Bristol has a great choice of activities and days out to interest and entertain all the family. Take a walk on the wild side and visit Bristol Zoo to get up close to the animals. The fifth oldest zoo in the world opened in 1836 and has played an important part in global conservation. Bristol has a strong maritime heritage and down at the Great Western Dockyard you will find the SS Great Britain. Created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843, the ship had a profound impact on ship building, combining steam and sail power to significantly increase both speed and efficiency. Whilst at The Dockyard, take in the Being Brunel museum to discover the history and legacy of the great engineer who constructed tunnels, railways, ships and bridges – including the nearby Clifton Suspension Bridge that spans the River Avon and local landmark the Avon Gorge. Take a tour of the MShed to discover the history of Bristol over the years including exhibits from the city’s industrial and maritime past and its part in the 17th century transatlantic slave trade.
If you enjoy art then head to Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery to take in the fantastic collections including the works of local boy Banksy. Across the way on College Green you will find the Cabot Tower, with views across the city – if you climb the 108 steps! Not too far away stands the amazing architecture of Bristol Cathedral, built in the 12th century – take a tour, enjoy the gardens and café.
Bristol has a great range of choice for those looking to indulge in some retail therapy. From high street brands, to designer collections and individual boutiques – check out Gloucester Road – there is something for all tastes. Choose from the Clifton Village, St. Nicholas Market, or head for the Bristol Shopping Quarter where you will find more than 500 shops, cafes and restaurants or explore the Christmas Steps Art Quarter with its shops, galleries and studios.
From a sporting perspective you will find two rival football teams – Bristol City and Bristol Rovers and the ground of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, as well as basketball, ice hockey and American football.
Bristol has a large range of annual events including the Bristol Balloon Festival at Ashton Court Estate, maritime extravaganza the Bristol Harbour Festival, Upfest, Valleyfest and Bristol Americana Festival.
Bristol’s famous faces include film star Cary Grant, Poet Laureate Robert Southey and social reformer Mary Carpenter.
Bristol’s traditional food includes typical West Country fayre such as cheeses and cider – but the area has also gained a reputation for being the burger capital of Britain with some amazing examples available in the many restaurants of the city.
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