Experience Bristol like a local

Bristol is one of the best cities in the UK and is the perfect place to spend a long weekend. Whether you visit for pleasure or business, you should try to visit some of the city’s hidden gems. In this guide, we’ll reveal some of its must-see places, so you can experience Bristol like a Bristolian.

Go for a ride on a steam train 

Head to Avon Valley Railway and experience what it was like to travel by train in the Victorian era. The Avon Valley Railway hosts special themed events all year round, from steam galas to teddy bears’ picnics, 1940s weekends to murder mystery nights. You can even book a steam train driving course and drive and fire a steam locomotive (under supervision of course).  

Admire Bristol Cathedral 

It would be a crime to visit Bristol and not spend a short time inside the magnificent Bristol Cathedral admiring the architecture on display. Why not bring a picnic with you to share on the College Green as you watch the world go by? 

Enjoy a board game or two at Chance and Counters 

For a unique evening, book a table at Bristol’s first and only board game café. Chance and Counters has over 600 board games for you to choose from and members of staff will happily explain the rules of the games if you get stuck. It’s a great place to enjoy some quality time as a family, with no iPads or smart phones in sight. 

See a glass blower in action 

Spend half an hour witnessing masterpieces being created at The Original Bristol Blue Glass Ltd. Founded in 1988 by James Adlington, the glass blowers use traditional techniques and make some of the finest glass blown pieces in the UK. Their factory is open six days a week and you can watch glass being blown for free.  

If you’d like to have a go yourself you can, you can blow your own bauble for £20 or sign up for a beginner’s glass blowing course for £400. 

After visiting The Original Bristol Blue Glass Ltd why not grab a bite to eat at Kate’s Kitchen before taking a stroll through the nearby Victorian garden cemetery?  

Embrace nature 

Bristol is a pretty city and there are plenty of green spaces to discover. The 400-acre the Downs is a great place for kids to let off steam and is closer to the city centre than you might think. 

During the summer months there are lots of events at the historic Queen Square, but any time of year it’s a good place to visit if you want to catch your breath and enjoy a few minutes contemplating.  

You could pop on your walking boots and go for a walk in Leigh Woods, a lovely woodland area, or explore Ashton Court Estate with its historic house and gardens. Ashton Court Estate is vast, 860 acres and has its own custom-made mountain bike trails. If you’re in Bristol in August you might catch the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, a great four-day free event that sees over 130 different hot air balloons from around the world meet at Ashton Court Estate. 

So, there you have it, some great places to visit in Bristol, whether you’re looking to learn more about Bristol’s past, enjoy good food or blow away the cobwebs. Bristol has something for everyone.
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