Friday, June 2, 2023

The 14 Finest Issues to Do in Bristol in 2023

The colorful buildings along the waterfront in Bristol, UK
Final Up to date: 3/2/23 | March 2nd, 2023

Whereas most vacationers who go to England solely go to London, there are literally loads of different gems within the nation value exploring.

One such place is Bristol.

“Bristol? There’s not a lot there.”

That was the usual reply from locals every time I discussed I used to be heading to Bristol.

Evidently, I had low expectations. However I visited anyway. In any case, there’s no such factor as “must-see” — and meaning there’s no such factor as “should skip” both.

On arrival, I discovered a hip faculty city with superb eateries, great issues to see, and loads of inexperienced house.

Bristol is just like the English model of Seattle. Most vacationers appear to make use of it as a base for journeys to Tub however by no means totally discover this metropolis, giving it solely a quick look earlier than heading again to London.

It is a mistake.

With a inhabitants of round 500,000, Bristol is the biggest metropolis in southern England (after London) and can be one of many largest delivery ports in England. It obtained a royal constitution in 1155 and, till the rise of Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester in the course of the Industrial Revolution, was one among England’s largest cities.

Bristol suffered in depth bombing throughout World Warfare II and a subsequent decline in its manufacturing trade. In the present day, the town is a vibrant faculty city. The College of Bristol dominates the town, and the scholars present loads of revenue and jobs for the group.

That will help you take advantage of out of your go to, right here’s an inventory of my favourite issues to see and do in Bristol:

1. Bristol Cathedral

The historic exterior of the Bristol Cathedral in Bristol, UK during sunset
This stunning cathedral was consecrated in 1148 and was constructed within the Romanesque type (and has the same design to Notre Dame in Paris). Initially named St. Augustine’s Abbey, the cathedral stretches over 300 toes and whereas a lot of it has been rebuilt, a few of the unique constructing stays.

School Inexperienced, West Finish, +44 117 926 4879, Open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-4pm and 11:30am-3pm on Sundays. Costume respectfully as this can be a place of worship. Admission is free. Excursions can be found on most Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:30am and a pair of:15pm for five GBP.

2. Wander King Avenue

Initially specified by 1650, King Avenue is a captivating, historic a part of Bristol. It was once the place the previous crusing barges docked after their journeys from South Wales. Now the realm is the center of the theatrical district and options excellent bars and eating places. There are even some pubs from the seventeenth century which might be nonetheless standing, reminiscent of The Hatchet Inn which was constructed within the Tudor type in 1606!

3. See the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Looking out at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, UK
That is Bristol’s most well-known landmark. Suspended excessive above the Avon Gorge and River Avon, the bridge opened in 1864 and supplies sweeping views of the river and surrounding parks and buildings. It was additionally the place one of many early bungee jumps within the UK was held within the Seventies. The bridge stretches 412 meters (1,352 toes) and handles nearly 10,000 autos per day. There’s a small customer middle close by the place you’ll be able to be taught extra concerning the bridge and its historical past too (it’s open day by day from 10am-5pm).

4. Try St. Nicholas Market

It is a full of life, bustling market with extra retailers than you can undergo in a day. There appears to be an countless variety of farmers’ stalls with superb native produce, second-hand bookshops, and classic outfitters. The market dates again to 1743 and is the right place to wander, discover, and folks watch.

Corn St, +44 117 922 4014, Open Monday-Saturday from 9:30am-5pm.

5. Go to the Bristol Museum and Artwork Gallery

Established in 1823, this museum covers slightly little bit of every part — from archaeology to dinosaurs to English historical past to artwork. The expansive selection retains issues fascinating so even non-history buffs will get pleasure from it. It’s the realm’s largest museum and one among my private favorites. Whereas there are tens of 1000’s of things within the museum’s assortment, it’s not too overwhelming and straightforward to see in just a few hours. Plus, like all public museums in England, it’s free!

Queens Street, +44 117 922 3571, Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm. Admission is free however donations are inspired.

6. Take a Strolling Tour

Bristol is an previous metropolis and has been an necessary port for nearly a thousand years. With a lot historical past, it ought to come as no shock that the town has collected its fair proportion of ghost tales. To listen to a few of the tales as you discover the town, take a haunted strolling tour with Haunted and Hidden Ghost Walks. Their tour begins nightly at 8pm, lasts 90 minutes, and is effectively definitely worth the 7 GBP!

If haunted walks aren’t your cup of tea, take a road artwork tour. Bristol is dwelling to a number of works by Banksy in addition to tons of different murals. Bristol was Banksy’s street-art dwelling, and you’ll uncover over 30 years of road artwork by artists from everywhere in the world.

Excursions from The place the Wall final 2 hours and canopy the town’s greatest works of public artwork. Excursions begin at 7.50 GBP and run most Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Bristol Pirate Walks are one other enjoyable choice, particularly for historical past buffs. These brief strolling excursions can help you expertise a few of Bristol’s oldest neighborhoods and can educate you concerning the early historical past of the town in the course of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and 18th centuries. You’ll additionally get to see websites related to legendary pirates like Lengthy John Silver and Blackbeard. Excursions final 1 hour and price 12.50 GBP.

