Bristol Visitor Guide 2023: Everything You Need To Know
Located on the River Avon in southwest England, Bristol is one of the biggest cities in the country. Its history as a port goes back centuries, and the area has been occupied since at least the Iron Age. Close to southern Wales, Bristol has always been an important place for trade and travel. And while it may be one of England's biggest cities, Bristol also offers easy access to some stunning countryside and natural scenery.
Bristol's long history of trade and maritime exploration has gifted it with several fascinating historic sites. But it's also a vibrant and thriving town that has more than its history going for it. Drop off your bags at a Bristol luggage storage service and see what the city has to offer.
A weekend in Bristol
A weekend in Bristol gives you enough time to see some of the city’s top attractions. While you won’t exhaust what Bristol has to offer in only a couple of days, you will be able to get a sense of this town. Drop off your bags at a Bristol bag storage and get ready to explore.
- The Clifton Suspension Bridge, opened in 1864, is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. Spanning the deep Avon Gorge, the bridge is a great place to walk across. There's also a visitor center that explains the history and importance of the bridge.
- Explore the world without leaving the city thanks to We The Curious. This cutting-edge science center is famous for its huge reflective dome. Travel the stars in the planetarium or learn about hot topics in various fields at the live science zone. The interactive exhibits are both educational and entertaining, making this a great rainy day activity in Bristol.
- Celebrate Bristol's maritime heritage on the SS Great Britain. Built in 1845, the ship used to travel between Bristol and New York during the age of steam. Now, it's a floating museum that lets you learn more about the importance of shipping to the city.
Like many historic cities, Bristol is best explored on foot. Make walking easier by dropping off any unneeded bags at a Bristol suitcase storage. Knowing your belongings are safely looked after will be a weight off your mind as you wander through the charming streets of the city. And if you decide to explore more of the local countryside, you'll be even more glad you left your bags behind.
Off the beaten path in Bristol
Along with its more famous attractions, Bristol is a city with a quirky side. Step away from the better-known attractions and celebrate this side of the city at these hidden gems. Getting off the beaten path is the best way to get to know this fascinating place.
- The impressive Gothic church of St. Mary Redcliffe dates back to the fifteenth century. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth the First, this stunning church is a great place to enjoy some serenity amid beautiful surroundings. If you're lucky, you may even catch a choral or organ performance inside.
- See how people lived during Bristol's heyday at the Georgian House. Dating back to 1790, the house has been restored to the way it was then and is free to visit. Learn how both the rich and the less well-off lived in this historic mansion.
- Take a ride on the Avon Valley Railway. This rail line used to connect Bristol to Bath, but is now a tourist attraction. With a fully restored Victorian railway station and regular steam trains, this train can whisk you back in time to the Industrial Age.
What to do alone in Bristol
Bristol is an intriguing place for solo travelers. This safe city has plenty to do, whether you're traveling for a vacation or just looking to enjoy some downtime on a business trip. Drop off your bags at a Bristol luggage locker and enjoy a solo trip.
- Visit the cultural hub of the city at Watershed. Founded in 1982, Watershed is an art center housed in historic waterfront warehouses. With three cinemas, this is a great place to explore the world of film, both local and international.
- Catch a show at the Bristol Hippodrome. This historic theater dates back to 1912 and still hosts some of the biggest names in live performance to this day. Live comedy and theater are regularly performed, so get yourself a ticket and enjoy the show.
- Check out some of Bristol’s legendary speakeasies. Finding these Prohibition-era pubs is half the fun. Hyde & Co is one of the best known, but The Milk Thistle, Red Light, and Kinkajou are all worth exploring.
Best souvenirs in Bristol
The West of England is known for cider production. The Bristol Cider Shop has an impressive array of ciders for sale, especially considering that all the ciders they sell are made within 50 miles of the store. Whatever your taste, chances are good you'll find a cider to suit you here.
If food is more your thing, visit Grape and Grind for unique food items, including a great range of chutneys and pickles. Bristol blue glass was produced in the city for centuries, and you can pick up fragile yet beautiful souvenirs at Bristol Blue Glass.