What to see
Of the many 'formal' attractions along the route, these have particular relevance to the River Avon.
Saltford Brass Mill
This was one of over 30 mills that were once powered by the Avon between Bristol and Bath. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and one of the most important remains of the brass industry in England. The mill is being restored by volunteers so opening is restricted. For info and times: www.brassmill.com
St Mary Redcliffe Church
Built with the wealth of Bristol's medieval merchants when the parish of Redcliffe was as important as the old city of Bristol. The merchants grew rich exporting fine quality English wool and woollen cloth. In the late 1500s, Queen Elizabeth 1 put this church at the top of her list!
Clifton Suspension Bridge
At the age of just 25, Isambard Kingdom Brunel won a competition to design a bridge across the Avon Gorge at Clifton in 1831. It was not begun until 1836. After further delays it was completed in 1864 - five years after Brunel's death. This painting from Samuel Jackson's sketchbook celebrates Bristol's most famous view. The Bridge's Visitor Centre is nearby. See the information panel at the Brunel Way Picnic Park on the Trail for a good view - and another picture that shows a rival design.
SS Great Britain
This was the world's biggest ship when she was launched in 1843. She was steam powered, made of iron and driven by propellor and therefore the world's first modern ship. Her story of great glory on first being built to abandonment in the Falkland Islands and the voyage home to be restored is told at the Maritime Museum and aboard the vessel herself.