Bristol, a city full of surprises
Bristol is known for elements so diverse, every visitor is sure to find something that pleases them. Read more.
Bristol, a city full of surprises
Bristol is known for elements so diverse, every visitor is sure to find something that pleases them. Home of the world’s largest hot air balloon manufacturer, the animators behind Wallace and Gromit and the elusive street artist Banksy, there is a discovery to be made around every corner. While the city’s prosperity was historically linked to sea related trading and the tobacco industry, in recent times the economy has come to rely on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries.
Stunning architecture, events and a touch of nostalgia
As far as architecture and design goes, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which soars above the Avon Gorge and provides stunning views over Bristol, is an excellent first stop. The engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, also designed the iconic ss Great Britain, now docked in Bristol and open for visitors to explore. Bristol’s newest and most impressive museum, M Shed, offers guests a highly interactive look at the past through the stories of the locals. The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum takes a thoughtful look at the prominence of slave-trading in the Bristol of yesteryear. Science enthusiasts will enjoy the award-winning At-Bristol science centre which includes the popular planetarium.
Bristol has a year-round calendar of events, festivals and exhibitions, attracting visitors from around the globe. One of the more noted is the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air ballooning event in Europe. The sight of 120 balloons rising over the landscape at dawn and dusk is truly magnificent. Other lesser known but highly entertaining festivals include the Bristol Walking Festival, the Bristol Wool Fair and the Bristol Swing Festival.
There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Bristol, on and off land. For a different perspective of the Avon Gorge, follow the underground passage from the Observatory to the lookout in the cave below. The Leigh Woods on the opposite side of the gorge offer hiking and bike trails through a huge expanse of forest and shady glades. Enjoy a cup of tea or evening drinks in a riverside tea garden, or hit the water on a canoe tour of the harbour. For a final view of Bristol, walk to the peak of Brandon Hill and climb the steps of Cabot Tower.
Bristol Airport and Transport
Bristol airport services multiple flights from Europe and beyond and is conveniently located about a twenty minute drive or taxi ride from the city. Arriving by intercity train is also possible, particularly from nearby Bath, which is a short ten minute ride away. Bristol’s city centre is easy to explore on foot. Most significant sights are relatively close together and the congestion on the roads makes driving a frustrating option. You can also cover the harbourside area and all the way to Clifton by walking or a short bus ride. If you enjoy cycling, there are a number of delightful destinations outside the city centre that can be enjoyed on a sunny day.
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