With around 400,000 inhabitants, Bristol is the largest city in the south of England after London and the largest shipping port in England. It received a royal charter in 1155 and was one of the largest cities in England until the rise of Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester during the Industrial Revolution.
Bristol suffered extensive bombardments during the Second World War and a steep decline in its manufacturing industry. The port of Bristol grew up in the Middle Ages because of its location near the Avon and Frome rivers. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, this area was transformed by the construction of locks in the closed floating port.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge
Floating high above the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, this is not an attraction for those afraid of heights! The bridge opened in 1864 and offered stunning views of the river and the surrounding parks and buildings. The bridge is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and manned.
In local folklore and myth, the first rope was carried over the gorge with a kite. But the most likely scenario was that hemp ropes were carried down the ravine and moved across the river by boat, then pulled to the other side. This was used to carry each link in the chain in the middle.
Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Britain the first steam-powered passenger ship in the world, it took its maiden voyage in 1845 and it was the longest ship in the world for nearly a decade. Unfortunately, since it was so big, it took a long time to build and the owners eventually went bankrupt not long after the launch.
At the time of the launch of SS Britain in 1843, she was the largest ship in the world. It was also the first helical, oceanic, iron steamship, a truly revolutionary vessel and forerunner of all modern shipping. Initially designed for the emerging transatlantic luxury passenger trade, the ship carried 252 first- and second-class passengers and 130 crew members.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
It’s not too overwhelming and it’s easy to see in one day. When it comes to art, Bristol is the place to go! The city has a thriving theater scene, so it’s worth seeing a show, for example. This year (2016), the Bristol Old Vic celebrates its 250th anniversary, making it the oldest functioning theater in the UK.
Other top venues in the city are the Bristol Hippodrome, the Tobacco Factory Theaters and many comedians and musicians performing at Colston Hall. As the home of famous graffiti artist Banksy, it is not surprising that Bristol is known as one of the UK’s most creative cities.
St Nicholas Market
Right on the old Corn Exchange, this is a great, bustling market with more shops than you could go through in one afternoon. Founded in 1743, the Nicholas Market is the oldest and most popular market in Bristol, famous for some of the city’s best food. With over 60 stalls, this market is a must for every visitor to the town.
Nicholas Market also houses several outdoor markets that take place in the pedestrian streets that run alongside the Exchange Building. St Nicholas Market has been awarded as one of the ten best markets in the UK and houses the most extensive collection of independent retailers in Bristol.
It is a beautiful cathedral built during the Norman era and originally the abbey of Saint Augustin (you know, the guy with the quote). To make the most of your visit, visit the cathedral on Saturdays at 11:30 or 13:30 or on Tuesdays at 14:15. The cathedral is a place for a variety of entertaining musical events.
From big concerts with national choirs to intimate lunchtime concerts with just one piano and one singer. The lunchtime concerts take place every Tuesday at 1:15 pm in the Domchor. They consist of a series of organ evenings on the magnificent Walker instrument of the cathedral.