Bristol Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bristol

One of the prime destinations of Britain's maritime glory, Bristol is a colourful city sitting on the banks of the River Avon in southwestern England. Much of its eventful history is reflected in the local architecture and documented by the local museums. Modern-day Bristol is just as interesting. To learn more about and appreciate the city's social, cultural and industrial heritage, check out this orientation walk!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Bristol Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bristol Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Bristol (See other walking tours in Bristol)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: stacey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Queen Square
  • Blue Reef Aquarium
  • We The Curious
  • Bristol Cathedral
  • Saint Mark Church
  • The Cabot Tower
  • The Georgian House Museum
  • University Tower
  • Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery
  • The Red Lodge
  • St. Nicholas Market
  • Castle Park
Queen Square

1) Queen Square

Queen Square is a 2.4 hectares (5.9 acres) garden square in the centre of Bristol, England. It was originally a fashionable residential address, but now most of the buildings are in office use.

The site on which the Square was built lay outside Bristol's city walls and was known as the Town Marsh. It was named in honour of Queen Anne. The north side and much of the west were destroyed in the Bristol Riots of 1831 and rebuilt. Many of the buildings now have listed building status.

In 1937 the Inner Circuit Road was driven diagonally across the Square but in 2000 it was removed and the open space restored.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Blue Reef Aquarium

2) Blue Reef Aquarium (must see)

In April 2008 it was announced that Blue Reef had signed a lease for the Wildwalk and IMAX buildings on the At-Bristol site which opened in November 2009. Home to over 40 living displays from tropical sharks and lobsters to seahorses and tropical fish. At the Aquarium’s heart is a large ocean tank where an underwater walkthrough tunnel offers close encounters with the tropical coral reef fish. Other displays are home to giant Pacific octopus, trigger fish, nautilus, cuttlefish, turtles and terrapins.
Sight description based on wikipedia
We The Curious

3) We The Curious (must see)

We The Curious is "an idea and a place for everybody", and its aim is "to create a culture of curiosity". It features over 250 interactive exhibits over two floors, and members of the public and school groups can also engage with the Live Science Team over programming in the kitchen, studio and on live lab. The place was recently renovated and quite a lot of new facilities were added, so there is something there to capture every imagination. Add in a cafe with lots of seating places, as well as an indoor picnic area if you'd rather bring your own food.

We The Curious is also home of the UK's first 3D planetarium, hosting 30-minute shows that are highly recommended for science and astronomy enthusiasts, as well as families and groups of friends for a unique night out.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am–5pm; Sat, Sun: 10am–6pm
Bristol Cathedral

4) Bristol Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity is the Church of England cathedral in the city of Bristol, England, and is commonly known as Bristol Cathedral. Founded in 1140, it became the seat of the bishop and cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol in 1542. Located on College Green, across which its architecture can be seen to advantage, the cathedral presents a harmonious view of tall Gothic windows and pinnacled skyline that belies the fact that it was constructed over a period of more than 700 years. The cathedral has much of interest including unique architectural features, unusual memorials and an historic organ.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint Mark Church

5) Saint Mark Church

St Mark's Church is an ancient small church on the north-east side of College Green, Bristol, built c. 1230. Better known to medieval and Tudor historians as the Gaunt's Chapel, it has also been known within Bristol since 1722 as the Lord Mayor's Chapel. It is the only church in England privately owned and used for worship by a city corporation.

It was built as the chapel to the adjacent Gaunt's Hospital, now demolished, founded in 1220. Except for the west front, the church has been enclosed by later adjacent buildings, although the tower is still visible. The church contains some fine late gothic features and a collection of continental stained glass. The church contains several chest tombs. Two of these, in the south aisle chapel, are of knights which may be the church's founders, Maurice de Gaunt and Robert de Gournay. There are more for other members of the Berkeley family, to which the founders were related. The chest tomb with effigy of Miles Salley(d.1516), Bishop of Llandaff from 1500, is in the chancel, to the south side of the altar.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Cabot Tower

6) The Cabot Tower (must see)

Cabot Tower is a tower in Bristol, situated in a public park on Brandon Hill, between the city center, Clifton and Hotwells. It was constructed in memory of John Cabot, 400 years after he set sail in the Matthew from Bristol and landed in what was later to become Canada. The foundation stone was laid on 24 June 1897 and the tower was completed in July 1898.

