One of my recent visits to Brandon Hill, the home of Cabot Tower, was my boyfriend's first ever visit to this park. He had seen the tower from a distance, but not close up, and when he realised it had viewing platforms he wanted to climb the tower to see the views. In a moment of extreme optimism I said "Yes, let's do it!". There was just one small problem. I am scared of heights. I had been up the Tower before, but not for a few years, so although I knew I could get up there and back, I wasn't sure how confident I would feel at the top.
Cabot Tower is a 32 metre high tower built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage from Bristol to what is now Canada. It was finished in 1898, and was built in the Neo-Gothic style, which I LOVE. I am less in love with that whole 32 metres high thing. And the fact that the highest viewing platform is a whopping 102 metres above sea level. Had I known this before climbing the tower, I don't think I would have been so optimistic!
As we neared the tower, I began to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake, but I persevered. Once I was through the surprisingly small entrance, there was no turning back. A narrow spiral staircase led to the top of the tower. With people trying to get up and down the same staircase, there was no space to turn around. The only way was up.
I made it to the first of the viewing platforms, and although I couldn't make it to the edge thanks to ABJECT TERROR, the views were very beautiful.
If any proof is needed of my ABJECT TERROR, I think my eyes in this photo will do the trick. This was the only point where I felt safe, in between two walls. However, I decided I couldn't give up now, I wanted to make it to the top!
I kept going, and I did it! I still didn't feel I could go close to the edge, but I managed to take a few photos and look out over the city while clinging to the nearest wall.
The way back down was worse than going up, but my boyfriend handled it admirably and just kept telling me to imagine I was walking down from ground level into a basement. Despite the gorgeous views from the top, I was very glad when I got back on the ground! I still felt pleased that I had fought my fear though, and maybe one day I will go up the tower again and be able to get a bit closer to the edge.
If you want to visit Cabot Tower you can find more details here- http://visitbristol.co.uk/things-to-do/cabot-tower-and-brandon-hill-p24401
Please note: I am not encouraging people with serious height phobias who may get stuck to climb this Tower (or any other tower), ESPECIALLY NOT ALONE. I was with my boyfriend who is used to dealing with my fear, and had already climbed the Tower twice in the past so knew I could do it.