Just to the west of Bristol lies the Ashton Court estate, acres of hilly parkland, leading on to countryside, woodland and a unique gorge. It was here that we met for our walk, after one shower, but it was dry with spells of sunshine from the start of the walk.
We had to bypass the deer park, which had recently been closed to visitors, but regained our route quite soon, eventually arriving at Abbot's Pool, a medieval monastic fish pond. Soon after, we were walking through Abbots Leigh village, with splendid houses and well kept gardens showing the first signs of spring. There was a well appointed picnic area opposite the church, where we enjoyed our packed lunches and the relaxing rural views in the sunshine.
Onward through Leigh Woods and down into the Avon Gorge, where a rather wet towpath on the way back took us under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. We were able to get a good look at the railway line from Bristol to Portishead, which is partly open for freight, but is due to reopen for passenger trains in the next few years. Further on, we saw the remains of the landing stage (where the Bristol Channel steamers used to tie up to allow passengers to visit Clifton) and some fine rows of houses on the hillside.
Nearing the end of our walk, Chris very kindly offered us tea at his apartment, which was much appreciated.
Many thanks to all who came along and who made it such an enjoyable and worthwhile day.
John and Martin