Street Art - Forget stuffy art galleries, being the home of Banksy Bristol has a great underground art scene. And what’s more its free. There are guides around which will lead you through the streets of “Brizzle” to check out the best graffiti this art obsessed city has to offer and you can join a walking tour to see some or the really clever, funny and often thought provoking street art.
There Be Pirates - Bristol is proud of its seafaring heritage. It’s is a hotly contested fact that America was named after Bristonian Richard Ameryk who as owner of the Matthew was largely responsible for funding John Cabot’s voyage of exploration to what is now called North America. But alongside the good guys were the pirates and Bristol has a long history of piratical exploits to discover including perhaps the most famous of them all, John Teach, A.K.A. “Blackbeard” whose many party pieces included strapping victims to a canon’s muzzle and then blasting their entrails out to sea for his own amusement. How many lives could have been saved if only he’d had a TV?
Clifton Suspension Bridge - Jeremy Clarkson argued the case for Isambard Kingdom Brunel to be voted as the Great Briton in a series of TV shows and perhaps one of his most famous creations was the suspension bridge. While you might not think this is the most exciting excursion ever, up close and personal Brunel’s masterpiece is pretty damn impressive to say the least.
Castle Park - While there’s not much left of the original castle the park is a great place to relax and unwind after a hard day’s activities. Somewhere to chuck a Frisbee, kick a ball around or simply watching the girls go by.
Bristol Circus Festival - It's not all family fun, squeaky noses and squirting lapels. Modern circus is sophisticate and avant garde often mixing burlesque and horror which has tuend around the fortunes of what was a dying art form. In October Bristol's Circus Festival shines a light on the best 'new circus' has to offer.
Bristol Harbour Festival - Running for over 40 years Bristol's waterfront party is one of the UK's largest and over 250,000 people pack into a 2 mile stretch enjoying live music, street dance, comedy, food and even a focus on pedal powered two wheeled transport with a difference.
Encounters Film Festival - September also sees Bristol, the home of Aardman Animations play host to Encounters Short Film Festival. Screenings, talks, Q&A’s and workshops as well as open air screenings on specially erected screens on the Harbourside with entries from all over the world.
In September Brisfest takes over the city. Various stages host big name bands, DJ’s, cabaret, burlesque and comedy in a real summertime music festival. Check their website to see details of next year’s line up.
If you like your big boy toys to be full of hot air then August sees the arrival of the International Balloon Fiesta.
Bristol’s premier venue and best known is arguably the O2 Academy which hosts the largest music and comedy acts to hit Bristol. Recent and forthcoming acts include; Miles Kane, Bowling For Soup, Happy Mondays, John Newman, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
If you prefer your music up close and personal then The Fleece is Bristol’s best independent music venue and the place for real music lovers. Big name acts get unplugged and personal as well the best of underground, upcoming and unsigned acts. Recent & forthcoming acts include; Hayseed Dixie, Glenn Tilbrook, The Toy Dolls and many more…
If theatre is your thing then you’ll already be well aware of Bristol’s Old Vic. Perhaps one of the most famous theatrical production companies in the world it has had a long and illustrious career and seen most of the biggest names in acting pass through its stage door. Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart, Peter O’Toole, Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons… the list of Oscar winners is enormous and it has recently been under the artistic direction of Kevin Spacey, himself another Academy Award winner.
Planes - For those coming from even further afield there are regularly scheduled flights in and out of Bristol International Airport
Trains - Reaching Bristol couldn't be easier. Great rail links direct to London Paddington.
Automobiles - Really convenient no matter which direction you're coming from as both the M4 (Jct19) or M5 (Jct15) skirt the city limits.
Although not renowned for a massive sporting heritage Bristol does house a huge footballing rivalry between City and Rovers. If you want to check out the fixtures list to get seats for upcoming fixtures for either the Robins or the Pirates check out the links
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