Bristol, England

Clifton Downs, Observatory, Suspension Bridge

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Any runner in Bristol must run Clifton Downs at some point. The Downs is Bristol’s largest park, with expansive green fields offering panoramic of the Avon Valley. Note, it’s hilly!  For a great ~6 mile run, do the Downs, the Observatory, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Creative Commons: Gothick

The Downs is criss-crossed by a series of paths. Running the perimeter loop roads is a 5k. There’s also a measured 5k. There are great views from the Sea Walls at the western end off Circular Rd. To make this a 5-miler, we suggest crossing Bridge Valley Rd. at the southern end of the Downs and continuing on the paths to the Clifton Observatory. For an optional extra 1 mile out and back, run across the historic Clifton Suspension Bridge, a historic Victorian-era bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. which is most easily accessed from the Clifton side. It’s very high, offering great but vertigo-inducing views of the gorge below. There’s a dedicated pedestrian sidewalk, though it’s narrow.

Add-Ons: Once across the Clifton Bridge, can add with our other routes:  River Avon Path, Ashton Court, or trails in Leigh Woods.

Essentials
  • Various options: A loop of the Downs is ~3.1 miles (5k), adding the Observatory makes is ~5 miles, adding the Bridge makes it ~6 miles
  • Hilly! Downs & Observatory loop is 451 feet (137m)
  • Circular Rd. & Ladies Mile
  • Many access points. Car Park at the Sea Walls

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Essentials
  • Various options: A loop of the Downs is ~3.1 miles (5k), adding the Observatory makes is ~5 miles, adding the Bridge makes it ~6 miles
  • Hilly! Downs & Observatory loop is 451 feet (137m)
  • Circular Rd. & Ladies Mile
  • Many access points. Car Park at the Sea Walls