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Saturday, 1 April 2017

A Tranquil Setting within a Large City

Yesterday was the day for my walk with my walking group. The ground is still very wet and muddy so we opted for another city walk. This time we chose a walk in the Oldbury Court Estate. This is the remains of an old landscaped estate. The house itself was demolished in the 1940s and the estate is now part of Bristol city parks.

We started at a car park at the bottom of the estate called Snuff Mills. Tobacco was indeed ground for use as snuff in this valley. We started our walk in a most unusual way with a toast of champagne from paper cups in honour of the aunt of one of our walkers. The aunt has recently died and champagne was her favourite tipple.

Well that certainly sent us merrily on our way along the path that follows the River Frome. It was a calm sunny day and the reflections in the water of the surrounding trees were beautiful.

There are several weirs along the way presumably to keep the rapid flow of the water.

It was hard to believe in this tranquil spot that we were so close to the M32 and indeed no distance from the centre of Bristol. There were a number of people using the path especially on the lower part of the walk. A lot of people were walking dogs who are allowed off their leads. In some places the dogs were running all over the place and swimming in the water. There was little chance of seeing any wildlife and I was not happy to see a dog chasing some ducks in the river. Nevertheless the paths are there for all and it was good  to see them being used.

We gradually made our way up stream crossing a couple of bridges.

We eventually emerged onto Frenchay Common. Frenchay is a village on the edge of Bristol which still has a large green.

Until very recently there was large hospital next to this common land called Frenchay Hospital which had a nation wide reputation as a centre of excellence for neurology and also burns and plastics. I worked at the hospital for a while and it always had a community feel about it. It is now being demolished and has been moved to a large "super hospital " on the site of Southmead Hospital. We could see what remained as we crossed the green.
There is a handsome church on the green and it was close to here that we stopped for lunch.

Then we retraced our steps to our cars.


  1. delightful way to start your walk and beautiful scenery

  2. Yes, it looks like a lovely place.

  3. Oldbury Park is a lovely place to walk I went there last winter, I agree it can be really annoying when people let their dogs run all over the place especially as I have a nervous dog. I didn't realise they were demolishing Frenchay hospital I remember visiting relatives when we lived in Bristol.

    Lovely photos of the area.

  4. Such a lovely place for a walk. We have a river path here which also has a cycle track and I have to admit I find lots of bikes whizzing past me as I walk quite intimidating. BUt, as you say, I guess everyone has a right to enjoy the scenery

  5. Another gorgeous setting for a walk. My friend and I walk the same route each time. I'm wondering if she'd be up to more adventurous outing. I love your walking group, and think it would be a great way to spend the day.