Bristol is on a high: two of its best-known residents, Wallace & Gromit, have been chosen as Visit England ambassadors and the city was recently named among the top ten most popular destinations to visit in the UK by TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor described Bristol as “a quirky British city with beautiful hilly vistas and plenty of historic sites to explore. Anyone interested in ships will have a blast aboard Brunel’s ss Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner, and the Matthew, a replica of the ship upon which John Cabot sailed to America in the 15th century, while the graceful Clifton Suspension Bridge is another must-see”.
Fittingly, then, The Bristol Hotel (www.doylecollection.com/bristol), an award winner itself having been named the city’s Large Hotel of the Year 2012, has launched a “Discover the Dock” package costing from just £114. The package includes a 45-minute tour of the harbour on The Bristol Packet, which will help visitors to see the historic sites mentioned by TripAdvisor, as well as to get their bearings and learn all about Bristol, while sitting back and relaxing on the water.
Back on land, The Bristol Hotel’s location right on the city’s Harbourside provides the perfect base for exploring this vibrant city and its many upcoming events, with something to suit everyone. Just a couple of minutes’ walk from The Bristol Hotel stands the contemporary arts centre known as the Arnolfini, with M Shed, the museum for all things Bristol, just over the bridge. Walk a little further into Spike Island to visit ss Great Britain, built in Bristol by Brunel, and Spike Island Artspace, another contemporary art venue.
Walk the other way, north from the hotel, if your main interest is shopping. Broadmead and Cabot Circus, much of which are pedestrianised, are home to over 100 shops, including well-known brands such as Reiss, Harvey Nichols, Topshop and House of Fraser. Quirky individual shops can be found on Park Street, which is more of a traditional “High Street”.
In the evenings, various venues offer a wide range of entertainment. The Bristol Old Vic presents plays old and new, while the Bristol Hippodrome specialises in hosting many West End shows; Colston Hall and St George’s put on music from classical to contemporary, as well as talks and comedy. For art house cinema, head for The Watershed.
Events over the coming months vary from the ancient (Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s Pharoah: King of Egypt, a touring exhibition from the British Museum in situ till 21st July) to the modern (Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, recently named one of the top three tourism events in the UK, 8th to 11th August), not forgetting the Harbour Festival from 26th to 28th July, one of the UK’s largest public festivals and a smorgasbord of musical and artistic performances that take place, appropriately given our watery theme, along the harbour front!
There’s also a little of everything else in between. For example, there are food festivals (such as Foodies Festival on 12th to 14th July), cultural events (like St Paul’s Afrikan Caribbean Carnival on 6th July and the Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2013 from 30th August to 8th September) and family-friendly things to see (Festival of Nature on 15th & 16th June and Gromit Unleashed: a trail of 70 Gromit works of art, from 1st July to 7th September). And all of them within walking distance of The Bristol Hotel.
The Bristol Hotel’s “Discover the Dock” package includes overnight accommodation and breakfast for two, two tickets for a 45-minute Bristol Packet tour, free parking, free Wifi and free use of the hotel gym. Prices start from £114 per room per night. Additional nights at The Bristol Hotel cost from £89 per night, room only, making a weekend in Bristol an affordable luxury.
For more details & to book, visit www.doylecollection.com/bristol.