7. See the S.S. Nice Britain

The deck of the S.S. Great Britain ship docked in Bristol, UK
Situated within the harbor, the S.S Nice Britain was the world’s first steam-powered passenger liner. It took its maiden voyage in 1845 and was truly the longest ship on this planet for nearly a decade. (It’s 322 toes lengthy).

Sadly, because it was so large it took a very long time to construct (it took 6 years to finish) and the homeowners went bankrupt not lengthy after it was launched. It ran aground not lengthy after and was bought for salvage. After being repaired, the ship was used to ferry passengers to Australia from 1852-1881 when the ship was transformed to all-sail. It was scuttled and sunk within the Falkland Islands in 1937 the place it stayed for 33 years till it was recovered, hauled again to the UK, and become a vacationer attraction.

Nice Western Dockyard, +44 0117 926 0680, Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-4pm. Admission is 22 GBP.

8. Have Enjoyable at WetheCurious

This science and artwork middle is an academic charity devoted to cultivating curiosity. Opened in 2000, it’s dwelling to over 250 interactive displays, making it a enjoyable and academic place to go to in case you’re touring with youngsters. They’ve a planetarium, 3D printers, and displays overlaying the human physique, magnets, animation, and extra! The constructing is at present closed for repairs after a hearth however plans to reopen someday in 2023.

1 Millennium Sq., +44 0117 915 1000, Open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm. Admission is 16.50 GBP.

9. Calm down on the Downs

The Downs (Clifton Down and Durdham Down) are a protected parkland on the sting of the town. Spanning over 400 acres, they’re inside strolling distance of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge and make for a pleasant place to calm down, stroll, and watch the locals play sports activities. The realm often called the Sea Wall is the right place to absorb the views, and there’s loads of house to unfold out and revel in a pure retreat with out straying too removed from the town.

10. See Cabot Tower

Cabot Tower in Bristol on a summer day
The tower, which stands 32 meters (105 toes), was constructed within the Eighteen Nineties to have fun the four-hundredth anniversary of the Italian explorer John Cabot’s departure from Bristol and his final “discovery” of North America (he was the primary European to go to North America because the Norse Vikings in 1000 CE). The tower is constructed from sandstone and has a slim staircase inside that you would be able to climb to absorb the sweeping view.

Brandon Hill Park, +44 0117 922 3719, Open day by day from 8:00am-5:15pm. Admission is free.

11. Go to Blaise Fort

In-built 1798 within the Gothic Revival type, this “fort” is definitely a sham — it’s not an actual fort however quite a look-alike constructed by a rich household only for the enjoyable of it. It’s primarily a decorative constructing, providing sweeping views over the encompassing 650 acres and the Avon Gorge. There’s additionally a close-by historic dwelling that has been transformed right into a museum the place you’ll be able to be taught extra concerning the fort and its quirky historical past.

Kings Weston Rd, +44 117 922 2000, Open day by day from 7:30am–5:15pm (5:15pm within the winter). Admission is free.

12. Trip the Avon Valley Railway

This railway, which dates again to the 1860s, as soon as linked Bristol to Tub. In the present day it’s a three-mile heritage railway the place you’ll be able to trip a steam-powered prepare. There’s additionally a totally restored Victorian prepare station the place you will get a way of what touring was like on the flip of the final century. For climbing fanatics, there’s a strolling path beside the tracks in case you’d quite discover on foot.

Bitton Station, +44 117 932 5538, Open day by day from 9:00am-5:00pm. Steam prepare tickets are 11 GBP whereas diesel prepare tickets are 10 GBP.

13. Go to the Wookey Gap Caves

People exploring the colorful Wookey Caves near Bristol, UK
When you’re on the lookout for an journey exterior of the town, go to the Wookey Gap Caves. This distinctive geological space is a fast and straightforward day journey from Bristol (it’s simply an hour away by automobile). The limestone caves have been created from an underground river and you’ll discover them through a 35-minute tour. There’s additionally a museum that shows artifacts found inside the caves. When you’re feeling adventurous, take into account taking a ship trip by way of the waters contained in the cave the place you’ll find out about spelunking.

The Mill, Excessive St, Wookey Gap, +44 1749 672243, Opening hours fluctuate primarily based on holidays and seasons however are typically 9:40am-4:30pm. Examine the web site for particular occasions. Admission is 21.45 GBP.

14. Discover Gloucester Street

Bristol’s Gloucester Street options Europe’s largest stretch of unbiased retailers. The entire road is walkable, and also you’ll discover loads of locations to cease and people-watch. You’ll discover distinctive one-of-a-kind retailers and boutiques each few steps, and it’s an ideal place to get pleasure from some tasty native meals. There are additionally loads of hip cafes and full of life pubs on this space as effectively.


I assumed Bristol, with its previous industrial-turned-Bohemian allure, made for an ideal place to spend just a few days. There have been historic homes to go to, just a few good museums, and a few great parks. Its picture as an industrial middle nonetheless lingers on in most of England, making it a spot few go or need to discover.

However that works out for the remainder of us. For whereas everybody else heads off to Tub, we are able to have the town of Bristol to ourselves.

I think the phrase will get out, however for now, Bristol stays a hidden gem and a metropolis that’s effectively value a go to.

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