Bristol: A south west hub…
Bristol is a great city with a lively ambience which stands astride the River Avon and is famous for its maritime history and Brunel’s feat of engineering, the Clifton Suspension Bridge that stretches across the Avon Gorge.
In the city centre you’ll find modern shopping arcades alongside some very imposing Victorian architecture - the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel in the Old City is a fine example. There are quiet Georgian squares and the green lawns of College Green where the cathedral stands, and then the streets stretch out to the bohemian quarters of Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft, lined with independent shops and eateries, jazzed up with huge murals, and there’s a lively music scene round these parts. Leafy Clifton is well known for its Georgian architecture, and for Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Downs beyond; just over the suspension bridge the grounds of Ashton Court, home of the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta; an awesome sight!
Bristol Harbourside has seem much redevelopment and the 19th century warehouses are now home to a plethora of shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries, including We The Curious and M Shed; it’s where Brunel’s SS Great Britain sits in its dry dock. This part of the city is a vibrant yet relaxing place to be; people come here just to chill out, grab a bite to eat and take a boat trip or try stand-up paddle boarding on the waters. Southville and Bedminster is another area of lively streets, urban art and city farms, and it’s where you’ll find Ashton Gate Stadium, home of Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby.
The Temple Meads and Temple Quay is another waterside area that’s fast attracting more and more businesses, very much the city’s centre for commerce and creative industry; in one of the oldest train stations in the world is The Passenger Shed, a huge open event space. Head east out of the city towards Bath you’ll find the original Bristol Blue Glass Factory and the gothic Arnos Vale Cemetery, strangely popular for midnight weddings. Bristol is no bother to get to whatever your mode of transport; it’s easily reached from the M5 and M4, is served by three train stations and is just 8.5 miles from Bristol Airport.