Travel to Bristol from Glasgow Airport to enjoy one of the UK’s largely unheralded gems. Now fully fledged as a hub of on-the-pulse culture and creativity, it has an impressive number of art galleries, festivals and performance spaces to complement some gorgeous Georgian architecture and a medieval heart.
Art and music
From street art enigma Banksy to dance music pioneers Massive Attack, Bristol has been responsible for some attention-grabbing urban culture. Bristol Street Art Tours have capitalised on the city’s reputation by offering two-hour guided walks around the most notable sites (which can, by their nature, change weekly), while for a more traditional experience there are countless theatres and concert venues to sample. The BristolOldVicTheatre (King Street) is Britain’s oldest working theatre, standing in place since 1766 and still offering up inventive productions.
Ring in the new
Bristol moves with the times as much as anywhere in the UK, and over the last five years the cityscape has continued to welcome new landmark constructions. Among the most remarkable is M Shed (Princes Wharf), a cutting-edge museum set in an old 1950s transit shed – it tells the well-woven story of Bristol and its people over the centuries. Cabot Circus (Glass House), meanwhile, is now well established as one of the city’s premier shopping options, with more than 120 stores.
Take to the water
Bristol’s past is inseparable from its plum location on the River Avon – the city was once an integral part of transatlantic maritime trade. Visitors today can enjoy time on the river themselves, with Bristol Packet Boat Trips providing a neat way of seeing the city and its quieter surrounds. The afternoon sailings to Beese’s Bar & Tea Gardens (Wyndham Crescent) are justifiably popular, while a longer voyage with Number Seven Boat Trips allows a four-hour journey along the Avon Gorge.