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Bristol has long been a city of history, architecture and culture. However, in recent years, it has become a beacon for the young and creative with the likes of renowned artist Banksy and electronic group Massive Attack leading the way to putting Bristol firmly on the cultural map.
Taking a city break doesn't have to be expensive, we've fares from London to Bristol from just £5, one-way. We’ve also collated the definitive National Express top things to do for free while exploring Bristol.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery - With an impressive 19 galleries spanning over three floors, Bristol’s iconic Museum and Art Gallery exhibits a range of artefacts from historical and cultural as well as art forms from contemporary and traditional art movements.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10 – 6pm. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road, BS8 1RL. www.bristol.gov.uk/node/2904
Bristol Cathedral – Built in 1148, Bristol Cathedral now stands as one of the City’s most historical buildings. The Cathedral conducts free weekly open tours, taking you through the building’s architecture and history.
Opening hours: The Cathedral is open 365 days a year, 8am – 5pm. Bristol Cathedral. College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TJ. http://www.bristol-cathedral.co.uk
Banksy Walking Tour – If there’s one name which is synonymous with Bristol, it’s Banksy. Visit Bristol has listed some of the artist’s most famous works within Bristol City Centre, which makes a great walking tour of the city. Take a look at the different haunts to Visit Bristol's site for full details and get immersed in the work of the secret artist.
Floating Harbour – In 1890 the city of Bristol was completely transformed with the opening of the Floating Harbour – an 80-acre area to allow visiting ships to remain afloat at all times. Explore this vast area with the Harbour Heritage Trials, which have been created by the City Museum to offer a great way to get into the thick of all the action. Simply print off a map of each trial direct from the Floating Harbour website. http://www.bristolfloatingharbour.org.uk/
Clifton Suspension Bridge – Bristol’s most iconic landmark has to be the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Spanning across the Avon Gorge, Isambard Brunel started building the Grade I listed bridge in 1831, however, after his death in 1859 and a revised version was completed in 1864. Free guided tours of the Bridge are provided on Saturdays and Sundays from Easter through to the end of October at 3pm each day. The best place to see the suspension bridge all year round for free is on the Clifton Downs. http://www.cliftonbridge.org.uk/
Ashton Court Estate – Just two miles out of the city centre, you can jump straight into the idyllic Somerset countryside at Ashton Court Estate. With 850 acres of woodlands and meadows, the Estate offers a range of woodland walks, deer parks, miniature railway and golf. The Estate also hosts the Kite Festival and Balloon Fiesta every year.
Ashton Court Estate opening times vary seasonally. Please check its website for more details.
Sometimes it's nice to know of a city's hidden gems and secret hot spots, so here's a few of the National Express team's favourite places to go off the beaten track:
Best pint of Somerset cider
Want to experience a pint of traditional Somerset cider? Try the CoriTap in Clifton Village for over 15 different types of cider and spectacular views over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. While you’re there, why not try a pint of Exhibition cider, which is brewed exclusively for The CoriTap?
The CoriTap, 8 Sion Place, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AX. www.thecoronationtap.com
Best place for a bacon butty
Brunel’s Buttery is a fantastic outdoor café, which serves the best bacon sandwich in all of Bristol. Sitting right beside the Docks, you can also wash your sandwich down with a proper cup of tea served in a proper mug! Brunel’s Buttery, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 2BD
Grab a bite to eat
Offering a fantastic backdrop view to Bristol and the surrounding areas, the Avon Gorge Hotel in Clifton Village is a great place to stay or to simply pop in for a bite to eat. With the Hotel’s all-weather terrace area, you can make the most of the views however unpredictable the British weather is. Avon Gorge Hotel, Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4LD. www.theavongorge.com
Great place to entertain the kids
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre then St Werburghs City Farm is a great place to take the kids for a day out in the countryside, while only being just two miles out of the city centre. The working livestock farm is free to enter, along with the gardens and adventure playground. The farm is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year between 9 – 5pm in summer and 9 – 4pm in winter. St Werburghs City Farm, Watercress Road, St Werburghs, Bristol, BS2 9YJ
We travel direct to Bristol from 116 destinations and of course you can also connect to the city from one of the 900 other places which we pick up from. Prices start from just £5 one-way.
Bristol Coach Station address: Bus and Coach Station, Marlborough Street, Bristol BS1 3NU
We understand this is only a scratch on the surface of all the amazing events and attractions which Bristol has to offer. So if you'd like to find out even more about Bristol, then why not take a look at Visit Bristol for loads more great reasons to explore the city.