For the seasoned city-traveller, Bristol offers a great share of sights, sounds and experience for people of all ages. A very distinguished port town, famous for its role in the maritime history of Britain, Bristol is packed with historical, cultural, natural and gastronomical attractions.
For those looking for a fun day out with the grandparents, we’ve drawn up a quick itinerary of the best things to do while in Bristol.
Located on Bristol’s historic harbourside, the Bristol Aquarium invites you and your family to undertake an adventure beneath the water. The aquarium contains a very spectacular collection of sea animals drawn from oceans across the world, from colourful clown fish to sharks.
These are all found in various stunning set pieces, such as a sunken ship, a recreated Bristol Harbour scene, a South American fishing village, and a wooden bridge overlooking a tropical coral reef. Bristol Harbour does its best at recreating a wide variety of biomes for its guests and inhabitants alike, so there’s going to something to suit everyone.
Your grandparents will greatly enjoy its sedate and wondrous spectacle, and will be very pleased to know it’s fully accessible. All areas can be accessed by disabled guests, and there are ramps and level accesses throughout the complex.
Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Step aboard Bristol’s No. 1 attraction, and take a step back into the height of Britain’s industrial and maritime past.
Built in 1845 by famed British industrialist and engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the SS Great Britain was rescued from ruin in 1970 and refitted to its former glory as a museum ship. Every deck and level of the ship is open to exploration, from the Victorian opulence of the First Class Cabins, to the much more cramped and dingy galleys below. All sections of the ship have been designed to reflect the authentic sights, sounds and even smells of the period.
All parts of the ship are accessible to disabled visitors, and facilities are available for guests with hearing or visual impairments. Disabled parking can also be found for guests nearby.
There are a tonne of things to see and do, so make sure you do some research and plan your day out carefully if you decide to join the SS Great Britain on its next voyage.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
It’s our personal opinion that no visit to a city it’s truly complete without visiting one of its art galleries or museums. Bristol does not disappoint in this regard, and offers the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
The collection contains countless of priceless pieces drawn from all four corners of the world, displayed across three floors. The ground floor largely contains exhibits from human history, such as Egypt and Assyria, while the first floor contains geological and palaeontological artefacts such as gemstones and dinosaur fossils. The second floor features the art gallery, from finely wrought vases and sets to stately portraits.
Much like the Bristol Aquarium, it’s a relaxed and easy-going place to visit that your grandparents can travel through at their own pace. Plenty of seating is offered throughout the building, and all floors are accessible regardless of mobility.
The Strawberry Line
If your grandparents are feeling energetic, you’ll be pleased to know that just outside Bristol is the Strawberry Line. It’s a footpath that follows the old Cheddar Valley Railway line, and was created to provide a safe and easily traversable route for ramblers and cyclists.
Some parts of the 30-mile road are still being constructed, but the route cuts through some of the finest parts of the Somerset countryside. It’s beautiful throughout the year, offering sights of British wildlife, fertile orchards and iconic British landscapes.
The paths have been designed to be enjoyed by all, so anyone who wishes to traverse along it is able to do so.
Cheddar Gorge and Caves
We finish off this list at the Cheddar Gorge and Caves, Bristol’s most popular natural attraction. They form some of England’s highest inland cliffs, rising 450ft above sea level. It’s a dramatic scene to behold and can be enjoyed by anyone whether they’re here for the history, the geology, the nature, or simply the majestic spectacle.
As well as being able to experience the vibrant plant and wildlife that inhabit the area, visitors can also venture deep into the bowels of Gough’s Caves. Formed by melting ice at the end of the Ice Ages, inhabited by our Neolithic ancestors, and then explored by Victorian scholars, they’re open to anyone who wishes to visit.
Being a set of natural caves and rocky cliff edges, not everyone will necessarily be able to enjoy this site, but there is still something to offer for everyone. Audio guides, hearing loops, and written transcripts are available to guests who need them, and guide dogs are welcomed. A concessionary ticket is offered to guests with additional needs and their carers.
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