There are a number of walks taking place during the Festival of the Future City exploring different aspects of Bristol.


Miles Tewson Book of Walks cover image

The walks will take place come rain or come shine so if you’ve booked a place please come prepared for the weather and wear appropriate shoes.

Putting Down Roots
Wed 16 October 2019, 11.00-12.30
Starts at Watershed/ £8.00/£6.00

Running parallel to the ruined nave of St Peter’s church in Castle Park lies The Physic Garden, cared for by Putting Down Roots. Putting Down Roots is an innovative gardening project, run by homeless charity St Mungo’s, which provides vocational horticulture training for people experiencing homelessness in Bristol, supporting their recovery by improving wellbeing and developing vital skills for employment. Take a tour of the garden with Garden Trainer, Rubyjo, and student and volunteer, Jordan, and meet the green-fingered team as they put their skills training in action. Proceeds from this walk will be donated to St Mungo’s.

Further details and booking link

Bringing the Medieval City Back to Life
Wed 16 October 2019, 14.00-15.30
Starts at Watershed/ £8.00/£6.00

At the end of one of Bristol’s oldest streets, Tailors Court, lies the unnoticed medieval churchyard of St John on the Wall. With ancient tombs and cherry trees, this neglected, disregarded green pocket within our urban city landscape is underused and locked to the local community. We’ll explore the most effective ways to bring energy and life into a community’s public space, generating ideas, solutions and practical actions that can address the key challenges.

Further details and booking link

Unbuilt Bristol with Eugene Byrne
Thu 17 October 2019, 11.00-12.30
Starts at Watershed / £8.00/£6.00

Local historian, author and journalist Eugene Byrne takes you on a walking tour of things that aren’t there: building schemes and monuments that never happened, from the commercially hard-headed to the absurdly idealistic, from the practical to the brutally inappropriate to the just plain ridiculous. The visions outlined in this tour form the story of a city that would have been better in some ways, worse in others, but certainly very different.

Further details and booking link 

Old Market with Edson Burton
Fri 18 October 2019, 10.30-12.45
Starts at The Stag & Hounds / £8.00 / £6.00

From industrialisation to industrial decline, from music hall to television, from cinema’s hey-day to sleazy continental screenings, from Conservative club to Communist party, from overwhelmingly white to multicultural, from church mission to secularisation, from thriving centre to neglected corner, Old Market is a barometer of Bristol and British history. Edson Burton charts the fascinating journey with a range of anecdotes drawn from interviews with past and present residents.

Further details and booking link

Bristol’s Urban Myths with Eugene Byrne
Fri 18 October 2019, 11.00-12.30
Starts at Watershed / £8.00/£6.00

What happened when a medieval merchant’s wife got hold of the elixir of life? (Hint: It didn’t end well.) Where did our own local Spring-Heeled Jack attack? Which office block was HQ for a royal assassination? For more than 30 years Eugene Byrne has been filing away historical yarns, plus the tall tales he’s heard in the pub or newsroom. Now he invites you to leave your scepticism at home for a tour of some of Bristol’s least believable stories.

Further details and booking link

Homes for Heroes 100: Ashton Rise Tour
18 October 2019, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Starts at Ashton Rise / 
£8.00 / £6.00

Ashton Rise is a new housing development in Ashton Vale, South Bristol. The proceeds from the private sales will be reinvested to support funding the construction of the 53 new council homes on the site. The development features innovative methods of construction. On this visit and tour you’ll be able to discuss with Willmott Dixon how they are working to meet the housing challenges we face. Proceeds from this tour will be donated to charities in the city working to ensure that every person has a warm place to call home.

Further details and booking link

Illustration by Miles Tewson

Homes for Heroes 100: Book of Walks/

Copies of the new publication Homes for Heroes 100: Book of Walks will be given away free during the Festival of the Future at Watershed. It features routes around three of Bristol’s main inter-war council estates – Hillfields, Sea Mills and Knowle West – as well as a walk looking at over 200 years of housing in St Pauls. The introduction provides an overview of the history of Bristol council housing since the passing of the Addison Act in 1919.  We are grateful for the support of Bristol City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Homes for Heroes 100 programme.

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