Bristol Travel Guide
Less than 2 hours from London by train Bristol has a distinctly rural
feel that belies it size and population of over half a million. Even from the
city centre it is possible to see the Mendip hills forming a distant green
backdrop to the south west of the city. A real city of contrasts.
For the visitor much of the action centres around the Waterfront from where Cabot
sailed in the late 15th century to discover parts of the America’s
and Harvey’s first imported their famous sherries. They have an impressive
museum to prove it!. Today the area is a lively cosmopolitan blend of cafes,
bars and restaurants alongside specialist shops and art galleries, one of
which, The Arnolfini regularly
holds ground breaking exhibitions of modern art.
Just behind the Waterfront is a brand new attraction, “At Bristol”, which describes itself as “a unique
destination bringing science, nature and art to life”. A short water taxi ride
away is another of Brunel’s masterpieces the SS Great Britain, the worlds first
iron hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner. Making her
maiden voyage in 1843 the”Great Britain” carried of thousands of emigrants to
new lives in America and Australia. In the late 1870’s carrying a cargo of
Welsh coal to San Francisco she ran into foul weather off Cape Horn and sought
refuge in the Falkland Islands. There she remained, being used as a storage
hulk for almost a hundred years, until in 1970 she was towed 7,000 miles across
the Atlantic back home to Bristol. Now fully restored and open to the public
she sits resplendent in all her former glory in the Great Western Dockyard.
Another popular area for residents and visitors is Clifton about a mile from the city
centre. Clifton’s grand Georgian streets are home to numerous antique shops,
galleries and some fine eateries. Park Street between Clifton and the centre is
a steep hill full of specialist shopping outlets leading up to the impressive
Bristolians take their entertainment seriously; the city
centre must have one of the highest concentrations of pubs and clubs anywhere
in Britain catering for a wide range of beverage, food and musical tastes.
Bristol justifiably is widely recognised for its fine restaurants including a
number of Michelin starred establishments. The Colston Hall has seen the
better part of a hundred years of use but is still the leading venue for a huge
variety of dramatic, musical and other events.
As a regional centre Bristol has a first class transport network. Direct rail links connect the city with most
major UK destinations. Bristol
Airport, quaintly named Lulsgate Bottom, has recently become a regional hub
for the “no frills” airline Go serving a dozen or so popular
European destinations. In addition several other airlines operate to many cities
within the UK and Europe and the airport is a popular charter flight departure
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