the Victinerary to: an Afternoon in Bristol

When I was planning a trip to England, I hadn't realized how close Bristol is to Bath. With great local football (soccer), the streets that a famous street/graffiti artist calls home, and the beauty of boats coming home to port, this is definitely a great place to spend an afternoon. Just an easy 15 minute train ride away, Bristol is worth a visit if you're planning on staying two nights in Bath. 


GETTING THERE

  • By Train
    • Take a National Rail train from the Bath station (Bath Spa - BTH) to one of the following stations to see different parts of Bristol:
      • Bristol Temple Meads (BRI) - Use this station if you want to start in downtown Bristol, or when going back to Bath
        • 15 mins from Bath
      • Parson Street (PSN) - Use this station if you are planning on going to a local football (soccer) game
        • 30 mins from Bath, some trains go directly, but you'll get more options if you go from Bath to BRI and are willing to switch to another local train. 
      • Off-Peak, One-Way Fare to either station from Bath: £7.50

the Victinerary

  • The day a friend and I explored Bristol, we had pre-booked tickets to a Bristol City FC match, so we took the train from Bath to Parson Street. We met some local fans on the train (just look for jerseys) and walked with them to the stadium.  
    • Logistics Note: If you're planning on going to a football/soccer game in England, book tickets ahead of time and see if you can figure out where the home and away sections are. For the best experience you'll want to be in the vocal home-team fan section.
    • For the match a friend and I attended, we ended up in the W11 corner section near the away supporters, so we got to see a lot of ... "interesting" fan interactions. It was definitely a fun and memorable experience! 
    • Order tickets directly from the club website, most home matches have tickets around £30. 
  • After a game at Ashton Gate Stadium, head north and pass through Greville Smyth Park, then make your way over the Brunel Way Bridge. 
  • From this vantage point you can see one of Bristol's famous landmarks, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. You can take a detour to hike up and see it up close, or get a view from above at the Clifton Observatory. However, if you want to keep your afternoon a little more casual, just enjoy the view from the lower bridge, turn right, and make your way onto the island in the middle of town instead. 
  • As you take the ramp down onto the island, look for the pink Nova Scotia Hotel and go left around it. At the end of this little road you'll see signs for the Harbourside Walk. Follow them through old boat yards to a nice waterside promenade. Take your time enjoying the views, the colorful canal boats, and some of the history of Bristol Harbour. 
  • When you reach the Bristol Marina (top right photo above), follow signs around some workshops to get back to the water on the other side. Before you do that though, make a little detour down a side alley to visit a work by Bristol local and internationally famous artist Banksy. (For the exact location see the map below)
  • A flair for street art and creativity abounds all around Bristol, so finding little bursts of color adds to the fun of walking around.   

This little guy reminded me of the Classic VW Bug I saw in Bath

  • Continuing along the Harbourside Walk will bring you to M Shed, a museum dedicated to the history of Bristol. Check out some of the outdoor industrial cranes, or head inside to see exhibits on ancient and current times alike. 
    • Admissoin: Free
    • Hours: Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm / Mondays during Bristol school holidays and bank holidays: 10am-5pm
  • On our day in Bristol, my friend and I had just landed in England, so we were doing our best to stay up as late as possible... but we were pretty tired by early evening. If you are in the same situation, or are just ready for a rest, make your way up to Queen Square before sitting down outside at The Hole in the Wall for a cider and some dinner. The food wasn't the best of our trip, but the outdoor seating and cold drinks were perfect after a full day. 
  • With full bellies and rested feet, make your way to the main Bristol train station, Bristol Temple Meads, to return to Bath for the night. 

The Map


There are a lot of things I didn't have the time or the energy to see on my afternoon in Bristol, but if you have an extra day to spare, this would be a worthwhile location to add a few more hours to, especially if you're staying close by in Bath.  Check out the official Visit Bristol website for more ideas! 

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I hope you enjoyed this afternoon stroll through Bristol, and that it inspires you to add this easy stopover to a stay in Bath. If you follow my footsteps or even just use one of the suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below about your experience! 

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Thanks for coming along, and check back every week for a new Victinerary to help plan your next adventure!

 

~ V

Photos taken with: Nikon D5300, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 Lens (Rented from BorrowLenses.com)


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