Bristol Tourist Attractions
Although the old town center suffered heavily from bomb damage during the Second World War, Bristol (only 6mi/10km from the Bristol Channel) retains its charm as a historic port.
It also has some fine residential suburbs, balanced, it should be said, by some poorer ones. Bristol is noted for music and film industries, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, and the Watershed Media Centre. Having for many years been the home of two of Britain's biggest aeronautical companies, Rolls Royce and British Aerospace, both with large engineering plants in the north of the city (and involved in Concorde and the Airbus project), Bristol has turned increasingly for its prosperity to the insurance and service sector (Sun Alliance, Sun Life, Lloyds) and the electronics industry (marked by the arrival in the 1980s of firms such as Hewlett Packard and IBM). Food manufacture, tobacco processing, printing and chemicals are also important to the economy. When, because of deeper draught, ships could no longer navigate the narrow River Avon up to Bristol, a new port with modern docks, oil refineries and industrial estates sprang up in the Avonmouth/Royal Portbury area.The many emigrants for whom the port of Bristol was the gateway to the New World were following in the wake of John Cabot who, in 1497, set sail from Bristol on the expedition which discovered North America. The Cabot Tower was erected on the 400th anniversary of the voyage to honor his achievement. Bristol's three most famous landmarks, however, are the Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge which spans the tidal Avon.Access to the airport (8mi/13km southwest) is by bus or car via the A38. There are good train connections from Bristol to all parts of the country.A settlement is known to have existed here as early as the 10th century. From the 12th century onwards Bristol was a trading center of considerable importance, being granted county borough status by Edward III in 1373 (a status it retained until incorporated into the new county of Avon in 1974). During the English Civil War the city was the main Royalist base in the West Country. Bristol's later prosperity as a port was based on a triangular pattern of trade: its ships would sail to West Africa laden with English metalware, glass and beads, carry slaves from there to the West Indies (70,000 a year by the end of the 18th century) and then load up with sugar, rum, coffee, cocoa and tobacco for the return voyage. Following the abolition of slavery, first shipbuilding and then aircraft assembly became the pillars of the economy. Designed by Sambaed Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), the SS Great Britain, built in Bristol in 1838, was the first steamship to make regular crossings of the Atlantic. Brunel, in addition to designing the famous suspension bridge spanning the Avon gorge, was also the engineer in charge of completing the Great Western Railway between London and Bristol.
Popularly known as the Floating Harbor, Bristol's Old Port features restored wharves and warehouses.
This annual two-week festival takes place in May and includes at least a dozen performances including orchestral, choral and chamber concerts and recitals.Each year the festival focuses on a different theme or musical style, although the finale is always a performance of "Last Night at the Proms." Both classical and contemporary music has been showcased in the past, in venues including Colston Hall and St George's Church.
Avon Gorge Nature Reserve
The nature reserve, located in Leigh Woods, is a National Trust property. The Avon Gorge is cut out of limestone and is famous for its abundance of rare trees and plants. The Gorge is home to invertebrates and breeding peregrine falcons.
Horton Court is a National Trust property located in Horton, near Chipping Sodbury. It was built in the 12th century and includes Perpendicular styled walkways in the garden.
Address: Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37 6QR, England
Opening hours: Mar 19 to Oct 29: 2pm-6pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
Always closed on: Good Friday - Christian
Useful tips: No toilet facilities.
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Transit: BritRail: Yate
An account of daily life in Long Ashton was published by the local Vicar, John Collinson in 1791, although some of the buildings he wrote about have since been destroyed. A medieval church built in 1839 still stands.
Westbury College Gatehouse
Westbury College Gatehouse is a National trust property that dates back to the 15th century. It was the gatehouse of the College of Priests that was founded in the 13th century.
Old Down Country Park
Old Down Country Park has a fishing lake, gardens, playground, animals on display, a picnic area, and a croquet lawn.
Address: Foxholes Lane, Tockington, Bristol BS32 4PG, England
Opening hours: Mar 1 to May 31: 10am-6pm
Jun 1 to Sep 30: 10am-7pm
Oct 1 to Feb 28: 10am-4pm
Jun 1 to Sep 30: 10am-7pm
Oct 1 to Feb 28: 10am-4pm
Entrance fee in GBP: Family £15.00, Adult £5.50, Senior £3.00, Child 15 & under £3.00, Child 2 & under FREE
Facilities: Gift shop
Temple Church in Bristol is a 15th C church which survived the bombings of World War II. The graveyard is now a public park.
This small town is the site of a nuclear power station.
Circles and Cove, Stanton Drew
Stanton Drew Circles and Cove are an assembly of stone circles, avenues and a 'cove' of three standing stones. It has been revealed that there was once a huge timber structure within the Great Circle. The complex dates from about 3000BC.Stanton Drew is also home to a number of notable buildings from the 13th to 15th centuries including St Mary the Virgin and the Watermill.
Portbury is a small village with a rather large, partly-Norman church and a former priory.
Map of Bristol Attractions