Where and What to Hire
Bristol has a large selection of car hire companies. At Bristol Airport major international car hire firms including Europecar, Budget Rent a Car, Inter Rent, Enterprise and Green Motion are all available. In Bristol city centre Sixt, U Drive, Enterprise and Thrifty are all located in the Saint Phillips area a short drive from Bristol Temple Meads train station. There is also Sixt car hire a little way form the centre on the Whitchurch Road and one near Downend. Avon Car and Hertz are in Stoke Gifford while another Enterprise is located in Henbury. A wide range of cars are available from small city cars to family people carriers, luxury vehicles and van hire.
Driving in Bristol is often not recommended due to the sheer volume of traffic and slightly chaotic road system. Bristol city centre is in essence a one way system which can be frustrating for drivers new to the area, but navigable once known. Rush hour during the week is generally form 8am to 9.30am and from 4pm to 6pm. There are some cycle lanes in the centre of Bristol but many cyclists ride on the roads in areas where there are limited cycle lanes.
There are a number of parking options in Bristol. There are plenty of under-ground and multi storey car parks to choose from with no time restrictions. There is pay and display on street parking around the city, which is time limited. If you are parking on a Saturday, it is wise to leave as early as possible as places fill up quickly – after 11.30am there is often nothing available. Bristol has three controlled parking zones in the city centre with many double and single yellow lines in operation. The Central Zone is in the Old City, the Inner Zone includes The Centre, Broadmead and Castle Park while the Outer Zone extends to the city limits. One of the best options is to use the Park and Ride system. With three main routes and excellent bus links, it is better to park the car here and hop on a bus into the centre of town.
Where to Go and What to See
Having a car may be a hassle in the centre of Bristol but it is worth having to explore the local area. Bath is just a 40 minute drive away and has some exquisite spa facilities not to mention beautiful Regency terraces and Roman remains to admire. Just under an hour away is the city of Wells with its stunning cathedral and charming streets lined with souvenir shops and cafes. Just 34 miles south of Bristol is Weston Super-Mare which is the nearest seaside resort. A lovely place for the whole family, kids can play in the sand and enjoy the rides and entertainment on offer. 65 miles north of Bristol and approximately and hour and 20 minute drive are the breath-taking Cotswolds. For anyone wanting to mountain bike, hike or take long romantic walks in spectacular scenery, ramble through sleepy villages, eat in cosy pubs and marvel at ancient architecture, this is the place to go.