Known as the ‘London’ of the west, Bristol is a hugely thriving and culturally vibrant city in the south-west of Britain. Also a county in its own right, Bristol is known for its arts scene, young population and highly reputable university. It is particularly renowned for its role in creative arts and is home to many famous bands and artists.
12 kilometres south of the city, Bristol Airport runs many services across the continent, particularly with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, EastJet and Thomas Cook. The airport is easily accessed from Bristol by car, or using the bus route from Bristol Bus Station, which runs every ten minutes.
Bristol has two main railway stations: Bristol Parkway, on the north of the city, and Bristol Temple Meads, which is located more centrally. These stations form part of railway lines across the whole of England and Wales, and so travel across the UK from Bristol is incredibly easy and well-connected.
Bristol Bus Station can be found very centrally in the city and runs many National Express and Megabus services across the UK and Wales. There are many services running between London and Bristol, as well as other major cities across the country and local destinations around Bristol and Somerset.
As a very congested city, driving is not particularly recommended in Bristol, however, bus routes are comprehensive and efficient. Also, Bristol was named the UK’s first cycling city, with many designated bicycle lanes across the centre and outskirts, as well as dedicated cycle paths to Bath and even London.
It seems unbelievable that a quaint town such as Cheltenham can be so close to the lively city of Bristol. Although the town is now most famous for the Gold Cup Racing Day, Cheltenham is full of history. The beautiful grade listed Pittville Pump Room is the only withstanding spa left in Cheltenham, which overlooks one of the many picturesque parks.
Duration of journey: Just less than 40 minutes.
One way ticket price: From £6.
Bath has always been known for its stunning 18th-century architecture, you could spend days wandering around the beautiful streets with a camera in hand. But Bath doesn’t boast just amazing scenery, it is also the only place in the UK where visitors can bathe in a natural hot water spa. Thermae Bath Spa has a picturesque rooftop pool to do just that, making it the perfect spot for a romantic evening overlooking the city.
Duration of journey: 30 minutes.
One way ticket price: From £7.
Although Cardiff is a bustling city just like Bristol, there is a calmer atmosphere once you are over the river Severn. Cardiff has a lot of history, visiting the castle is a great way to learn about the city, and there are many traditional pubs and restaurant’s are in the area to relax in after a day of exploring.
Duration of journey: Just over one hour.
One way ticket price: From £10.
There are a number of walking tour operators in Oxford offering an in-depth knowledge of the city with different themes to choose, from Medieval tours to one based around Harry Potter. Another way for visitors on a budget to discover the city is to simply explore the many tiny cobbled streets themselves, giving a real and unique view of the city. If walking tours aren’t your thing, then there is the option to rent a boat to relax while exploring the city from the water.
Duration of journey: an hour and twenty minutes.
One way ticket price: From £14.50.
Stonehenge and Salisbury
Another day trip from Bristol which is a little further afield is the town of Salisbury, home to one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world; Stonehenge. Because of its popularity, tickets to enter the site need to be booked in advance, but the view is so extraordinary that it should be on everyone’s must-see list, making it well worth the time it takes to get there. Make sure to not miss out the town of Salisbury itself for a typically British lunch of tea and scones.
Duration of journey: Just over an hour to Salisbury, plus a short bus ride to Stonehenge.
One way ticket price: From £10.