Bristol is famous for its bridges and boats but did you know that this exciting South West city is fast becoming one of Britain’s cultural capitals? It has been developing fast in recent years and now boasts a thriving arts scene and a designer cityscape to rival big cities like London. Catch a flight to brilliant Bristol and embrace the extraordinary entertainment on offer – whether you’re mad for live music or a theatre-loving thespian. Keep reading for more reasons why a trip to Bristol should be on your bucket list!
Behold Bristol’s Brilliant Buildings
It’s impossible to ignore the stunning cityscape you’ll be met with upon arrival at Bristol airport. One of the most iconic landmarks is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which links Clifton in Bristol to North Somerset’s Leigh Woods. The Grade 1 listed bridge, designed by celebrated civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is just as impressive today as it was at the time of construction in the mid-1800s. The towering structure stands an impressive 245ft above the River Avon, constructed atop a 110ft red sandstone abutment. As well as being one of Bristol’s most recognisable landmarks, the bridge has also been the site of the last ever Concorde flight and first modern bungee jump.
This urban metropolis has given birth to its own style of architecture, known as Bristol Byzantine. The style first emerged in the late 1800s and is characterised by a simple yet bold outline, colourful brickwork and decorative arches. A few prominent examples of this unique cityscape still exist in the form of the iconic Granary building and the Colston Hall auditorium. The city is also home to the last great Gothic structure in Britain – the Wills Memorial Building which stands an impressive 215 feet tall.
No trip to Bristol is complete without a glimpse at some of the impressive street art. This South Western city is the birthplace of Banksy and was once home to the world famous See No Evil festival in 2011 and 2012, during which top graffiti artists were given free run to decorate Nelson Street. The incredible pieces of art still adorn the walls of Bristol’s buildings, so take a stroll down the street for a bit of creative inspiration.
Make the Most of Bristol’s Vibrant Arts Scene
Those seeking culture will love absorbing the countless theatres, art museums and galleries. Bristol has been the location for a number of high profile films including the James McAvoy movie Starter for 10 as well as the birthplace of acting legend Cary Grant. This sensational city is also a popular setting for a number of primetime TV dramas, including Casualty, Skins and Being Human.
If you’re a frequent theatre-goer you won’t be at a loss here, with the Bristol Old Vic providing a wealth of thespian entertainment. The prestigious theatre company was founded in 1946 as an offshoot of London’s Old Vic Company and the troupe often perform in the beautiful Theatre Royal and Coopers’ Hall. You can guarantee that you will find something to entertain your tastes because the thriving theatre scene receives a lot of support from the local authorities. Award winning actors like Brian Blessed, Daniel Day-Lewis and Patrick Stewart have all walked down the halls of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
The cultural hotspot was also the birthplace of the sound known as trip-hop – a unique music genre popularised by bands like Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack in the early 1990’s. Tourists can catch a huge array of acts every night throughout the year, with the bigger names in music often stopping off at the colossal capacity Colston Hall. If you’re looking to discover new artists, the city is also home to a colourful experimental music scene which gave birth to 1980’s thrash metal group Onslaught.
With so many cultural exploits residing within the cities walls, you’ll have no problem using your time wisely at Bristol.