The Bristol Doors Open Day actually happens across several different days, it usually runs from a Friday to Sunday. It was on the Friday morning we visited the Canopy and Stars venue and on Saturday we had a further 2 venues lined up to visit, the first of which was St Mary Redcliffe where we had booked onto one of the roof tours.
Unfortunately it was raining so our actual time on the roof was cut short but we still had some quality time up there and the guide with us managed to give us loads of information during that short time.
We arrived a while before our time slot so had a walk around the inside of the church. It’s silly really, I only live about 15 minute walk from here yet had never actually stepped inside despite reading in numerous magazines about how beautiful it. The church is enormous, the first thing you find yourself doing is looking up at the impressive arches and decoration in the ceiling. You eventually do look down and around the rest of the church and notice all the old features that are still remaining here. The main part of the alter is tiled in some beautiful red mosaic tiles and old style church pews that line up to the pulpit.
After having a walk around we made our way to the entrance to the roof tour. You need to be of good health to be able to get up there. It’s a very small narrow staircase that tightly spirals around and parts of the wall are crumbling away. The view at the top though is so rewarding and well worth making the effort. As I mentioned above unfortunately our time on the roof was cut short due to the rain but this was okay because our next booking was calling our name.
The last place we managed to secure an appointment was at Temple Meads Railway Station for the Tunnels tour. Before the tour you have a mini safety talk and then suit up in the supplied high visibility jackets and hardhats. The tour guide then takes you around the old tunnels and explains how they used to be used when the station was initially built. The guide was also really informative about the history of the station and made an effort to point out as much as he could which he thought we would be interested in. The tunnels are no longer used but used to be the way that they would transport the food and alcohol to the trains so it was all hidden from view. This was back in the days when train journeys were a lot posher and a much nicer experience than they are today with the overpriced trolley cars.
It has been confirmed that next year the Bristol Doors Open Day will be on Friday the 14th to Sunday the 16th September. I can’t wait to see what new and exciting places I can visit next year.