Advice on where to run in Bristol

JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
I'm usually a Downs runner but am going to have to change my route - sounds daft, having never ventured over the Bridge before, but are Leigh Woods/Ashton Court ok for running (thinking also in terms of safety i.e. lots of runners/people about)? Is one better than the other? Are there any opening restrictions? Is it easy to go off road? I suppose (if I'm feeling energetic) I could make it up to Blaise. Any feedback on that? Any assistance gratefully received!



  • I used to run down to underneath the suspension bridge and run along the road there next to the river. Can't remember there being many runners or anyone else for that matter. Cracking hill to get back upto the downs sort of area.
    That was a few years ago though, so could be like the Bronx now. ;-)
  • Hi Jools

    There are more runners at Ashton Court rather than Leigh Woods - both are great for running but I feel safer at Ashton Court. I dont think there are any restrictions, its easy to go off road - loads of options.

    Also around the docks is safe, busy and flat.

    Never run around Blaise, sorry.

  • I love running in Blaise, though it was better before they tarmacced all the paths. There is a nice mix of flats, hills and grass, and you can always end up on the golf course. It's also good for hill sessions as there is a fantastic range of gradients and surfaces and steps etc.

    Only issue is if you don't like dogs.

    Ashton Court is fine but be careful of stray golf balls.

    Have you tried going out to Almondsbury, Pilning etc and running around the country lanes? I love doing that for variety. You do need to drive out there though.

    Where else? City centre is ok - out along the river and round but it does get a bit dull - always easy for a lunchtime run though.

    I woulnd't venture on the Towpath by the Portway, as it can be a bit dodgy. Certainly don't think of doing it on your own.

    I'll keep thining.

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the tips - before reading them I went to Leigh Woods and the Towpath (alone...). Ooops! Given me some great suggestions, although I don't drive, so will have to skip the country lanes. Makes it a bit too much of a workout if I cycle out there, run and then cycle back!
  • As long as you're back in one piece!!!!
  • Jools
    there is a runner called K2 who posts on many threads and can be found on the Over 60's thread who lives in the Bristol area, her runs always sounds so very scenic.
  • And here she is!
    I run round Blaise a lot (live nearby) and from there you can also run around the grounds of Kingsweston House, where you get great vies over towards Wales (and Avonmouth docks).

    Downs - Portway - Sylvan Way - Shirehampton golf course - Kingsweston - Blaise - Coombe Dingle - Stoke Bishop - Downs.

    What sort of pace and distances do you do?

    I like running round the lanes, too.
  • Dammit. I've just found out there's a place called Redland in Orkney. That will waste a lot of time later.

    back soon.

    8.8 miles. The .75 mile after mile 5 is a bit quiet but other than that the main problem is dogs and usually they're fine.
  • Don't forget to hook up with one of the clubs in Bristol like Westbury Harriers or Great Western Runners (who both run around that part of Bristol). Both very friendly clubs (although I have a preference for my own club Westbury HArriers of course!!)
  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    IIN - did send Westbury an email but not heard back yet. Guess is the time of summer hols, etc.
  • Hmm...sorry about that - don't know why you wouldn't have had a reply (except we're all volunteers of course!).

    Just come along on a Monday or Thursday to Blaise - or ask me what you want to know!
  • There's a group goes from Sweatshop, Next Generation Health Club, Westbury on Trym on Mondays at 6.30. Mixed ability but someone will stay with the person at the back so they don't get lost.

    You're welcome to join us if you want company.

    (I'm not trying to hijack memebers from WH or GWR).

    Off to Sundayshill - on registration. Say hello if you're there.
  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    IIN - just interested to know what sort of speedwork sessions are done, what sort of standards the training groups are and stuff. Training for Cardiff mara at the moment, so want to make sure it all tallies in with that. Plus never done this running club lark before, so don't really know what to expect!

    K2 - thanks, will bear the offer in mind after checking out WH.
  • I keep meaning to go along to WH too but am really worried that they'll be way too fast or I'll be too unfit!

    K2 - how many of you go from Next Gen on a monday night? I know they go on a Tuesday....
  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭
    Am reading this thread with interest. I've just come back to running and current v. fat, unfit (and paranoid?) so interested in places to run to make a change from the downs and also clubs.
  • Rats! Just lost my message. Start again.

    The Sweatshop group has only just started and has been fairly low-key. 4 of us last week, two speedy ones who stayed with me and other.

    I have struggled at the back myself so am determined that there will always be someone keeping the slowest person company (for safety reasons as well). Similarly, I'd rather the front-runners doubled back than they stood around waiting for the others to catch up.

  • Certainly I'm not in competition with K2 and the Next Gen running group and I'd strongly encourage runners trying out a few clubs because it can be quite an individual thing.

    Westbury Harriers are friendly (as I'm sure are the other clubs) and there are a number of groups catering for different experience/speed (and a reasonable mix of speeds within each group). In the summer we meet at the Blaise estate and there are always at least 3 groups going out. There's a slower one who I think tend to do some kind of effort on Mondays maybe some hills or speedwork but this shouldn't put anyone off - it's a big group with a wide range of ability and very well run. Then there's a couple of faster groups at least one of which will use Monday for a steady run of, say, 7 miles around Blaise and nearby golf courses. Thursday's have fewer who turn up but there will be a steady run for the "slower" group of about 5 miles I think, and some kind of effort session for the faster group.

    Try out WH - always a friendly face around (let me know if you're planning to come along I'm usually there and can introduce you to the right people); try out K2's group; try out Great Western Runners; maybe try out Sole Sisters (I don't know a lot about them though). But I'd really really encourage joining a club whatever standard you are.
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