Connie’s short walks – no.1

Connie’s Short Walks in the Bristol area – no. 1

It’s good to get out and see Green!
By which I mean, of course, grass, trees, and flowers. Nearby in local parks, or further off, out of the city; either will do nicely.
And a short walk in a green space is what I like to do – if it’s short, it’s more likely to happen.
I’m always looking for new places, but books and websites often offer longer walks than I’m able or willing to commit to. Or too far away.
I’ve found a few good walks, all an easy distance from my home city (or even within it), and here’s one I did recently:

Escape from the City: Ashton Hill Woods near Bristol

A gloomy grey and damp Sunday in January; not a day to plan a big trip, but there’s a break in the clouds, a glimmer of sunshine. Time shake off our Christmas colds and get out of the house. Out of the city!
We’re lucky to have green spaces nearby, but today we want woods. Leigh Woods? It has spectacular views over the gorge but we’ve been there recently A little farther on is Ashton Hill woods: a little patch of woodland on the slopes above Long Ashton. Being close to the city it’s often busy with walkers, off road bike trails and often some riders from the local stables. Plenty of life here!
So, it’s a quick foray across the Clifton Suspension Bridge (a hefty £1 each way now) before returning to dry off, and watch a Good Film.
These woods are great for a short walk or ramble. You can take the main circuit around the woods on a sturdy made-up path or if the mood takes you, branch off and explore some of the little paths that crisscross the little valleys that score the slopes of these woods. You’ll be dodging brambles and looking out for cyclists.
Today we take the main track from the little (crowded) car park to loop down to the far corner and then back round the edge of the woods.

The air is raw and damp, the ground muddy, and our legs are stiff, but it’s only a short walk!

And this is it:
Past the mountain bikers’ muddy jumps:
Then Big Tree Grove, a surprise collection of Californian Redwoods which tower splendidly over you:
Through the open slopes of beech, red with fallen leaves:

Past the information board (flowers you can’t see right now):

to the lower edge of the woods.
A little glimpse from the trees out to the misty, soggy fields in the Vale of Ashton:

Perhaps out of the woods, through the kissing gate:

..to wander further.
Or, skirt the wood and walk up to the golf course, before cutting back in.
Then back along the top of the woods. Watch the athletic exert themselves on the playing fields here and the horses from the stables taking a leisurely rest.

Now home to light a fire and pick a film.
On the Ordnance Survey Landranger map:
Start point roughly: 5200 7100

I’m always looking for more places – any ideas to share?

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