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Bristol

TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City
Nestled in the hills of South West England, Bristol, to put it simply, does all things great—be it the SS Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension Bridge or the fierce murals of Banksy. Marvel at Brunel’s vision that the Clifton Suspension Bridge is built in 1864 to carry light horse-drawn traffic and foot passengers. See the world’s first ocean-going propeller driven iron ship, SS Great Britain, built in 1843. Visit M Shed, spanning Bristol’s history, the Blaise Castle House Museum for its period costumes, paintings and other artefacts. The 1898 built Cabot Tower, the Oakham Treasures, the Ashton Court, the Queen Square, are some other sights worth visiting. Catch a show at Bristol Old Vic Theatre, shop at St Nicholas Market and cycle from Bristol to Bath to enjoy the picturesque trail. Festivals, history, music, shows, or nature—all this and more simply add to the irresistible charm that Bristol is!
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is a suspension bridge that links Clifton in Bristol with Leigh Woods in North Somerset. The bridge runs along 1,352 ft in length and was opened in the year 1864. It spans the River Avon and the Avon Gorge and has around 10,000 vehicles crossing its lofty and expansive structure daily. A symbol of Bristol, it is depicted on postcards, websites and other promotional material and also served as the venue for the first ever bungee jump in 1979. Take a drive on this masterpiece of Victorian engineering and admire the astonishing views from a dazzling height.

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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Opened in 1836, the Bristol Zoo Gardens set amidst 12 acres of beautiful gardens, houses more than 400 different species and nine under-cover animal enclosures. Its main objective is to save and conserve wildlife, as well as protect endangered species and habitats. It is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and families can easily spend a full day here with plenty to explore. Have a look at the majestic Asiatic lions prowling around, the South American fur seals and African penguins swimming and sunning themselves, and see the silverback gorilla roar and beat its chest like a drum.

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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain

Marvel at the sheer size and majesty of this historic passenger steamship which was the longest of its kind from 1845 to 1854. It sailed out on its maiden voyage in July, 1845 and transported a large number of immigrants to Australia during 1852 to 1881. It had three decks out of which two were for passengers and one was for the cargo. It remains at the Bristol dry docks permanently since 1970 and has been converted into a museum. This is a major attraction in the city and witnesses an annual footfall of 150,000 to 200,000 visitors.

Image Courtesy: Antoinel~commonswiki
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Cabot Circus

Cabot Circus

Opened in 2008, Cabot Circus is a huge shopping centre located in the heart of Bristol that occupies a vast area of 1,000,000 sq ft. It houses 140 stores over four floors and has the capacity for 2,500 car parking slots. It also houses various restaurants, a 13-screen cinema theatre, offices, a hotel and 250 residential apartments. Visit Cabot Circus for an ultimate shopping experience with its high end brands that includes 15 noted flagship stores.

Image Courtesy: lulu2626 / Shutterstock
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City At Bristol

At Bristol

This science centre was established in 2000 and is one of the largest of its kind in UK and also houses UK’s only 3D planetarium. It covers two floors and is full of interactive exhibits and live shows and is divided into various exhibition areas—the Live Science Zone, Your Amazing Brain, All About Us, The Planetarium and Animate It, to name a few. You can walk through a tornado, create your own TV show or even be an animator for a day. A great place for hands-on discovery of science for one and all.

Image Courtesy: Villorejo / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Blaise Castle House Museum

Blaise Castle House Museum

Built in the Georgian style of architecture, this is an 18th century mansion house located near Henbury in Bristol, and occupies a vast expanse of 650 acres, which is now open for the public. It was called ‘the finest place in England’ by Jane Austen in one of her novels, and houses several fine paintings as well as a large collection of household items during the times of John Harford who resided here. See the social history collection housed here from kitchen and laundry equipment, to dolls, trains, toys, period costumes, and more. Explore the vast woodlands and enjoy the panoramic view.

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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Wookey Hole Caves

Wookey Hole Caves

The Wookey Hole Caves are a continuous network of limestone caves that have been formed by a continuous process of weathering. There is evidence of human occupation in these caves that dates back to 45,000 years ago, with the discovery of tools and fossilised animal remains from the Palaeolithic Age. The River Axe flows through these caves and a constant temperature of 11 degree C is maintained here. The caves have a depth of 300 ft and a length of 12,760 ft, along with six entrances. The site is also regarded as the birth of cave diving in the UK.

Image Courtesy: Pam Brophy via www.geograph.org.uk
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Bristol Harbour

Bristol Harbour

The Bristol Harbour, also called the Floating Harbour because of its water level remaining constant, covers an area of 70 acres and has been in existence the 13th century. This was the original port that serviced the city, however, it was eventually replaced by the Avonmouth and Portbury docks because of the sharp increase in cargo size. Today, a major tourist attraction, there are many exhibitions, museums, galleries, nightclubs and bars here. The harbour plays annual host to the Bristol Harbour Festival in the month of July, and is frequented by almost 200,000 visitors.

