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Time out: Brunel in Bristol

24 June 2009

by Bex Morton


Bristol is the largest city in the south-west of England, and sits between Somerset and Gloucester­shire.

Getting there

By car: from the M4, the M32 goes right into the city centre. If you are arriving from the north or south, exit at junction 18 on the M5 and follow the A4 Portway (signposted Bristol Airport) into the city centre.

By train: inter-city trains go to Bristol Temple Meads, a 15-minute walk from the centre.


Bristol has a rich history, largely owing to the part it played in the slave trade in the 19th century. Evidence for this is scattered through­out the city, for example in street names such as Black Boy Hill and Whiteladies Road. It was also home to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and is the setting for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the wrought-iron steamship SS Great Britain.

What to see?

There is something for everyone. Walk over Clifton Suspension Bridge and enjoy the view of the city, or visit the cathedral, museum, and art gallery in the centre of town.

If you like shopping, wander around the boutiques of Clifton village, or visit the new shopping centre, Cabot Circus, which opened in 2008.

Child friendly?

There is plenty to entertain children. They can experience science in a new way at Explore-at-Bristol, on the har­bour­side, or enjoy a 3-D film in the IMAX cinema. If the sun is shining, have a family day out at Bristol Zoo.


There is a wide variety of places to eat and drink. For a taste of world cuisine, visit St Nicholas Market, where you can sample food from Morocco, Turkey, and the Caribbean. It is also home to the Bristol Sausage Shop, where you can buy up to 20 different types of gourmet sausages.

For something more up-market, head to the river for a meal on the Glassboat — a floating restaurant. From there, you can have an evening drink at the Llandoger Trow, a historic pub built in 1664. It is one of the last timber-built buildings in Bristol, and is surrounded by legends of pirates and secret tunnels.

Near by

Take a walk to the beautiful Weston­birt Arboretum, about 30 minutes from the city. Or drive to Somerset and visit Cheddar Gorge. You can ride a donkey on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare, or even visit Stonehenge, just over an hour away. You are spoilt for choice.



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