Blog: Amanda, Harbourside Hidden Tour

Home Bristol Walkfest News Blog: Amanda, Harbourside Hidden Tour

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hi, I’m Amanda, and my husband would say I have a problem with sitting down. During the day, I work as a gardener, so I’m already on my feet all day. But if I have any time to myself I just love to walk. It’s good for my mind and my body. It can be as interesting as I make it and I can go alone or with friends. Walking is flexible and fun and it’s a great excuse to get outside more often.

Tell us about your preferred Bristol walking route and why you love it so much.

Because I spend my days surrounded by greenery and working alone, I love to get into the hustle and bustle of Bristol’s city centre. We’re so lucky in Bristol because it’s large enough to be interesting but small enough to cross in a reasonable amount of time. You can start off in Ashton Court with its views and space, wander down to the harbour to be by the waterside and still have time to pop into St. Nicks Market for a browse and a coffee.

HazardOne graffiti

How long have you been walking there and when did you first discover it?

I’ve lived in Bristol for over 23 years and my walking adventures started when I used to push two children in a double buggy from Long Ashton up through Ashton Court and into the city centre.  Friends thought I was mad walking all that way but I loved it. We’d set off early and the three of us would be out walking and exploring all day.  Bristol’s so accessible on foot and there are always plenty of places to stop and rest or grab a bite to eat.

Who normally accompanies you on your walks?

These days, although my husband sometimes accompanies me, I do most of my walking on my own. I like to go at my own pace and spend time wandering down alleyways or around the inside of churches or interesting buildings so it’s easier to go alone. Sometimes I’ll be out for hours because I’ve found a new part of the city with beautiful architecture and I lose track of time.

How do you feel when you’re out for a walk? Does it change your state of mind?

Walking is so uplifting. Just getting outside in the daylight can lift a person’s mood but if you add the rhythmic movement of walking, you have a winning combination. You’ll always find something to take your mind off of your problems and it gives you time to process things. You can be feeling low or despondent or worried or frustrated but if you can get out and take a walk for perhaps half an hour or an hour even, you’ll feel so much better for it.

Have you experienced any health benefits from walking?

As I mentioned, walking has definitely helped to boost my mood when I’ve needed it to.  It’s a very gentle way to calm your mind and relax your body. My job as a gardener is very physical and if I didn’t walk so often I know I’d get more aches and pains. Walking is such a gentle movement and you can make it as strenuous or as easy as you like; either way you’re doing your mind and your body the power of good.

Inside St Nick’s Market

Do you have any particular kit you take with you when you’re walking? If so, what do you take and why?

I’ll usually squash a well-worn waterproof jacket into my bag if I think the weather might change but apart from that I carry very little. Sometimes I’ll take my phone with me so I can capture photos of buildings or landmarks that I’d like to research later on. If I do take my phone, it’ll be on ‘do not disturb’ so that I can get completely immersed in my walk.  

What tips would you give to anyone thinking about getting into walking?

I’d say go for it. It’ll bring joy into your life and open up a whole new world. Don’t let the English weather stop you either, just get yourself a waterproof jacket and get out there. You’ll find the time will fly by – especially if you visit somewhere new or find out interesting facts along the route of your walk.  If you’re really struggling to find the motivation to get out, I find the promise of a slice of cake at the end of a walk usually helps!

Anything else you’d like to mention? 

Bristol’s harbourside is a great place to visit at any time and there’s so much more to the area than many people realise. With hidden alleyways, ancient burial grounds, amazing graffiti artwork and hidden underground vaults, it’s a fascinating part of the city.

I’ve taken some of my favourite locations and put together a walk in and around the harbourside, which will be featured in this year’s Walk Fest. It’s called The Harbourside’s Hidden History: A Bristol Walking Tour. I hope you enjoy it and find it interesting. 

Oh, and I’ve made sure that there are plenty of places along the route to get that slice of cake you promised yourself!

Happy walking!

Tue 14 May 2024
Last Updated
Sat 11 May 2024