Hilly, with extensive views over and beyond the park landscape, mainly on open land.
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) Enter the Estate at the entrance leading from the triangle of grass across the road, just north of the Cameron Centre. Keep the group of five fir trees to your right as you bear left. Walk towards the marker
post on the left of the gap at the entrance into the open area at the top of the Estate. Bear right a few paces to meet the medieval cart track that is slightly raised in places and then bear left towards the woodlands. When you reach the edge of both Hermitage and Barn Wood, look for a marker post on your right next to a disused stile.
(1) Enter Barn Wood here. Bear left, passing the first post on your right. Continue downhill. On your right you will come across the flat, circular site of the rotunda – formerly an enclosed performance space and garden feature. Continue along the main winding path, initially downhill. Soon you will reach a concentration of historic features.
First, you will see the site and ruins of some old cottage buildings. Just beyond (right) is an ornamental bridge with a tunnel beneath which carried a stream from the ‘Horse’ Pond that is a few paces ahead of you (left). The Dower House is on your right through the trees. Note the mature trees in this part of the Estate. At the marker on your left, cross the path and continue straight on. Very soon you will come to the Beaufort monument on its pedestal. You can make a short detour from the path to see it. It dates from 1755 – a memorial to the 4th Duke of Beaufort.
(2) The path soon joins the Parnell Road entrance through a kissing gate at the end. Bear right down the surfaced zig-zag path into Barn Wood Valley. The Dower House is on your left. Continue until you reach a marker post on your left. Bear right on the wider of the paths (unsurfaced) and continue parallel with the M32, towards the northern end of Duchess Pond. The Telecommunications Tower will be ahead of you in the distance. You will pass by the base of the obelisk high up on your right. When you reach the dip near Duchess Pond you will see a marker on your left beside a gap between two large logs. Go straight ahead up the steep hill. When the marker post is just ahead of you to the right, stop and look behind you to admire the best view over the Dower House and the planned Park landscape.
(3) Go through the two logs and straight on uphill towards the tower until you see the next marker (left). Pond Field Wood will be on your left. You are now on Purdown. Continue straight ahead, towards the tower. See spectacular views. At the marker, head right and downhill with the Anti-Aircraft battery on your left. Bear right at the next marker and continue a short distance to another marker that takes you through a gap in the hedge. Bear right. Continue parallel with Romney Avenue until back at the start point.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 279ft - Entrance
1 : mi 0.42 - alt. 276ft - Barn Wood
2 : mi 0.72 - alt. 233ft - Kissing gate
3 : mi 1.19 - alt. 125ft - Star Hill
D/A : mi 1.72 - alt. 279ft - Entrance
Route difficulty: Difficult. Paths are mainly unsurfaced and can be boggy in places with some steep hills
Parking : Along Romney Avenue, near the Cameron Centre
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Contoured walk with a focus on 18th century historic features in semi-ancient woodland.
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.
Passing by Goram’s Chair, Tarn Lake, Beech Cathedral, Lily Pond, Rhododendron Walk, Rustic Lodge, Woodman’s Cottage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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