Bristol will be alive with the pitter-patter of tiny (and not so tiny) feet this May, as the annual Bristol Walk Fest returns to the city.
Featuring a varied programme of over 170 walks in and around Bristol, the month of May will be dedicated to encouraging everyone to get out and about. Whatever the weather, come rain or shine, there is bound to be the perfect walk for you.
To tie in with the Year of Learning in Bristol in 2016, there will be all sorts of local walks, including a ‘Dawn Chorus’ walk, a ‘Bristol in Books’ walk, and a ‘Creative Adventure’ walk.
Some walks will require booking in advance. Make sure you tackle the typically unpredictable British weather by kitting yourself out in the latest shower-proof fashions (we love the range at Movement Boutique), pull on some robust walking boots, and get out there and enjoy the fresh air. Breathe deeply, fill your lungs and revitalise your senses.
Thursday 28 April:
Compass Walk – Join in with this relay walk, linking the city with the suburbs.
Sunday 1 May:
International Dawn Chorus Day Walk – For the early risers, this walk kicks off at 5am with an early morning stroll with the Avon Wildlife Trust, among the beautiful bluebells and test your bird spotting knowledge.
Bristol Dogs & Cats Home Mutt Strutt – Grab your four-legged friend and take on the 3 mile challenge.
Try Nordic Walking – A taster session of this popular cardio sport, this will get your heart racing and calories burned. Meet at The Downs.
Bristol Stories Walk – Pointing to various Bristol landmarks, there will be the chance to learn more about Bristol’s colourful past, with anecdotes and stories galore.
Tuesday 3 May:
The Floating Harbour and the New Cut – A gentle stroll along the Floating Harbour enabling you to learn about the rich cultural and marine heritage. Meet at M Shed.
Natural Dye Plant Identification – In collaboration with Bristol Food Connections, you’ll develop a holistic understanding of wild plants. Meet at Eastville Park.
Wednesday 4 May:
Memory Lane – An opportunity for local people in the St George’s area to come together to discuss stories and shared memories from their neighbourhood. A great and sociable experience.
Thursday 5 May:
The Norman City Walls – Follow the route of Bristol’s Norman walls through the heart of the old city. The only remaining gateway into the old city, stands today where St John the Baptist church is located (just off Nelson Street). Learn the history of what was Britain’s second busiest port.
Friday 6 May:
Harbourside Netwalk for Women in Business – Offering women to make new contacts in an informal setting along the Harbourside. Starts at Bordeaux Quay.
Ashton Court Mansion & Gardens – Take a walk to Ashton Court via the flyover. 850 acres of meadow and woodland await you.
Saturday 7 May:
Wye Valley Loop – A walk that will take in Tintern Abbey, Offa’s Dyke and Chepstow Castle.
Around the World in 80 Minutes – University of Bristol Botanic Gardens offers you the chance to learn all about the therapeutic qualities of plants from all around the world.
Bedminster Street Art Walk – Celebrating Bristol’s diverse graffiti culture and street art, this walk will take in the sights of local graffiti art and murals. Lead by guide and expert on the subject, John Nation (in conjunction with UpFest).
Sunday 8 May:
A Cotswolds Ramble – An undulating walk along the edge of the Cotswolds (strong and waterproof footwear advised!) Meet at St Mary Redcliffe car park.
My Wild City: Hotwells Urban Wildlife Walk – Spot kingfishers, house martins, swifts and grey wagtails (and more) on this city centre wildlife walk. Meet at The Pump House.
Underfall Yard History & Engineering Tour – Discover the fascinating history of Underfall Yard. Meet at 10am at Underfall Yard.
Monday 9 May:
Early Years Storywalk – Join in on this fun, family-friendly walk along the Malago Greenway. Meet at 2pm at Bishopsworth.
Tuesday 10 May:
A Stroll Around the Promenade and Plaza – A walk around Hengrove Plaza for those who are recovering from injury.
Wednesday 11 May:
Windmill Hill – A brisk stroll to Victoria Park with a history lesson about the expansion of the city to the south.
Thursday 12 May:
Multi-Faith Trail – Discover a multitude of East Bristol’s places of worship in this guided tour. Start at the Hindu Temple.
Bristol Through Maps – Covering the history of Bristol from 1480 to the present day, highlighting what each map tells us about each region of Bristol.
Friday 13 May:
Avon Riverside Mindful Stroll – Fully accessible stroll along the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Themes of mindfulness will discussed and implemented throughout the walk.
After Dark Arnos Vale – Explore the darker sides of Arnos Vale cemetery, with this atmospheric exploration of tragic tales, folk customs and funeral etiquette of Victorian society.
Saturday 14 May:
6 Bridges Walk – A family-friendly walk, exploring 6 of Bristol’s bridges. There will be the chance to spot landmarks along the way.
Sunday 15 May:
To Paradise and Back – A beautiful, circular walk around the bluebells blankets through Leigh Woods. Start at Bristol Observatory.
A History of the Tobacco Factory in Bristol – An urban walk charting the history of the Tobacco Factory trade in Bristol from 1786 to the present day. Taking in Redcliff Street, East Street and North Street.
Monday 16 May:
A Mindful Excursion in Blaise Park – Incorporating mindfulness exercises including Tai Chi, this peaceful walk will encourage mindfulness and living in the moment.
Tuesday 17 May:
A Step Back in Time – A walk around the historical Whitchurch Airport. Suited to over 50s. Meet at 2pm at Hengrove Park Leisure Centre Cafe.
Wednesday 18 May:
Nordic Walk for People with Cancer – Learn the basics of Nordic Walking with Vicky Walsh, a qualified instructor.
Brandon Hill Explorers – A sociable walking group for the LGBT community, taking in the sights of Brandon Hill Park and Tower.
Thursday 19 May:
Abbotts Pool – A circular walk starting at Brunel’s Bridge before heading to Abbotts Leigh and Woods. Starts at 6.30pm.
Saturday 21 May:
A Tour of the Old City – Starting at the M Shed, this historical guided walk will take you back in time.
Sunday 22 May:
Discover East Bristol – From Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve to St George and Brislington, this circular walk will be a must for wildlife fanatics.
Monday 23 May:
Walled City Walk – A walk following the line of Bristol’s Saxon wall. Start at Centrespace.
Tuesday 24 May:
Bristol’s Island of Alternative Living – St Pauls, Montpelier and Stokes Croft are all explored in this 2 mile walk.
Wednesday 25 May:
Brandon Hill Tree Trail – Join the experts for a walk, learning more about some of 500 species of trees in the area.
Thursday 26 May:
Round Wrington – a circular walk through Wrington Hill, Iwood Manor and then back to Wrington.
Friday 27 May:
Explore the Tramway – Explore the 19th century tramway linking the gorge to The Downs.
Saturday 28 May:
Creative Adventure Walk – A creative and fun walk, before you board the Conham Ferry after a tea break at Beese’s. Explore Eastwood Farm for creative activities.
Sunday 29 May:
Bugs & Butterflies Walk – Led by Tony Smith of Bristol Naturalists’ Society, and Tony West, learn to collect and identify invertebrates.
Tuesday 31 May:
Leigh Woods – an evening stroll, taking in the beautiful sunset and views of Clifton Gorge.
For more information on Bristol Walking Festival: www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk