In the series of our trip to the UK for Christmas, after the magical London Christmas trip, the next on our list was Welsh capital Cardiff and thereafter Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. In an attempt to make our itinerary smooth we discovered that Cardiff is just an hour away from Bristol and also that there is a good frequency of flights from Bristol to Belfast. Hence, Bristol got into our UK series eventually when revising our initial trip itinerary.
We boarded a train from London to Bristol which took us around two hours. We traveled through the beautiful green landscapes with horses, cows, sheep grazing in the meadows. The vast greens fields would be cut in by small canals every now and then with ducks swimming in them. The sceneries throughout the journey were breathtaking.
As Bristol was not a part of our trip initially we did not have a dedicated day for the sightseeing of Bristol city. We reached Bristol in the morning and decided to walk to the apartment exploring the city on our way to make the most of our stay in the city.
A short walk from Bristol Temple Meads station is the 900 years old St. Mary Redcliffe Church. This Anglican parish church was constructed from the 12th to the 15th centuries and is known for its remarkable Gothic architecture. The interior of the church with the prismatic stained glasses and the remarkable carvings of nave ceiling make it worth a visit.
We walked into the Queens Square, which is a garden surrounded by beautiful Georgian buildings and has an equestrian statue standing in the middle.
Walking past the garden, we came to an old harbor of the Bristol City, which is a lovely place to sit and relax.
The harbor was once a busy port and is today a tourist attraction with museums, exhibitions, and nightclubs. Several ferry services and river cruise tours with commentaries operate on the harbor side.
Walkable distance from the harbor is the Brunel’s SS Great Britain, which was the first iron-hulled and propeller-driven ocean liner and is open for public visit. An interactive museum narrates the story of the SS Britain’s sail across the Atlantic. Visitors can walk through the decks and levels of the vessel for an experience of life at sea for the sailors.
Just around the corner of the Harbor is the Bristol Aquarium. The aquarium is home to thousands of marvelous aquatic creatures. Botanical House exhibits hundreds of exotic plant and tree species from around the world. One can enjoy a close proximity to the sea life in an underwater walk-through tunnel.
At-Bristol is a science center that displays interactive exhibits and hosts shows and workshops for students and visitors. The center also has a planetarium.
We came across several other interesting buildings on the way. The City Hall is a Neo-Georgian style building, which is home to the Bristol City Council and a venue for conferences and events. The building has gorgeous fountains with entrance overlooking the moat and the green space.
Bristol Cathedral is a German Gothic architecture building located in the close vicinity. It is a significant example of a hall church with its nave, choir, and aisles, all at the same height.
The Wills Memorial Building is a Neo-Gothic building, which is a landmark building of the University of Bristol.
And the Greek Revival style Victoria Rooms that houses the University of Bristol’s music department was just around the corner of our apartment.
Once at the apartment, we freshened up and decided to visit the Blaise Hamlet. We took a bus (3 or 4) and got down at castle stop. Hamlet is a group of nine small traditional cottages.
Blaise Castle Estate is located near the Hamlet. The castle estate has a large green park space with a play area for kids, a museum, and a cafe. We could not explore the Blaise Castle due to the short of time. There is also an old mill and stream down from the park which is a lovely place to spend time.
Once back to the city center we took 8 no bus to Clifton village to view the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. Clifton Village is wonderful locality with several shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, and stunning architectural buildings. We visited the White Lion Restaurant, which has a terrace, and an open garden, which undoubtedly provides one of the best views of the bridge with a backdrop of Avon Gorge and the city.
We found a couple of Indian restaurants in the vicinity of the restaurants and decided to have an early dinner. We had a delicious food with some Bollywood numbers playing in the background. The food and the music both made us nostalgic.
Bristol has some of the best and well-preserved street art. Bristol is home to the Banksy and other graffiti artists whose murals and graffiti artwork can be seen on shops, public walls, and bridges. London also has well-preserved works of Banksy read London Graffiti Tour.
Bristol is an easy and inexpensive train ride from London and makes for a great weekend trip.
Bristol city has for a long time been an inspiration for the movies and artists and is certainly an amazing city and travel destination worth visit again.
Have you been to Bristol? What places have you been to in Bristol? We would love to hear do share with us in comments
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