The Best Views in Bristol, England

21 August 2015

Bristol is famous for a lot of things. The ss Great Britain, Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Skins, and Banksy to name a few. However, nobody stops to think about Bristol's unique geography. Located where the River Avon meets the River Frome, Bristol is blessed (or cursed depending on your form of transportation) with rolling hills and steep cliffs. Every hill offers breathtaking views where city meets country. Arguably the coolest city in England's southwest, it's hard to fall out of love with Bristol after visiting some of the best vantage points in the city. If you are anything like me and will do anything for a photo op, I suggest visiting some of these totally awesome views of Bristol, England. 

Let's start with the hardest climb out of them all (and trust me, it is a CLIMB). Getting to Clifton Suspension Bridge is easy enough, however, hike a little further up the downs and you'll be stunned with Bristol's natural geography, as well as a few impressive man-made structures. 

Rather eat than hike up steep hills? Not a problem. The Avon Gorge Hotel offers a variety of restaurants that overlook Avon Gorge and Brunel's beautiful Clifton Suspension Bridge. Whether it's tea or a pint you're after, the Avon Gorge Hotel has you covered. Just be prepared to pay slightly more for that killer view. 

On a clear day, climb the narrow winding staircase up Cabot Tower for a 360 degree view of Bristol. From the University of Bristol to the ss Great Britain, Bristol's horizons are stretched out in front of you as far as you can see. With two separate viewing platforms, Cabot Tower is ideal for getting to know Bristol and its geography all that more. It even helps you find cool places like Gloucester and Cheddar (or America if you're into that sort of thing).

Before I moved to Bristol back in 2013 I watched every episode of Skins… twice. Other than being one of my favorite shows of all time, I used it as a tool to map out cool places to visit in Bristol. Brandon Hill is famously known as the place for "Cassie's Bench", but the park itself became one of my favorite places to hang out while I lived in England. On summer days people spread out across the grass drinking or reading, and in the winter people would use it's vast trails for exercise. Whatever your reason may be, Brandon Hill should be a must on any visit to Bristol. 

Other than being an interactive and interesting museum, the M Shed can also stand in as a cool place to see Bristol's Harbourside. Admission is free, all you have to do is take the stairs up to enjoy the large patio space overlook the River Avon and a few other Bristol landmarks. 

Bristol's Christmas Steps are a man-made feature. However, on a rainy day this alley can also be used as a waterside (jokes, sorta). A rather hidden and forgotten passage, the Christmas Steps are a series of staircases that take you from St. Michael's Hill all the way to the City Centre. Browse local stores and shops, or stop to have a pint (pubs can at both the bottom and top of the Christmas Steps). 

You remember when I said Clifton Downs was the hardest climb on this list? I lied. Nothing compares to the hike up to Blaise Castle. Blaise Castle is not really a castle, but more of a single tower that sits on top of a cliff. How do you get up to this view you may ask? Easy! Crawl your way up the side of a cliff on all fours. Okay, this is slightly exaggerated but take the hike up to Blaise Castle at least once and you may agree with me. Not for the faint hearted, that is for damn sure.

Happy Friday!

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