About Philippa Gregory
Author Philippa Gregory grew up in Clifton, Bristol. She was a right little troublemaker at school - trying to organise her fellow pupils into an anti-uniform union!
She has fond memories of her time in the city and showed Points West presenter Amanda Parr some of the places she used as inspiration for her well-known book A Respectable Trade.
The 1995 novel adapted by the BBC for television and Philippa's script was nominated for a BAFTA.
Philippa has written many historical novels, drawing on her academic background. Her favourite periods are Tudor times and the 18th Century.
Start at the St Mary Redcliffe Car Park (grid ref ST57) as on the map. From here you can drop down the slope towards the left and see historic red brick buildings and former sand mines that may have once been used as prison cells.
Back up the slope now and head past the car park. Bear left and then left again over the bridge. Head straight over the roundabout and into Queen Square. The second building on your left is featured in A Respectable Trade as Rosario’s dockside residence, number 29 – it’s now the offices of English Heritage.
Pass this red brick building and continue to the end of the square. Cross the road and walk down the alleyway between the Youth Hostel and Jury's hotel.
Cross Pero’s Bridge, named in honour of Pero the slave who was freed by his owner after years working at the house that is now a museum, Georgian House.
Bear right past all the trendy wine bars and Watershed cinema.
You should now find yourself at the bottom of Park Street among the fountains and water features.
Head left on the pavement past the Marriott Royal Hotel. Continue past the Council building up Park Street and roughly halfway up turn left on to Great George Street. Here you'll find the Georgian House mentioned above – a fascinating insight into how the wealthy lived.
Continue to the end of the street and you’ll reach Brandon Hill park. Cabot Tower stands proud above the city at the top of the hill – it was built in 1897 to mark the 400th anniversary of the voyage of discovery to the New World.
Head across this park and you will find yourself on Jacob’s Well Road, cross here onto Constitution Hill. Be prepared for a steep but worthwhile climb. Continue across Clifton Hill and up the footpath into Clifton Road and Victoria Square.
Next, go through the square and under a very picturesque archway residence. This area of Clifton village may be a good opportunity to stop and wet your whistle in any of the numerous pubs and coffee shops.
Cross the zebra crossing and walk down to the end of Princess Victoria Street. Here, turn right and head around the back of the Avon Gorge Hotel and you will see a signpost for the ‘Zig Zag’ down to Hotwells Road. Admire the gradient and length of the hill as you remember that a young - and daring - Phillipa Gregory used to roller skate down here!
Once you’re on Hotwells Road, turn left (and take care as this is a busy road at times). Head towards the end of the road and use the footpath underneath the dual carriageway to make your way to the swing bridge. It’s interesting to note that the bridge (which still works) was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel when he came to Bristol many years later.
Cross this bridge and bear left onto Cumberland Road and take the first turning left into the car park. When at the water's edge you can follow the waterfront all the way back around to Pero’s Bridge, taking in some of the city's landmarks such as the ss Great Britain.
When passing the Industrial Museum you will come to another swing bridge. Bear left over this and turn right into The Grove. Head along here past The Mud Dock and you will find yourself back at the first roundabout. Retrace your steps back to the car park.
Please note: Due to the steep hills involved in this walk, parts of it may not be suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs.