Jack's Journey

Jack dances from Bristol's Harbourside to Horfield Common

All information about Jack's journey through the city is intended as a ROUGH GUIDE only and may change.

Jack's leaves the Harbourside near the M Shed (Museum Square, Princes Wharf) at 10.30 on the morning of the first Saturday in May. 

He is awakened at the start of his journey by the music and dancing of his attendants and, now wide awake and ready for his day of revelry, he sets off along the water's edge towards the Centre. 

From the Centre, Jack dances in the direction of Broadmead. On his way, he passes along King Street, past Bristol's ancient and famous Llandoger Trow inn. 

After following the river along tree-lined Welsh Back, he enters St Nicholas Markets to the deafening sound of the drums echoing off the glass roof. 

From the Market, Jack wends his way to Castle Park, to visit the ancient well of St Edith, near the ruins of St Peter's Church. 

From the park, he weaves down the busy pavement on Union Street, and enters Broadmead. Shoppers are greeted by the unusual sight of a lively Jack in the Green amongst the chain stores. 

Jack dances through the Glass Arcade, as people rush quickly to the shop doorways to see who's making all the noise! He arrives in The Horsefair, where one of his predecessors was recorded at least 150 years ago. 

After crossing the Haymarket by the Bay Horse, Jack makes his way up Maudlin Street and heads to the very top of St Michael's Hill. 

The next stretch of Jack's revels brings people from their houses to greet him, as he he travels through the usually peaceful residential areas of Kingsdown, Cotham and Redland. 

He starts by making his way through the winding and narrow lanes to Alfred Place, and then heads along Kingsdown Parade, pausing at doorways to meet those who come out to see him.

His route takes him along Cotham Side and round St Matthew's Church which, despite being almost 200 years old, wasn't built when Jack's predecessors first made their way around town. 

Then, via  Clare Road and Fremantle Road, he makes his way to the green leafiness of Redland Grove, where he dances along the tree-lined avenue. Summer has truly arrived! 

Jack continues his house-visits along Carnarvon Road on his way to Zetland Road. 

Then he's back amongst the busy shoppers again, as he comes to Gloucester Road and entertains the crowds outside the Promenade's many bars and cafes. 

From here, he mingles with the locals all the way to Horfield, where he heads for the green space of the Common. 

At Horfield, Jack is surrounded by the crowds who have come to see him reach the end of his journey. If you are one of them, please take a step back and leave space for his final dance.

It's nearly the end now, and Jack's attendants mark the end of Jack's journey with dancing and his poem. But now Jack must die, marking the start of Summer. 

Jack lies dead, having danced through Bristol's streets and met its people. He has brought the Summer to our city, and we are better for having remembered to stop and think of the passing of time, and the splendour of nature's seasons.

His foliage is stripped and taken away by onlookers, to celebrate the arrival of Summer.  For this is not the end, this is just the beginning...