The solstice has passed us by and the sunshine of summer has already faded to a distant memory. But far from being the time to bundle up indoors, autumn is one of the best times to get outside.
Our stores are hubs for our community of sea-going adventure seekers, so who better to ask to find out the best outdoor experiences and micro-adventures in and around Bristol? We sat down with Bristol Store Manager Laina, for her local autumn adventure advice.
What does the coming of autumn mean to you and your community?
Wrapping up on a crisp morning for harbour-side walks down by the old docks. You can feel the change in the air; the weather is shifting, the days get shorter, and we are so lucky to live in a city that’s on the water. There’s cold water swimming community getting in all year round down in Clevedon, and it’s a favourite spot to enjoy the water at this time of year.
Where is a good place to find peace and reconnect to nature?
Just a little way out of the city, Clevedon Marine Lake is great for cold-water swimming without having to venture into the challenging waters of the Bristol channel. There are also loads of SUP opportunities too where you can peacefully drift on the water. You can hire boards in the Bristol Harbour from Tim and Kate at Bristol SUP or if you have your own, a float down the Bath Canal is really peaceful.
What is the best place for surfing nearest your store?
We’re lucky in a sense because we can go across to Wales or down to North Devon, so there’s plenty to choose from; it’s just that you’ll have to commit to a couple of hours of driving. Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands are all really close to each other, and offer a good variety of breaks for a weekend away. It’s probably worth mentioning that The Wave has opened in Bristol now, so we can actually enjoy great waves all year round, just half an hour from our store!
Autumn Kit Favourites
Where is the best place to discover wildlife in Bristol?
Leigh Woods and Ashton Court are really close to central Bristol, so really easy to get to. It’s open to the public, with 850 acres of woods and grasslands to be explored. If you venture a little further out of the city, Cheddar Gorge offers up some spectacular scenery to enjoy. You can use the National Trust car parks as a base and explore the gorge with plenty of nature walks to choose from.
Where is the best place for storm-watching in or around Bristol?
Just two minutes from our store, right in the heart of Bristol, is Brandon Hill, offering a great vantage point to watch from as the clouds roll in over the city. Another good spot to consider is Clifton Observatory, where you can get an amazing view of the Clifton Suspension bridge enveloped in the storm.
What is an undiscovered or little known adventure activity that can be done close to Bristol?
There are some incredible foraging spots around Bristol, in the local woods and also along the coast. There are companies like Go Foraging, who will organise trips and help you know what’s a delicious morsel and what’s best avoided. Cromwell Quarry is also great for walks, swimming in the repurposed quarry or even scuba diving, all just half an hour from the city centre.