City Orientation Walk, Bristol (Self Guided)

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!
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: England » Bristol (See other walking tours in Bristol)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Author: stacey
1
Bristol Cathedral

1) 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
2
Explore-At-Bristol Museum

2) Explore-At-Bristol Museum (must see)

This museum is one of the most popular science and discovery museums in Bristol. A large variety of activities including exhibits, live performances and a planetarium attracts crowds of all ages. It is an excellent place for the entire family to create, investigate and participate in live science exhibits.
3
At-Bristol

3) At-Bristol (must see)

At-Bristol is a public science and technology "exploration" and education center and charity in Bristol. As a visitor attraction, At-Bristol has hundreds of hands-on exhibits, and a Planetarium with seasonal shows for the over fives, and a 'Little Stars' show for children aged five and under. In addition to trails and activities, they also have changing exhibitions and presenter-led Live Science shows. They have recently started holding special events for under sixes called 'Toddler Takeover'. At-Bristol also welcomes 40,000 school pupils every year, from pre-school to post-16, for school visits and education workshops. They are also host to the Science Learning Centre South West, and together they offer continuing professional development for teachers and other science communicators.

There are rooms and roof terraces above the exhibition that At-Bristol offers for venue hire, and these have been used for events such as the Sky News media hub for the General Election Debate, as well as other conferences, meetings and events. These spaces are also available for weddings and civil partnerships. At-Bristol also hires out the exhibition floor, Planetarium, Millennium Square and Anchor. Although they are a separate organist to the Bristol Aquarium, they manage their venue hire spaces. Another interesting fact is that At-Bristol has its own exhibition workshop on site. This has allowed them to develop an 'Exhibition Services' arm, where they provide exhibitions and/or exhibits for sale or hire, for other science centers, museums and visitor attractions.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Blue Reef Aquarium

4) 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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Queen Square

5) 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
6
Bristol Hippodrome

6) Bristol Hippodrome

The Bristol Hippodrome is a theater in the center of Bristol, England with seating on three levels giving a capacity of 1,951. It frequently features West End theater shows when they tour the UK, as well as regular visits by Welsh National Opera and an annual pantomime. Opened in 1912, it is a perfect example of grand Victorian architecture. It is a masterpiece of architect Mark Matcham, the most renowned architect of his time. The theater is famous for diverse spectrum of theatrical entertainment, from the top West End shows to Ballet, Opera, Comedy, Concerts, Shows for children and even Circus.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Lord Mayor's Chapel

7) Lord Mayor's Chapel

St Mark's Church is an ancient church on the north-east side of College Green, Bristol, England, 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. It is designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building. The chapel is the only remaining part of the former Hospital of Gaunt, which had been founded in 1220 to feed the poor and care for the sick. It is located across from Bristol Cathedral. The chapel keeps a spectacular collection of French and Flemish painted glass including very old tombs. It remains a place of worship and a symbol of man's love for God.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
The Cabot Tower

8) 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
9
The Georgian House Museum

9) The Georgian House Museum (must see)

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
10
University Tower

10) 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
11
Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery

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

The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery is a large museum and art gallery in Bristol, England. It is run by the city council with no entrance fee. It holds designated museum status, granted by the national government to protect outstanding museums. It is situated in Clifton, about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the city center.

The museum includes sections on natural history, local, national and international archaeology, and local industry. The art gallery contains works from all periods, including many by internationally famous artists, as well a collection of modern paintings of Bristol. In the summer of 2009 the museum hosted an exhibition by Banksy, featuring more than 70 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet. It was developed in secrecy and with no advance publicity, but soon gained worldwide notoriety. The building is of Edwardian Baroque architecture and has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am- 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
The Red Lodge

12) 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
13
All Saints Church

13) All Saints Church

All Saints is a church in Corn Street, Bristol. The west end of the nave survives from the original 12th century church, and the east nave and aisles were built in the 15th century. The north-east tower was added in 1716 by William Paul, and completed by George Townesend. The lantern was rebuilt by Luke Henwood in 1807, and the chancel rebuilt in the mid 19th century. The church is surrounded on three sides by pedestrian passageways and built into surrounding buildings. Over the south nave is a priests room and over the north a Georgian coffee room. The most notable monument is to Edward Colston designed by James Gibbs and carved by John Michael Rysbrack. It is currently used as a Diocesan Education Centre. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
St. Nicholas Market

14) 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;
15
Farmer's Market

15) Farmer's Market

Visit the traditional Bristol Wednesday Farmer's Market, which is held on Corn Street. The market offers a wide variety of products to buy or just sample, including vegetables, wine, cheese and chutneys.
16
Llandoger Trow

16) Llandoger Trow

The Llandoger Trow is a historic public house in Bristol, south west England. Dating from 1664, it is in King Street, between Welsh Back and Queen Charlotte Street, near the old city center docks. A trow was a flat-bottomed barge, and Llandogo is a village 20 miles (32 km) north-west of Bristol, across the Severn Estuary and upstream on the River Wye in South Wales, where trows were once built. Trows historically sailed to trade in Bristol. The pub was partially destroyed by a bomb in World War II, but three of the original five projecting gables remain. Tradition has it that Daniel Defoe met Alexander Selkirk, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, here, and it was Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for the Admiral Benbow in Treasure Island. In the Victorian era the pub was associated with the Theatre Royal, which is across the road, and was visited by many performers and musicians including Henry Irving. In 1962 it became a Berni Inn, but now belongs to Whitbread and trades as a Brewers Fayre. Another notable Bristol pub, The Old Duke, is situated opposite the Llandoger Trow. In 2007, Llandoger Trow was one of the three locations seen in the Pirate's Cove episode of Most Haunted Live!
Sight description based on wikipedia
17
Castle Park

17) 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.
Bristol City Center Tour

Bristol City Center 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
Bristol Architecture Walk

Bristol Architecture Walk

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
Banksy Tour in Bristol

Banksy Tour in Bristol

Banksy is a British graffiti street artist. He is widely known not only in Bristol but in all of Great Britain. Take this tour to see Banksy street masterpieces in Bristol.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
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
Clifton East Ward Tour in Bristol

Clifton East Ward Tour in Bristol

Bristol has a wide variety of attractions not only for grown-ups but also for children. It has zoos, museums and soft play areas for toddlers and other amazing venues worth visiting. Take this tour to visit the best in entertainment for children in Bristol.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Famous Bristol Statues Tour

Famous Bristol Statues 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

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bristol for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bristol has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bristol, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.