Bristol
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Bristol Culture & History

Bristol: Tootbus Bristol Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Tour

1. Bristol: Tootbus Bristol Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Explore the diverse and artistic city of Bristol on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Discover its theatres, museums and street art with commentary. Visit one of the most important historical ships in the world, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, or sample one of the great restaurants at Bristol’s harborside and soak up the atmosphere. Have a chance to hop off and visit Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Hippodrome, and more.

Bristol: Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults Experiences

2. Bristol: Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults Experiences

Explore two of the twelve impressive stone vaults that support the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Discovered just 20 years ago, the largest chamber is 11-meters-high and covered in incredible stalactites and was built by famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. All ticket holders must be aged 7 years or over, and must wear sturdy shoes with good grip. Hard Hat Tour One Hour. £15 General Admission This is your chance to take a look inside Brunel’s hidden vaults, rediscovered by an intrepid team of engineers and construction workers in 2002. Our knowledgeable volunteer guides will explain how the design of Brunel’s bridge was shaped by the influence of others, and how the young newcomer was able to make his name. You’ll hear all about the people who built and rediscovered the vaults before donning a hard hat, descending a ladder and taking a look for yourself. Vaults Visit One Hour. Adults £10, Children £8 Our Vaults Visits are a family-friendly way to explore inside the Leigh Woods Vaults. Put on your hard hat, climb down the ladder and follow our sensory map as you explore the largest and most significant of the twelve stone vaults – an impressive underground echo chamber 11 metres high and festooned in stalactites. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Please ensure that all members of your group are aware of the following restrictions. For safety reasons, we may not be able to allow members of your party to access the vaults if they have not complied with the following: • Tours are suitable for age 7+ and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. For school and youth groups we’d recommend a ratio of 1:5, but if you’re planning a friends and family trip parents/guardians should be responsible for the safety of their own children. Ideally a ratio of 1 adult to every 2 children is preferred. • There is a minimum height limit of 1.2m. • Please wear sturdy shoes with good grip such as hiking boots or trainers. You will not be allowed to join the tour in heels or open-toed shoes. • This tour includes climbing a vertical ladder and passing through a low corridor. Please ensure that you are physically capable of doing so. Find more information at https://cliftonbridge.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Access-Guide.pdf • Please ensure that any camera, phone, or device you bring will fit in your pocket or bag so that you have two hands free to climb the ladder. • Only small rucksack type bags worn over both shoulders or bags with cross-body straps will be permitted inside the vaults. Large bags, handbags, umbrellas and so on can be stored securely at the Visitor Centre during your tour. • Be aware that the vaults can be wet and/or muddy inside, particularly after heavy rain. Please wear suitable clothing and ensure that cameras or mobile phones are protected from the calcite saturated water which may fall from the ceiling.

Bristol: Bansky & Street Art City Exploration Game

3. Bristol: Bansky & Street Art City Exploration Game

Explore the wonderful street art that makes Bristol so vibrant with this exciting interactive experience. Play as a travel blogger that is back in your home city and looking for a lost love. Decipher graffiti messages to find the renowned and secretive street artist, known as 4D, who is your long lost love. Solve challenges to be guided to your next location. Starts at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel and be immersed in this experience for 1.5-2 hours. Pause and save the game to explore at your own pace. Finish the activity at Charlotte Street. Play in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other. Combine a love for art and travel with a fun game with this unique app.

Bristol: Self-Guided Sightseeing Audio Tour

4. Bristol: Self-Guided Sightseeing Audio Tour

The tour begins on Bristol Bridge and tells the story of Bristol’s beginnings. Learn how the city got its name, then stroll to Castle Park, the site of the original Anglo-Saxon settlement. Arrive in the Old City area of Bristol next, and learn about its fascinating history. Explore the charming Saint Nicholas Markets then pass through the only remaining city gate. Check out the area where the See No Evil Street Festival was held, and admire the gray buildings that have been brightened up by artists from across the world. Continue onto the Christmas Steps and then Colston Hall. Arrive at Bristol’s oldest pub, then pass by two of Banksy’s most famous pieces of street art. Stop by Bristol Cathedral, followed by a stroll around the College Green. Continue onto the historic Bristol Docks, then visit the famous Old Vic where you can grab a bite to eat. Along the way, listen to your audio guide’s fascinating stories about local history and culture, as well as recommendations for the best spots to visit on your stay.

