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Discover Bristol's history and atmosphere with Bristol vacation rentals
England’s sixth most populous city, Bristol is one of the country’s most rewarding urban destinations. Home to a collection of superb bars, quaint streets and a thriving arts scene, this is a city that boasts a terrific atmosphere and many top points of interest. Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Museum and Gallery and the delightful Harborside are all highlights you can look forward to while staying in Bristol vacation rentals.
Getting to Bristol
Bristol is served by Bristol International Airport, a major airport with many domestic and international links. The airport is located around 30 minutes from the city center, access to which is easy via public transport or taxi. Bristol vacation homes can also be reached by renting a hire car, which may also be beneficial when it comes to exploring sites and landmarks located outside of Bristol's city center. If arriving at one of the other airports situated in the vicinity, such as Exeter or Southampton, then regional train and bus connections are on hand to whisk you to your destination in Bristol.
Weather in Bristol: what to expect
Those thinking of booking Bristol vacation homes are in luck: this city receives some of the best weather of anywhere in the UK, with some 1,700 hours of sunshine beating down on the city each year. However, it does get rainy throughout the year, and it’s always sensible to pack waterproof clothing so you’re prepared when the occasional rain shower strikes. Snow showers are also fairly typical between November and March.
Bristol and its attractions
Bristol truly combines the old and the new, resulting in a wealth of excellent attractions. Begin with the old at the Church of St Mary Redcliffe, which was completed in the 15th century and is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. Bristol Cathedral, the city’s primary religious building, was consecrated in 1148 and is another must-visit.
Clifton Suspension Bridge is a wonder of engineering, spanning the Avon Gorge and dating back to 1864. At the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, you can view one of the country’s best collections of Egyptology and prehistoric artefacts.
There isn’t much known about the iconic yet elusive Banksy, but we do know that the famous street artist hails from Bristol. You can get a guided tour of his work in the city or have fun looking for his pieces yourself as you walk around and explore.
Bristol Zoo is one of the nation’s best. It features more than 50 species of mammals, including lions, hippos, red pandas, gorillas and lemurs, among many others. There are also extensive insect and reptile enclosures at the zoo, as well as a fascinating aquarium which is home to 70 different types of fish.
Bristol’s excellent nightlife
The nightlife scene in Bristol has something for everyone, so each guest staying in Bristol vacation rentals will be sure to find their niche. This is a laidback city, where many of the “cool” places are informal pubs without a dress code or any pretence. Wander down to Quayside for an excellent range of pubs. If you visit just one place, make it The Apple Cider Boat. This docked boat offers delicious cider and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Of course, those looking for a swanky night out will also find it here. Try Motion – a nightclub in a skatepark – or Cosies – an intimate wine bar cum reggae party – for two unique Bristol experiences.
Bristol’s annual events
Bristol is one of the best places in the UK for events, with hundreds taking place each year. Everyone staying in Bristol vacation rentals will find something to enjoy among the events, which range from small, quirky day-long events to internationally renowned celebrations, and everything in between.
The biggest event of the year is the Bristol Harbour Festival, which takes place each year in July or August and has been a staple of the Bristol calendar since 1971. This free event transforms the city into a colourful spectacle, with music, dance and family-friendly fun all part of the weekend’s shenanigans. It’s also a celebration of Bristol’s maritime heritage, with classic tall ships dotted across the water.
Another of the UK’s best events also takes place in Bristol: the International Balloon Fiesta is held each August and features more than a hundred hot air balloons ascending into the sky. Hundreds of thousands of spectators attend the four-day event, which has been around since 1979.
If you’re moving into Bristol vacation rentals during July, you can help celebrate the city’s thriving art scene by attending Upfest, a street art and graffiti festival that takes place across the city over a three day period.
Bristol – City of boats, bridges, and balloons
Clifton Suspension Bridge
This 19th-century bridge spanning the River Afon links Bristol with North Somerset. Symbolic of Bristol's history, the bridge is now a Grade-1 listed structure.
Brunel's SS Great Britain
A former passenger steamship, the SS Great Britain is now a museum showing the ship's interior and the dockyards where it was constructed.
St Mary Redcliffe Church
With its construction dating back to the 12th century, this beautifully carved and decorated church is 800 years old. Just a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads, it's an interesting representation of Bristol's past.
Set in Brandon Hill, the oldest park in Bristol, this 32m 19th-century tower offers magnificent views of Bristol. The park has nature conservation and play areas.
This 12th-century cathedral and Grade-1 listed building is decorated in the Gothic style. Inside, you’ll find a number of famous carvings from the Norman period, and stunning stained glass.
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