Travel & Days Out

7 Things To Do In Bristol

A photograph of hot air balloons from Bristol's International Balloon Fiesta floating in the sky above Bristol - 7 Things To Do In Bristol - Mrs H's favourite things

This is a collaborative post. 

My family and I moved to Bristol when I was four years old. But when we moved our house was still being built. So we lived in a hotel for a month – the Unicorn Hotel. It was very exciting. We finally moved to our new house on my fifth birthday. And I always believed that our new house was my birthday present.

We only lived there for five years but I was devastated when we moved. I loved living in Bristol and I have a soft spot for the city.

I often travelled there when I worked at Cancer Research UK. And although I was only ever there fleetingly, Bristol always felt familiar and reminded me of being a carefree child. In many ways, it felt like home.

I would love to go there for a long weekend with the family. There is so much to do in this vibrant city. And I’d enjoy showing our children the places that my parents took me as a child. These are the 7 things that I would want to do on a long weekend in Bristol:


7 Things To Do In Bristol

1. Visit Bristol Zoo 

We went to Bristol Zoo many times when we lived in Bristol. I went there on school trips and it was on one of those trips where I developed my fear of snakes. My parents also took me to Bristol Zoo with a group of friends for my seventh birthday.

Our children love animals and always adore days out at farms or zoos. So I know that they would have a wonderful time looking at all the animals and exploring the zoo.

2. WWT Slimbridge Wetland  Centre

My lovely Friend Karen, who blogs at Stopping At Two often writes about her family’s visits to Slimbridge. And I’ve always looked at those posts and thought how much my children would adore a day at Slimbridge. As they are massive fans of getting outdoors, exploring, jumping in muddy puddles and getting wet and messy then I know they would have a whale of a time. However, we might struggle to get them out of Welly Boot Land, which would be a shame as there is so much to see and do at Slimbridge.

3. Brunel’s SS Great Britain & Being Brunel Museum

A photograph of the rigging of the SS Great Britain in Bristol - 7 Things To Do in Bristol - Mrs H's favourite things

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is one of my Dad’s heroes. So, when I was a kid, we would often go to see Brunel’s SS Great Britain, as it combined my Dad’s love of Brunel and his love of ships. And I also secretly loved our trips there (although I may have done a wonderful impression of a bored child).

Extensive conservation work has happened since then and it sounds like visiting this historic ship is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. There also seems to be so much to do on a trip there. From climbing the rigging to wandering around the brand new Being Brunel Museum. And if we did go to SS Great Britain for the day, I think it would be compulsory that Grandma and Grandpa came with us.

4. Clifton Suspension Bridge

From one feat of Brunel’s engineering to another – the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is an iconic sight. And no trip to Bristol would be complete without a meander across this bridge. I would also love to see the stunning bridge illuminations as these were installed in 2005/ 2006. Beginning half an hour before sunset and finishing at midnight, the illuminations provide an award-winning display. They are definitely an essential part of a long weekend in Bristol.

A photograph of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol - 7 Things To Do In Bristol - Mrs H's favourite things

5. Aerospace Bristol

When we lived in Bristol my Mum worked at Filton which was the home of Concorde. If we ever visited Mum at her work then we would sometimes catch a glimpse of the amazing airliner, with its iconic nose. We would also often hear the Concorde fly over our house and the whole house would reverberate as a result. So I would be fascinated to go to Aerospace Bristol and see not only a Concorde but the final Concorde built and the last to fly.

6. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 

As well as recalling Concorde flying over our house, I also remember the majestic site of seeing the hot air balloons from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. They would fill the skies. And we would have great fun trying to spot all the different designs. But we never actually attended the Balloon Fiesta. Which is a shame because it sounds like an amazing four days filled with activities that the whole family can enjoy.

A photograph of some of the hot air balloons at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta - 7 Things To Do In Bristol - Mrs H's favourite things

7. A Well-Deserved Pampering Session

After all the activity of seeing the SS Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Concorde and the hot air balloons, I might need a rest. Or better yet some time to myself to be pampered. Thankfully there are some fantastic massage offers in Bristol. – Mr H could take the kids to fly a kite or burn off some energy running around The Downs. And I could relax and enjoy some me-time while getting a massage.


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Have you ever been for a long weekend in Bristol? Where did you go? I’d love to hear your recommendations.






This is a collaborative post.

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