Bristol Self-Guided Mystery Tour - The Sabotaged Balloon

5. Bristol Self-Guided Mystery Tour - The Sabotaged Balloon

Begin your adventure at Bristol's oldest coffee house, and embark on a quest to unravel the mystery of Archie Russell and his amazing flying machine! Solve the clues, eliminate the suspects, and unmask the mysterious villain behind Bristol's most daring act of sabotage! As the story goes, on the 9th May 1812, Bristol’s most prominent businessmen gathered in Queen Square to witness the incredible maiden flight of Archie Russell's 'Amazing Flying Machine' but were shocked when moments after take-off it crashed into a tree below! Climbing from the wreckage, Archie discovered that someone had tampered with his balloon and cut one of his steering ropes in a terrible act of sabotage! Why would someone want to destroy Archie's life’s work? Was it a personal grudge against him? Or did a competitor want to stifle the competition? As you unravel the mystery you will discover Bristol's amazing hidden history, visit its most atmospheric taverns, and soak up legendary stories of the city's most notorious characters and places!

Bristol: City Waterfront Exploration Game

6. Bristol: City Waterfront Exploration Game

Explore Bristol's charming waterfront on a city exploration game solving puzzles to unlock location clues via an app on your phone. Reenact the role of a person who has to put together a mysterious photo album, truly engaging in the game. Have fun with the whole family or as a group of friends. Start your game at The Lookout Lectern and head off on your adventure. Solve challenges and watch as the story unfolds on your app, with exact directions on your phone guiding you to your next location. Best of all, play the game at your own pace, pausing it whenever you feel like a coffee or meal break and resuming anytime from the location where you paused it.

Bristol: Self-Guided Craft Beer Tour with Optional Tasting

7. Bristol: Self-Guided Craft Beer Tour with Optional Tasting

Did you know Bristol has more breweries per capita than any other English city? There is so much to learn about Bristol's beer scene and your passionate guide has made an audio tour so that you can experience it for yourself, at your own pace, with all the insider knowledge. The tour begins at the historic Bristol Temple Meads train station. As you walk, you'll first hear the story behind Isambard Kingdom Brunel's engineering achievement before being introduced to the scale of Bristol's beer scene. While you build a thirst, your guide will tell you about the first stop, a little brewpub in a railway arch. As your tour GPS enabled, feel free to pop inside and continue the tour at your leisure. Enjoy a beer brewed on-site or choose from an excellent selection of guest beers in a variety of styles such as Pale Ales, IPA's, sours and stouts. As with all of the stops along the tour, there are also ciders, wines, and soft drinks so that non-beer drinkers can also have a great day. It's only five minutes until your next stop, which was Bristol's first brewery taproom (which is essentially a bar usually attached to or within a brewery, to showcase their own beers). By the time you reach it, you'll know why it is unique and important to the current beer scene in so many ways. If you book the guided beer tasting option, this will take place here one hour after your chosen start time. Otherwise, arrive at your leisure and relax inside or in the sunny beer garden before heading on. On your way to the next taproom, you'll learn why breweries are commonly found in industrial estates, a little information about the brewing process and be fully armed with information about the brewery you are about to arrive at. Here you will find traditional cask (live) ales alongside modern craft beer styles. Next up is an award-winning traditional English pub, owned by a Bristol brewery. There's a fire for colder days and a beer garden for the warmer months. If you choose to stop here, you won't be disappointed as this local pub has a drink for everyone's tastes. Before reaching the next cluster of breweries, your guide will tell you about and describe how to reach other taprooms and brilliant local bars for another time or after your tour. You will also learn some interesting history about the Old Market area, which was once just outside castle gates. If you are still after another little rest, there are two taprooms within just a minute of each other. So, after being shown the Bristol and Bath railway path and hearing some local's tales, your guide will give you the background story of both breweries and take you to each so that you can decide in what order, if any, to finish your evening. There's enough stops and advice to keep you entertained for more than one day. If you have the time, you could take the tour as two parts over a weekend or more. Please drink responsibly and do not try to have a drink everywhere in one session!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Bristol

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What people are saying about Bristol

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 6 reviews

I enjoyed every moment.the bus its very helpful when u don t have too much time to spend in the city.i ve seen all the main attractions and learn about the city in this tour. Lovely day!

Brilliant tour .. having never done an Audio tour before I was really surprised how good it was. Gave us a fabulous insight to Bristol

This is a very well self guided tour of Bristol. A very interesting commentary. Very good value for money.

I love the Hop on Hop off buses, but the Bristol Toot drivers were extremely helpful and friendly.

Amazing! Enjoyed every moment. Heather is very knowledgeable, and the tour is fun and interesting.