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Bristol is open for business – but check before you travel

Kathryn Davies, Director of Tourism, Visit West

Kathryn Davies, Director of Tourism, Visit West.

As we head towards the Bank Holiday weekend and the end of the school holidays, there are still plenty of people making the most of this time for holidays, short breaks, and day trips – an incredibly important part of any summer, and this year probably more so than ever. 

Whether making the most of time with family while kids are out of school, time to reconnect with friends or just a bit of ‘me’ time, away from the screens and stress of the everyday, the chance to escape for a day (or more) is vital. 

The team at Visit West have been actively participating in Visit England’s ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, giving opportunities to showcase the breadth of the region’s visitor experiences and demonstrate that a UK stay is not a compromise but a real choice to experience world class heritage, culture and hospitality’

Bristol’s impressive rail connections mean that a city break is within easy reach of so much of the country, with experiences, activities, and indulgences to cater for all ages, tastes, and budgets, as well as being a great opportunity for a day trip. 

Travel to Bristol has been a little different this summer with Network Rail’s upgrade in and around Bristol Temple Meads meaning changes to travel arrangements until 3 September, but the city is open for business and there’s no excuse needed to revisit old favourites and discover new ones. While this work is completed, trains are continuing to run where possible and replacement buses are filling the gaps where needed. Just check before you travel, especially if you have timed tickets. Go to or for more information.

With so much taking please in Bristol this summer, it’s a great opportunity to make the most of a day (or three) to explore.

Bristol’s Harbourside is home to a wide variety of small independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as award winning museums and galleries.  It’s a great place to discover more about the city’s history, simply enjoy the waterside walk or relax over a coffee and watch the world go by.  For the ultimate views, take a boat trip and see the city from a completely different angle.  If you’re feeling active, walk the harbourside loop, try your hand at paddleboarding or even roller disco.

The Old City is great for exploring, and unsurprisingly home to many of Bristol’s oldest buildings, the last of the old city walls and a clock that predates the railways, showing old Bristol time.  Discover the incredible craft beer and iconic bars of King Street, and food from around the world at St Nicholas markets, ideally placed for the high street and luxury shopping at Cabot Circus and Bristol’s Shopping Quarter.

With newly pedestrianised areas, Clifton Village is an even more engaging place to explore.  With an abundance of blue plaques, and history markers plus the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, its perfect for exploration and discovery.

There’s plenty more to explore and using local services gives easy access beyond the centre to Redland, Montpelier, Stapleton Road, and Clifton Down, or out to Severn Beach and discover fascinating heritage trails, and stunning views of the Severn Bridges and South Wales Coast. 

Head of the independent shops and cafes of Gloucester Road, or the colourful Southville and Bedminster, home to 75 new stunning artworks from Upfest.

And while there is a bit of disruption to rail travel for just a few more days, there’s always plenty happening in Bristol and this work will improve train journeys into and around the city in future.  Just in time to book that late summer, autumn, or Christmas break. 

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