There has been settlement at the mouth of the River Avon, the site of Bristol, since the Stone Age. The surrounding countryside, scattered with mysterious ancient burial mounds, and the centre itself, bear witness to the city’s long history. Today Bristol is one of Britain’s largest cities and a focal point of academic, economic, and cultural activity. Bristol’s has a thriving aviation industry, which had a major hand in the construction of Concorde in the 1960s. Bristol’s economic development had a lot to do with the harbour and its historical role as a major port.


Bristol city centre is a bustling place and has a lot to keep the visitor busy. A wide range of museums includes the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, which features collections of archaeological and historical artefacts, and art exhibitions. Opened in 2002 The Empire and Commonwealth Museum has recently been nominated for the award of European Museum of the Year, and is situated inside Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s imposing railway building.

Brunel also left a significant signature on the Bristolian landscape with the dominating Clifton Suspension Bridge that traverses the Avon Gorge. Another historical stop is the Theatre Royal, the oldest functioning playhouse in the country. Performances have been put on continuously here since 1766, and it is now home to Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company.

Bristol Zoo (and surrounding gardens) is located in the Clifton district, and makes for an excellent family day out. Overlooking the the suspension bridge and the gorge, the Clifton Downs make for a gorgeous green space perfect for a picnic on a lazy afternoon. For those looking to get right out of the city, to the north-east the lovely Cotswold Hills are waiting to be explored, and there are National Cycle Routes running all the way to Bath!

The spacious grounds of Ashton Court are a lovely place to visit in the summer, hosting the International Balloon Fiesta, and a small scale musical event, the Ashton Court Festival. The estate also features a deer park, and numerous hiking and bike trails.

Bristol has long been the site of a thriving music scene, most recently pioneering the unique sound of British trip-hop, and giving birth to internationally renowned artists like Portishead, and Mercury Music Prize winning drum and bass guru Roni Size. Walking around the city it is hard to miss the contemporary murals from secretive but acclaimed graffiti artist Banksy.


Broadmead shopping mall in the city centre is home to the standard array of high street shops, and also hosts many cafés and restaurants to while away the hours.

Bristol Eastside is a positive celebration of the city’s ethnically diverse populace, packed with stores stocking clothes, fabrics and food from East Asia and the Caribbean.

The modern Cribbs Causeway just off the M5 to the north of Bristol is a definite shopping mecca (also hosting a selection of restaurants and cafés for a well-earned break).

Traditionally Bristol is famous for its Blue Glass, and you can buy your own piece in one of the souvenir shops, or pay a visit to the factory to watch it being blown before your eyes.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Bristol’s massive student population has ensured a lively and varied nightlife. There are a multitude of bars and pubs, and Bristol is firmly routed as one of the country’s best nightclubbing hotspots, and is frequented by international standard DJs.

Many people head to the so-called 'golden mile' for a night out. Running down the Whiteladies Road towards the 'Clifton Triangle', it is a concentration of bars, restaurants and clubs all within easy staggering distance!

The multicultural society of Bristol ensures that there are a veritable plethora of restaurants to choose from, ranging from pricey haute cuisine, to hearty meals more to suit a student pocket. If you’re there in September the Organic Food Festival is certainly worthy of a visit.

Tourist Information

Email: 0906 711 2191Overseas Tel. ++44 870 444 0654


The city is served by Bristol International Airport, which can easily be reached by car, taxi, or shuttle bus.

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