With a youthful arts and entertainment scene, international festivals and many family-friendly attractions, Bristol is one of the U.K.’s most vibrant cities.
Visit Bristol to enjoy a diverse entertainment scene, some of the best produce Britain has to offer, locally brewed beer, and many museums and historical displays.
The River Avon is Bristol’s lifeblood and the city’s harbor is a great place to start your visit. Once a center of the shipping industry, the harbor area has now been regenerated into one of culture and entertainment. It’s the site of the annual Bristol Harbour Festival, one of the U.K.’s largest festivals. The harbor is also home to the steamship SS Great Britain. Buy a ticket and climb aboard to learn about the vessel’s eventful life at sea, and understand why it’s considered to be a marvel of its time.
In the city center, visit St. Nicholas Market and spend a morning or afternoon browsing stalls selling anything from old records and handmade jewelry, to hot sauces and haberdashery. On Wednesdays, head here to buy fresh produce at the farmer’s market, then enjoy a snack made with locally sourced ingredients. Pair your food with a Somerset cider or a beer from the local Butcombe and Zerodegrees breweries.
By night, Bristol offers a range of entertainment options from classical music at Colston Hall, to theater at the Bristol Old Vic and Bristol Hippodrome.
The city also offers plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy. Attractions like At-Bristol, Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo Gardens and M Shed get kids burning energy while they learn. Another Bristol landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, is a short drive from the center of town. Families will also enjoy the city’s festivals, including the Bristol Festival of Nature, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Europe’s largest hot air balloon event, and the Bristol Festival of Puppetry.
Bristol is one of the warmest, and sunniest, cities in the U.K. This is due to its position in the south, and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find better accommodation deals outside the warmer months, which are between May and September.
Getting around Bristol is easy and the city actively promotes public transportation. Make use of the excellent bus service, or rent a bike and see why this city is considered so cycle-friendly.