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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Best of Bristol

One family's tips on how to travel the world without leaving home, much. This post is a local's guide to the best of green Bristol (thank you Helen!). Cobbled together by Nicola Baird, also see http://homemadekids.co.uk/

Bristol has 2 million people, two vast open spaces, loads of green lungs (parks, play space, Sustrans routes) and it's not far from Wales, Devon or the Cotswolds. What's not to like? Well my friends keep moving there... when I'd prefer them to live nearer me. But the result is great insider knowledge: so here's insights from a local on how to enjoy yourself on a walking tour of the city, even during rain. Most are free, and certainly interesting.

And if you go on a Wednesday you can choose a picnic at Bristol Farmers' Market (approx 9.30am-2pm) or just enjoy the markets at St Nicholas in the old town running from monday to Saturday the whole day, see details here.

Around the Harbourside/Waterfront area there's plenty to see. also look out for the Arnolfini gallery (next to the YHA) see here.

Behind the Watershed/Bordeaux Quay is Millennium Square - good place to hang if sunny - and home to @Bristol (science museum).

Slightly up the hill from there is the Cathedral, Council House and College Green (which I've taken to my family once for a picnic to Stop Bristol Airport expansion...).

Going over the river you can head out to SS Great Britain (ferry boats also an option), see here.

If you go a bit further along the river, you get a view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and you can visit an eco house at the Create Centre. It's a big red warehouse building on the left hand bank where the river splits (this is about 20 mins walk from Anolfini). May be possible to take the tourist bus from Create up to the Downs for views of the bridge, gorge etc.

Or stay down near the centre, Red Lodge is interesting and free, see here.

No Banksy
Further up the hill (just carry on up Park Street from Council House/ Park Row from Red Lodge) to Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery - also free. No Banksy on show now but plenty of quirky items, see here.

Or over in Stokes Croft - Bristol's (alternative) cultural quarter, the People's Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) has just opened the Stokes Croft Museum. Admission costs £1 and it's tiny - but entertaining. Open Wednesday 11am-3pm. See here.

Given the stress on all things green and alternative culture, it could be said that visiting Bristol could get you thinking you are in a time warped, left bank France - the city has got Montpellier after all. But it's also got a big Caribbean community and in Stokes Croft you can find nearly 50 artists working at Jamaica Street artists, here.

Trendy offices
Opposite the museum is Hamilton House, now home to Coexist and interesting shared office space (there's a rumour about a soon-to-be-built green roof and a wood fired hot tub), and The Canteen - which is the ground floor bar/cafe with nice coffee and a big terrace for outdoor lounging. This is also where Bristol Green Doors office is based (about 20 mins from Red Lodge, you just follow Park Row past the hopsital and then go left along to Jamaica Street and you come out on Stokes Croft just below the museum).

Solar swim
There's also the solar-heated Bristol Lido - edge of Clifton, up the hill fromt he musuem, near the BBC. But it's expensive to swim (£15 afternoons only). There is a cafe bar too which is open to the public.


Karin said...

I hope the Bristol tourist board pay you for this, you're making me want to go there again. It sounds like there have been some interesting developments since I was last there. Another place my parents took me as a kid, along with Bath. It was part of their tour for foreign relations as well as the place they met. Then my b-i-l lived there for a while.

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!