Our guide to Bristol

The best things to do in Bristol – 10 fabulous day trip ideas

28th March 2019

Bath and Bristol are under an hour’s drive from each other, and less than 20 minutes by rail. This means that it’s easy to see the sights of both these amazing cities during just one trip.

If you’re planning to go day tripping, here’s our guide to the very best things to do in Bristol:

  1. Brunel’s SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain, which sits in Bristol’s historic harbour and the Great Western Dockyard where she was built, is billed as ‘the ship that changed the world’. This advanced vessel was once the longest passenger ship in the world and the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, designed by the famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. During your visit, you can climb aboard the ship itself, and visit the Dockyard Museum to immerse yourself in the SS Great Britain’s history.  

  1. Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is another iconic Bristol landmark, the huge suspension bridge which spans the River Avon and the Avon Gorge. The Grade I listed building, which opened in 1864, offers breathtaking views of the gorge and there’s an on-site museum too.

  1. Bristol Cathedral

Another of the fantastic free things to do in Bristol, this enormous Cathedral will leave you agape thanks to its incredible medieval architecture. It’s one of the finest examples of a hall church (where the nave, aisles and choir are the same height) in the UK and its history dates back over a thousand years.

  1. We The Curious Science Museum

If you’re day tripping with children, one of the best things to do in Bristol is to visit We The Curious. This hands-on museum brings science to life in hundreds of fun and fascinating ways, and it’s perfect for those rainy days.

  1. Bristol hot air balloons

Just like in Bath, one of the best ways to see Bristol and the beautiful Avon Valley is from the air – so why not float up in a hot air balloon?

  1. Smoke and Mirrors Theatre Pub

This Bristol institution is a must-visit, offering popular comedy and magic shows in a fabulous atmosphere every weekend. It’s in the theatre district, and the only boutique magic theatre pub of its kind in the UK.

  1. The Avon Valley Railway

This historic railway has been undergoing restoration since the 1970s and now offers a range of fun steam experiences in the Avon Valley. You’ll love the lovingly restored steam locomotives, the chance to enjoy Sunday lunch on one of the dining trains and maybe even a Murder Mystery event during the summer.

  1. Bristol Zoo Gardens

This conservation charity has over 400 species of exotic and endangered animals under its protection, in beautiful gardens. Meet Asiatic lions, meerkats, gorillas and much more in enclosures and under-cover animal houses, as well as bringing the kids to enjoy water play areas and an aerial ropes course.

  1. Michelin-star dining

Did you know that Bristol has the most Michelin starred restaurants in the UK outside of London? There are five to choose from – Bulrush, the famous Casamia, Paco Tapas, Wilks and The Pony and Trap.

  1. Cabot Tower

If you want incredible views of Bristol, climb the 105-foot Cabot Tower in Brandon Hill, the oldest park in Bristol. And it’s free!

If you’re planning to have the best of both worlds, staying in Bath and visiting Bristol, book yourself a luxurious home-from-home with Bath Holiday Rentals.