The architect was William Venn Gough and it was built by Love and Waite of Bristol. It consists of a spiral staircase and two viewing platforms which overlook the city, the higher of which is approximately 334 feet (102 m) above sea level. The tower gives its name to the area and Council ward of Cabot. The tower is 105 feet (32 m) high and built from red sandstone with cream Bath Stone for ornamentation and emphasis, and was paid for by public subscription. On three sides of the tower are commemorative plaques. After closure to the public in 2007, the tower reopened on 16 August 2011 following completion of repair works costing an estimated £420,000 to cracked stonework, caused by corroded reinforcing steel in the floor of the viewing platform, which had made the tower unsafe. Planning consent for the repairs was granted by Bristol City Council in November 2010.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Georgian House Museum

7) The Georgian House Museum (must see)

Editor's Note: The museum is temporarily closed from 1 January 2020 till 31 March 2020.

The Georgian House is a historic building at 7 Great George Street, Bristol. It is open to the public and has been a branch of Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery since it was presented to the city as a museum in 1937. The Georgian House is a well preserved example of a typical late 18th century town house. It was built around 1790 for John Pinney a successful sugar merchant, and is believed to be the house where the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge first met. It was also home to Pinney's slave, Pero, after whom Pero's Bridge at Bristol Harbour is named. It contains some of the original furniture and fittings, such as the bureau-bookcase in the study and a rare cold water plunge bath, and has been used as a location for the BBC TV series A Respectable Trade, which was adapted from the book by Philippa Gregory, about the slave trade.
Sight description based on wikipedia
University Tower

8) University Tower (must see)

This grand and splendid building is a major landmark in Bristol and one of the most famous parts of Bristol University. The octagonal belfry at the top is an open structure designed to amplify the bell’s sonorous tones. The Wills Memorial Building (also known as the Wills Memorial Tower or simply the Wills Tower) is a Neo Gothic building designed by Sir George Oatley and built as a memorial to Henry Overton Wills III. Begun in 1915 and not opened until 1925, it is considered one of the last great Gothic buildings to be built in England. Situated near the top of Park Street on Queens Road in Bristol, United Kingdom, it is a landmark building of the University of Bristol that currently houses the School of Law and the Department of Earth Sciences, as well as the Law and Earth Sciences libraries. It is the third highest structure in Bristol, standing at 68 m (215 ft). It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building and serves as a regional European Documentation Centre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery

9) Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery (must see)

The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery is a large museum and art gallery in Bristol. It is run by the city council with no entrance fee.

The museum includes sections on natural history as well as local, national and international archaeology. The art gallery contains works from all periods, including many by internationally famous artists, as well a collection of modern paintings of Bristol.

The highlight of the museum is the Banksy sculpture, Paint Pot Angel, which stands in the Museum’s sculpture hall and is on permanent display. In true Banksy style, the sculpture features an angel covered by a can of pink paint. It has become an iconic piece of Banksy's work, attracting thousands of Banksy fans from all over the world each year.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am- 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Red Lodge

10) The Red Lodge (must see)

The Red Lodge is a historic building in Bristol. It was built in 1580 for John Yonge as a lodge for a Great House, which once stood on the site of the present Colston Hall. It was subsequently added to in Georgian times. It was altered around 1730, and restored in the early 20th century by CFW Dening. James Cowles Prichard wrote The Natural History of Man while living at The Red Lodge from 1827.

