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Bristol

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Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England South West England Bristol

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Introduction

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

© All Rights Reserved Neil-Sonia

Bristol is a city in South West England, about 170 kilometres west of London and 70 kilometres east of Cardiff. The city itself has well over 400,000 inhabitants while the total urban area has about 550,000 inhabitants.

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Sights and Activities

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Bristol has a maritime climate with warm and relatvely dry summers from June to August and mild but wetter winters from December to February. Average daytime temperatures in summer are mostly between 20 and 23 °C while nights are around 12-14 °C. Winters are mostly around 7 or 8 °C during the day and a few degrees above zero at night. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year though summers tend to be drier. October to December is the wettest time of the year with over 100mm a month.

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Getting There

By Plane

Bristol Airport (BRS) serves the city. Easyjet has flights to/from Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bastia, Belfast, Berlin, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Corfu, Edinburgh, Faro, Funchal, Geneva, Glasgow, Grenoble, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Inverness, Krakow, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Madrid, Marseille, Málaga, Milan, Minorca, Murcia, Newcastle, Nice, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Pisa, Prague, Rome, Split, Toulouse, Valencia and Venice.
Ryanair has flights to/from Alicante, Belfast, Beziers, Bratislava, Budapest, Cagliari, Dublin, Girona, Knock, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Malta, Marrakech, Milan, Poznan, Reus, Rzeszów, Seville, Shannon, Tenerife-South and Wroclaw.

Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways have many seasonal (April - October) flights to destinations in southern Europe.

To/from the airport
The airport is located along the A38, 8 miles (13 kilometres) south of Bristol city centre. The airport is signposted from the M5. Take junction 22 when approaching from the south and junction 18 when approaching from the north.
The Bristol International Flyer coach services A1 & A2 operate to and from Bristol stopping en route in Bedminster, Bristol Temple Meads railway station, and Bristol Bus station. Some services continue to Clifton. The service takes 30 minutes from the city centre. A bus service to and from Weston-super-Mare operates every two hours, service number 121. This service is operated by Wessex Connect and Bakers Coaches on behalf of North Somerset Council.

By Train

Bristol is has regular connections to London (1¼ hours) and the southwest, including Exeter (1¼ hours), Plymouth (2½ hours) and Penzance (four hours). Virgin Trains travel north to Glasgow (5¾ hours, five direct daily) via Birmingham (1½ hours, eight direct daily). Most main line trains arrive at Bristol Temple Meads. Bath makes an easy day trip (11 minutes, four per hour).

By Bus

National Express has buses to Birmingham (two hours, eight daily), London (2½ hours, at least hourly), Cardiff (1¼ hours, two daily) and Exeter (two hours, four daily). There’s also a direct daily bus to Nottingham (4¾ hours) and Oxford (three hours).

Bus X39 (one hour, several per hour) and 332 (50 minutes, hourly, seven on Sunday) run to Bath. Bus 375/376 goes to Wells (one hour) and Glastonbury (1¼ hours) every half-hour during the week and hourly on Sunday. There are buses to most destinations around Somerset and Wiltshire from Bath and Wells.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

First Bristol operates most buses in the city.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
007 Travelers Hostel150-152 West Street BedminsterHostel75
Rock N Bowl Motel22 Nelson Street BristolHostel78
Well CottageThe Common, Patchway BristolGuesthouse-
YHA Bristol14 Narrow Quay Somerset, BS1 4QAHostel83
Forge AccommodationThe Old Forge Lulsgate BristolGuesthouse82
The Full Moon Backpackers1North Street, Stokes croft BristolHostel76
The Grey House Bed & BreakfastThe Common Patchway BristolGuesthouse-
Avonside Guest House106 Coronation Rd SouthvilleGuesthouse84
Hathway House2 School Lane Lulsgate Bottom BristolGUESTHOUSE79
Meadow Cottage Guest HouseLye hole Lane RedhillGUESTHOUSE82
The Swan14 Gloucester Road Almondsbury, BristolGUESTHOUSE-
The Crown InnThe Crown InnRoss RoadLeaHerefordshireHR9GUESTHOUSE-
Homestay Bristol68 Queens Road CliftonGUESTHOUSE-
Mon Ami Hotel143/145 The Esplanade WeymouthHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 51.455313
  • Longitude: -2.591902

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This is version 12. Last edited at 8:04 on Aug 27, 13 by Utrecht. 73 articles link to this page.

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