Durdham Down

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.

Technical sheet
No. 4455543
A Bristol walk posted on 23/12/20 by Aurelie-21. Update : 23/12/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h10[?]
Distance Distance : 3.58km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 47m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 47m
Highest point Highest point : 97m
Lowest point Lowest point : 49m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Bristol
Starting point Starting point : N 51.472494° / W 2.620093°
Download : -

Description

Start at the café on Stoke Road by the Water Tower in the centre of the Downs, but you can join at any point on the map.

(D/A) As you leave the café, turn sharp right along the worn joggers’ path for a few yards to the clump of three stones. Continue along the joggers’ path (or the tarmac path which is also a cycle route) running parallel to Stoke Road. Go past the two benches close together to the third bench facing north (B1 and B2 on the map). Cross the busy Stoke Road behind you with care and head for the right hand of the two benches by the rather haphazard circle of young ash trees.

(1) Turn left and continue south-west at right angles to the bench, crossing over the tarmac path and then passing through the avenue of trees to the bench just beyond the three ash trees. Continue south-west towards Sea Walls, the cliff edge, to the bench by the next tarmac path overlooking the Plateau.

(2) On to Sea Walls itself and the spectacular views up the Avon Gorge to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and down the river to the Bristol Channel and the Welsh hills. Take a seat to the left of the information panels. Please look at the information panels to your right. Then walk east, up river, along Sea Walls and continue as the path turns north-east along the edge of the Gully. 20 yards before the road bends sharply to the right, turn right just after the litter bin and go through the goat gate.

(3) Retrace your steps through the gate. Continue along the path to the Peregrine Watchpoint – your next chance of a view across the gorge. Soon after rounding the bend, you will cross from Durdham to Clifton Down and to your left and right, you may spot the mere stones marking the boundary. Note, also, the discreet fencing that steers the joggers away from bee orchids and other rarer plants.
Please look at the Peregrine Watch information panel before heading (north-east) across the grass at right angles to the road. Cross Ladies Mile carefully to the open area, where zoo visitors are permitted to park at certain times of the year, to the bench on the far left side. There is a small hawthorn behind it.

(4) Continue north-east towards the water tower to the middle of the precision-planted circle of five young ash trees. Turn sharp right and walk thirty metres to the joggers’ path and then continue north-east again. Soon you should be able to see the railway tunnel’s other ventilation tower below to your right. Stop briefly at the tarmac path. Continue north-east keeping the pitted ground of The Dumps to your right. Stop at the highest point by the bench backing onto The Dumps. One final stop: continue north-east in the direction of the wooden bus shelter, stopping well short of it at the bench by the path.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 96m - Café
1 : km 0.27 - alt. 95m - Bench
2 : km 1.17 - alt. 52m - Sea Walls
3 : km 2.15 - alt. 77m - Gate
4 : km 2.54 - alt. 87m - Path
D/A : km 3.58 - alt. 96m - Café

Useful Information

It is all on the flat; some paths can be muddy and the grass can be wet.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Loos and don’ts :
The nearest toilets are by the Water Tower (disabled and baby-changing) and at Sea Walls, see map. Please do not park on the grass; no barbecues.

How to get there :
By bus : 1, 8, 41, 42, 54, 55, 99, 586, and 587 all run past the Downs.
By train : the nearest station is Clifton Down Station, 10 minutes walk away.

Go to www.bristol.gov.uk/page/ downs for further history and to download other trail leaflets on trees, birds, lichen and other subjects. For educational visits, events, guided tours, news and volunteering go to the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project’s site : www.avongorge.org.uk.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.