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Bristol Travel Guide

flights to Bristol

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 University buildings.

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 point.

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