The list of things to do in Bristol can be fascinating and quite long. Bristol is among exciting places that are worth experiencing with your friends and family and it is a place for your ideal vacation because you can stroll around the city centre, admire the street art, and visit the museum and art galleries.
Among one the fun things to do in Bristol, witnessing the famous Bristol harbour Festival and St Paul’s Carnival are exciting and fulfilling events in Bristol to enjoy the beauty and the fun will leave a lifelong impression on your heart.
If you are thinking about things to do in Bristol with kids then visiting Bristol Zoo is a must. You will have an amazing day with your family admiring the wild and number of species and know about them, and if you are a fan of solo trips must opt for fun things to do in London.
Things to do in Bristol without hesitation include hopping on for a hot air balloons ride which is one of Bristol’s famous, these rides are amazing and will give the feeling of a much needed romantic break you wanted for a long time just like from your favourite movie.
More than 7 Things to do in Bristol
1. Visit The Ashton Court Estate
Ashton Court has been the site of a manor house since the 11th century and has been upgraded by a series of owners since then. From the 16th to the 20th century it was dominated by the Smyth family and with each generation changing house.
Humphry Repton’s designs were used in landscape design in the early 19th century and the estate was also used as a military hospital at the time of World War I.
In 1936, it was used as the site of the Royal Show and, during World War II, as a military camp. In 1946, the last of the Smyth family died and the house collapsed before it was purchased in 1959 by the Bristol City Council.
More about the Ashton Court
Visit the Ashton Court Estate if you are looking for things to do in Bristol and want to discover beautiful old oak trees, and green open spaces and see deer grazing in the area that began as a deer park 600 years ago.
At its highest point, there are two 18-hole golf courses with spectacular views throughout the city. Orienteering and mountain biking are well cared for, and there is plenty of space for family games and picnics.
There is also a small railway line, which opens on selected weekends throughout the year. Ashton Court is one of the few places you can take on a hot air balloon or get an unusual Disc Golf game.
And when you are done checking out, stop at one of the two local Cafes and restaurants to enjoy local scrummy cakes, freshly prepared sandwiches and a list of drinks and snacks. With indoor and outdoor seating for the children to play, cafes for dogs can be enjoyed throughout the year.
2. Witness Beautiful Views of Bristol Visit
(a) Clifton Suspension Bridge
This iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge is on everyone’s things to do in Bristol list as it was designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, although he never lived to see its creation as it got completed in 1864.
The work began in 1831, but the work was fraught with political and financial problems, and by 1843, with only the towers being completed, the project was abandoned.
Brunel died at the age of 53 only in 1859, but Clifton Suspension Bridge was abolished as a memorial. Designed in the early 19th century to carry small horses, it still meets the needs of 21st-century riders with 11,000 to 12,000 vehicles crashing into it daily.
More about Clifton Suspension Bridge
The magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge on the cliffs of Avon Gorge has made it a landmark of Bristol, attracting thousands of tourists a year just across the river to see the view of the ancient Avon Gorge, the beautiful Clifton and the beautiful city beyond.
Located near the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a unique Clifton Village with its mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, beautiful hallways, beautiful buildings, gardens, walkways and secret hiding places.
Clifton suspension bridge gives the most spectacular view of Bristol. This erected bridge overlooks the Avon Gorge, near Clifton Village. It is a magnificent place from every angle, whether under the Cumberland Basin or even above the Bristol Downs. The Clifton Observatory on the Downs is a great way and includes access to Giant’s Cave, a natural cave at Avon Gorge.
If you are looking for things to do in Bristol and want to enjoy the amazing view of Bristol then Clifton Suspension Bridge is your destination.
(b) Cabot Tower
A visit to this magnificent tower is one of the amazing things to do in Bristol. The Cabot Tower is located in the beautiful park of Brandon Hill near Park Street in the West End is a 105feet tower. It was built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot’s famous voyage from Bristol and the North American continent four hundred years earlier.
From the top of the Cabot Tower, all of Bristol opens up to a great distance making the climb ideal, especially on a clear day.
More about Cabot Tower
The tower is 105 meters (32 m) high and is constructed of red sandstone with Bath Stone cream to decorate and emphasize. It consists of a winding staircase and two viewing platforms with armoured terraces overlooking the city at a height of 334 meters (102 m) above sea level.
The tower is supported by diagonal edges; surrounded by an octagonal spirelet with a ball finial and a carved image representing commerce.
3. Go to The Brandon Hill Park
Brandon Hill Park is one of Bristol’s most famous picnic green spaces with lots of fun for everyone, amazing city views, and spectacular sunsets. So, if you want some picnic-type of things to do in Bristol, visit Brandon Hill Park.
It does not possess many resources, but it is an excellent place to see and even feed a large number of squirrels in this area. It is reported that they will come and eat from your hand if you stay quiet for a while holding the nuts, so make sure you buy plenty of them in advance.
It is a really beautiful place to spend your day and relax around nature, but due to the hilly nature of the site, access is very limited for people with disabilities.
