These directions are primarily aimed at helping people find their way to us from the East - mainly Guildford and London.
If you want to take a break on the journey, we suggest the Membury services. They are almost exactly half way between Guildford and Bristol.
The 'nearly idiot-proof' route.
Turn from the M4 onto the M5, and then leave the M5 at Junction 18, where there are signs to Avonmouth and the A4. Follow the A4 (it's called the 'Portway') South-East from the motorway towards the city centre, with the river on your right.
When you reach the Sylvan Way traffic lights, signposted to Westbury on Trym, keep going along the A4. You then want to turn left into Roman Way, which is the second turning on the left after the traffic lights.
Be careful: the first turning after Sylvan Way is quite small and easy to miss. Between the two turnings, you go over a bridge. You may not notice the river Trym below you - it's really only a stream - but you may well spot the grass either side of the river, below you on the left.
Follow Roman Way around to the left, then take the left fork into Branscome Road, and turn left at the end into Avon Way. Abbeywood is at the bottom of Avon Way, on the left.
Whatever you do, don't miss Roman Way, because you can't thereafter turn again until just before the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and life then becomes horribly complicated.
However, this route in not 100% idiot-proof: Paul's parents failed to leave the motorway at J18 (perhaps there were roadworks), and even if you don't do this, it is a lot further than route 2, along the A4018, described below.
The shortest all-purpose and easily described route.
M4, M5, leave at junction 17 and head towards Bristol. After 3 miles, turn right into Canford Road, left at next traffic lights into Shirehampton Road, then right into Sea Mills Lane. Avon Way is the 4th road on the left: we are on that corner.
Turn from the M4 onto the M5, and then leave the M5 very soon at Junction 17, Cribbs Causeway (Regional Shopping Centre), taking the A4018 to Westbury and Bristol Zoo. Just follow the signs towards Bristol, some of them with the elephant motif indicating the zoo. You go past the massive shopping area on your left (although the most obvious building is Harry Ramsdens by a roundabout).
There is another roundabout where you must fork left, then you go over a railway and straight across another roundabout. You then go up a fairly steep hill and down the other side, towards a crossroads with traffic lights. At this point, you are about 2½ miles from the motorway. At these traffic lights, you probably want to be in the right hand land, because although you go straight across them, you want to filter right at the next set of lights only 50 yards further on (opposite a BP garage) and it can be tricky changing lanes at this point.
The right filter takes you into Canford Road. This winds around quite a lot, and becomes Canford Lane and then Dingle Road before it becomes Sylvan Way. Turn left at the next set of lights, which is the junction of Sylvan Way with Shirehampton Road.
Drive down the hill, through the village green with the post office, Methodist Church and chip shop on your left, and three or four other shops scattered on your right. This is Sea Mills Square, if you need to ask directions.
The road takes you down a hill again. The River Trym is at the bottom, although you can't see it. Less than a hundred yards past the river (heading uphill now), take the first right into Sea Mills Lane, and Avon Way is the 4th left. Abbeywood is on the corner. You probably want to park in Avon Way not Sea Mills Lane.
If you forget to turn left at the Shirehampton Road traffic lights, you get to the A4 (it's called the 'Portway'). Turn left and follow instructions for route 1 from the Sylvan Way lights.
The way NOT to come on a Saturday morning is down the M32 and through the City Centre, but should you be unfortunate enough to do this, look for signs to the A4 to Avonmouth. Take care not to go the wrong way down the A4, towards Bath.
As you head out of Bristol towards Avonmouth, the A4 at this point is called the 'Portway'. Go under the Clifton Suspension Bridge, keeping to the left hand lane - this usually has a green light at the traffic lights just past the bridge.
You have the river on your left and some impressive cliffs on your right. After a while, these diminish, and you pass some playing fields on your right. At the end of the playing fields, as you start to see some houses in front of you, there is a left filter to Sea Mills - the first left turn since the bridge.
Take this left filter towards Sea Mills: follow the road down a steep hill and round to the right, back under the Portway. You are now in Sea Mills Lane. Turn right into Avon Way at the first cross-roads. We are the only house on this corner: park in Avon Way.
If you miss the left filter, turn right at the next traffic lights into Sylvan Way, signposed to Westbury. Turn right again at the next traffic lights into Shirehampton Road, and follow from the 'Drive down the hill' instructions in route 2 above.
Hope this does not sound too complicated...
Whatever you do, don't ask for 'Abbeywood' - this is also the name of a large MOD establishment a few miles away. You don't want to go there!
Alternatively, just give us a ring on (0117) 377 0476.