Bristol and Pomphrey Hill
This was a Bristol weekend. Having been invited to a wedding do on the Friday evening, it seemed like a great excuse to spend some time exploring Bristol. Geoff has worked and stayed in the area for years and is pretty familiar with it, but, as we know, people don’t usually spend much time discovering the detail of the area in which they work. Treasure Trails are a great way to unlock the lesser-known corners of a neighbourhood. So in this, the first of our dedicated ‘Running + exploring’ weekends away, we planned to do Ashton Court parkrun, stay in Clifton, and do the Clifton Treasure Trail.
We’ve also got one eye on ‘alphabetourism‘, and with Alice Holt parkrun being our home event, which doesn’t really count, I was on the lookout for another ‘A’. Ashton Court – great! One to tick off, in spite of the notorious hill (you run all the way up, then all the way back down!)… Except that our plan was thwarted by the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta, which takes place across the Avon Gorge from Clifton at Ashton Court. Our nominated parkrun was cancelled. And so, along with a number of other AC regulars, we made our way to the lovely Pomphrey Hill parkrun.
Pomphrey Hill parkrun #130
We arrived early, so there was time for a familiarisation lap of the three-loop course. I was instantly impressed by the facilities there. It’s a designated public open space, with sports fields attached. The local football and Rugby Union clubs and the cricket pitches at Pomphrey Hill show what a great investment has been made into local sporting facilities – so it was very pleasing to see this noticeboard at the entrance mentioning parkrun and encouraging people to get active.
A hard-packed running trail has been created around a one-mile loop which is perfect as a base for a parkrun. Three-and-a bit loops to do. One short, sharp hill up (Up Pomphrey!), and one short, sharp hill down just before arriving back at the pavilion. A lovely course.
I’m doing heart-rate training at the moment, only exercising at 126 bpm by my heart rate monitor (more of that another time…) so that means a really, REALLY slow jog at the back of the field. Luckily for me, I didn’t feel too much of an encumbrance at Pomphrey Hill because there was a gentleman doing his first parkrun, after (I’m told) having had a heart attack. He and the tail runner were taking their time getting round the course, so it was all good for me and my jog-walk. I was very grateful to the marshals for their cheerful encouragement and it was lovely to see junior marshals getting involved. The sad thing about finishing almost last, and with so many guests visiting PH from Ashton Court and also ‘refugees’ from Little Stoke parkrun, was that they’d run out of bacon sandwiches by the time I finished. The knock-on effect of this after no breakfast was that I was absolutely starving for the first half of our afternoon’s exploration activities.
At Pomphrey Hill we met a couple of cow-cowl wearers, Heather Griffin from Little Stoke and Wendy Foxall from Coventry parkrun. Had a lovely chat; Heather has been going to lots of different parkruns since Little Stoke ended. So sad for those who feel Little Stoke was their ‘home’. Not surprised to hear that some of their core team have lost heart with starting over somewhere else. Hope they do all find somewhere new to set up a permanent and valued event, but in the meantime Pomphrey Hill is a lovely alternative.
What Geoff says:
A brilliant parkrun with a cheeky little hill!
After parkrun, we headed back to our B & B, the Clifton House Hotel in Clifton, Bristol, to get showered and changed and then headed off to enjoy an afternoon of Treasure Trails around Bristol. More hills! Read all about it here, including a review of the places we ate and drank.
- Date visited: 13th August 2016 – event #130
- Car parking: free and plenty of spaces
- Number who ran: 364
- Course: three-and-a-bit loops of ‘dedicated’ hard-packed running trail exactly one mile long, mostly flat, around grassed areas and cricket pitches. One steep hill, views along the top, then short downhill close to the 1 mile mark.
- Shoes: road or trail
- Café: refreshment hatch in Pavilion, serving teas, coffees, bacon sandwiches and their famous flapjack
- Toilets: in the Pavilion by the start/finish
- Dogs: yes
- Buggies: yes
- Peculiarities and specialities: the short, sharp hill known as ‘Up Pomphrey!’ which everyone shouts out during the briefing (love a mantra!)
- How easy to find: glad we had sat nav – BS16 9NF
- Startline is at: guitar.composers.dishes
- Where we stayed: Clifton, Bristol
- Which Treasure Trail?: 5 to choose from in Bristol, we picked Clifton and West End.