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Everything You Need to Know About Bristol, England

One of the good issues about operating a journey web site is that you simply get to meet different vacationers. While in England this summer time, I obtained a proposal to discover the English metropolis of Bristol with Heather.

Around England, I’d clarify my route by means of the nation and folks would universally go, “Bristol? There’s not much there.”

Needless to say, I had low expectations.

But I’m unsure what Bristol individuals have been referring too as a result of I discovered a hip faculty city with superb eateries, nice ethnic meals, great issues to see, and nice parks to calm down in.

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

With a inhabitants of round 400,000, Bristol is the most important metropolis in southern England after London and the most important transport port in England. It obtained a royal constitution in 1155 and, till the rise of Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester through the Industrial Revolution, was one among England’s largest cities. Bristol suffered in depth bombing throughout World War II and a subsequent steep decline in its manufacturing trade.

The port of Bristol grew up in medieval instances due to its location close to the rivers Avon and Frome. At the start of the nineteenth century, this space was was the enclosed Floating Harbour by the development of locks. With the appearance of bigger ships, although, the Avon Gorge turned an excessive amount of of a legal responsibility, and industrial transport moved downstream to extra fashionable docks at Avonmouth and Portbury.

The metropolis is not an industrial middle, however relatively a vibrant faculty city. The University of Bristol dominates the town, and the scholars present a variety of earnings and jobs for the group.

Spending the day strolling round, I discovered the town fairly simple to navigate. Almost the whole lot was inside strolling distance from someplace. And if it wasn’t, the town has an easy-to-use bus system that may take you wherever you want to go.

Bristol England's waterfront

The waterfront space has a pleasant assortment of eating places and artwork galleries. It’s been cleaned up lately and has turn into a native scorching spot. It’s a very modern space, and you possibly can see the renovation was not accomplished. More condos have been being constructed, extra eating places going up, extra galleries within the works. I think this will probably be a really upscale place throughout the subsequent few years.

What I actually loved essentially the most about Bristol have been all of the parks. Bristol is full of nice parks. I significantly favored Castle Park. Castle Park is positioned close to the river and encompasses a bombed-out church from World War II. The church has been left in ruins as a monument to the destruction of the warfare. Around the church are stunning gardens and grassy fields the place locals collect for lunch. I sat there throughout lunchtime and watched the park fill with workplace employees having fun with the recent air whereas they ate. It was an excellent place to people-watch.

Here are some issues to see and do in Bristol:

Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral; Photo by Mario Sánchez Prada (flickr:@mariosp)
(College Green, West End, +44 117 926 4879, bristol-cathedral.co.uk)
This is likely one of the true must-sees in Bristol. It’s a phenomenal cathedral that was constructed through the Norman Era and initially the abbey of St. Augustine (you already know the man with the quote). It’s open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm and Sunday from 7:20am to 5pm. Admission is free. It’s grand and shouldn’t be missed. Catch a tour of the Cathedral on Saturdays at 10am and 3pm and on Tuesdays at 2:15pm. The excursions are free however a donation is appreciated.

Visit King Street
King Street is an enchanting, historic a part of Bristol. It used to be the place the outdated crusing barges docked after their journeys from South Wales. Now the realm is the guts of the theatrical district and options excellent bars and eating places too.

Go see the Clifton Suspension Bridge
the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England
(+44 117 973 1579, cliftonbridge.org.uk)
This is Bristol’s most well-known landmark. Suspended excessive above a river, this isn’t an attraction for these afraid of heights. The bridge provides you sweeping views of the river and surrounding parks and buildings. The bridge is open and manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Stop in on the customer centre any day from 10am to 5pm.

Check out St. Nicholas Market
(Corn St, +44 117 922 4014, stnicholasmarketbristol.co.uk)
Just off the outdated Corn Exchange, that is an superior, bustling market with extra outlets than you possibly can undergo in a day. There appears to be an infinite variety of farmers’ stalls, with superb native produce, second-hand bookshops, and classic clothes shops. The markets are open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm, excluding financial institution holidays.

Visit the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
(Queens Road, +44 117 922 3571, web site)
A museum is superior as a result of it coves a little bit little bit of the whole lot. From archaeology to dinosaurs to English historical past to artwork (from all ages), it’s the realm’s largest museum and one among my private favorites. It’s not too overwhelming and it’s simple to see in a day. Plus, like all public museums in England, it’s free! You can go to the museum and gallery Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.


I assumed Bristol, with its outdated industrial-turned-Bohemian appeal, made for an excellent place to spend a number of days. There have been historic homes to go to, a number of 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. But that works out for the remainder of us. For whereas everybody else heads off to Bath, we will have the town of Bristol to ourselves.

I think sooner or later the phrase will get out, however, at the very least for now, Bristol stays a hidden gem and a metropolis that’s effectively price a go to.

Book Your Trip to Bristol: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find an affordable flight to Bristol through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favourite serps. Start with Momondo.

Book Your Acommodation
You can e book your hostel in Bristol with Hostelworld. If you need to keep elsewhere, use Booking.com as they persistently return the most affordable charges. (Here’s the proof.)

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. I by no means ever go on a visit with out it. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. You ought to too.

Need Some Gear?
Check out our useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to use!

Want More Information on Bristol?
Be positive to go to our strong vacation spot information on Bristol for much more planning suggestions!

Note: This article was initially printed in 2008.

Photo credit: three

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About Christopher Ahn

Christopher L. Ahn writes for Lifestyle and Travel Sections in AmericaRichest.

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