It has had several uses in its past, including the country's first girls' reform school. This was set up in 1854 by Mary Carpenter, with the financial help of the poet Lord Byron's widow, who bought the Red Lodge in 1854. The site is also the home of the Bristol Savages, who met in a barn-like wigwam, by C.F.W. Dening c.1920a. The Bristol Savages were a society of artists whose history dates back to the late Victorian era, when the concept of the "noble savage" was seen as something to aspire to; Native American culture still plays a large part in its traditions. The seven rooms tell the history of the house. The Tudor period is represented by the Great and Small Oak rooms and a bedroom. The print room, parlor and reception room are from the Georgian era, and the Exhibition Room contains a small display on the Red Lodge Girls Reform School, dedicated to the memory of Mary Carpenter. The New Oak Room contains a fireplace from Ashley Manor and paneling from St. Michael’s rectory nearby.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Nicholas Market

11) St. Nicholas Market

St. Nicholas Market is located in Bristol's Old City. Here you can find second-hand books, clothing stores, fresh produce and other items. A wonderful place to go out of simple curiosity.

Operation Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9.30 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 9.30 am to 6 pm; Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm.
Castle Park

12) Castle Park (must see)

Castle Park is a public open space in Bristol managed by Bristol City Council. It is bounded by the Floating Harbour and Castle Street to the south, Lower Castle Street to the east, and Broad Weir, Newgate and Wine Street to the north. Its western boundary is less obviously defined and has been the subject of controversy, perhaps because the area around High Street and St Mary-le-Port Church, though not part of the park and always intended for development, is often considered at the same time as the park.

The park was completed in 1978, and occupies most of the site which had contained Bristol's main shopping area. Much of this area was heavily damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and that which remained was subsequently demolished. The ruined tower of St Mary-le-Port church stands to the west of the park, surrounded by derelict financial office buildings. Adjoining the ruins of St Peter's church in the middle of the park is a sensory herb garden, and five silver birch trees as a memorial to the beaches of the D-Day landings. Tree-lined St Peter’s Square, to the north of St Peter's church, has been home to various events including German Christmas markets.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bristol, England

Create Your Own Walk in Bristol

Create Your Own Walk in Bristol

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bristol is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Banksy Tour in Bristol

Banksy Tour in Bristol

Bristol's home-grown and anonymous street artist and painter, Banksy, is world famous for his satirical and thought-provoking street paintings with underlying social commentary. Several pieces of Banksy's work can be seen free of charge in various locations around Bristol, so it would be a shame not to take this self-guided walk and see his amazing work firsthand.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Bristol Architecture Walking Tour

Bristol Architecture Walking Tour

Bristol offers a wide variety of architectural styles from many periods of Great Britain’s history. Take this walking tour to familiarize yourself with Bristol's architectural heritage. Take this walking tour to familiarize yourself with Bristol's architectural heritage.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Bristol's Historical Churches Tour

Bristol's Historical Churches Tour

The walls of the religious buildings contain many centuries of history. Bristol boasts churches established in the 13th through the 18th centuries. At the time of the Victorian and Edwardian reign, churches provided not only a place of worship but also educational and welfare services. Take this walking tour around Bristol to see the rich heritage of its churches and cathedrals.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Bristol Museums Walking Tour

Bristol Museums Walking Tour

From time immemorial Bristol has been known as an historic port with stunning architectural masterpieces and a rich cultural heritage. The city features an incredible range of museums highlighting the most important periods of British history. Take this walking tour to visit some of Bristol's museums.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Bristol City Center Walking Tour

Bristol City Center Walking Tour

Bristol City Center is very rich in attractions, including sights such as monuments, museums, galleries and sculptures. Take this walking tour to explore the center of Bristol.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Famous Bristol Statues Walking Tour

Famous Bristol Statues Walking Tour

Bristol is an old city with a rich historical heritage represented in its buildings, sculpture and of course, its statues. Take this walking tour to see Bristol's most significant statues.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles