Bristol has featured in the national press as Britain’s best city to live in, thanks to its “great shopping, great scenery and great social scene”. Top attractions for a day out include Bristol Zoo, At Bristol, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol Aquarium, the wonderful City Museum and Art Gallery and the exciting M Shed on Bristol’s historic wharf. Bristol Shopping Quarter in the city centre includes Cabot Circus with 120 shops and cafés all under one roof, Broadmead with attractive pedestrianised streets and The Galleries shopping centre. In all, over 500 stores ranging from Foyle’s and Harvey Nichols, through boutique independents to the UK’s second largest Primark, and more than 50 cafes and restaurants. St Nicholas Market, Park Street and Christmas Steps are amongst the city’s treasure trove of original independent shopping destinations for everything from vintage collectibles to musical instruments. There are breath taking views over the city from the lovely Brandon Park where you can climb the 105ft Cabot Tower.
Transport links into and around the city can be part of the adventure – the Bristol Ferry takes you to a range of destinations via the floating harbour, and on the Bristol InSight open topped red buses, with their entertaining local guides, you can hop on and off whenever you like at one of 20 stops (including Bristol Temple Meads and the city’s main attractions). Buses 8 & 9 from the station forecourt will also zip you round to the main city centre destinations. The TravelWest website is the best way to plan your journey into the city, and includes some excellent maps showing walking routes and local bus stops.
There are several places in the city to hire bikes – Cycle the City even run guided bike tours! – and the Bristol to Bath Railway Path can be accessed via a bridge from the station onto Avon Street.