Last updated: May 2020
There’s nothing really particularly special about this circuit, which covers the areas just to the north of Redland, but it used to be a fairly regular walk of mine when I lived in the area. This circuit offers another selection of pleasant residential leafiness, touching in the process on areas that might more properly be described as “outlying” than “inner” suburbs. Should you choose to attempt this largely residential walk, however, you will have the opportunity to see Bristol’s Victorian prison, and will get to see Redland Green, which we touched on in Walk Fourteen ‘Cotham and Redland’, in more detail. Aside from that, you will get a feel for a bit more of north Bristol’s Victorian development and the beginnings of the city’s subsequent between-the-wars expansion.
Terrain: Largely flat, with two significant climbs.
Key Attractions: Gloucester Road shops, Horfield Common (via optional extension), Redland Green.
Refreshments: Gloucester Road and Zetland Road offer a variety of food and drink options at the start and finish of the walk. There is a café at Horfield Common. Various food stores within reach of the walking route.
Starting point: Zetland Road Junction
Getting there: Five minutes’ walk from Redland and Montpelier Stations, with trains at least hourly from Temple Meads Station and suburban stations on the Severn Beach Line. Thirty minutes’ walk from Centre Promenade and forty minutes’ walk from Temple Meads Station. Accessible by bus routes running via Gloucester Road and also route No.9 running to Redland Station. On-street car parking available in surrounding streets, subject to residents’ parking restrictions on weekdays.
Approx. Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Approx. Distance: 3.5 miles
Like Walk Thirteen ‘St. Andrew’s and Ashley Down’, our route begins on Gloucester Road at the busy Zetland Road junction. This time, however, we are headed right away for quieter residential areas.
Gloucester Road is the main place to obtain refreshments for this walk. A thriving local high street, it offers a range of food stores and cafés along with other shops.
Take Elton Road, the road that forks off Gloucester Road just to the right of Zetland Road itself.
On Elton Road, trees line your way as you are surrounded by the Victorian houses of lower Bishopston. You will pass a small back road on the right, Elton Lane, which is now home to a number of new mews-style houses, before shortly arriving at the junction with Purton Road.
Take the footpath which runs diagonally to the right from the junction.
The broad, stone-paved Tyne Path will take you uphill until you emerge at the junction of two pleasant leafy streets lined with further Victorian houses (1).
Continue straight on into Tyne Road.
Despite the intrusion of some unexciting post-war houses on the left, the tree-lined Tyne Road retains the feel of a residential street that has matured nicely. Running dead straight for some distance parallel to Gloucester Road, Tyne Road offers glimpses down to the shops of Gloucester Road and St Andrew’s beyond as you pass various streets heading off to the right.
At a crossroads, Tyne Road becomes Broadway Road and begins to climb uphill. More Victorian houses and mature trees predominate as you pass further pleasant-looking side streets. This part of Bishopston has the feel of a slightly less upscale version of Redland (see Walk Fourteen ‘Cotham and Redland’), but things are about to change.
At the top of the hill, Broadway Road emerges on the architecturally diverse Berkeley Road, which is lined with lime and horse chestnut trees, at a crossroads.
Continue straight on into Wentworth Road.
Wentworth Road is more typical Bishopston territory: smaller, gable-fronted semi-detached houses line the road to the left opposite the boundary walls to large garden plots.
You will emerge on Egerton Road (2), another quiet street with gabled houses, again lined with lime trees. To the left, the tree-lined street frames a view of St. Bonaventure’s Roman Catholic Church.
A small footpath, Egerton Lane, can be seen opposite the junction with Wentworth Road.
Take this quirky by-way to reach Monk Road.
Monk Road is quiet Edwardian territory, well away from the hustle and bustle of Gloucester Road. Street trees continue to predominate. Glance down the first turning on the right, Melbourne Road, for a clear view of the controversial floodlights of the County Cricket Ground, looking like something out of a science-fiction novel.
Continue straight on along Monk Road, past further side turnings, until you a crossroads. Turn right into Bishop Road.
Bishop Road is the local through route. You will soon find yourself passing Bishop Road Primary School, with an attractive mix of period and modern buildings.
Bear left at the school onto Cambridge Road, heading towards the imposing boundary wall of HMP Bristol, and turn left again into Clevedon Road.
A Victorian jail, known locally as Horfield Prison, HMP Bristol has been expanded many times within its high-walled enclosure. As you walk down residential Clevedon Road, try to imagine what it must be like to live here with the red brick prison wall looming opposite.
Continue along the road until you reach the far end of the prison complex (3). You will find yourself at the end of a residential cul-de-sac with allotments opposite. Turn right onto the broad footpath which separates the next stretch of prison wall from the greenery of the adjoining allotments.
In due course you will emerge on Longmead Avenue, a long residential street which marks the edge of the residential area of Horfield. Here, the housing has a plainer, more between-the-wars feel than the housing you have passed until now. It is very typical of residential development in this area.
Turn left and follow Longmead Avenue.
Horfield Common route extension
An optional extension to the route allows you to include a section of Horfield Common, the major local green space, in your walk, and provides an additional opportunity for refreshments.
At the bend in Longmead Avenue, turn right into Maple Road. Shortly after the turning for Radnor Road on the right, look out for a lane on the left between Nos. 115 and 113 Maple Road.
Take the lane to arrive at the bottom corner of Horfield Common next to some garages. Bear right and follow the roadway across the green space.
