Drive Time From London: 2hrs 20mins
Best Time to Visit: As with all places in the UK, the summer months are the best when wanting to stroll around outside and enjoy the parks and weather, however there is always something going on in Bristol so anytime of the year is perfect.
Finding a top 3 in Bristol is pretty much impossible to do. I decided to go for the top 3 touristy things to do if you’ve never been to Bristol and are coming for the day or weekend and are looking to see some sights. I will absolutely be putting together more posts about where to go in Bristol for cocktails, coffee, dinner, shopping etc etc etc!
My Top 3 For Tourists
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
The most iconic symbol of Bristol outside of a Banksy; the suspension bridge is pretty spectacular.
I remember the first time I visited, I was completely shocked by the size of the bridge, and the amazing structure and architecture. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, you can hike up to the bridge via Leigh Woods (not for the faint hearted), or if you’re more about sightseeing with regular pit stops, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants with gardens for cocktails and food in Clifton. There’s also lots of parks and the Zoo is not too far if you want to continue sightseeing around the Clifton area.
I have a little obsession with the cathedral and the surrounding area. I used to spend a lot of time on College Green (the park area outside the cathedral), and spent many afternoons strolling up and down park street (and many nights out here that I am glad I can’t remember) when I lived here as a student. I had my graduation at the cathedral and that was one of my favourite memories of this particular place.
You can visit the cathedral and the various areas as long as there are no events happening, and then explore the vibrant streets surrounding it. You’ve probably heard of College Green as it’s known for being the site of many protests over the years and quite often you will find protesters or events on the green. There are also regular events held here such as sensory tents and other strange things which makes it a different experience every time.
If you’re wanting to learn a bit more about the Cathedral and the historical side of Bristol, this is a good place to start as it’s also pretty central to other landmarks, bars, restaurants and shops. The cathedral is a stones throw away from the harbour which is another of my favourite places, making this a perfect place to start your sightseeing of the city.
I chose Bristol harbour as a great tourist spot as there is a lot to do here. The harbour is surrounded by pubs and restaurants, museums and shopping. The atmosphere is always lively and it is the perfect place for people watching and getting a feel for the vibe of Bristol.
You can stop here for a relaxed lunch and enjoy sitting by the water on a sunny day, or you can dress up and come for cocktail in the evening if you’re planning on a night out.
There are lots of stalls with crafted gifts and during the summer months there are outdoor areas created with pop up bars and food. Bristol makes a huge event out of so many celebrations including pride, Bristol Balloon Fiesta and Harbourfest, so you won’t find yourself alone with nothing to do if you come down to the harbour.
If you find yourself with a bit more time, or are staying longer than a day or two, there are a few other notable places to add to your sightseeing list:
SS Great Britain
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
St Mary Redcliffe Church
St Nicholas Market
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