4. Dive into the World of Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United Kingdom with a large botanical garden, full of hundreds of unusual plants and trees from all over the world and there are even fruits like bananas growing in this urban jungle.
While visiting the Bristol aquarium, you can view exhibits with over 40 natural themes and see thousands of amazing aquatic creatures, including rays, seahorses, pufferfish, piranhas, and more.
5. Have an Adventurous Day at The Adventure Playground
There are many adventure playground in Bristol that provides a list of attractive activities and fun things to do for all ages. They provide a fun and supportive environment for children and youth to come together, play, learn and deliver the activities of adults, businesses and society as a whole.
The adventure playground has several outdoor playgrounds, including a climbing wall, zip line, drag slide, sports pitch, trampoline, rope balance and clatter bridge. It also has a kitchen garden with a fire pizza oven and fire pit, large picnic tables and high seating areas- all overlooking the beautiful stoke park area.
Inside there is a dedicated play/handloom with a toddler and children’s changing areas, a projector with a projector, two kitchens, a community pool with a pool table and console games and two large office spaces and storage space. Collaborating with other organizations and charities throughout the year provides an inclusive and diverse event plan.
6. Visit The Famous Bristol Museums
(a) Bristol City Museum
In the list of fun things to do in Bristol, do take out time to visit the Bristol museum with your kids or family and reduce your curiosity for knowing interesting facts about things. The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery tell the story of the world in every exhibition, from the beginning of time to the present day.
There are nineteen 3-storey galleries that feature fascinating cultures, ancient civilizations, human inventions and art, and showcase the beautiful and fragile natural world. With thousands of amazing shows on display, one visit is not enough.
World-class collections of art, archaeology, geology and natural history are showcased in the interior of this great Edwardian building on Park Street and below Whiteladies Street. The Museum also has powerful exhibitions and an annual event program as well as a shop and cafe.
Enter the beautiful Bristol Museum building through their online tour. It includes all sorts of gems, some of which can be sung in your way, including Banksy’s Paint Pot Angel, Bristol Boxkite and Egyptian and Assyrian exhibitions.
Explore the natural wonders of the museum’s region, go back to ancient Egypt and Assyria and experience interesting artefacts from the Archeological and World Heritage collections in the Curiosity Gallery. Children who are below 7 years of age can try new activities in the famous museum play and learn about the space.
Take a trip during the last billion years of planetary history in the Geology galleries. Amazing fossils allow you to see traces of creatures that have evolved and disappeared in their ever-changing environment. Discover glossy earth of minerals, gemstones and crystals including Bristol Diamond.
Dive into The Ancient Times at the Museum
In the dinosaur gallery, you can find the Bristol dinosaurs and some of their allies, including the most preserved dinosaurs ever found in Britain – the Scelidosaurus. Museum wildlife exhibitions allow you to take a trip among the animals and see rare, endangered and extinct wildlife from the UK and around the world.
From the first-floor balcony, you can see how Bristol has developed over the centuries through the use of maps and printing. You can also watch Bristol BoxKite from here.
Exhibits of Art Galleries of the Museum
Check out the museum art galleries. Discover Bellini, Cranach, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Bomberg, Hepworth and Beryl Cook – among other top artists in seven art galleries.
Fine art and design are displayed in ceramic and glass galleries. British and European collections are displayed next to locally made goods. In the Bristol Artists’ Art Gallery, a shiny silver collection is displayed on the back of Bristol paintings as it did more than 200 years ago.
At the Eastern Art Gallery, see a magnificent array of pottery, sculptures and glass from ancient China and Japan. Focus on the beauty of the best Chinese glass collection outside of Asia.
There are many smart places you can find together. Explore family-friendly workplaces, including a playground for children who are under 7 years of age. Walk around the museum in one of their colourful ways or create art on one of their handicraft days.
(b) SS Great Britain
Get on the ship with an unusual timepiece. Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first major ocean-going ship is a Bristol landmark with some of the most accredited attractions: one of the UK’s top ten museums by TripAdvisor for the year 2017-18 and also ‘Europe’s Most Welcoming Museum’ by European Museum of the Year Awards in 2019.
The thought of your esteemed Bristolian, Isambard Kingdom Brunel; this iconic motorcycle is the heart of tourist attractions and has won numerous awards.
She was freed from rust and danger in 1970, and since she was lovingly restored to her Victorian day, a visit to SS Great Britain allows you to step back in time and explore true stories from the fun-filled First-Class to the narrow and controversial Steerage.
The personal kitchen and cabinet, dining room, and surgeon emanate real sounds and scents that bring the ship and its history to life. More than just a dusty old museum, this is a living, breathing thing in space.
Step ‘underwater’ to get a unique and magnificent view of the ship under a beautiful sea of glass; explore Riggers’ Yard and the Great Western Dockyard, test your skill with interactive displays and select from a series of attractive sounds.
With the stories and children’s games of in-depth history research at Brunel’s Institute, there is something for everyone at Brunel’s ss Great Britain.
(c) Aerospace Bristol
If you are wandering for an aviation fan and want some exciting things to do in Bristol, you should straightaway land at the Aerospace Bristol. This museum tells the amazing story of Bristol’s aviation success and allows you and your family to board the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the ultimate aeroplane ever to fly.