The sports pavilion on the right is the Ardagh, an important local landmark. It is also home to the Café on the Common, where you can pause for refreshments if you wish.
When you reach the main road, Kellaway Avenue, turn left past the supermarket. After passing the supermarket, turn right into Lansdown Terrace. At the end of the terrace bear left and then branch off onto a footpath opposite to reach the modern housing of The Furlong. Turn left into the dead-end section of The Furlong and go straight on via another footpath to rejoin the main walk at Brookland Road (4).
If following the main route, continue straight on along Longmead Avenue until you reach the main road, Kellaway Avenue. Turn left.
Kellaway Avenue is a broad road built between the wars to link the Edwardian residential area of Westbury Park with the Gloucester Road northbound at Horfield Common.
After a short distance along Kellaway Avenue turn right into Brookland Road.
In Brookland Road, late 20th Century infill housing borders a respectable enclave of between-the-wars properties. The Horfield Common route extension rejoins the main route via a footpath on the right (4).
Follow a zig-zag route to reach our next point of interest: left onto Stadium Road, right onto Twickenam Road and left onto Wimbledon Road to eventually reach the end of Phoenix Grove. Turn right onto a footpath (5).
This pleasant footpath crosses the playing fields of Golden Hill Sports Ground alongside a natural hedgerow. These playing fields are one of the remaining fragments of a larger green area, which has been sold piecemeal for development over the years.
You will arrive in an interesting backwater amongst a few older properties on the edge of Henleaze. As you continue straight on into a quiet cul-de-sac, Henleaze Park, look out for Claremont Special School, which occupies a fine Victorian manor house to the left. The street continues past suburban bungalows and the grounds of Henleaze Infant and Junior Schools.
At a crossroads, turn left onto Park Grove, so that you continue to pass the school grounds.
Park Grove is a broader road with more substantial, pleasant between-the-wars semi-detached houses that are typical of this part of Henleaze.
Continue straight across the crossroads with Springfield Grove (6).
Park Grove shortly becomes Howard Road as the semi-detached houses are replaced by pleasant stone-fronted terraces. Make your way along the narrow, gently winding street. You are now entering the pleasant Edwardian suburb of Westbury Park.
After a while, Howard Road widens out as Upper Cranbrook Road joins it from the left. You will soon emerge at a busy junction with a supermarket visible in the middle distance to the right (7).
Cross the main road, Linden Road, when it’s safe to do so, and take the residential road roughly opposite Howard Road, St. Alban’s Road.
A civilised street with a distinctive Westbury Park feel thanks to its square bay windows and prominent front gables and dormers, St. Alban’s Road curves gradually round to the left as it climbs gently uphill.
The street becomes leafier and the houses older as you approach a crossroads, where St Alban’s Road terminates at Coldharbour Road, an eclectic local shopping street that marks the boundary with Redland. The two three-storey buildings opposite the junction, which frame Harcourt Road, are particularly confident examples of Edwardian high street architecture.
Turn right briefly and then, crossing the road, take the left fork onto Greendale Road.
Greendale Road is a spacious street containing an odd mix of properties, among which mock timber frame cladding appears to be a particular theme. At the far end of Greendale Road you will reach the edge of a tree-lined, open valley. This is the northern part of Redland Green, meaning that you are ready to begin the last leg of this walk back towards Gloucester Road.
Go through the park gates (8) and make your way down the steps or the cycleway so that you reach the footpath at the bottom of the valley, then make your way to the left.
The path through the informal park will lead you down into a pleasant wooded dell past some fragments of old stone wall. Note the allotments to the left. You will then begin to climb again and will soon emerge from the dell next to a popular and well-appointed children’s playground.
Continue straight on past the playground.
The path will lead you between the local bowling green and some well-designed modern flats until you emerge on Redland Green Road (9). If you are doing this walk in the early spring, keep an eye out for a pleasant display of crocuses in this area.
Follow Redland Green Road, which merges into Redland Court Road as you begin to descend the hill.
A fairly broad and open road, Redland Court Road offers some interesting long-distance views over inner-city Bristol towards Easton and Barton Hill. Note also the high retaining walls to the right, which mark the rear boundary to elevated properties on Woodstock Road.
At the junction with Kersteman Road, which descends steeply to the left, don’t miss the good views to be had back down towards lower Bishopston. The church visible at the bottom of the hill is the former Trinity United Reformed Church, now converted into flats.
Continue along Redland Court Road.
You will find yourself descending steeply past the grand Redland Court (10), formerly Redland High School, which will be familiar if you have already done Walk Fourteen ‘Cotham and Redland’.
You will emerge on Redland Road opposite a green, tree-lined area. Turn left onto Redland Road.
On Redland Road you will descend through a broad avenue lined with London plane trees. Note the substantial Victorian villas and ornate, cast iron street lamps.
At the mini-roundabout, turn left into Zetland Road.
After a slightly drab, car-dominated start, Zetland Road takes on a retail character, offering a mixture of shops and restaurants.
Zetland Road offers food options, including the Casa Mexicana, a popular Mexican restaurant which has been in business on this site for years.
Continue along Zetland Road until you reach the traffic lights at the bottom to return to Gloucester Road and complete Walk Fifteen.
In the last of our visits to the inner suburbs, Walk Sixteen ‘Northern Clifton and the Downs’ will introduce us you the characterful hidden by-ways of the northern parts of Clifton and Redland, before taking a tour of the Downs, inner Bristol’s largest area of public open space, with its panoramic views of the Avon Gorge.