The City of Bristol is most famous for its links with the engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel who built the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven iron hulled ship and the Bristol Suspension Bridge amongst many other things. Bristol is also known for its less celebrated involvement in the slave trade as a port and transport hub. Modern Bristol has left its industrial past behind and is now a young trendy city. This is reflected in the fact that some famous bands hail from Bristol and the surrounding area including Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky and Ronnie Size. It is also the home of popular street artist Banksy who's work can be found in various locations around the city. Bristol has quickly become a popular tourist destination in itís own right, with a thriving, newly renovated shopping district, numerous tourist attractions and a major University. The population stands at around 430,000 people at last count and is the UKís eighth biggest. If you need a hotel in Bristol click the link for offers and deals.
Bristol is located in the South West of England, approximately 120 miles (193 km) west of London and has excellent bus and train links with the capital with travel times around 1 hour and 40 minutes by train. Bristolís main coach and bus station is located a 10 minute walk from the city centre with frequent Megabus and National Express coach services to most UK cities including London. The main rail station, Bristol Temple Meads, is also located within a 15 minute walk from the city centre. Bristol also has an airport approximately 9 miles south west of the city centre with routes to many European cities.
Bristol has a large student population with two major institutions, Bristol University and the University of the West of England (UWE) located in the city. This ensures the city has a lively nightlife and is pretty vibrant most nights of the week.
One of Bristol's major features and attractions is it's harbour area. It dates back to the 13th century but was developed into its current form in the early 19th century by installing lock gates on a tidal stretch of the River Avon in the centre of the city allowing boats to remain docked at low tide as the water level remains constant. As container ships got larger the port was replaced by a new facility at Avonmouth. The harbour is now primarily a tourist attraction with museums, art galleries such as the Arnolfini, exhibitions, bars and nightclubs. Former workshops and warehouses have now largely been converted or replaced by cultural venues such as the 'At-Bristol' science exhibition centre, as well as a number of residential developments.
Within easy reach of Bristol are a number of other interesting tourist destination including the city of Bath with it's sandstone terraces and fascinating Roman baths which make an excellent day out from Bristol or addition to any itinerary. Glastonbury, Stonehenge and the ancient cathedral city of Wells are also not far away. To the south of the city many visitors are attracted to the scenic beauty of the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge and the limestone caves around Wookey Hole.