Day 1. A weekend in Bristol – first evening walk

We’d planned a return visit to the city of Bristol, this time in midsummer making it a complete contrast to our festive break in the city a little over three years ago.  Summer it might have been, but with the weather forecast predicting heavy rain all weekend we had come prepared.  Bristol is located in southern England and is easily accessible by road with both the M4 and M5 motorways serving the city together with good rail links across the country from Bristol Temple Meads Station.

Frederick Place, Clifton, Bristol
Frederick Place, Clifton

It was around 3.00 p.m. when we opened the door into the stylish apartment that we had kindly been invited to stay in by Your Apartments.  Located in the desirable suburb of Clifton with its rows of Georgian townhouses, our spacious accommodation felt like a luxurious home from home as it came equipped with everything we could need, and more.

Your Apartment, Frederick Place, Clifton, Bristol
Relaxing in our stylish apartment

After settling in with cups of tea and a quick catch up on what was happening in the European football championships, we were ready to start exploring.  Leaving the apartment it was just a fifteen minute downhill walk to the harbourside.

Bristol Cathedral from College Green
Bristol Cathedral from College Green

Just before reaching there we paused at the foot of Park Street to admire Bristol’s historic 12th century cathedral located on College Green.  This pleasant open space covers over two acres and is also home to the impressive City Hall, a neo-gothic curved building featuring a mirror pool which beautifully reflects the summer bedding plants bordering it.

Bristol City Hall
Bristol City Hall

Bristol Harbourside was once a busy dock where merchants and sailors met to trade goods and has been transformed into a vibrant area with numerous bars and restaurants in the former dock buildings all with outdoor terraces overlooking the harbour.

Bristol Harbourside
The vibrant Bristol harbourside

Despite it being late in the evening we were able to take advantage of the long daylight hours to continue our walk along the floating harbour after finding a cosy restaurant to enjoy a meal.  Our stroll took us along the north bank of the harbour passing the elegant crescent shaped headquarters of Lloyds Bank with its large amphitheatre built for concerts and festivals.  Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to include a photo of the building as it was surrounded by a large number of television vehicles as some filming was taking place.

SS Great Britain, Bristol
SS Great Britain

Across the water, the masts and rigging of SS Great Britain came into view and we looked forward to the prospect of touring this famous ship later in the weekend.  Continuing slightly further we could see a row of colourful cottages clinging to the hillside and some canal boats moored in the floating harbour.  On the water itself a rowing eight were out practising from the nearby boat club so we paused awhile to watch them.

Colourful cottages overlooking Bristol harbour
Colourful cottages overlooking the harbour

Glancing at the time, we then decided that we still had time to walk up to the top of Brandon Hill before it went dark.  It didn’t actually take very long to reach Bristol’s oldest park but it was a steep climb up several flights of stone steps.

Brandon Hill, Bristol
Brandon Hill, Bristol

It was worth the climb as even in the dim light there were some splendid views through the trees across the city and over the harbour.  Standing proudly on the hilltop is Cabot Tower which was paid for by public subscription and erected to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage from Bristol to Newfoundland, Canada in 1497.

Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill, Bristol
Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill

The previous year Henry VII had given Cabot the task of finding the quickest trade route to Japan and China and he made history when he crossed the Atlantic in his 78ft ship The Matthew and hoisted a flag on the North American shore.

A replica of The Matthew, Bristol Harbour
A replica of The Matthew is moored in Bristol Harbour

Both he and Christopher Columbus believed sailing west would take them to Asia as they were not yet aware of America.  Cabot thought he had discovered an island off the coast of Asia but as he had reached land he named it Newfoundland.  The tower is currently closed but is usually open daily with free admission and on a clear day must be one of the best places in the city to enjoy far reaching views.

Brandon Hill Park, Bristol
Brandon Hill Park, Bristol

It was then falling dark so we returned to our lovely apartment and enjoyed a bedtime drink before sliding between the sheets of our extremely comfortable bed and falling asleep in seconds.  To be continued.

Your Apartment, Frederick Place, Bristol
Our beautiful bedroom


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Exploring Bath

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48 thoughts on “Day 1. A weekend in Bristol – first evening walk

  1. That’s too bad about the rain, but glad to hear that you came prepared and that you were able to to still explore some of the sites around Bristol. It’s always nice to return to a warm and dry place. Cabot Tower looks beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to reading your accounts on Bristol, Marion. It looks very interesting from this first piece. I’ve noticed it in a couple of drama series recently and its maritime connections fascinate. Passed by twenty years ago but really intend to give it a visit in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The UK is home to some of the most interesting, cosmopolitan and beautiful cities in the world, and Bristol is definitely one of them. Your apartment looks very stylish, and I am glad to see that despite the moody weather, you had a great time. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely evening 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I always love staying in an apartment. Sometimes we book Airbnb . We are heading to St.John’s next week husband was from Newfoundland.
    Always take a hike to the Cabot Tower sitting on Signal Hill. We are planning on heading to London in to go see Bristol and see the history there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How wonderful that you are planning a trip to St. John’s next week Anita. Were also hoping to get overseas in September but in the meantime enjoying the British summer. It’s younger son’s birthday next week so we’re taking the train to London for a weekend and staying in Kensington. The weather is lovely here now so hopefully it will continue. Hope it’s good with you too. Marion


  5. Looks like another nice getaway. We have stood at the Cabot Tower in St. John’s Newfoundland. Nice to see the one near the start of the trip. Interesting design for the city hall. It looks a bit like the Royal Crescent in Bath, except, less ornate. Thanks for sharing Marion. Have a great weekend. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I had problems to like Bristol in the beginning. I visited Bristol several times because the film production company I worked with had its main office in Bristol. My positive experience of Bristol: I met a lot of creative people there, more than in other place I have been.
    Thanks for sharing your view of Bristol
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’ve really had lovely accommodation … and isn’t it always a pleasure to have a nice place to rest after a day exploring on foot. Love the look of the cathedral and looking forward to read about your tour on the SS Great Britain 👍🏻.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

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