Image Courtesy: pjhpix / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Oakham Treasures

Oakham Treasures

Opened in 2008, one visit here will be like taking a walk down memory lane. Whether you are 8 or 80 years old, this privately owned museum will have something to get you nostalgic with its beautiful collection of memorabilia related to farming and retail. Make sure you have a few hours on hand to completely explore and appreciate everything in the museum, for e.g., Victorian display cabinets, cigarettes, toys, 80-year old still intact chocolate bars, and much more. You can even grab a bite at the café and rest your tired feet after all that walking.

Image Courtesy: www.timeout.com
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Mild Mild West Painting

Mild Mild West Painting

Banksy is an English activist and graffiti artist whose striking works of satirical art occupy and decorate scores of walls and buildings the world over. However, one particular mural stands out from the rest and has become a mini-celebrity in itself. Known as the Mild Mild West, it shows a huge smiling teddy bear holding a Molotov cocktail in his left paw threatening to hurl it into three policemen holding up riot shields. Take a walking tour to discover more than 50 fascinating works of street artists. Art lovers, do pay a visit.

Image Courtesy: William Avery via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Ashton Court

Ashton Court

Visit Ashton Court, a country mansion and park that encompasses an area of 850 acres of lush green woodland and vegetation located to the west of Bristol. It was occupied by the Smyth family from the 16th to the 20th centuries and has been landscaped and developed by the owners that followed. It was converted into a military hospital during the First World War and subsequently into a transit cap during the Second World War. It also has a deer park, horse riding and biking trails, a golf course and a 700 year old oak tree in its confines.

Image Courtesy: Linda Bailey via www.geograph.org.uk
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City  M Shed

M Shed

Gain insights on the history of Bristol from prehistoric times to present day. M Shed is a museum that was formerly a transit shed and showcases 3,000 artefacts and stories about Bristol, tracing the history of Bristol’s role in the slave trade. It also houses exhibits that evaluate the life and work of the local people. It has a collection of historic boats and vessels that are docked in front of it including the world’s oldest steam tugboat, a diesel tugboat and two ordinary tugboats. Opened in 2011, the museum witnessed a footfall of 700,000 visitors in its first year itself.

Image Courtesy: Jaggery via www.geograph.org.uk
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Cycle from Bristol to Bath

Cycle from Bristol to Bath

Owing to the many designated cycling paths and trails prevalent in Bristol, it is no surprise that it has been called England’s first ‘cycling city’. Another reason why it has earned this sobriquet is because of the beautiful and picturesque 13-mile cycling route between Bristol and Bath, known as the ‘Bristol and Bath Railway Path’. It was laid out between 1979 and 1986 on the road belonging to the former Midland Railway. Today it is a way to connect with fascinating places, breathtaking history and several other trails. So cycle away and take in the enchanting sights and sounds of nature as you do.

Image Courtesy: Nick via Flickr
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City St Nicholas Market

St Nicholas Market

Located on Corn Street, St Nicholas Market houses over 50 stalls bustling with food items, vintage clothing, jewellery, records, etc. It was set up in 1743 and is the oldest and a favourite with the locals of Bristol. This place is not to be missed on a visit to the city and is a few steps away from all the centrally located hotels. Located in the heart of the city, it was named as one of the ten best markets in UK. Shop for vintage clothing, jewellery, records, and more at this lovely market.

Image Courtesy: Paul Townsend via Flickr
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Bristol Old Vic Theatre

Bristol Old Vic Theatre

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre, fondly called the Bristol Old Vic, is the longest continuously-running theatre in the UK currently. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to provide the most comfortable viewing experience to the spectators. It is based at the Theatre Royal and was opened in 1766, then rebuilt and refurbished in 1970-72, which increased the seating capacity as well as ten performance areas. Currently it can seat 690 spectators for a single show. Certainly catch a show here.

Image Courtesy: Chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Watershed

Watershed

Watershed opened in 1982 as UK’s first centre dedicated to the media. It is situated on Bristol Harbour and is more than just a simple arts theatre; it also quadruples as a cultural centre, a tourist attraction, a social networking area, a café, and a bar. You can have a look at their production work that cuts across film, theatre, culture, visual art, and music as well as the technology and creative sectors, while you enjoy an organic meal in the warm confines of the café.

