Fun While it Lasted

Bristol Cycle Campaign on Portway

There will be no Peaceful Portway Sundays in 2018 or in future years, unless a new supporting entity can be found to provide backing for organisational issues which the Steering Group of volunteers has wrestled with since launching the project in 2015.

Although the project was initiated, planned and run entirely by volunteers, we were always dependent on the backing of supporting organisations to provide free public liability insurance, banking facilities and safeguarding support – and help with funding. That was always a big ask and we cannot continue to draw on them. They are all under increasing pressure for funds and resources.

Big thanks are due to the community-building charity Groundwork, the Hotwells and Clifton Wood Community Association – and to Rotary, for their engagement with us in 2017 – when we received over 7,000 visitors in just a few hours of peace in the Avon Gorge. And many thanks as well to Bristol Green Capital (for initial grant support in Green Capital Year 2015) Avon Wildlife Trust, The Society of Merchant Venturers, the Hotwells Panto Fund, George Ferguson’s Red Trousers Fund, Cyclebag, Burges Salmon LLP and and others who gave money and in-kind support. Our first-aid cover was provided by the wonderful team of volunteers at Avon Search and Rescue, who provide a public service which is largely unrecognised, often at great risk to themselves.

To all these organisations and the people in them, we say “thanks! It really was fun while it lasted!”


Singing, climbing and hot air balloons for September 17th 2017

We’re delighted to announce that our event for September 17th this year is shaping up to be a wonderful occasion!


The Gurt Lush and Bristol MAN Chorus choirs are returning to sing and the Avanti String Quartet will once again fill the ‘Gallery’ under the Clifton Suspension Bridge with beautiful sounds.

The Rotary Club of Bristol are back and busy organising community activities and sharing the projects they support at the Sea Mills end of the road.

New this year is the Brigstowe Village Band, who will entertain with singing and dancing at the Cumberland Piazza in Hotwells and invite you all to join in. Weather permitting hot air balloons will rise out of the galley, some tethered for organised rides and others taking off on their journeys on the wind- a spectacular sight awaits us!

Also at the Cumberland Piazza we have Alex Patience from Live Graft doing workshops on how to encourage plants to grow on tarmac and concrete and some live graffiti to enjoy.

Bristol Festival of Cycling will be bringing their Carnivelo to join us too with demonstrations and workshops from BMX guru, Matti Hemmings, Cargo Bike games, ‘Spicycle’ providing vegan food, Bike Zebo with a stall and bike parking, and Lyons Davidson will have a  stand with information and giveaways.

Adult peregrine falcon (Helen Hall Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project)

We also welcome a friendship walk with the City of Sanctuary, a fantastic nature and history trail created by the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project with performers and story-tellers revealing the secrets of the gorge and tales of boats, goats, peregrines and tides.

The Climbing Academy will be with us enjoying the rare opportunity to climb in this unique landscape free of the rumble and roar of traffic.

Groundwork, the Avon Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and Bristol Water are all back to share their projects and local schools will get the kids out for fun-runs and bike rides.

Avon Gorge early evening (Phil Jearey) (1)

Even with all of that and more going on there’s still miles of peaceful Avon Gorge and River to enjoy, so put the date in your diary, 17th September 2017 2-6pm! Visit our events page for more details. We will be adding more, so check before the day.

The Portway is fully accessible and safe for all users 

To get involved contact us at

We rely on volunteers to make this free event happen, so we welcome all the support you can give. To donate quickly and easily please click below

This event is also perfect for photographers, artists and Instagrammers- come down and share your pictures!

Planning Peaceful Portway 17 September 2017

Our next Peaceful Portway event will be on the 17th September 2017 2-6pm

We are fund raising to organise more activities for more Bristol communities, including climbing, nature walks, theatre, school fun runs, live art, tandem rides, singing, dancing and maybe even circus!

To donate quickly and easily please click below

Enjoy the natural beauty and splendour of the Avon Gorge by making the Portway PEACEFUL and TRAFFIC FREE on special days!

The Portway runs alongside the River Avon through a steep gorge, over arched by Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.  The Avon has the second highest tidal range in the world, providing a unique environment for wildlife, and the majestic cliffs make this the most impressive urban climbing area in the country.

Normally, the Portway is full of traffic travelling at 40-50 mph so it’s difficult to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you when walking, cycling or climbing there.

The band of volunteers who have made the previous seven Peaceful Portway events happen would be delighted to hear from anyone who wants to get involved – as a volunteer, to put on an activity, or in any other way!

If you are interested in getting involved, please email us on



Future Peaceful Portway Events

A big thank you to everyone who was able to join us on 25 September.  It was a great privilege to see so many people enjoying themselves.

Thanks to all those who helped to make the day: Avanti String Quartet, Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project, Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Water, Friends of Downs and Avon Gorge, Groundwork South, Gurt Lush Choir, Bristol Man Chorus, Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast, University of Bristol Mountaineering Club and Art under the Flyover

Thanks to Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association, Hotwells Panto and our local BCC Neighbourhood Partnership for funding and admin support.

And big thanks to the well over 3,000 people who simply came and enjoyed themselves.

In 2017 we are hoping to do one event on the 17th of September which we will confirm by the end of March. We are keen to secure, not just the core funding of £2k, but enough to run some activities and support schools and communities in Hotwells and Sea Mills to organise great things for families, such as art workshops and football matches. We have applied for Bristol City Council Community Festival and Event funding and another Well-Being Grant from the Neighbourhood Partnership. HCCA will continue to support and we hope to secure some private sponsorship.

It costs a minimum of £2,000 to put on each day- this covers security, road closure costs, lost children’s provision, publicity and first aid. Some of the volunteers, who already contribute days of their time to organise the event, have also had to pay some of these costs- we can’t let this happen again, so we would welcome thoughts from anyone who might be able to make this not be the last: a gifted fundraiser, someone good at spreading the word. If you want to help, please contact us:


toddlers-and-the-puddle watching-the-choir ubu-mountaineering-club man-chorus-in-tunnel gurt-lush-under-the-bridge



25 September 2016

On 25 September 2016 from 2pm to 6pm come and join us for nature trails, music, watery workshops and a chance to traverse the beautiful A4 from Hotwells to Sea Mills.

For more details about the day, visit our events and activities page.

How to get there?

We would love more people to have the chance to come and share the sensation of hearing birdsong in the Avon Gorge. Please spread the word, by facebook, twitter or good old fashioned chatter! Encourage your friends and contacts to come along – and perhaps plan your own activities, musical, social, sporting, whatever you like.

Here are some pictures from our May event:

Avon wildlife trust AWT butterflies boat on avonFoDAG football Lexy leaping liz & Jess looking for bugs Nick rosi leaping pocket park

Balloons over the Portway

This year 2015, there are five planned events which take place on the Portway and require the road to be closed to traffic. These are 31st May, 14 and 21st June, 13th September and 25th October for the marathons, 10km run, cycle ride and triathlon.

In each case the Portway is closed through to late morning or early afternoon. Portway Sunday Park will extend these closures so visitors can explore the Gorge, free from traffic noise, until dusk.