City guide: Bristol

Jenessa Williams

Tour: Bristol Ferry Boat

Take to the water to get your bearings with a Bristol Ferry Boat tour. Each boat is named with it’s own unique character, ensuring a ride you’ll never forget.

With 17 stops along the standard route, it’s a fun way to get from A to B, or you can opt for one of the more specialized public tours to take in the sights.

Tour the Avon Gorge, stop off for beers and live music at Beese’s riverside bar or even indulge in a Sunday roast. It sure beats the local bus!

Swim: Clifton Lido

There’s nothing more invigorating in the morning than a bracing swim, but Clifton Lido goes one step beyond your local pool.

With spa facilities, an acclaimed restaurant and a poolside tapas bar, this is one swim facility that you could easily while away the day at.

Open all year round, they offer a variety of bundle packages at highly reasonable prices—a full spa day for two (including two treatments) is just £150, or opt for a simple Swim & Lunch combination for £40.

Learn: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Benefitting from its proximity to the UK’s Jurassic coast, Bristol Museum contains the best-preserved dinosaurs ever found in Britain, as well as an impressive Egyptian history and wildlife collection.

It isn’t all nature though—various events run throughout the year taking in topics as eclectic as Pottery Through The Ages and Murder Mystery evenings.

From March to June 2018, the museum will play host to Grayson Perry’s The Vanity Of Small Differences, a must-see tapestry exhibition for fans of modern art.

Get arty: Banksy Tour

If Bristol Museum isn’t enough art for you, take to the streets to hunt down one of the country’s most elusive artists.

Bristol is home to a number of Banksy’s guerilla works that can be visited as part of a specific Banksy & Boat ride package, but we would recommend the wider street art tour to get the best out of your visit.

Taking place every Saturday and Sunday, you’ll see all the Banksy pieces as well as the new paintings that crop up weekly around Bristol, all woven together with an oral history of the city’s art scene delivered by the engaging tour guides.

Lasting two hours and costing under £10 per person, it’s an excellent way to get inspired.

Go independent: The Harbourside Market

All that exploring can make somebody hungry, and there’s no better selection than at Harbourside market. A haven of independent shopping, food, drink and art, it’s a celebration of everything that makes Bristol great.

Enjoy slow-smoked meats, Asian noodle pots and vegan pastries at the food market before stocking up some souvenir art or books at Square Eyes or Habourside books.

For those with kids in tow, there’s also the wonderful Harbourside tales—an artisan puppet maker who provides a charming alternative to mass-produced children’s toys.