There Really is No Place Like Home!

Life in England

Part 2

I have lived, worked and played in many locations in England and Australia but nowhere is life better than home. Andover, London, Liverpool, Bristol, Salisbury, Nottingham and Poole, all places in England I have enjoyed living my life!

As you likely remember, the coastline is my favorite place on earth so let’s begin in Bristol. It is a city and a county in South West England, and is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset. With an urban population of nearly 725K, it is the 8th largest population in the United Kingdom. 

The photograph above is Bristol Bay, located in Bristol England. As you can see, the walking I love to do is not on a sandy beach but I do enjoy the challenges of walking all kinds of terrain, and this one is no different. 

The long coastal waters of the Bristol Channel, stretch on both the South Wales and West County sides and are designated as the Heritage Coast, to include Exmoor, Bideford Bay, the Hartland Point peninsula, Lundy Island, Glamorgan, Gower Peninsula, South Pembrokeshire and Caldey Island.

Ocean water freezes as freshwater and at least 15% of the ocean is covered by ice at some time of the year. The sea water freezes at approximately 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit, because of the salt in it.

The area of Coastal North Somerset, which is on Bristols doorstep is considered to be a paradise setting for walkers due to the wide range of walking trails and scenic views. I had the incredible opportunity to share many-years of walking with my brother-in-law but when we accomplished our goal of 620 miles, I went on walking on my own.

The South West England has a world-class coastline with stunning cliff scenery, a wealth of history, attractive fishing villages and harbours, abundant wildlife, wonderful displays of coastal flowers, and much, much more.

But…The South West Coast Path National Trail provides a continuous 620 mile (992km) walk all the way around the coast from Minehead to Poole Harbour and we can help you to walk every step of the way.

FYI: Memories of what we saw while in Minehead and what there is to do today, here is what I suggest as my point of view for you to make the most of the area worth spending several days to explore. From the Dunster Castle, which uncovers a 1,000 year old history, to a short trip to Wells visiting the Wells Cathedral, to the West Somerset Railway, which has the longest heritage railway in England, offering scenic trips on vintage steam trains and finally an exhilarating sunset along the Woolacombe beach while your family can enjoy frolicking around the waters edge while you settle back in a beach hut provided by the beach owners. All in all, a full day and more where rest and pleasure meld into one and if you conquer up a vision in your mind, of one of the most interesting places to visit, none could be more intriguing than here.

It had been an incredible journey for us. This was where our 620 mile walk ended, as it was the end of the path. I wondered what I was going to do next. Later, I was eager to walk on to new destinations

Minehead, was where I picked up and began my new walking route in 2010. Bristol, had been  one of my favorite places and as it turned out, it was also my location I was employed from 1972 to 1974, and I worked as the section engineer to build an urban motorway.

I even had the opportunity to work with the descendant of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous engineer. His name meant glittering iron, which indeed he was with so many accomplishments. was an English mechanical and civil engineer who is considered one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, played a key role in Britain’s industrial revolution, designing and constructing railway lines, bridges, tunnels and docks around the country, as well as providing massive advances in naval architecture. He also built the Thames Tunnel in 2005; the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans Avon Gorge, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset; the Maidenhead Railway Bridge, which at the time, was the largest span for a brick arch bridge and the Royal Albert Bridge spanning the river Tamar at Saltash. The railway linked London with the south-west and west of England, the Midlands, and most of Wales.

As an engineer myself, I am quite impressed with the fact he built a steel ship named the SS Great Britain and so made unusual masterpieces. These are just a few of his many accomplishments as a brilliant engineer.

Now, sharing with you the Bristol area, as my happy place! When first in Bristol, I strongly recommend you begin your journey at the Bristol Harbor. This harbor has been around from the 13th century because of it’s location on the River Avon. As a busy port, it served as the destination point for European visitors and the departing point for ships sailing to the New World. It even remains today an activity harbor, with with a number of arts and exhibitions spaces on-site, as well as cafes and interesting attractions, although ships have moved further downstream. Today, you can enjoy a ferry ride to tour the River Avon. If you time your visit to Bristol correctly, the Bristol Harbor Festival, is remarkable where you can to see a grand array of boats on display, including Royal Navy vessels and tall ships. Bristol has a charm about itself that derives from historical times centuries ago to current activities that include film production, inspired writers, artists, actors, musicians to colorful and  passionate citizens. It’s a location, I would call a happy place.

