"Plan your visit during August, when the Bristol Balloon Fiesta ..."

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Alexandra Williams

About Me
My name is Alexandra Williams, and I am a freelance writer. I love living in Bristol because of its vibrant, colourful and rogue-ish history. Bristol has been a melting pot of cultures and ideas since the mid-1500s. Swashbuckling pirates, devout Methodists, brave explorers, ingenious engineers... all have lived here more/less
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You have to go to
Clifton Suspension Bridge. Thanks to one talented Victorian gentleman (called Isambard Kingdom Brunel), it's Bristol's most iconic landmark and a triumph of engineering.
Here's one fun activity you can do
Try sailing, canoeing, kayaking or (if your sense of balance is better than mine) paddleboarding in Bristol Floating Harbour. As well as providing a great workout, it's an interesting and unusual way of seeing what Bristol's wide waterways have to offer - historic ships, rainbow-coloured terraced houses and quirkily-decorated canal boats, to name just a few.
Don't forget to check out one of my favorite places
I love Clifton Down. It's a wide, open park that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. I adore it for the many happy memories I’ve had there... of kite flying in autumn, picnics on the grass in summer and climbing up the winding stone steps of the old Observatory to stare down into the perilous depths of Avon Gorge – and the muddy waters, jagged cliffs and smugglers' caves that so fire my imagination.
Enjoy a meal at my favorite restaurant
St Nicholas's Market (known to locals as 'St Nick's'). It's a handsome old market with Georgian origins and a bit of a foodie hot spot. Wander around the fragrant stalls and you'll get an idea of all the different ethnicities that make up Bristol's diverse population. Sample the likes of Caribbean goat curry, Middle Eastern falafel and Bristol's famous Pieminster pies, until you can't face another bite.
Here's a doable bucket list for you to do in one day
Start the day at a lazy pace, exploring Bristol’s buzzing Harbourside area (where the old docks were), exploring cavernous old warehouses converted into shiny new art galleries, museums and bars. Wander up Park Street, keeping your eyes peeled for Banksy’s rebellious, tongue-in-cheek murals and on to Clifton, a genteel “village” stuffed with posh boutiques, upmarket delis and bijou cocktail bars. Nights out are best spent along the Welsh Back, where you can click your fingers to live jazz at The Old Duke or stop in for a pint at the Llandoger Trow just opposite. This old timber-famed pub is where the fearsome pirate Captain Blackbeard once swilled rum and where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his famous novel, ''Treasure Island.''
My extra insider tip for you is
Plan your visit during August, when the Bristol Balloon Fiesta is on. The sight of thousands of hot air balloons rising up above the city in all manners of colours and shapes is enough to bring out your inner child...
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