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  • Cityscape Harbours and history
  • City life Cool bars and a mellow vibe

Bristol is a great metropolis without the stress. There are friendly bars, amazing restaurants, and a cleaned-up harbourside with art galleries and many a bar-with-a-view.

Upmarket Clifton provides the Sunday afternoon shopping opportunities: the east side is where to head for a bohemian night out. Still not convinced? A 15-minute train ride will take you to the living museum that is the city of Bath; 45 minutes in the car and you’re in Cardiff. And you’re in the midst of some of the finest countryside in England: the West Country, with its great pubs, ancient monuments and, thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperate climate. ‘Brizzle’, as the locals have it, is a fabulous city.

Do go/Don’t go

There are plenty of cosy pubs, cafes and restaurants in which to take refuge from the rain in the winter, but June through to September are the best months to visit. The westerly Gulf Stream climate keeps it a degree or two warmer than most of England, but this can make for excess drizzle in winter.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes The nearest airport is Bristol International, roughly half an hour’s drive from the city centre.
  • Trains Trains arrive at either Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway. Temple Meads is nearer to the centre of the city.
  • Automobiles The M4, followed by the M32 is the main route into Bristol from London. Journey time from the capital is two to three hours, depending on traffic. Try not to travel on a Friday night; this is a busy commuter motorway.
  • Taxis Taxis cannot be flagged down in the street, so ask your hotel to book one for you. There are usually plenty of taxis outside the train stations.