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Bristol (sometimes called "Bristle" or "Brizzle" by locals) is one of the largest cities in South West England. A major port city, "Bristle" was the launching off point for famous voyagers like William Weston and John Cabot. Although most of the dockyards have been converted into either museums or cultural centers nowadays, this city remains a major economic force in the modern United Kingdom. In addition to the city's robust electronics and aerospace industries, two of England's finest universities are located here. Tourism has been booming in this city mainly due to the numerous world-renowned musical festivals
held here every year. Travelers interested in maritime, history, architecture, music, or good seafood will certainly find something to love in this important British city.
Top Tourist Draws
Maritime enthusiasts will just adore a stroll through Brunel's SS Great Britain
. This massive passenger liner was the first in the world to be iron hulled, powered by steam engines, and screw propeller-driven. It was built in 1843 by engineering giant Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and has been rescued, restored, and preserved along the city's harbor. Perfect for youngsters, this ship/interactive museum is a wonderful way to start your tour of this powerful port city.
After learning all about the SS Great Britain, it's time to take a daring walk across the Clifton Suspension Bridge
. Isambard Kingdom Brunel built this bridge in 1836 to link Clifton and Leigh Woods over Avon Gorge. The bridge is 250-feet high with a length of 702-feet. After walking across this historic bridge, be sure to take a peek at the official visitors center nearby to learn even more about this remarkable bridge.
In this city's West End district, you'll find the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
. In addition to teaching visitors about the history of the region, there are numerous artifacts and artworks from around the world, including Eastern art, Egyptian mummies, and even a few dinosaur bones. Great for people into archeology, natural history, or art, this totally free museum has been delighting tourists ever since it was opened in 1823.
Churches, Churches, and More Churches
Like many English cities, there are many glorious houses of worship in good old "Bristle." The most famous has to be Bristol Cathedral
located on College Green. Originally founded around 1140 as St. Augustine's Abbey, this cathedral was rebuilt and refurbished from the 16th to the 19th century. This cathedral now serves as the city's central home for Anglican worship. Although still extremely beautiful, most of the stained glass windows in this cathedral are not original. The cathedral faced extensive damage when German planes blitzed the city in the 1940s. Admission to this cathedral is free of charge.
Perhaps the most celebrated Anglican Church in the city is St. Mary Redcliffe Church
. Construction on this church goes all the way back to the 12th century, and Christians have met to pray here for well over 900 years. Queen Elizabeth I reportedly said that this church was the "goodliest, fairest, and most famous parish church in England." Many people who visit St. Mary Redcliffe's today feel exactly the same way. Art historians believe St. Mary Redcliffe Church is one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in all of England.
is a more modern Roman Catholic Church located in Clifton Park. Consecrated in 1973, the influences of both modernism and the Second Vatican Council can easily be seen in this cathedral's intriguing design. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth your while to visit this interesting modern church.
Where To Eat?
Since this is a college town, you'll find plenty of trendy takeaway restaurants throughout the city. Whether you're into traditional British grub, Thai food, Caribbean cuisine, or something else, you'll probably find it somewhere in this major British city. Most of the most popular restaurants are located in The West End district and by the city's harbor. If you want a fine dining experience, however, there are numerous restaurants that cater to your every whim.
One of the best-reviewed restaurants in the city is called Bulrush Restaurant
. Specializing in modern British food, a few of Bulrush's top menu items include venison with suet pudding and rowanberry jelly, pheasant with chestnuts and swede, and brill with cauliflower, mushroom, and cuttlefish. Bulrush is located on Cortham Road South.
Located by the city's harbor, the Bordeaux Quay
is not only a fine restaurant, but also a bakery, brasserie, deli, wine bar, and cookery school. The high-end restaurant, which is located on the first floor, offers a glorious view of the harbor. All of the food and ingredients used at the Bordeaux Quay is locally sourced. Located right by the harbor, it should be no surprise that this restaurant has an extensive selection of fresh fish. Just a few dishes on this restaurant's menu include braised pork belly, smoked haddock & saffron risotto, and pan-fried pollock filet.
Locals just love Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms
, but if you aren't from the area you might not be privy to this fine eating establishment. Located on York Road, this unique restaurant serves us some of the most unique dishes in the entire city. Just a few of these dishes include slow-cooked octopus with peas and potatoes, charcoal-grilled lamb's breast with slow-roasted tomatoes and tatziki sauce, and charcoal-grilled chicken oyster pinchos with chipotle and harissa yogurt. If you're feeling adventurous, this is a delightful diner to check out.
"Brizzle" has been a major British city for centuries now. Thanks to its multicultural vibe, ancient architecture, maritime past, and high student population, this city is as vibrant as ever. If you ever feel like checking out all of the wonders this port city has to offer, contact GOGO Charters as soon as possible. A member of GOGO's friendly staff will help plan your trip for you in no time.