Bath Day Trips: Things to do in Bristol

more than a year ago
Just 13 miles separates Bath and Bristol, making them two of the closest cities in the UK when talking about pure geography. The twins have plenty of similarities only trumped by their differences — where Bath brings old world elegance, Bristol provides a grit and a charm that oozes out of its every inch, a depth of character that doesn’t skimp on beauty but doesn’t thrust it to the fore either. It might just be the most curious city in England.

Bristol has a reputation for being one of the worst-connected cities in England, but no such worries exist if you are coming from Bath. The two are fabulously connected by the rails, with trains taking 15 minutes to make the journey from one to the other. Tickets cost a measly £8. If you’re insisting on driving, the 13 mile journey will take about 45 minutes, via the A4. Best jump on that train.

A city famous for art and creation, it is predictably unusual that Bristol’s major attraction is a massive bridge. The Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened in 1864, although the idea for building a bridge across the Avon had been around for a century at least, and it remains one of the great successes of British engineering. Walking across it takes about an hour, but it is well worth it.

Bristol is also synonymous with that little scamp Bansky, the anonymous artistic champion of the disaffected youth. You can find plenty of Banksy originals around Bristol, with some companies offering walking tours of the best. We obviously recommend finding them yourself, lest you get involved in the corporate side of vehemently anti-capitalist art. It is a minefield, trust us.

Elsewhere in Bristol we find famous attractions like the SS Great Britain (a state of the art passenger ship turned museum), the M Shed (a museum of the city and its history) and more, including energetic artistic centres such as We The Curious. The city is also known for the depth and breadth of its street food, with excellent culinary options available on Vine Street every day of the week at lunchtime.

Bristol is also one of the best nights out in England, although that will lead you dangerously close to two-day territory, the second of which will begin with a hangover. Saying that, the last train from Bristol Temple Meads to Bath Spa leaves the former at 23:30, so you could have yourself a skinful before heading back to the beauty of Bath. The choice is yours, obviously.


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