A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : Places


Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times when a settlement grew up between the Rivers Avon and River Frome. Known as Brigstowe (a place of settlement by the bridge) the town grew as trading with Ireland and the ports of South Wales developed. Bristol has a rich maritime heritage and by 14th century was trading with several countries including Spain, Portugal and Iceland. Ships left Bristol to find new colonies in the New World and in 1497 John Cabot set sail in 1497 from Bristol hoping to find a passage to the Eastern Indonesia.

Over the past two decades Bristol's vast Floating Harbour docklands area has developed into one of the country's most exciting leisure and entertainment centres. Many attractions are situated on or nearby to this popular tourist destination. Take a ride on the restored Bristol Packet Harbour Railway into the city centre. Or you could take a trip on one of the distinctive blue & yellow ferry boats owned by the Bristol Ferry Boat Company.

Few people know just how much of a history Bristol has with Pirates and in fact Bristol was the home to one of the most feared of them all 'Blackbeard'. Take the Pirate Walk and discover Bristol's turbulent history and visit the haunts of the pirates and swashbucklers of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Built and launched in Bristol in 1843 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel's the SS Great Britain was the world's first ocean-going, propeller driven iron ship. Abandoned in the Falkland Islands in 1937 she was salvaged in 1970 and towed back home to Bristol where she was restored to her former glory. Moored now in a 'glass sea' visitors can experience what life was like for her Victorian passengers and crew.

Bring science to life At-Bristol visit a live show in the Planetarium or create your own TV show, cover yourself from heat to foot in a giant bubble or step into a tornado. With to over 300 hands-on exhibits At-Bristol is one of the most exciting science centres in the UK. Meet Wallace and Gromit and even become an animator for the day.

Set in 12 acres of award winning gardens and with over 450 species a visit to Bristol Zoo is a place to experience up-close the wonders of nature. Swing alongside some of the Zoo's most popular inhabitants in ZooRopia and get a feel what it must be like to be a gibbon, a gorilla or a lemur. Swing through the course and get a great birds eye-view across the Zoo on the aerial rope course which finishes rather dramatically with a thrilling zip wire onto the Zoo's main lawn.

At the city museum take a journey through the Egypt Gallery and view an outstanding collection of over 600 objects, most never displayed before. Visit the galleries containing Old Masters and decorative arts collections. The World Wildlife Gallery contains many examples of endangered or extinct animals, including the much-loved Alfred the Gorilla.

Bristol is a shoppers dream and is renowned for it's wide range of shopping areas. The Cabot Circus is Bristol's newest shopping experience and features over 120 shops and 25 cafes and restaurants. In the Broadmead area you will find over 300 shops as well as the handy services that you might expect on the high street. In Bristol's Old City you will discover the wonderful St Nicholas Market which leads to the Christmas Steps, a shopping quarter dating back to the 1600's and is now home to many unique shops and galleries.

Food-lovers will be spoilt for choice as there is an abundance of great quality restaurants, bistros and brasseries. Enjoy a glass of wine at one of the many chic wine bars or a pint of real ale in one of the Old City's historic pubs no matter what tipple takes your fancy Bristol has it all.



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