At the time, the trade made up about half of the port’s business.

photo 2

Across the bridge to the harbourside. Come Saturday night full of teeny weeny dresses and sports screens up loud. Come lunch on a Tuesday full of families.

photo 3Reflecting on the sunshine; the view from the bridge.

photo 4Long shadows in the square by the Lloyds building. A huge art deco affair which glares regally out over…

photo 1The Matthew. The replica of the ship that John Cabot first sailed to, the creatively named, Newfoundland. Newer  technology chugs on past.

photo 2Looking back the other way, skater teens show off their tricks to bored bankers staring out from their office windows.

photo 1A cheeky seagull pulling less creative tricks.

photo 2Navigation.

photo 3Navigating two. This one felt particularly appropriate to the lunchtime amble itself. Though really it’s a marketing ploy for the nearby @Bristol museum.

photo 4

2.05pm, through the Cathedral School gates. Phew.

photo 1Sharp shadows looking back over the school. Sneaky cathedral photo bombs school.

photo 2A statue dedicated to Raja Rammohun Roy, an Indian social reformer born in the 1770s. He died in Bristol of meningitis and is buried at Arnos Vale cemetery. I had been convinced he was John Cabot.

photo 3A near miss trying to catch a lucky autumn leaf.

photo 1

Plans for things to do…before realizing they are out of date.

photo 2The tiny florist just before Corn Street who I always promise myself I will buy a plant from but never do. Perhaps a pretty autumnal heather would cheer up my desk…

photo 3

That’s next Tuesday sorted then. (Their burgers are very good. But annoyingly too big to get your mouth around)

photo 4

Oops. Time to get back to the office…

photo 2But not before stopping to appreciate a tune or two from this jaw-droppingly talented violinist. Unfortunately I have yet to see him again.

Where do you go on your lunchtime meanders? Suggestions for new places to discover are always welcome.

Tweet @alicemhancock


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