Wondering what to see in Bristol? Well, you’re in luck – there’s plenty to do both in the city and the beautiful West County surrounds.
There is more than enough to see in Bristol itself, but if you’re looking to get out a bit further and explore all that West County has to offer, here are a few attractions and destinations you should put on your list.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
One of the most famous landmarks and things to see in Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a 19th century bridge spanning the Avon Gorge. It sits at a jaw-dropping 75m above the River Avon and is both a pedestrian and vehicle bridge. For the best view of the bridge, walk over to Observatory Hill in Clifton or learn more about this historic architectural feat in the Visitor Centre in Leigh Woods. You can also explore the Avon Trail which will take you right under the bridge so you can discover rare Avon Gorge plants and even spot majestic peregrine falcons flying high above you. Once you’re in Clifton, you can visit the Bristol Zoo Gardens, the 5th oldest zoo in the world.
Art fans will be familiar with Bristol thanks to Banksy, the legendary anonymous street artist. Today, you can take a walking tour to see all of Banksy’s renowned artwork, or else simply wander around some of the alternative suburbs in the east of Bristol. Stokes Croft is the bohemian heart of the city and where you’ll find lots of musicians and artists and is one of the places to visit in Bristol where you can find Banksy’s work. His very first mural, The Mild, Mild West, is painted onto a former solicitor’s office. St Werburghs is also worth checking out – it’s an urban oasis with eco-friendly gardens, organic cafes and lively pubs. St Pauls and Easton are two very international quarters where you can expect to find everything from reggae bars to Chinese supermarkets and Somalian cafes. It’s a treat for all your senses.
Just five miles from Bristol is the coastal village of Portishead. It’s an historic fishing port overlooking the Severn Estuary and is a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of Bristol. Pick up souvenirs along the Victorian High Street or enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at Portishead Marina. There are lots of green parks and open spaces, ideal for relaxing in the summer sun, while the surrounds of Gordano Valley Nature Reserve, Battery Point and Clevedon Coast Path are known for their scenic walking tracks. Buses run regularly both to Bristol and to nearby attractions including Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and Oakham Treasures.
If you’re looking for a beach, the nearest to Bristol is Weston-super-Mare, about 25 miles from the city centre. Here, you can relax seaside on Weston Bay and its miles of sandy beach. You can do all the usual watersports, go on rides at the Grand Pier and Weston Wheel, or wander over to Brean Down to see an old Victorian fort and some stunning cliffs overlooking the Bristol Channel. There is also a large aquarium and waterpark for kids.
Cycle Bristol to Bath
Get out of the city and ride down an old disused railway line all the way to neighbouring Bath. The route runs for 13 miles and is traffic-free, so you can take all the time you want to admire the beautiful green suburbs and lush country landscapes. Still want more? After you’ve arrived in Bath, you can continue on to Bradford on Avon where you will be rewarded with scenery even more spectacular than the first leg. And don’t worry – there are trains to take you all the way back to Bristol again!