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Things To Do In Bristol

Looking for something a little different to do in Bristol? It may be famous for Brunel, Banksy and Wallace and Gromit, but there are a number of other fun experiences lurking just behind the icons. The good folks at Bristol Insight recommended two to us via twitter. Just up from stop number 7 on their open-top bus tour you can find the University of Bristol's Botanic Gardens. If it's a relaxing stroll, fascinating insights into the evolution of earth's floral diversity, and incredible scenery, then these 1.77 hectare grounds are second to none.

Their other suggestion is a place that explicitly bills itself as "Bristol's hidden treasure". The Red Lodge Museum is a stately dwelling dating back to the late 16th century that was gradually converted into a literal 'museum house'. Its various rooms aim to take you on a historical journey from the height of the Tudor Era to the heart of upper class Victorian Britain. Along the way you'll experience first hand how the well-to-do of each period lived their domestic lives, from conventional daily rhythms to quirks that simply no longer exist. Looked at from a non-anthropological perspective the Red Lodge Museum is a great place to see stunning designs and craftsmanship, such as the intricate wood paneling of the The Great Oak Room or the grand Georgian staircase.

For food and casual shopping they don't come much better than the St Nicholas Market on Corn Street. Most of the city's independent retailers are contained within the market's three sections: The Glass Arcade, Covered Market and the Exchange. Hunt out a fun novelty t-shirt or hat at Beast Clothing, indulge your sweet tooth with stacks of candied goodies at Treasure Island Sweets, and test your mouth's mettle at Dr Burnorium's Hot Sauce Emporium. The full range of items on offer at St. Nick's is staggering, head over and take a look yourself.

You'll probably be aware of the Bristol Zoo Gardens, but did you know Bristol has its own Aquarium? Located on Anchor Road in the middle of the Harbourside it's the perfect addition to a family day out. Each of the exhibition spaces explore a different aspect of Planet's Earth's marine diversity. The Native Display is home to over 300 sea creatures normally found around the shores of the British Isles. And the Mighty Amazon recreates a portion of the world's largest river in microcosm, showcasing some it's most incredible natural marvels, such as the giant Pacu or a swarm of deadly piranhas.

For an extra selection of things to see and do take a look at our Bristol blog piece: 'Best Free Things To Do For Visitors in Bristol', or check out the tours below.

Top 5 Things To Do In Bristol


Exploring the City of Bristol couldn't be simpler with CityXplora. You'll be avoiding undue hassle and saving precious sightseeing time by pre-booking the Bristol Insight hop-on hop-off bus tour. Visit everything from Brunel's SS Great Britain to the Bristol Zoo Gardens and Cabot Circus Shopping Center. All you need is one booking, one payment transaction and ticket vouchers are sent immediately by email - it's so easy!

Bristol Insight Bus Tour Image

Bristol Insight Bus Tour

With 20 hop-on hop-off stops throughout the city, not only does Bristol Insight provide unrivaled access to all the best attractions, but they shine a light on Bristol's fascinating cultural and maritime heritage.

Bristol Bus and Ferryboat Combo Image

Bristol Bus and Ferryboat Combo

Let the world roll by from the waters of Bristol's famous Floating Harbour. The iconic yellow ferries offer 48-hour sightseeing along the banks of the city centre. Hop-on hop-off from the Pump House to Temple Quay.


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