What to do and see in Bristol, United Kingdom (UK): The Best Places and Tips

March 16, 2018 Jacquiline Delozier

Bristol is a quirky British city with beautiful hilly vistas and plenty of historic sights to explore. Anyone interested in ships will have a blast aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first great oceanliner, and the Matthew, a replica of the ship upon which John Cabot sailed to America in the 15th century. The graceful Clifton Suspension Bridge is another must-see.
Restaurants in Bristol

1. Brunel's SS Great Britain

Great Western Dockyard Gas Ferry Road | Gas Ferry Road, Bristol BS1 6TY, England +44 117 926 0680
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Brunel's SS Great Britain

Step back in time when you board Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Discover the true stories behind the ship that changed the world. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board for Victorian passengers and crew. Descend under water below the glass ‘sea’ to touch the world’s first great ocean liner.

Reviewed By BazJackSalisbury - Salisbury, United Kingdom

Having recently visited HMS Warrior in Portsmouth I thought this might be too similar but the 'civilian' nature of the vessel made an interesting comparison, particularly reconstructed cabins of the various classes. Lots of interpretive elements for kids.

2. Smoke & Mirrors

8 Denmark Street, Bristol BS1 5DQ, England +44 117 929 0362
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 592 reviews

Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors theatre pub, home to The House Magicians Comedy & Magic Show, and is open 7 days a week. We offer a 10% discount to all pre-theatre goers and our warm and welcoming bar staff will provide you with the very best in fine wines, real ales and award winning bar food, from freshly cooked pizzas, or a quick hand made Scotch Egg, Our Pub is the best way to experience a night of entertainment wether you are attending one of our shows or one of the many theatres nearby we are the go to pub for great drink & food before any show in Bristol. Being located right next to the Stage Door of the Hippodrome you can be sure that the cast and crew might be having a relaxing drink while our entertainers entertain them for a change from our Close-Up Magician performing right at your table or our House Musicians singing all the classics every weekend, you'll know that Smoke & Mirrors is the best hidden Gem in Bristol and of course we always have local ales always on tap!

Reviewed By paula g - Bristol, United Kingdom

Visited last night (Friday 16th Mar). Really enjoyed our night as the performers were great and the illusions extremely good. There was a good atmosphere and all the staff in the bar very friendly. We would definitely visit again and recommend to our friends.
Paula & Alan

3. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Suspension Bridge Road | Leigh Woods, Bristol BS8 4AP, England +44 117 974 4664
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Designed and built in 1836 by a young engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this 702-foot-long, 250-foot-high suspension bridge gracefully spans the Avon Gorge between Clifton and Leigh Woods.

Reviewed By Trish W - Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Weekend away in Bristol me and my partner walked to the suspension bridge from our hotel down by the canal. Quite a walk mostly up hill. The views from the bridge are quite something. The visitors centre was well worth a visit, the history it tells of the bridge being designed and built is quite interesting. (My other half is an engineer and found it much more interesting!) Stuff for the kids to do in there. Free entry but a donation to get out! Well they are a charity after all.

4. Wills Memorial Building

Wills Memorial Building Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, England +44 117 954 5219
Excellent
82%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 352 reviews

Wills Memorial Building

Take a tour of the Bristol University Wills Memorial building and meet the 7th largest bell in the UK, as well as being there when the famous Great George strikes. Whilst on the tour, you can climb to the top of the 68m tower and see the panoramic views of Bristol. You will also visit the Great Hall, the Library, the Old Council Chamber and the Reception Room. The tours are held on the first Wednesday and Saturday of each month , However, due to an increase in demand, tours are also being held most Saturdays at 1pm First of the month tours Wednesday tours are at 12:30pm Saturday tours are at 11:00am and 1pm Prices Visitors: £5 Students and Senior Citizens: £4 Children between 8 - 11: £2 The Tour is not suitable for children under 8 years of age. Group bookings and Evening tours are available upon request.

Reviewed By stclairsnow1156 - Bristol, United Kingdom

Probably a bit bias as this is my university however, the first time I set eyes on the WMB I was stunned. I've seen it so many times, and I still look up at it in awe. Inside is something quite special. Although I've never actaully done the tour, I hear it's worth it. Not for the faint hearted apparently.

5. St Mary Redcliffe Church

Parish Office 12 Colston Parade | Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6RA, England +44 117 231 0060
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 735 reviews

St Mary Redcliffe Church

'The fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England' - Elizabeth I The Christian community has worshipped continuously on the site occupied by St Mary Redcliffe Church for well over 800 years. The first church may have built here in Saxon times, when Bristol first became a port – the original quayside was just across the road, below the red sandstone cliff from which this area gets its name, located on what is now Redcliffe Quay. The present church is a treasure of international importance, a Grade I listed building that is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. All the features of St Mary Redcliffe speak clearly of the beauty and the infinite variety in God’s world. The church building is open daily for all to visit, reflect, pray, join in formal worship or simply “be”. Everyone is welcome here. Use this page to find out more about our church and some of the famous people who have contributed to its rich history.

