Bristol: Return to a Place of Remembered Beauty

Posted by in Culture, Travel

As mentioned in my previous Bristol blog, the trip on May 23rd 2018 travelled Clifton to Bishopston, however for poetic licence I’m going to present it as was in the late eighties to mid nineties when this was a familiar route on my visits and where I ‘discovered’ Redland. Ideally a blog of this nature would deserve further field visits and photography at differing times of day or year. At the time of writing this is simply not feasible. 

FROM BUSY TO TRANQUIL

Other than Alison Black and Emy Lou Holmes imagery, another stood out at Temple Meads and that belonged to Nick Gerolemou’s ‘A Tranquil Place’ which perfectly mirrored my thoughts on Redland so much so that this blog could have sailed under that title but in the end I stuck with the one borrowed from John Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans II. If memory serves I wasn’t too enamoured with the track but the title struck a chord.

TO CLIFTON VIA REDLAND ON FOOT

What’s so special about Redland? I often speak about the esoteric nature of finding one’s place in a city whether it’s Earls Court in London, Horta in Barcelona or the OCT in Shenzhen and in Bristol it is most definitely Redland, nestled between Bishopston and Clifton; a neat and shady place with a railway – the Severn Beach line – running through it.

After a small roundabout, Zetland Road becomes South Road and the first stop at the end is Redland Station itself. I can’t recall which year I first saw it, though I do remember it was covered in colourful graffiti, more of a mural really, and despite being slap bang in the middle of Victorian era England worked rather well. On subsequent visits the station has appeared more or less as it is now.

Beyond the station lies Lovers Walk, Redland Grove and Cotham Gardens. This area is particularly arresting at dusk, in autumn or at the risk of sounding gloomy when it’s overcast. Take some moments to enjoy the area. The gardens are now pretty much a kids playground.

Across the Grove are two options to continue following the line toward Clifton. On my initial walk I took a right. A mistake I didn’t make again, instead favouring the much more direct route to the left down Meridian Road.

Meridian morphs into Waverley Road whereby the train line becomes obscured by a row of houses. At the end of Waverley you meet the busier Hampton Road, cross it and walk up Warwick Road which curves to connect with Abbortsford Road.

Turn right and follow it until you enter Cotham Hill (now you’re into Clifton) with its charity shops then head right again toward the post office which to my surprise, much like Plastic Wax records across from Zetland Road, is still there after many years – brilliant! After about 5 minutes you’ll arrive at the junction with Whiteladies Road. The Clifton Downs shopping centre and station should be opposite.

*you can see the Redland Bakery (actually adjacent to the post office in Clifton) and the Clifton Downs station shots in my last Bristol blog.

PLAYLIST AND CREDITS

Thanks for reading here. Should anyone be interested in my work; principally writing, photography, and teaching, please contact me for a FREE Overview PDF. Meanwhile, stay tuned with Kulture Kiosk via The Atlas or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where you can see some of my photos from around the world. Playlist and credits follow…

PLAYLIST
Revolving Birdsong – John Foxx
Captured Through a Quiet Window – Steve Jansen
She Will Destroy You – Harold Budd/Cocteau Twins
Sunday After the War – Clive Wright/Harold Budd