There is much to be gained from Aerospace Bristol, from the earliest days of the aeroplane to modern aerospace technology. There are planes, helicopters, arrows, satellites, engines, numerous interactive shows for all ages and more that you can see.
The highlight of your day will surely be Concorde, which is a landmark. You will have the opportunity to board the world’s fastest passenger plane, navigate the passenger terminal, and walk across the passenger cabinet to find out how Concorde passengers will go in style.
And when the sun shines, relax with a coffee while the kids run around the boarding frame and helicopter-shaped equipment in the new outdoor play area and seating area. It is an ideal place for budding pilots to enjoy and have a gala time with family.
7. Explore Bristol Cathedral
While looking for things to do in Bristol, visit one of Bristol’s beautiful and historic monuments- the Cathedral, which is located at College Green in the West End of the city.
This church has been on the site for more than a thousand years, but it came to prominence in the year 1140 when Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St Augustine. Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse stay open to viewers with some remains to be found within Bristol Cathedral School.
About the Bristol Cathedral
The eastern boundary of the Cathedral, especially in the choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European architecture.
The nave, choir and aisles alike are high, making Bristol Cathedral a prime example of a hall in Great Britain and one of the most beautiful in the world. Bristol Cathedral is free to access for a public visit throughout the year.
8. Admire The Street Art of Bristol
Street art abounds on all city streets and city walls in Bristol, from highways and sidewalks to side streets and outside buildings and areas. You will not need to travel far from the city centre to view a variety of exterior paintings that add bright colour to other grey and unusual buildings.
(a) Nelson Street
Nelson Street is the perfect place to go to immerse in the city’s outdoor art museum. The first street art festival, See and Evil took place in 2011-2012 on Nelson street. The event was organized by Inkie, one of the city’s most respected photographers.
(b) North Street and Bedminster
Some of the world’s leading urban artists have left their mark in Bedminster and Southville. North Street, in particular, is lined with colourful wall hangings, many of which were created during the world’s most respected street art festival, Upfest.
The level of street art here will amaze you and because of the annual Upfest festival, it changes every year.
(c) Stokes Croft
Famous for readers, the Stokes Croft area of Bristol is full of colour, with some of the most famous exterior paintings found in the area.
Consider Cosmo Sarson’s song- Jesus BreakDance, and of course Banksy’s Mild Mild West. And don’t miss out on exploring the works of Aspire, Stinkfish, Cheba and Phlegm all covering the colourful and healthy Stokes Croft area.
Although Easton is famous for occupying some of Banksy’s urban artwork (which he allegedly lived in), do not waste any of the traditions from lesser-known artists. Get out of the beaten track and head for the back streets of Stanley Park and discover a lot of graffiti talents.
9. Walk around the City Centre
Yet thinking of things to do in Bristol? Roam around the City Center and the Old City of Bristol which is known as the heart of the city and get a wonderful taste of culture, street food, rich history and amazing shopping opportunities. The journey to Bristol and the list of things to do in Bristol will not end without a visit to its central location.
More about Bristol City Centre
There is a lot of crowd in one place including Central Bristol and Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Shopping Quarter, Bristol’s Old City and Bristol Old Vic, Park Street and College Green and the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter.
Bristol’s shopping mall has more than 500 stores, independent shops, more than 50 cafes and restaurants, and beautiful cinemas for entertainment.
The huge list of stores from the world-famous Harvey Nichols and the leading House of Fraser to one of the largest Primarks in the world – means that whatever you want, you are sure to find in the centre of Bristol.
From mid-November to late December, Bristol Shopping Quarter is also home to some of the most popular German-themed markets and local Christmas markets.
10. Look into Leigh Woods
Leigh Woods is a 2-square-mile (0.77 sq mi) forest area towards the southwest of Avon Gorge, near Clifton Suspension Bridge. It is a place within North Somerset, opposite the English city of Bristol and north of Ashton Court inheritance.
Stoneleigh Camp, a hill thought to have been built from the third century BC to the first century AD and possibly even in the Middle Ages, is within the nature reserve on the edge of the Nightingale Valley. On the shores of Avon, within the park, there are limestone and celestine quarries that were used in the 18th and 19th centuries and are now obsolete.
More about Leigh Woods
Due to the presence of unique plants and animals, the wood was incorporated into the Avon Gorge Site of Special Scientific Interest, which gained its name in 1952, and 140 hectares (350 acres) were designated as land area save.
The southern part of the forest is a former grazing forest with old pillars, especially oak and limestone. To the north, the area is home to an ancient forest of ancient coppice and has a wide variety of trees.
A walk through the Leigh woods can be added to your to-do list of things to do in Bristol on a good sunny day and it is also the best place to walk with your dogs.
Something to Take Away
You can never fall short of things to do in Bristol and you will have the best time of your life at this beautiful place. You can enjoy your vacation here by roaming around the city or millennium square, exploring the science museums, and city farms, you can even shop from independent retailers, eat at fancy restaurants or enjoy street foods and have fun to the fullest.