Bristol, unofficial capital of the West Country of England, is best known for it’s Georgian architecture, genteel farmers accents, and cracking festivals.
Every summer, both Brits and overseas travellers flock to Bristol and Weston Super Mare for Glastonbury, a smorgasbord of food festivals, and the Hot Air Ballooning Fiesta in August. Bristol’s hot air ballooning event launches wicker baskets and colourful parachutes into the sky from the Somerset countryside below, where you can find the River Avon, Ashton Court and Tyntesfield. These are just some of the Georgian and Victorian buildings left over from Bristol’s previous legacies.
On the other hand, the Clifton Suspension Bridge was built in 1864. This is now recognized all over the world, and you can see more of Brunel’s brilliant engineering on the SS Britain. This is a former passenger ship that now plays as a museum, and one of Bristol’s crowning jewels in terms of visitor attractions. You can catch it on the marina, which can get pretty busy in summer thanks to the great cafes and restaurants lining the waterfront.
If you fancy getting away from the rest of the tourists, there are plenty of underground bars to discover. The student body of the University of Bristol, and the University of West England fuel the after dark hours in many of Bristol’s pubs and clubs. However, if you are heading out for a few drinks here you have to try the cider. Somerset and the West Country have some of the best cider in the UK, and in Bristol there are pubs, bars and festivals solely dedicated to the fruity fizz.
As one of the warmest places in the UK, Bristol’s visiting months do extend beyond summer, however the city comes alive in the British summertime. Come down, grab a cider, and see what all the fuss is about.
What you need to know
Bristol Airport is 8 miles from the city centre, and there is a “Flyer” bus service several times daily to and from the city centre.
Best time to visit
Bristol is actually one of the warmest cities in the UK, getting up to 1,885 hours of sunshine per year and usually hitting 30 degrees in the summer months.
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