Reviewed By Russ L - Bristol, United Kingdom

Apparently Queen Ann described St Mary Redcliffe Church as the 'best parish church in all of Christendom'....since I haven't seen one more impressive, I'd have to agree with her. The font in beautifully crafted in the image of an ark....most appropriately for Bristol. The scale, detail and craftsmanship of the building, fixtures and fittings are equal to that found in many cathedrals and better that some.

6. Oakham Treasures

Portbury Lane | Oakham Farm, Bristol BS20 7SP, England +44 1275 375236
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 249 reviews

Oakham Treasures

Reviewed By mummyofaandw - Chelmsford

Visited with my mother, my sister and our kids, ages ranging from 12 to 77. I think the older members of the party (48+) probably got the most out of the visit but having said that, the kids weren’t bored and particularly enjoyed the shop...MoreThank you for your kind words. All of our cakes are homemade and certainly taste it too! Glad you enjoyed your visit.

7. Bristol Old Vic

Theatre Royal King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED, England +44 117 987 7877
Excellent
71%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 283 reviews

Bristol Old Vic

Reviewed By S P - Scotland, United Kingdom

Box office staff really helpful when choosing ticket for Cherry Orchard. I wouldn't have chosen my seat location (dress circle A1) but the result enhanced my enjoyment of an already stunning performance, as I felt almost part of the cast on stage!
The show was a triumph, the staff all very friendly and doing a great job of managing folk through the refurbishments. Truly terrific theatre experience.

8. Arnos Vale Cemetery

West Lodge Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3EW, England +44 117 971 9117
Excellent
68%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 421 reviews

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Step into a secret world and discover 45 green acres, close to the heart of Bristol, where the history of the city is told in a leafy and tranquil setting, rich in walks, wildlife, architecture, fascinating displays and memorials. Arnos Vale has something for everyone and it is open all year round with FREE admission. The Gift Shop is open 7 days a week. Cafe open 7 days a week. With a varied and exciting events programme - there is so much happening at Arnos Vale - see our website for more details

Reviewed By Marleneinbristol - Bristol, United Kingdom

I passed by this place several times without paying much attention until this summer when it hosted some plays. Like all cemetery, it was full of flowers, and all sorts of plants. It had Anglican chapels and outdoor stages, perfect for an old play to take place. Truly enjoyed my visit. Locals could take a walk with or without dogs,v ery lovely and relaxing.

9. The New Room/John Wesley's Chapel

36 The Horsefair, Bristol BS1 3JE, England +44 117 926 4740
Excellent
62%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 234 reviews

The New Room/John Wesley's Chapel

The New Room in Bristol is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world (originally built in 1739 and extended in 1748) and the cradle of the early Methodist movement. It was built and used by John and Charles Wesley and the early Methodists as a meeting and preaching place and the centre for helping and educating the needy members of the community. The chapel itself is on the ground floor (where there is also a shop) and is accessible from either the Broadmead or Horsefair courtyards. Upstairs, there is an admission charge Arts Council accredited museum which tells the story of John and Charles Wesley and their life and work in Bristol.

Reviewed By Russ L - Bristol, United Kingdom

John Wesley's Chapel is a most special place within the heart of Bristol and, surrounded by all the shops as it is, it's a fitting miracle that it has survived intact, for 279 years!

Architecturally the outside of the building is most interesting, well preserved, full of character and has something of the Shaker simplicity look to it.
The inside is also beautifully preserved and well looked after. The museum is a must and gives a real feel for how austere life was in the mid eighteenth century....John's bed would not be conducive to a good night's sleep.
The delightful courtyard is most quaint, with Seating, trees, flowers and a statue of John astride his mount; there is also a small stable block with a larger-than-life horse.
The 'New Room' is a modern addition to the Chapel, which has been very tastefully and sympathetically designed and built. It has a cosy cafe with tasty food and drinks and an interesting little shop.
The staff onsite are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The atmosphere within is tranquil and has a distinctly calming influence over exhausted and stressed out travellers. A welcome retreat, a hidden gem, a real oasis within a heaving metropolis.....making it the perfect place for a peaceful lunch.

10. Cabot Tower

Brandon Hill Park, Great George St | Brandon Hill near Park Street in the West End, Bristol BS1 5RR, England +44 117 926 0767
Excellent
59%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cabot Tower

Reviewed By Vincent B

The Brandon Hill Nature Park and Cabot Tower are must see activities for a visit to the city. The views from the top of the Tower are excellent and the park itself is a lovely oasis in the city centre. There is a children’s play area and many trails throughout the park.

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