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About Us

Hi I’m Lisa. Welcome to Islandeering I’m an islandeer, author and marine conservationist and passionate about sharing what I have learnt from my travels around the islands of the British Isles to help you find an adventure. I started the project 12 years ago after I had one of those light bulb moments and realised the pure magic that islands held for me. After meeting so many people on their island travels who shared my passion and told me that I must share my experiences so that others could do the same I set up Islandeering.com, where we are passionate about promoting responsible travel to our great British islands.
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Distance: 4.5 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walk
Wow Factor: 10 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Bristol City
  • Terrain: Pavement
  • Access: Road/pavement
  • Height gain: 94 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 155
  • Starting point: Prince Street Bridge (near the M-Shed)
  • Accommodation/food:

    Our favourite cafe is the excellent Mokoko Coffee and Bakery . We also love the traditional cider house of The Orchard – famed for its “extensive range of West Country ciders and real ales, weekly blues jam and doorstop sandwiches. This traditional corner pub has been running for over 180 years and is considered by many as one of Bristol’s hidden gems”. You’ll also find the cafe at the characterful Underfall Yard, at the west end of the island, a fabulous place to sit and absorb its history with great Harbour views.

  • Island Summary:

    Spike Island, once the site of working quays, shipyards and warehousing, is a vibrant city- centre harbour area with its historic buildings now filled with lively cafes, restaurants and museums. Adjoining Bristol city centre, it comprises a strip of land between the Floating Harbour to the north and the tidal New Cut of the River Avon to the south, from the dock entrance to the west and to Bathurst Basin in the east. Attractions include the M Shed, which is the museum of Bristol, located in a former dockside transit shed. Also, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the historic boatyard and visitors centre of Underfall Yard are great places to experience more of Bristol’s seafaring heritage. Spike Island can be easily reached on foot or bus from Bristol city centre; Bristol Ferry Boats provide services from various points along Bristol’s historic waterways and a ferry also crosses the harbour and leaves from opposite SS Great Britain.

    The walk around the island is the best way to see much of the vibrant city’s maritime and trading history.

  • Look out for:
    • SS Great Britain
    • M-Shed
    • Great cafes and pubs
    • Bansky's "Girl with Pierced Eardrum"
  • Route description:

    Starting from Prince Street Bridge the route follows the walkway parallel to the Floating Harbour and along the old tracks of the Bristol Harbour Railway, passing the M Shed and other historic dockyard buildings to Brunel Square where it cuts inland to avoid the SS Great Britain exhibition. Here, Banksy’s Girl with the Pierced Eardrum can be seen on the clock tower of the Dockside Studios. Nearby, the Orchard Inn has been serving cider since 1834 and is a real Bristol institution. At Bristol Marina the route continues through the historic Underfall Yard, which retains its rich maritime vibe, and on to Cumberland Basin to reach the western point of the island beyond Brunel’s Swing Bridge. From here there are great views upriver to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The return route is along the tidal New Cut on the south side of the island.

  • Getting there:

    Spike Island and the Floating harbour can be reached on foot or bus from Bristol city centre; Bristol Ferry Boats provide services from various points along Bristol’s historic waterways and a ferry also crosses the harbour and leaves from opposite SS Great Britain.

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