48 hours in Bristol - your complete guide

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48 hours in Bristol - your complete guide

Bristol’s popularity is growing and it’s no surprise that you’re looking at visiting the city. Surrounded by the South West hills, Bristol is a city that has its own identity that merges the historic sites with modern street art.

It’s this blend of new and old that has also seen derelict docks on the city harbour transformed into fashionable bars, restaurants and cafés. Characterising a counterculture, this original and inspired is a city for adults and children to enjoy.

For a short city break, here is a 48-hour guide to Bristol:

Day one, morning:

Are you ready to tick off perhaps Bristol’s most popular attraction straight away? Of course you are!

Get up bright and early and make your way over to the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. The symbol of Bristol was designed by the Victorian engineer Isambard Brunel. The bridge provides spectacular views of the ancient Avon Gorge and the city beyond. There is also a visitors centre where you can learn about the building process and its history.

The unique village of Clifton is well worth a look around, too, seeing as you’re in the area. Filled with Georgian architecture and clusters of cafés, boutiques and restaurants, this is a great place to have some retail therapy and some lunch before you move on.

Day one, afternoon:

One mile back towards Bristol centre is another unmissable viewpoint of the city, Cabot Tower. You can make your way to the tower which lies in Bristol’s oldest park by walking along the river or working your way through the picturesque winding streets. Take your pick!

Cabot Tower is a 105ft tower found in Brandon Hill. Make the rewarding climb up the tower’s spiral staircase and you will be greeted with an unforgettable panorama of the city and harbour.

If it’s a nice day, spend some time relaxing in the sun in the park. And for those who want to stay on their feet, the park is surrounded by plenty of independent shops.

On your way over to the Tower, it’s likely you’ll spot Bristol Cathedral. The 12th-century Anglican cathedral is also free of charge and is well worth a look around.

For the rest of the afternoon, take some time to explore Bristol centre at your will. Let your feet take you in whatever direction you fancy exploring. There are plenty of lovely pockets of this city to explore, have a wander and see what you can find.

Day one, evening:

How about some evening entertainment? Whether you want to go out for drinks, watch a show or simply find a spot to relax, Bristol has it all.

It’s worth looking what shows are on at some of Bristol’s event venues to see what’s happening whilst you’re in the city. The first you should look at is Bristol Hippodrome. With ballet, comedy, musicals, concerts and much more the busy programme includes something for everyone.

Alternatively, the Tobacco Factory Theatre is a bar that has a number of smaller events almost every night – from musical acts right through to comedy. This is a great place to mix with the locals and enjoy some Bristol talent.

Day two, morning:

Talking about Bristol talent – they don’t come bigger than the infamous Banksy.

Whilst you’ve been exploring the city, we’re sure you’ll have noticed the rich amount of street art in the city. You’ll struggle to escape the amount of cutting-edge graffiti art that decorates most of the city’s walls.

Banksy, the Bristol-born artist took to these streets often in his early days so there is plenty of his street art hidden in the city. You can either go out and find it for yourself or take part in one of the many street art tours in Bristol.

Day two, afternoon:

The SS Great Britain was the first iron ship to cross the Atlantic and travelled more than a million miles during its years of operation through the 19th and 20th century. Now restored, the ship has been transformed into one of the UK’s top ten museums.

Hop on board and take a look around the ship that’s filled with live actors interactive exhibits. If you’re up for some extra adventure, you can climb the mainmast of the ship – just like a Victorian sailor! For £10, you can be strapped in and climb the 26m high rigging: a climb that rewards you with a platform view of the harbour.

It’s easy to spend a few hours here so give yourself plenty of time to explore.

Day two, evening:

A perfect end to your trip to Bristol would be dinner on the harbour. Once a busy dock for sailors, Harbourside has been redeveloped into an attractive space full of global restaurant flavours. Take your preference from the array of options and enjoy your dinner with a scenic glittering view of the Bristol Harborough – bliss!

After dinner, there’s a chance to squeeze in some drinks in some of Bristol’s famous bars and pubs. Unwind in a contemporary cocktail bar or mark your visit with a trip to a pub serving the regions famous cider. Bristol’s oldest pub, The Old Duke is a popular go-to.

Bristol car hire

Green Motion makes getting around this wonderful city and its surrounding areas much easier. On your visit to Bristol, pop into our branch to hire a low-emission vehicle to help you get around during your city break. 

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