FUNtastic facts about Bristol:
- Bristol has been selected as one of the World’s Top 10 Cities to visit in 2009 by DK Eyewitness, the world’s best-selling guidebook publisher. Other cities within the list include Buenos Aires, Gdansk, Washington DC, Vienna, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Fes, Seattle (USA) and Vilnius.
- Bristol was the only UK city to be short-listed for the first ever ‘European Green Capital’ award. The city was selected alongside seven other European top environmental cities out of 35 initial applications.
- On 9th November 2008, just days after being recognised as a potential European Green Capital, Bristol was then announced as the ‘UK’s Most Sustainable City’ in a separate independent assessment undertaken by Forum for the Future.
- Bristol was crowned ‘European City of the Year’ at the annual awards held by the Academy of Urbanism, whose 100 members include industry-leading architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers.
- Bristol’s new £500million retail development, Cabot Circus, won the ‘Best Shopping Centre in Europe’ award at the 2008 MAPIC International Retail Development Conference in Cannes on 21st November 2008.
Some great things to see around Bristol
With so much to see, explore and do in Bristol, it can sometimes be difficult to fit it all into your stay. Take your pick from a long list of attractions; from ancient sailing ships to magnificent natural caves; incredible zoos to cutting-edge science and technology exhibits. It’s all here in Bristol, waiting to be discovered.
Avon Valley Railway
A great treat for the whole family! Based at Bitton Station, midway between Bristol and Bath, this former Midland Railway station has been painstakingly restored from a derelict state to provide visitors with refreshment, a railway shop, a pleasant garden, and outdoor seating.
Bitton Station Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol, BS30 6HD
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Learn about the animals and feeds throughout the day and get interactive with a variety of trails and activities. During the summer months, the Zoo also becomes a fantastic backdrop for music and theatre events. The new Monkey Jungle has a Lemur Garden where you can get up close to two species of lemur in a naturalistic, barrier-free environment. Their Monkey Jungle neighbours are lion-tailed macaques, black howlers and De Brazza´s monkeys. Some of the other attractions on site include the award-winning Seal and Penguin Coast that allows South American fur seals and African penguins to be watched both above and below the water, an Asian lion enclosure, pygmy hippos, Bug World, Twilight World, an Aquarium and a Reptile House and the childrens play areas.
Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA
An amazing world of hands-on discovery. With action-packed exhibits, live shows and a planetarium, Explore really is one of the UK´s most exciting interactive science centres. Put your mind and body to the test, get into a spin on a human gyroscope, have a game of virtual volleyball and experience the wonky side of life in the leaning lounge. Explore involves people of all ages in an incredible journey through the workings of the world around us. Plus there is always something new to discover with Explore´s programme of special exhibitions – from animation to flight, illusions and sport! The chrome-plated, futuristic sphere in Millennium Square is the Planetarium, where you can sit back and take a trip to the stars beneath an immersive domed screen in our new seasonal star show.
Explore-At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB
SS Great Britain
Brunel´s masterpiece of ship design and engineering, is housed in the original `Great Western Dock´ in which she was built in 1843. The ship is the world´s first great ocean liner – before she was built, long distance sea voyages that were made on wooden sailing ships were dangerous and unpredictable. Sea travel took a great leap forward when famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel applied his remarkable skill to the problem. She was the largest ship of her day and the first screw-propelled iron passenger liner; in fact the ship is really the forerunner of all modern ships.
Great Western Dock, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6TY
The Somerset & Dorset Railway
At Midsomer Norton you will find the restored station buildings, signalbox, goods shed and also the original stable block and wartime pillbox. See a diesel locomotive, an under-restoration Sentinel 0-4-0 vertical-boilered steam locomotive, plus freight and passenger rolling stock and static buffet coach open for refreshments..
Midsomer Norton Station,Silver Street, Midsomer Norton BA3 2EY
Bristol boasts a diverse culture and arts scene, and has produced some of the most talented artists in the country. A vast number of unique and eclectic venues and galleries display works from across the UK and the rest of the world, with new and exciting exhibitions arriving throughout the year. Below are just some of the fantastic museums, galleries and art centres in Bristol.
City Museum & Art Gallery
Boasting an outstanding collection of art, archaeology and natural history artefacts, with an ever-changing schedule of events and exhibitions.
The Georgian House
This historic and impeccably preserved townhouse provides a fascinating insight into the day-to-day life of the Georgian era.
The Red Lodge
Historic Elizabethan house and tranquil walled garden located in the heart of Bristol’s West End.
Blaise Castle House Museum
Wonderful estate and folly castle hosting an exciting Blaise Castle House Museumcollection of objects, including a stunning collection of period costumes and Victorian schoolroom.
Kings Weston Roman Villa
4th Century Roman villa displaying the impressive remains of the original mosaic flooring, heating system and bath suite.
The Edward Jenner Museum
Located in Berkeley next to the famous castle, this museum gives a fascinating insight into the home of the vaccination pioneer Edward Jenner, who discovered the cure for smallpox.
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Visit the UK’s largest aviation collection and experience life on the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
The visitor centre at the bridge contains displays and artefacts explaining the history, construction and maintenance of this world famous symbol of the city of Bristol.
The Royal West of England Academy
Bristol’s first art gallery, The Royal Academy has a growing collection of over 1200 works of art from the 19th century to the present day.
Watch unique world cinema and attend intriguing events at this trendy media centre and café bar on Bristol’s harbourside.
Meet rescued horses, ponies and donkeys and take part in hands-on feeding activities and fun games for all ages.
Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
Located just a few miles from Bristol, this exciting adventure park has everything you’ll need to enjoy a great family day out.
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
From exotic species to the more familiar animals we all know and love, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has everything you’ll need for a great day out.
Walk amongst the resident species of geese, ducks, birds and swans and take part in exciting activities such as the Canoe Safari and Flamingo feeds.
University of Bristol Botanic Garden
Experience a magical journey of the planet’s plant kingdom, with over 4,500 different species housed in a beautiful 5-acre garden.
Cheddar Caves & Gorge
Marvel at the incredible rock formations found underground at Cheddar and learn about the eerie history of these intriguing caves.
Explore this centuries-old castle and see what life was like in days gone by. Included in the castle grounds is a tranquil walled garden and Butterfly House.
Wookey Hole Caves & Papermill
See if you can find the Wookey Witch and take part in loads of other exciting activities at these ancient underground caves. City Museum & Art Gallery
City Museum & Art Gallery
Enjoy free entry to this impressive city museum and art gallery containing ancient artefacts, precious works of art and an ever-changing schedule of exhibits and events.
Bristol Blue Glass Factory
Take a tour of the factory to see how Bristol’s most famous export is created and have a go at blowing your own glass bubble.
For other attractions and more information on Bristol, visit:
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