You might be taking a trip to Bristol or getting to know the area you live in a little better, but either way, taking in a tour of the city’s landmarks is an exciting way to learn about this South West location. From ingenious bridges and impressive parks to famous theatres and observatories, you’ll find many unique places to view or visit.
Read on as we check out just some of Bristol’s renowned features you can cross off your list when you’re out and about.
Based in the Old City area, Queen Square is a stately Georgian park in the centre of Bristol, nestled among cobbled streets and mature trees. The site was once only marshland and had many undignified uses in the past, including providing a place for weaponry practise and a rubbish dump for the city. However, in 1622, it was redesigned as a bowls park with a tree-lined promenade, and today, it is a favoured rest stop for visitors and Bristol workers on a break from their work nearby.
Located in Clifton, this world-famous suspension bridge still serves the city’s commuters. It was designed by the renowned Victorian-era engineer known as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. While it was originally conceived to cope with only light horse-drawn vehicles, it was so well designed and built that it can manage the 12,000-vehicle-strong traffic it deals with each day.
On Litfield Road, the observatory is situated above the Avon Gorge, offering impressive views of both the city and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Among the few UK observatories with a camera obscura that the public can access, the building once served as a windmill. In 1766, William West, the water colourist and oil painter, set up a studio in the mill and installed the camera obscura, offering panoramic vistas of Bristol’s beautiful countryside.
On King Street, the Old Vic Theatre stands. Although it was built back in 1766, the Old Vic is still the oldest theatre that has been continuously working within the English-speaking world. Over the years, substantial changes have been made to the venerable venue. A recent refurbishment representing a multi-million-pound investment saw the creation of an entirely new front-of-house area, studio theatre, café and bar, along with a wealth of other improvements, including a longer stage and greater accessibility levels.
If you’re looking to dramatically reduce your list of must-see attractions around Bristol, booking a hot air balloon ride is an ideal answer. After you take off from within the city, you’ll be able to identify many of the famous landmarks we’ve mentioned as you rise above its beloved buildings and popular parks.
If you do take to the skies in a hot air balloon over Bristol, make sure you have your smartphone or digital camera onboard to collect a quick snap to add to your collection and to share with your family and friends.