Thursday, August 09, 2007

Weekend in Bristol

The trip to Bristol was a massive success - and I'd highly recommend it for a day trip or weekend out of London. If you don't mind quite a smallish city, or students, I think it would also be quite nice to live there. Eight of us went there for a couple of nights last weekend - some by car and some got the National Express bus for about 15 quid return (if we booked earlier, the prices were at about 5 quid return - bargain!). We stayed near Clifton which is one of the nicest areas in Bristol, with endless cafes, boutiques and rows of stunning Georgian houses. There is also the world's first suspension bridge (see pic), which spans the river Avon and a massive green gorge - a landscape that reminded me of Australia. My photos from Saturday aren't that great as the sky was a bit grey - but we did do a little boat cruise around the canals of the city which was a great way to explore (and was only 4 quid - another bargain!). Friday and Saturday nights were spent frequenting the wide variety of bars/restaurants/pubs in the city (some definitely better than others) and Sunday was spent walking up to the gorge, and down it for those who could be bothered (not me). After stopping for a late morning Pimms at the beautiful Avon Gorge Hotel we then spent a really nice afternoon at the Bristol Zoo and Gardens (complete with a Calippo - something I always used to get when visiting Taronga Zoo as a little'un).

All in all, Bristol was better than I expected. It has some fascinating architectural sights and an interesting history - in the time it was basically the centre of the British slave trade and since this year celebrates 200 years since the abolition of slavery, there are a few interesting exhibitions and a lot of awareness being raised about the event and this part of Bristol's past. Bristol is also the home of the 'art terrorist' Banksy - and his great artworks/designs/graffiti (whatever you want to call it) can be viewed in various spots all over the city, most notably his design (see pic) which is on the wall of a sexual health clinic. It was a really interesting, fun weekend - so Bristol definitely gets my recommendation as an English destination.

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