Bristol has a very long and varied history, which means the city itself is full of a myriad of fascinating places to visit. We’ve spoken before about the coolest restaurants and the best places for date night. So now, without further ado, here are 10 cool places to visit in Bristol, from the more obvious and well-known landmarks to some hidden gems:
Brunel’s SS Great Britain
This famous Bristol landmark can be found on the harbourside and is currently known as the city’s top attraction. The former passenger steamship is now an exciting museum, featuring exhibits detailing life on the vessel, Victorian fashions, and information about the ship’s primary engineer. Visitors who bring college or university identification can also receive a student discount.
Bristol Old Vic
For any theatre lovers, Bristol Old Vic is a must-visit attraction. The theatre is the oldest in the English speaking world, and is still showcasing a huge variety of shows to this day. Despite the current situation meaning that the theatre has sadly temporarily closed its doors, certain Old Vic shows can be streamed on Youtube. You’ll be desperate to visit once the venue opens again!
We The Curious
We The Curious is another fabulous Bristol museum which can be found near the harbourside area. It is one of the best interactive science museums in the UK, and its mix of oddball and intriguing exhibits make for a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
The Corn Exchange Dual-Time Clock
When standing below this city-centre landmark, you may notice something peculiar. This is because the 18th century clock above the Corn Exchange building actually has not one, but two minute hands featured on its face. The clock was built to show both Greenwich Mean Time and ‘Bristol Time’, and so is worth strolling past for anyone who has a passion for obscure local history.
Set against a backdrop of gorgeous parkland, Cabot Tower has been standing in Bristol city centre’s Brandon Hill park since the 19th century. Visitors can climb the structure for stunning panoramic views free of charge.
Bristol is a city known for its hilly landscapes; any Bristol student quickly comes to know this as a sometimes unfortunate reality! But some may not know that, in fact, the steepest street in England can be found here. Drivers have even been known to tie their vehicles to lampposts when the winter ice covers the roadside. Vale Street can be found in the Totterdown area and it showcases an annual Easter egg race each spring.
The history of these manmade tunnels has been lengthy and rapidly changing. The Redcliffe Caves were originally dug to provide mineral materials for craftsmen in the Middle Ages, but they were later used in the 17th to 19th centuries for storing goods. Currently, there are no tours of the caves happening, though the entrance of the structure may be interesting to see. This can be found at Phoenix Wharf.
Clifton Rocks Railway
Just a short walk away from Clifton Village, Clifton Rocks Railway is the site of a disused rail line that was cut into the gorge over a hundred years ago. The tunnels were even used by the BBC as a secret broadcasting location in the Second World War. The outer façade of the lower station is definitely a sight to see, and can be found on the Portway.
While Cheddar Gorge isn’t located in central Bristol, it can be found less than 20 miles from the city. This stunning limestone gorge offers great walks, as well as regular tours of the caves which are truly fascinating. The surrounding wildlife is, additionally, a definite pull-factor for anyone who enjoys areas full of natural beauty.
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the more obvious attractions which the city offers, yet that doesn’t make it any less worthy of a visit. From gorillas to meerkats, each featured enclosure is bound to put a smile on your face and brighten up your day.