A bit of optimism: a solo walk through Bristol
Aggie takes her camera for a walk around some of the places in Bristol she appreciates most
Since the weather has been so beautiful recently I thought I’d take a solo stroll around Bristol and capture some of my favourite places – whilst maintaining a safe distance from others of course.
Thinking about what makes a space and environment work for myself and others is something I think about regularly. I believe understanding how a city works on an emotional and psychological level for its citizens is paramount for the creation of any great city. As an appreciation to the city I have thought of as home for so many years I took some photos of my favourite spots which bring me joy, peace and contentment.
First up – the views from hilltop houses and parks. This photo was taken from Kingsdown area, but views equally as beautiful can be found from Clifton Village, Brandon Hill park, St. Michaels Hill and the Mound in St. Werburghs – to name but a few. The mismatch in levels as you walk across the city remind us that when we look out into the distance that the countryside is not far away.
A great spot to hang out in summer. Never too busy, this basketball court feels protected by the city as the houses in the distant hills watch over it. Graffiti and coloured bricks form the structure of its surroundings, with a curving slope leading to a hill where you can watch basketball games unfold.
This simple and effective message, printed on red brick building. The ampersand resembles curves of a cloud – undisturbed by other buildings, opening up to the expanse of sky.
Picton Street, Montpelier
This street is home to The Bristolian, and my favourite yoga space, Yogasara. The community feeling is rich here. The sloping street with coloured houses visible in the distance make it a beautiful spot for exploring the cafes and plant shops open for business on this street.
Pictured right are a few of the houses situated on this street, the front doors encompassing this stone ‘wing’- like shape as you enter. It’s incredibly symbolic of the sense of freedom I feel walking down this open road. Any claustrophobia which may be felt in cities isn’t present here, and people welcome you with a sense of peace and community.
I have passed through this square more times than I can remember, during university, with friends, to sit and read on the grass, to exercise. An easiness always presents itself here, along with a sense of security as the bright colours of the buildings offer friendliness and an invitation to sit down on the grass.
Situated at the top of Nine Tree Hill, a short walk away from the busy and vibrant Stokes Croft, is this place where peace is continuously offered. These tall buildings aren’t budging, here to stay. A safety in their knowledge as they watch over the city, for many years to come.
My favourite photo of this series, a lemon tree poking through the window. An old style aerial shapes the shadow on a sunny day. The picture evokes a feeling of being on holiday in a European village. The paint job chipping away – a contentment in the home. Lived in, and happy with that.
The tunnels of St Werburghs
A great walk in Bristol is through the streets of St Werburghs. You can admire houses shaped like mushrooms, alternative ways of living through decked out camper vans, or visit the vibrant pubs and restaurants. My favourite place to be here is in these tunnels.
The old brick style creates a nostalgic feeling which merges with the graffiti. Shadows lead you into another world momentarily, to then emerge out to the sunshine on the other side.
Café Kino, Stokes Croft
These buildings based in Clifton are situated on a hill. Their beautiful and complimentary shades of yellow and blue mirror the sun and the sky on a summer’s day. From this angle they appear as a part of the sky itself, birthing from the clouds. The window borders offer a resemblance to that of wings, as if they create the connection to the sky.
The different levels of the roofs and the chimneys create the images of steps up to the sky. I wonder how much thought the architects and constructors put into this, were the mismatched levels symbolic of steps to heaven? Given the wealth and history of Clifton, there could be some interesting and questionable answers presented here.
It was really lovely for me to shoot this photo series, it gave me the opportunity to remind myself of all the beauty that Bristol has to offer. For me it is important to live in a city where deep thought has gone into its structure and aesthetic. I would highly recommend living in Bristol, the sloping hills, artistic expression and surrounding countryside provide a sense of freedom and calm like no other UK city I have experienced.
What are your favourite sights of Bristol? Let us know on our social media.
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.