and Durdham Downs stretch from the spectacular cliffs of the
Avon Gorge to the edge of the city's houses.
Downs were originally owned by the Society of Merchant Venturers,
but were given to the public and protected by an Act of Parliament
The adjacent Durdham Down was purchased from the Lords of
the Manor of Henbury.
land was used for sheep-grazing and lead-mining but was also
blighted by highwaymen and robbers, so much so that gallows
were erected for a time on Gallows Acre Lane.
Downs are home to a thriving football league
then, the Downs have had a great history of sport, from horse-racing
to wrestling - and the tradition carries on today, with cricket
and football leagues enthusiastically attended.
Check out our Downs
League football site, home
to one of the largest amateur football leagues to play in
the same area in the country, to find out more.
One of the jewels in the Downs' crown must be the view across
the gorge to the Clifton
spectacular combination of nature's splendour and engineering
achievement, the bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel
and spans more than 240ft across the Avon Gorge.
he only got so far as putting up the end piers in his lifetime.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge was completed in his honour
by his engineering friends in 1864.
walk across the bridge is rewarded with fantastic views of
the city,and is especially magical at night when the bridge
is lit by 30,000 light bulbs.
never saw his suspended bridge completed
gorge is formed by the River Avon, a tributary of the River
Severn, which has the second highest tidal range in the world.
It is also a unique area of wildlife, where conditions
are so unusual that plants which died out in the rest of the
country up to 10,000 years ago have survived here.
Project hosts numerous activities throughout the year. For
further information call 0117 903 0609.
Where it is
The Downs are just a few minutes by car or bus from the
city centre. Just head on up Park Street, continue up Queen's
Road and Whiteladies Road and there you will find them, at
the top of Blackboy Hill in Clifton.
There is always plenty going on on the Downs.
If you want somewhere the kids can run wild on miles of grassland
this is it. It's also a great place for kite-flying.
Bristol Zoo is also sited close to the Downs, and if you are
taking a stroll across the Suspension Bridge you'll find Ashton
Court estate five minutes' walk away on the other side.
The University's Botanic gardens are also just across the
bridge and are open to the public several times a year.
There are also regular shows and events on the Downs, particularly
during school holidays, along with the annual flower show