Bristol, the city of bridges, balloons, boats, bikes, Brunel and Banksy!
The world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.
Brunel is considered to be one of the greatest engineers in history and one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering, including the SS Great Britain, which you can visit at Bristol’s historic Harbourside.
This area is packed with cafés and bars offering delicious locally-sourced food and drink, and is also home to the various museums and galleries.
If balloons are more your thing then Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta is a must. It is Europe's largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 hot air balloons from across the globe. They take to the skies for four days every August.
Bristol is an eco-friendly, sustainable city, and is the UK’s first cycling city. There are many cycle routes around the city, Harbourside and neighbouring countryside. You can even get to Bath on the Bristol-to-Bath cycle path.
Banksy is now a world-famous artist, but once he was just a kid on the streets of Bristol with a can of spray paint. You can still see some of his work on a great self-guided Banksy walking tour of the city. Contemporary art can also be found at galleries such as the Arnolfini and Watershed.
If you are looking for a shopping destination packed with high fashion, vintage and retro, or exquisite home furnishings, Bristol is the place. You can choose from Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars, The Galleries and Broadmead, which together have over 500 stores, or bohemian Clifton Village. Park Street is pretty steep, but you will be rewarded the trendiest independent clothes and curious shops in the city.
Bristol is also home to the world’s third oldest zoo, so whether you’re looking for a great day out for all the family, a romantic break or a just little adventure, there’s a fantastic range of things to do in this vibrant city.