Updated: 11/11/20 | November 11th, 2020
While most travelers who visit England only visit London, there are actually a lot of other gems in the country worth exploring.
One such place is Bristol.
“Bristol? There’s not much there.”
That was the standard reply from locals whenever I mentioned I was heading to Bristol.
Needless to say, I had low expectations. But I visited anyway. After all, there’s no such thing as “must-see” — and that means there’s no such thing as “must skip” either.
On arrival, I found a hip college town with amazing eateries, great ethnic food, wonderful things to see, and plenty of green space.
Bristol is like the English version of Seattle. Most travelers seem to use it as a base for trips to Bath, and never fully explore this city, giving it only a brief glance before heading back to London.
This is a mistake.
With a population of around 500,000, Bristol is the largest city in southern England (after London) and is also one of the largest shipping ports in England. It received a royal charter in 1155 and, until the rise of Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, was one of England’s largest cities.
Bristol suffered extensive bombing during World War II and a subsequent decline in its manufacturing industry. Today, the city is a vibrant college town. The University of Bristol dominates the city and the students provide a lot of income and jobs for the community.
To help you make the most out of your visit, here’s a list of my favorite things to see and do in Bristol:
1. Bristol Cathedral