The Cross and Vicinity, Bristol
Two or three blocks northeast from the Theater Royal, the High Street runs from Bristol Bridge (18th-19th century) to the Cross.
St Nicholas' Church
Near the bridge stands the former St Nicholas' Church, now a museum. Among many items of interest are three huge panels ("The Sealing of the Tomb", "The Ascension" and "The Three Marys at the Tomb") comprising a triptych by William Hogarth, painted for the high altar of St Mary Redcliffe in 1756.
High Street Covered Market
Facing Corn Street and adjoining the covered market at the rear, the Palladian style Exchange was built between 1740 and 1743 by John Wood the Elder. In front of the building stand four tables, the brass "nails" on which Bristol merchants used to settle their transactions, giving rise to the expression "paying on the nail".
St Stephen's Church
The large St Stephen's Church, two blocks to the west of the Exchange, dates from the mid 16th century.
Old Council House
The Old Council House, a neo-Classical building on the corner of Corn and Broad Streets, was constructed in 1827 by Robert Smirke (1781-1867).
Christ Church (1786-90) opposite the Old Council House has an unusual clock.
After Christ Church, Broad Street passes the Bristol Guildhall (1843-46; on the left).
St John's Gate
Past the Guildhall (1843-46; on the left), Broad Street ends at St John's Gate, originally part of the old city wall. Figures of Brennus and Belinus, mythical founders of Bristol, embellish the arch.
St John's Church
Above the arch of St John's Gate rises the steeple of St John's Church (14th century; interesting crypt), the body of the church being on a level with the wall.
Beyond St John's Gate, Christmas Street leads to Christmas Steps, an ancient alleyway paved in 1669 and now lined with antique and souvenir shops.
East of St John's Gate, Nelson Street runs through to Broadmead and the nearby shopping center (pedestrian precinct).
Wesley's New Room (John Wesley's Chapel)
Situated just behind Broadmead is Wesley's New Room (1739), the world's oldest Methodist Church.
Named after the red cliffs on which the Church stands, St Mary Redcliffe is an impressive Church dating back to the 13th Century. The Church is particularly famed for its exquisite interior.
Amongst the most famous churches in Bristol is the Trinity Cathedral which features impressive Medieval architecture.
St Mark's Chapel
Another fine church is St Mark's Chapel or the Lord Mayor's Chapel, originally the chapel of a hospital founded by the Fitzharding family in 1220. The aisle is Early English (late 13th century) the rest Perpendicular (15th and late 16th century) with many elements typical of the Gothic style.
The University, established in 1909, is situated in Clifton, a popular residential district with a number of fine Georgian houses. The 200ft/60m late Gothic tower, built to commemorate the University's founding benefactors, Sir G. A. and H. H. Wills (of the famous Wills tobacco company), is one of Bristol's most prominent landmarks.
Art Gallery and Museum
Housed in the group of Victorian buildings west of the University is the City Art Gallery and Museum. Several of its collections are of special interest, including the oriental collection, the collection of Old Masters and the section devoted to Brunel and his many technical achievements.
Worth seeing in Bristol near the University is the elegantly furnished Georgian House (18th century) a little to the west of Red Lodge.There are 11 rooms that feature the basement with the kitchen, housekeeper's room, and pantry; formal rooms such as John Pinney's office, two dining rooms, a Library and two drawing rooms; and two exhibits highlighting Pinney's involvement in the sugar trade and his slave, Pero.
Foster's Almshouses in Colston Street, completed in 1861, are worth visiting, a pleasing mixture of Tudor and French Gothic elements with patterned masonry, external galleries and a cylindrical staircase of wood.
Maritime Heritage Centre
The Maritime Heritage Center provides an interesting insight into the history of Bristol's shipbuilding and maritime trade.
SS Great Britain
Clifton Suspension Bridge
No visitor should leave Bristol without seeing the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. It spans the 260ft/80m deep Avon Gorge on the west side of the limestone plateau known as Clifton Down and Durdham Down. Measuring 702ft/214m between the piers the bridge was completed in 1864, 33 years after Brunel (died 1859) had first submitted his prize winning plans.
East of the Clifton suspension bridge lies the Bristol Zoo Gardens, notable particularly for their monkey enclosure and aquariums.A children's open-air play area and playroom are open daily. Also, there is a new enclosure for Wendy the elephant.
Address: Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA, England
Opening hours: May 1 to Sep 30: 9am-5:30pm
Oct 1 to Apr 30: 9am-4:30pm
Oct 1 to Apr 30: 9am-4:30pm
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in GBP: Family £31.74, Adult £10.80, Concession or reduced rate £9.52, Child 14 & under £6.81, Child 3 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service, Wheelchair loan or rental
Typical Visit: 3 hours 50 minutes
Blaise Castle House Museum
The little thatched almshouses (1811) of Blaise Hamlet in Henbury (4mi/6.4km north-northwest) make a charming picture. Designed by John Nash they are now a museum.
Clevedon (pop. 14,300) is a quiet seaside resort in a small bay. William Thackeray (1811-63) was a frequent guest at Clevedon Court, where he wrote part of "Vanity Fair" (1848). The Clevedon Court manor was built in 1320, but has an older tower and hall from an earlier building. The journey from Bristol to Clevedon can be made by boat.
Bristol Channel - Steep Holm
The uninhabited islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel are chiefly of interest to ornithologists, being the haunt of countless seabirds.Birdwatching is best during spring and early summer.
Map of Bristol Attractions