Congress Walking Tours – Bristol

1. Harbourside Redevelopment
For a long time Canons marsh was a derelict area of docks in the heart of the city following the decline of commercial shipping. The whole of the 16 acre site has now been redeveloped to provide commerce housing and leisure. The masterplan was ten years in the making and a further ten years in the delivery. The final phases of construction are just now being completed. This tour will give an opportunity to assess the project and its contribution to the regeneration of the city docks.

2. Brunel Mile
Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the most inspirational engineers of the nineteenth century. Bristol is home to some of his finest work including the original Great Western Railway terminus at Temple Meads and Clifton Suspension Bridge. The Brunel Mile is an enjoyable walk between Brunel’s ss Great Britain, his pioneering steam ship and Temple Meads Station. The route runs along the southern edge of the city centre passing through the Harbourside development and the majestic Queen Square and past St Mary Redcliffe Church. Participants will also hear about the Redcliffe Way Neighbourhood Planning project and major investment planned at Temple Meads which sits at the heart of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

3. The Old City
Join us on a walk through the heart of historic Bristol. See the transformation of Queen’s Square and the historic docksides. We will wander through the Glass Arcade of St Nicholas’ Market, fascinating alley-ways, see an Art Nouveau oddity and a medieval city gate. We will visit the neo Gothic Guildhall to see the first stages of its conversion to a quality hotel. This ‘walk and talk’ will be of interest to anyone who loves exploring historic places and the debates about conservation, re-use and placemaking.

4. Broadmead/Cabot Circus
This tour concentrates on Cabot Circus, a complex retail led mixed-use regeneration scheme in central Bristol completed in 2007. It examines how and if new large scale retail areas can be integrated into a City, including a multi-storey car park, social housing, ‘shopping centre’ and historic buildings as well as a number of major public spaces. The route will enable this scheme to be compared with the 1950’s response to a retail led regeneration scheme in Broadmead and also part of the old City. The walk will be of interest particularly to urban designers, architects, planners and landscape designers as well as those who like to window shop!

5. Spike Island to Underfall Yard
The island created between the (non-tidal) Floating Harbour and the (tidal) New Cut. Much of the redevelopment along this interesting strip of land exemplifies Bristol’s docks-centred regeneration over the last 30 years. We will visit Europe’s largest Artists’ studios and on the way see converted warehouses, spectacular modern architecture and some unusual city centre developments. The tour ends up at Underfall Yard, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which is being regenerated with the re-introduction of traditional boat-building activities. After the brisk walk we will recap the journey back to Watershed on a Bristol Ferry boat, now owned by a community interest company.

6. Nelson Street, St James, Barton, Stokes Croft
Join us to take a walk on the ‘wild side’, where conscientious anarchy, creative flair and human endurement have left an imprint on our urban environment. However, the grit, broken glass and smell of spray paint slowly makes way for the inevitable…Meet the people that have helped make it happen, some of whom were once enables within the council structure.


Congress Programme