Bristol Travel Guide
Bistol, England © Hugh Llewelyn
A holiday in Bristol, England's largest seaport, is guaranteed to be memorable as the city is bursting with things to see and do. Some of the sights are quite unique, like the graffiti of local street artist Banksy and the restored Victorian ocean liner, SS Great Britain. Bristol has a vibrant nightlife, exciting shopping, and a fascinating maritime heritage that is preserved and showcased in the lively Old Harbour area. A holiday in Bristol also presents opportunities for excursions to all the popular tourist destinations of Southwest England.
The River Avon winds picturesquely through the bustling city centre of Bristol, and has played a key role in the development of the city as a major English commercial port. Surrounded by a charming hilly landscape and the spectacular, ice-carved Avon Gorge, Bristol is a scenic mix of history, commerce and culture.
The city contains a mish-mash of architecture, spanning over 400 years, much of which has been rebuilt, destroyed, relocated or vandalised over time. The city fathers seem to have had a constant need to modernise, and today few of the city's earliest treasures remain, particularly because Bristol was severely blitzed during World War II. Although there is little to no visible evidence of Bristol's 11th-century origins, the city is not devoid of character by any means, and there has been an attempt to restore the remaining jewels, evident in the beautiful Queen and Portland Squares. There are plenty of Georgian and Victorian churches, buildings and monuments to be seen and the city's strong maritime history remains palpable. Modern Bristol is known for its many artists and eco-activists and is carving out a vibrant and unique identity.