The walking route I wanted to complete in time, on my own was as follows: Bristol, Severn Bridge-Chepstow, Newport, Cardiff-(capitol of Wales)…to Swansea, to Gower Peninsula, to llanelli, and to Carmarthen, which is the oldest town in Wales.

My life was rich and fulfilling in Bristol, as I was very happily married to my life long sweetheart Irene, and many memories and new beginnings took place in Bristol. Although I began my walking alone in Minehead England, if asked what I loved most in my memories of this city, it would be the birth of my son, Simon, on October 1, 1975.

As always, with my walks along the coast, Bristol was within a short driving distance. So, I was able to walk the coast and found yet another adventurous area where the water was so full of life, just waiting to take in every breath. It was always a place I loved and will hold tight in my memories. Take time out and visit this inviting city.

Be sure to return for Part 3, where I complete my adventures of this leg of my walking journey.

For your amusement, a fellow engineer who was such a dresser and a joker, was walking across the site near the office, when he suddenly disappeared up to his waist in an old flooded cellar. When he came out, there was a chocolate brown tide mark on his navy blue jacket, chest high. He actually thought he could slither past us trying to keep a straight face while his dignity was somewhat shattered…but when he realized we all saw him, he let out a boisterous laugh.

If there is anything you want to suggest as a topic, for my blog, then please share those ideas with me, by E-mailing them to:  


Until We Meet Again!,


Chris Ambrose, Author 

70 is the new 50`

No matter what Life throws at you, 

it’s where Giving Up, is Never an Option!






You are also welcome to write to me for a signed copy of my book


  • Linda Hales

    Reply Reply August 11, 2018

    You may have traveled far and wide Chris, but it’s evident where your heart is! We never stray so far that we forget our roots and the ties that bind us to them. Thankfully, I remembered to bring my hiking boots to Bristol to navigate the rough and tumble terrain; my comfy shoes to experience every wondrous mile of the South West Coast Path National Trail and my slippers along with your good book to relax with after each invigorating day of this pleasurable but educational tour. Just give me the high sign, and I’ll happily embark on the 3rd leg of your journey as your guest!

    • Chris Ambrose

      Reply Reply August 11, 2018

      Hello Linda,

      I quite enjoy your comments Linda, as they give me cause to chuckle! Indeed, the terrain is rugged but it keeps me in shape after lazily meandering other beaches that are flat, with collectable treasures. My son Simon, says I am the slowest walker he knows stopping to look at every pebble or wildflower I see. Each adventure has me intrigued with what one can discover but you certainly do need an assortment of quality shoes, especially the ones that carry you so many miles. I have now walked over 1,000 miles and have no plans to stop. I find it one of the greatest ways to really see the countryside. In fact, my next book is a collection of walking adventures in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

      My last segment of this mini series is going to be a bit different as it does take me back to part of my grass roots and keeps me focused. It is a tribute to my lovely wife, Irene, whom I miss so dearly but who gives me courage to keep finding ways to live life without her.

      So, next time you take along a book, you’ll have to take my newest adventures so you too, can enjoy the journey, experiencing each new treasure from that fine glass of whiskey, glass of wine at a festival, ‘bangers and mash’ or superb chocolates and even the gooseberry jams I enjoyed so much as a young boy. After all Linda, after a long days walk, one would “walk” up an appetite, deserving of those fine dishes known to England! As a factor of fact, here is an FYI, just for you: Chicken tikka masala may have been topping favourite dish polls for a decade, but it seems most Briton’s idea of “food heaven” is a traditional roast. The Sunday lunch favourite was cited by 43 per cent of Brits as their ultimate comfort food, followed by the pub grub classic steak and chips, by 35 per cent.

      Enjoy your next visit!


  • Chris Ambrose

    Reply Reply September 26, 2018

    If you would like to order a book, please contact at, click on contact & fill out the form and I will get back to you shortly.


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