Built in 1795 for John Scandret Harford by William Paty. A solid, simple design placed on a rise so as to appear bigger. Harford was responsible for commissioning landscape architect Humphrey Repton and thereafter, architect John Nash who designed the Orangery, Dairy and nearby Blaise Hamlet. More ornate additions representing a Greek classical influence were made to both the exterior and interior of the house from 1832-3 by C R Cockerell on instruction from J S Harford Jnr.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start at Blaise Cafe. Walk towards the Blaise Castle House, along the surfaced path with play area on left hand side.
(1) At path junction near house bear right onto a path leading slightly downhill, continue on the surfaced path leading down into the gorge, until you reach a set of steps on the right hand side. Take the steps up to the Castle. After a short distance on the right hand side you will come to a limestone pavement rock formation, known as the Giant’s Footprint. Carry on up the path, passing Butcher’s Cave on the right. There are two viewpoints; the first located on the South Bastion, takes in Sea Mills, Leigh Court and Leigh Woods.
(2) The top of this path is known as Lover’s Leap, where you can see Stoke Bishop, and Sneyd Park and in the distance Dundry. At Lover’s Leap, the Castle will come into view. With your back to the Castle turn left and head towards the path leading from the information board into the woods. Follow this path on a gradual descent, then either head down the steps on the right hand side for a short cut onto the parkland, or continue over small rise passing Robbers Cave on the left hand side. Continue following this path, down a slight descent and turn right onto Castle Hill Drive. Continue onto the main field and back to Cafe.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 55m - Blaise Cafe
1 : km 0.25 - alt. 55m - Junction near house
2 : km 0.79 - alt. 80m - Lover’s Leap
D/A : km 1.24 - alt. 55m - Blaise Cafe
This walk uses mainly woodland trails with some steep inclines that can be muddy underfoot.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Blaise Estate is a Grade II listed historic landscape with recorded human activity dating back 2,000 years. It became a ‘pleasure park’ to a variety of wealthy private owners and has been influenced through the landscape designer Humphrey Repton. It was purchased by the Corporation of Bristol in 1926 for £20,175.
The Heritage Lottery funded a project to restore this historic landscape and public park – an investment of approx £6.5 million. Visitor facilities including a café, play area and performance space have been introduced whilst the historic nature of the site has been conserved. These circular guided walks have been developed to provide reassurance and information for those who wish to experience all the estate offers. This includes spectacular views, the castle folly,lakes, scheduled ancient monuments, the 18th Century mansion, unique rock formations and designed landscape features.
Varying in length, all walks will contain relatively steep ascents/descents. Care should be taken on cliff edges and steep slopes.
Why not end your walk at the Cafe with a freshly made coffee and slice of homemade cake. Open daily serving hot and cold snacks, drinks and a large variety of ice cream.
The gorge is at its deepest below Lover’s Leap. You can see massive cliffs of steeply tilted white Carboniferous Limestone. It is difficult to see exactly how the Gorge was formed. It would have been directly influenced by the most recent Ice Age up to 100,000 years ago.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin dates back to 1093, with various rebuilding over the years until an extensive refurbishment in 1878. Look out for two notable graves; an obelisk memorial to the Egyptologist Amelia Edwards and coloured head and foot stones of ‘Scipio Africanus’, a negro slave.
Passing by Goram’s Chair, Tarn Lake, Beech Cathedral, Lily Pond, Rhododendron Walk, Rustic Lodge, Woodman’s Cottage.
Walk passing by Iron Age Hill Fort, Echo Gate, Arbutus walk, Kingsweston Down and wildflower meadows.
A moderate walk suitable for a family with older children but unsuitable for wheels. Takes you through quieter parts of the Blaise estate and Henbury gold course.
It is 150 years since The Clifton and Durdham Downs (Bristol) Act, 1861 secured the Downs as a place of recreation for us all – forever. This trail and a second trail exploring the Promenade and Observatory Hill celebrate this anniversary and explore the rich and fascinating history of the Downs.
Contoured walk with a focus on 18th century historic features in semi-ancient woodland.
Hilly, with extensive views over and beyond the park landscape, mainly on open land.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.