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Bristol In A Day – Things To Do and See
This week we have completed the second trip on My 2017 Goals list with a trip to Bristol. If you’ve read my list of goals, then you’ll know that the main reason for this particular trip was to go the Rag N Bone Man gig, but we wanted to make the most of the time we had, so we’d already done our ‘Bristol things to do in a day’ research before arriving!
Even though we’d booked a hotel and were staying overnight, we knew there were still a few things to see that wouldn’t take too much time but would give us an enjoyable afternoon of exploring.
This was our second trip to Bristol, the first having been part of our 12 Cities Challenge in 2015, so we already sort-of knew our bearings and had previously visited some of the key attractions like the SS Great Britain, Bristol Cathedral, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a few of the museums. So a different and more concise itinerary was needed.
Lunch In Clifton Village
Taking the local bus from near Bristol Cathedral we decided to head off to Clifton Village for lunch. We’d been to Clifton on our previous trip, so knew that (1) we’d get a good lunch and (2) the area is really pretty and full of little independent shops that are great for a browse or to pick up a few unique gifts.
After enjoying an Italian themed lunch, we headed out into the sunshine and walked up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, passing some of the area’s fantastic Georgian and Regency houses.
Taking in the view of the Suspension Bridge as we climbed the hill, we kept walking and made our way up to the Clifton Observatory.
The Clifton Observatory and The Giants Cave
The views of the suspension bridge and the Avon Gorge are much better from the hill on which the Clifton Observatory is built, so if you’re planning a trip to see or walk the bridge (we walked the bridge on our earlier visit), make sure you take the path up to the Observatory to get the best picture opportunities.
Converted from an old snuff mill in the 19th century by the local artist William West, climb the winding stair case of the Observatory up to the camera obscura. Once you reach the top you can see panoramic views of the area being projected onto a large white disc in the darkened room. The images were quite clear on the day, which was probably due to the good weather when we were there.
Then descend the stairs and keep going down to take in the Giants Cave! Be aware that the stairs are very steep and narrow in places. As you descend you also need to watch not to bump your head on the rock face. It felt a bit claustrophobic as we made our way down, but eventually the staircase opens up and out onto the cliff ledge.
Again, the views of the Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge were amazing! Of course, the steep climb back out of the cave was tiring, but worth it 😉 !
After leaving the Observatory, we decided to walk back to the city centre and call in at Cabot Tower on route.
Cabot Tower & Brandon Hill Park
Set within the grounds of Brandon Hill Park, Cabot Tower is a 105ft tower, built to commemorate John Cabot’s 1497 voyage from Bristol to the discovery of the North American continent. The tower was actually built in 1897 and is open to the public. We didn’t climb the tower on the day we were there as it was quite busy, and anyway, we were already aching from the climb down and back up to/from the Giants Cave.
However, even without climbing the tower, the views from Brandon Hill Park are great. It was also a good place to take a breather from walking, and just sit in the sunshine and take in the views.
The Main Event: Rag N Bone Man Gig
As I mentioned earlier, our trip to Bristol had come about because we had tickets to see Rag n Bone Man that evening. Hosted at the O2 Academy, he was supported by Gi3mo (Rum Committee) and then Dan Caplen, a new artist (to me) who is clearly very talented.
Rag N Bone Man hit the stage at about 9pm and surpassed all my expectations! Rory Graham (aka The Rag n Bone Man) has an amazing voice and a large repertoire of songs. He packed a lot in to the hour and half he was on stage and the crowd loved it!
If you’re unsure of this “new” artist, he was the Critics Choice winner at the Brit Awards this year and his hit single ‘Human’ made it to #2 in the British charts and was #1 across Europe for months last year.
We loved the show and if we have a chance to see him again, we’ll be jumping at it!
So ‘Bristol in a day’ marks the second trip crossed off our list of travel goals for 2017. Now it’s onward to May. Our next trip is already booked 🙂 but I’m not giving anything away yet. Keep checking in on the blog for updates or subscribe to my email list to make sure you’re alerted when the post goes out.
I’d love to hear about your travel adventures and plans too! Share yours in the comments! 🙂