The second largest city in the south of England
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Bristol has recently undergone a spectacular twenty-first century renaissance. Combining rich maritime heritage with a contemporary vibe, Bristol offers a unique city experience for both day visitors and those who are staying for longer. In 2009, DK Eyewitness named Bristol as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit.
Bristol has two main train stations:
The mix of old and new is what gives Bristol its unique character, which is why trains to Bristol are becoming increasingly popular. You can get cheap train tickets to Bristol when you book in advance online. For more information, see the section below on how to get cheap train tickets to Bristol.
Want to stay over? Book a great value hotel in Bristol.
If you know that you are travelling to Bristol ahead of time you have a great chance of securing a cheap train ticket because you can plan and book in advance. This type of ticket is called an Advance ticket. You can book tickets up to 12 weeks in advance of departure.
We understand however, that you don't always know exactly which train you want so now you can also buy our great value range of Advance tickets and reserve your seat up to 15 minutes before you board a CrossCountry service, via our website or our Train Ticket app, subject to availability.
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Bristol has something for everyone from historic ships and Banksy artwork to ultimate retail therapy and gourmet eateries. A great number of attractions are free to visit, which makes Bristol good value for money. Below are a selection of great attractions that Bristol has to offer:
For 175 years, Bristol Zoo Gardens has been entertaining visitors with animals, gardens and attractions. From fish and insects to lions and hippos, there's a huge variety of species to see. The landscaped gardens also have plants from all over the world and with a multitude of activities for kids, the whole family can enjoy a great day out. To get to the Zoo from Bristol Temple Meads train station you can take the eight or nine bus service to the main entrance.
Shopaholics will be in heaven at Cabot Circus shopping complex. With all the shops you could want, plus endless options for drinks and dining, Cabot Circus provides much more than just a trip to the shops. With three floors, there is so much to explore. The complex also hosts special events, such as screening major sporting fixtures. Cabot Circus is just a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads train station.
No visit to Bristol is complete without seeing the SS Great Britain. Brunel's famous ship, held at Bristol Dock, is considered to have changed the world and is a huge part of the UK's maritime history. Step back in time to experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board for Victorian passengers and crew. Visitors can also descend under water below the glass 'sea' to touch the world's first great ocean liner. The SS Great Britain can be accessed via Bristol Temple Meads train station, which is just a short walk away.
See Bristol from a different perspective with a river cruise on the Avon. See the Clifton Suspension Bridge from the water, discover the wildlife that lives on the river bank, and sip champagne as you cruise down the docks. The Bristol Ferryboat Company offers a variety of different boat trips, so there's something to please everyone.
Situated on top of Brandon Hill, this 105 foot high tower commemorates the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage to Newfoundland in America in 1497. The tower itself was built in 1897. There is a spiral staircase leading to the top, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the city and harbour. The gardens around the tower are also well worth a look. Cabot Tower is close to a few railway stations, including Temple Meads and Clifton Down.