Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Clifton Suspension Bridge

A visit to Bristol would not have been complete without a look at the superb suspension bridge at Clifton. 
We set off back along the docks to the lock that would take you back out onto the tidal river.  At this point we were glad to be on dry land, not in Tacet. The tide was right out!

 Walking along the banks of the river, you can see the piers and landing stages, little used today.

 And the bottom station of the Clifton Rocks Railway, a funicular railway that ran up through a tunnel in the cliff rocks. Looking rather sad and forlorn today, but apparently the site is open for viewing occasionally, though no carriages can run up and down now.
But we came here to look up at the amazing spectacle that is Isambard Kingdom Brunel's audacious crossing of the Avon gorge.
 It really does take your breath away.
 74 metres above high tide.
 It spans 214 metres across the gorge.
 Each pier is 26 metres high.
 The chains are anchored 17 metres below the road.
 It's total length is 412 metres.
 It was completed in 1864 after Brunel's death as a memorial to him.
 It's proved to be a lasting one, still carrying traffic today.
 This was where my legs turned to jelly, looking down on the river below. Gulp!
 But I managed to go round and look the other way too!

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