A short 90-minute flight from Shannon Airport will take you to the wonderful UK city of Bristol. Situated in the south west of England, Bristol is sandwiched by Gloucestershire and Somerset, while two of the UK’s main arteries (the M4 and M5) intersect just outside the city. This makes Bristol one of the most easily accessible places in all of Britain.
But rather than simply being a pit stop on the way to some more well-known destinations, Bristol itself is becoming a magnet for holiday makers and joy seekers. The international airport is located just eight miles from the centre and with regular rail, bus and coach links, approximately €13 will suffice for the last leg of your outward journey.
Bristol and the surrounding areas are awash with accommodation options. Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs are in plentiful supply, while those who prefer self-catering are spoilt for choice. For those looking for the tranquillity offered by the British countryside, farm cottages and campsites dot the perimeter and are perfect for a quiet and recharging escape.
History and Arts
When you’ve settled in, it’s time to explore an area steeped in British history. Bristol was hugely important to trade in the UK – in fact, its port was one of the world’s most renowned in the 15th and 16th centuries. The alleged birthplace of legendary pirate, Blackbeard, Bristol was also the starting point for John Cabot’s expedition further west where he discovered Newfoundland in North America.
In more recent times, Bristol has produced famous actors and comedians such as Cary Grant, Bill Bailey, Matt Lucas, David Walliams and John Cleese, while JK Rowling also calls the city home. If there is a dark side then it definitely came to the fore when another famous son, David Prowse, took on the role as Darth Vadar in the epic Star Wars movies. Art lovers will also be aware that arguably the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy, hails from these parts.
Food and Drink
Once you’ve overcome being star struck in such illustrious company, take a break for lunch or dinner in one of the many award-winning restaurants. For something a little more novel, why not try a meal on one of the boat eateries? If Bristol takes anything seriously then it’s definitely its food so there’s something for all tastes and budgets.
There’s plenty of cafés and bistros for a quick snack too, and if gastro festivals are your thing, then a break here during June, July or August will delight. Food markets of traditional English fare, as well as more exotic offerings, can also be found during the spring and summer months.
Despite its deep British heritage, Bristol is a fun and modern city. It’s perfect for school holidays, golf breaks, and even stag and hen parties. Visitors from Ireland will find a holiday spot that will reveal new treasures every time they arrive here.