What you can see when you visit Bristol
Bristol - England
The historic seaport of early Bristol was founded around 1000 and developed between the River Frome and Avon Gorge. It has a rich maritime history that involved early voyages of exploration and trade and is only 190 kilometres west of London.
Today Bristol exists around the aerospace industry, electronics, art and tourism. However heritage and culture are not forgotten and is revitalized at the city-centre. To visit Bristol, what would you see?
Our stay of less than 24 hours was in the harbour where our canal boat was moored, therefore our explorations centred around that area.
Our plan was to navigate down the canal from Bradford on Avon where we collected the boat, to Bath, then on to Bristol over the period of a few days.
Our pace was leisurely towards Bristol where we were to pick up family and friends as prearranged. At Bath we lingered longer than meant to because Paul’s back went into spasm and we had to seek medical help.
We had a few days of a fairly relaxing cruise down the canals with just a few boats that we played dodgems with. Just when we thought we could relax a few locks that we had to pass through kept us in ship shape condition.
We stopped at the harbour master’s office before entering the harbour because we needed an entry permit. It can be quite involved to enter Bristol harbour so take a look at these websites for more information:
It was quite a unique approach into a harbour city from the river. We passed the industrial side of Bristol and further on there were lovely buildings to admire. Here and there people were fishing on the banks of the river. This was not really different to the canals, or so we thought until we went around one of the many corners in the river.
Suddenly we had to navigate around SUP’s, yachts and ferry boats. Vessels of all sizes were on their own mission. Quite a shock to the system, I tell you. Can you imagine manoeuvring a clumsy canal boat in harbour waters at a slow speed of just under 5 kilometres per hour. That’s about 2.5 knots in boating terms. Even the person on a SUP seemed to be going faster than us.
We tried to look for a mooring down a narrow harbour inlet but there was nothing. Turning a long boat around in a narrow section almost as wide as the length of the boat without bashing into other vessels is not so easy, but we made it.
We carried on and felt like we would have to drop anchor in the sea, because it was so busy. Luckily for us it was still at least another 6 to 7 nautical miles before we’d end up in the ocean and we managed to find a mooring.
We only spent one night in Bristol and trust us to have to do a necessary but uninteresting thing such as laundry that chewed some of our time.
We walked through Brandon Hill Nature Park to find a laundromat. At least the walk allowed us to see a magnificent view over most of the city.
Because of our short stay I could never be an expert of things to do in Bristol, therefore I shall allow our amateur photos to tell their story of what we saw. I hope you will get an inkling of what we experienced and if you ever go there, make sure to explore far more than what we could.
What I will tell you is that it is a bustling city and worth a visit in summer. Perhaps being tied to the jetty in a boat is not the most peaceful place to sleep, but the vibe of the city grabbed me. Although it is a busy city, the atmosphere seemed very relaxed.
The architecture, both modern and old is fascinating. As for the maritime side of Bristol, you will see just about every shape and size of seaworthy vessel.
What to see at Millennium Square
Quick facts about Bristol
Did you know:
Since 1809 the tidal waters of the Avon and the Frome were diverted to create a floating, or tideless, harbour with a constant water depth.
Bristol is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the UK.
With more than 400 parks and gardens, Bristol strived to be a sustainably green and was the first city in the United Kingdom to be awarded European Green Capital in 2015.
During World War II Bristol played an important role where British government spies were handed encrypted messages from hotel employees of the Mercure Bristol Grand on Broad Street giving them information of their clandestine operations. They were transported to secret locations by covert trains from Temple Meads Station.