With a huge mix of activities and attractions, Bristol is one of the best places in England for a day out. You’re lucky to live here!
Whether you fancy a bit of sporting fun, or just prefer to kick back and take things easy, there’s so much for everyone. But it’s easy to take it for granted. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide of things to do.
OK, so being a tourist in your own town is a bit cheesy, but there’s a reason why visitors to Bristol always visit the big attractions. And there’s something nice about taking the time to rediscover a part of the city you normally take for granted.
One of our most notable landmarks is the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This internationally recognised icon is a masterpiece of design that never fails to awe. People come from all over the UK (and the world) to admire it. But if you’re like us you probably take it for granted.It really is beautiful, but when was the last time you actually stopped to admire the view?
Still one of the most historic ships in the world, Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a fantastic place for family day out. Alive with sights, sounds (and even smells!) this extraordinary time machine will take you to the greatest innovation of the Victorian age. You’ll meet Victorian characters, hear stories from the past, climb the rigging and see inside the mind of Brunel.
Take some time out for a picnic in Brandon Hill, Bristol’s oldest park with beautiful paths, a children’s play area and of course, at the centre Cabot Tower. This iconic Bristol Landmark is free to climb and offers some of the best views of the city.
Take to the Water!
The waterways around Bristol have great historical significance and beauty. While the docks and floating harbours no longer import goods like spices, sugar and tobacco from around the world, the waterline still remains one of the best ways to take in the city.
Bristol Ferry Boats regularly run waterbus services that let you hop on or off as you choose, letting you experience everything the city has to offer and giving you a great view from the water. For a more guided tour, check out Bristol Packet Boats that will take you around the harbour and even out to Avon Gorge.
If you fancy yourself as a history buff, you can’t miss The Matthew. This stunning ship is a faithful replica of the ship John Cabot used when he discovered Newfoundland in 1497. When it’s not in the floating harbour, it’s usually creating a spectacle sailing the seas around the British Isles.
Stand up Paddleboarding is a great activity for families that lets you get up and close to the waters of our floating harbour.
It’s safe and easy to learn and with the help of expert instructors you’ll soon be standing up before you know it!
You can even paddle alongside The Matthew and discover the ship from a truly unique angle!
As anyone who lives here knows, Bristol is anything but flat! So get your walking boots on and discover this amazing city by foot. There’s plenty of vistas tucked away amongst the hills for you to discover.
The Bristol Film Office Movie Maps pinpoints all the locations of the UKs most popular productions. You’ll walk in the footsteps of some of television’s most iconic characters such as Sherlock, Del boy and Doctor Who to name but a few.
For the ultimate pedestrian adventure, check out the Bristol Walking Festival which covers a wide range of sights and activities. Most guided walks are also free – so it’s definitely worth checking out.
So iconic its’s worth mentioning twice, if you fancy the ultimate panorama then head atop the spiral staircase in Cabot Tower in Brandon Hill – you won’t regret it!
With a city as old as Bristol (over 800 years) there are plenty of ghost stories and spooky goings on. Check out check out Bristol’s Haunted and Hidden Ghost walk for a chance to explore the darker side of the city and learn about Clifton’s ghostly highway man, explore a 16th century haunted house and much more.
Do Something Different
Take to the skies with Bristol Balloons for an unforgettable experience. As you soar above the city you’ll see many of the amazing landmarks that make the city great, from Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge to the SS Great Britain.
If the sky is too high for you, give climbing a go! There are some great rock-climbing opportunities in Bristol from the Adventurous Activity Company. You’ll see the spectacular limestone cliffs of the Avon Gorge. If you fancy adding caving to your climb, Cheddar X-treme offer thrilling expeditions inside the Mendip Hills. Or If you fancy something a little tamer, you can stay indoors at Redpoint Climbing Centre.
For a great twist on an old favourite, try Bristol Bubble Ball, which will change the way you see Football forever! Safely, strapped inside a zorb (one of those massive human bubble hamster balls) You’ll be bounced, knocked, rolled and flipped trying to get a touch of the ball with fouls rewarded with laughter as your team tries to knock down your opponents. Extremely fun, extremely silly and great exercise, this is a must-do.
For those with children, there’s Little Giggles Soft Play a brand new soft play concept that will change your perception of existing, outdated manic, multi-level soft play facilities. The kids will love it and parents can get some time to themselves.
Take in a Show
There’s nothing better than a good bit of culture, and Bristol’s overflowing with it.
With all the things to do around here, you’ll probably want to take some time to relax. Luckily we’ve got you covered.
The Lido is a great place to go to let go. This urban oasis has everything you need to relax with a spa, sauna, hot tub, steam room and outdoor heated pool. There’s even an award winning restaurant for when you’re feeling peckish.