Best in Bristol
For those who didn't ace geography you should know that Bristol is a city located in South West England with little under 500,000 inhabitants and a history that stretches all the way back to the Iron Age. Whether you're traveling with the family, on a romantic break, searching for historic sites or just up for some UK shopping, Bristol is a great destination.
Having a history is great but today Bristol is a modern city built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries. The city is one of UK's most popular destinations not the least based on the fact that it is an excellent starting point for exploring South West England and Wales but also as this is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the UK.
What to do in Bristol
The first thing you'll notice about Bristol is the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the amazing hilly landscape. Clifton Bridge is Bristol's most famous landmark which is fitting since the city's old English name, Brycgstow, means “the place at the bridge.” After checking out the famous bridge take a stroll around town and feast your eyes on some of the city's street art, most notably the early works of world renowned artist Banksy who grew up in Bristol. A Bristol vacation would not be complete without a visit to Brunel's ss Great Britain a.k.a. “The ship that changed the world”, a former passenger steamship that sailed between Bristol and New York and that for a time was the longest of its kind in the world (1845-1854). Built in Bristol the ship now serves as a museum in Bristol Harbour where you can learn about the ship's history as well as witness the miracle of its restoration.
What to do in South West England
Flying to Bristol Airport is the obvious choice for those who want to explore the beautiful countryside of South West England. With historical cities Bath and Glaucester nearby you'll be sure to get your fill of Roman history in the UK. The Cotswolds area, famous for its hundreds of honey-colored limestone villages in a beautiful rural setting is also close by. Try renting a cottage and taking leisurely strolls around the pretty villages and the nearby hills or better yet—rent bikes for the whole family and see more of the area. Just across the Bristol Channel you'll be entering South Wales known for its natural beauty – just perfect for a family road trip.
Last but not least flying to Bristol is ideal if you have always wanted to see Stonehenge. This prehistoric site shrouded in mystery is located in Wiltshire, ca. 50 miles southeast of Bristol. Believed to have been constructed 3000-2000 BC the monument was added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 along with its bigger, although seemingly lesser known cousin, the Avebury henge also in South West England (ca. 23 miles north of Stonehenge). If you like ancient mysteries the henges will surely keep you busy, at least for a day.
Good times in Bristol
Visit Bristol in July and be a part of the Bristol Shakespeare Festival, an event with a pasion for bringing the freshest, most exciting productions of Shakespeare's plays to beautiful and unusual spaces around Bristol.
Also in July there's the Bristol Harbour Festival held on or near the waterfront of Bristol Harbour, celebrating the city's maritime heritage.
Visit Bristol in August for the magnificent Bristol International Balloon Fiesta where teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their colorful hot air balloons and participate in mass ascents. It is surely a sight to behold.
Visit Bristol in late August or September for a chance to witness the Bristol International Kite Festival where hundreds of brilliant kites are airborne at the Ashton Court Estate.