Image Courtesy: Heather Cowper via Flickr
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Thekla

Thekla

Visit Thekla which was a former German built coastal trading vessel and was bought by Ki Longfellow-Stanshall who is an American novelist and playwright, to promote all genres of music as well as cabaret, opera, plays, and comedies. It also doubled up as an art gallery and the residence of Stanshall and her entire family. Since the 1990s however, Thekla has been the hub for Bristol’s music scene and operates as an underground nightclub. It was renovated in 2006 and still functions as a nightclub and music venue, especially for live gigs by local bands.

Image Courtesy: NotFromUtrecht via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Bristol Hippodrome

Bristol Hippodrome

The Bristol Hippodrome was opened in 1912 and is a large theatre situated in the heart of the city. It can seat up to a maximum of 1,950 spectators spread out over its three levels of seating. It is owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group and quite often showcases West End theatre shows, is regularly frequented by the Welsh National Opera and hosts the annual Christmas pantomime. It is one of England’s top rated family-friendly theatres that has something on offer for anyone, be it musicals, ballets, concerts, comedy, etc. Do watch a performance here.

Image Courtesy: www.mikehume.com
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge

Head out on a full day of hiking and explore the Cheddar Gorge, which is England’s answer to the Grand Canyon in the US and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a maximum depth of 449 ft and is the site where the oldest human skeleton in the country was discovered in 1903, which is said to be 9,000 years old. It is frequented by more than 500,000 tourists annually and is world-renowned for caving, rock climbing and makes for a great day out for families as well as nature and history lovers.

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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Avon Valley Railway

Avon Valley Railway

This 4.8 km long heritage railway originates at Bitton station and runs all the way to Kelston and Bath along the Avon River. The station has been restored to its former glory by volunteers; the Booking Office and Booking Hall themselves showcase many railway artefacts, posters and signs with valuable information on the history of the railway. Take this traditional steam journey and feel nostalgic. You can even visit the Station Shop and buy yourself some memorabilia or souvenirs to take back home with you.

Image Courtesy: Richard Law via www.geograph.org.uk
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City  Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

This 100-acre combination of a zoo and an actual working farm is situated a little outside Bristol. It has a beautiful countryside and is a top tourist attraction with a regular stream of 170,000 visitors annually. It was established in 1960 on the site of what used to be a Moat House Farm. Come and visit their amazing array of animals spanning the different continents of the world over a 100 species, such as the African lion, giraffe, white rhinoceros, meerkats, Bengal tigers, the Royal Python, and the Nile crocodile. Head here to escape from the bustling city life and relax with your lovely animal friends.

Image Courtesy: Marie Hale via Flickr
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park

Explore the vast 270 acre expanse of the Dyrham Park, which is a late 17th-century mansion, garden and deer park all rolled into one. Discover the exquisite collection of Dutch art and ceramics housed in the mansion with its timeless interiors of over 300 years. Take a stroll on the breathtaking parklands coupled with flower orchards, ponds and watch the fallow deer gambolling around freely. Participate in a nature walk or any of the many activities such as flying kites, stargazing, bug hunting, and others. Wrap it up by having a delicious meal by expert chefs.

Image Courtesy: Rwendland via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle

Visit the Berkeley Castle, which is steeped in 850 years of remarkable history, and is still home to the Berkeley family. It was designed specifically to ward off the Welsh and is surrounded by lovely terraced gardens and a lily pond. The castle still has the trappings and interiors to match how it used to be in the days gone by, i.e., the arrow slits, murder holes, barred doors and the worn stones. It comprises of 25,000 documents related to the estate as well as Francis Drake’s cabin chest, Queen Elizabeth I’s bedspread and paintings, ceramics, and silverware.

Image Courtesy: Philip Halling via www.geograph.org.uk
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Cabot Tower

Cabot Tower

Look up in awe at the tall and lofty Cabot Tower that stands at a height of 105 ft in Brandon Hill, which is the oldest park in Bristol. It was built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot’s renowned voyage from Bristol to US 400 years ago. It is located in the centre of the park and constructed from red sandstone and covered with cream Bath stone. It was renovated and reopened in 2011 and one can get stunning views of the city from the top of its spiral staircase.

Image Courtesy: www.bristolfreewalkingtour.com
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TraveLibro United Kingdom Bristol Featured City Queen Square

Queen Square

Located in the heart of the city, Queen Square is a beautiful Georgian-styled park, nestled among dense foliage of tall trees. Till the start of the 17th century it was a marshland that was used as a garbage dump, after which it was converted into a tree-lined promenade. Unfortunately, it was damaged during the violent Bristol Riots in 1831 and more than 100 buildings around it were burned to the ground. Rampant renovation took place over the next 80 years and it has now regained its lost glory. Stroll through this lovely and big open square that is surrounded by historic Georgian houses and statues.

Image Courtesy: Dave and Sophie via Flickr
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