A UK Guide
Where to begin? first off a disclaimer, I am from Bristol so apologies if this guide sounds a little biased. That said Bristol, in my humble opinion is one of the more underrated cities in the UK. All tourists who end up coming to the UK always make the normal pit stops, London, Bath, Stonehenge (it's boring never go there!) and so on. While I would agree those places do have their own merits, the south west and Bristol area in General is a highly underrated place to live and explore.
Having been away for such a long time in a built up place like Taipei, it's funny how you realize the little things you once took for granted, turn out to be the things you value most. The cleanliness and greenery everywhere is refreshing, the victorian houses, the laid back pace of life all make Bristol a great place to live. The list could go on and on for me personally, in this guide I'll cover some of the nicest spot in Bristol, I think anyways!
First on our whistle stop tour are The Clifton downs, located slap bang in the middle of Bristol more or less, The downs are a huge green belt of land prohibited from building on. This rescrition means it is a perfect place to walk, run, play football and even sun bathe when the weather is nice enough! (yes England does get it's share of sun) Depending on the season you might see snowfall here, autumn colours or the orange glow of the late English summer sunsets.
From The Downs there is a path which follows all the way along towards the Suspension Bridge, which is the next landmark on our tour of Bristol! The path winds through Clifton park to the observatory next the the bridge, There is a great lookout there over the gorge and bridge at night. Also if you have time there a pub right near the bridge called the White Lion which has a great outdoor seating area where you can enjoy a pint of cider while enjoying the view of the bridge. It's a favourite hangout spot of mine in Bristol!
If you take a tripod with you, it's a great spot to set up for some sunset and night time photography I would say. You can also walk across the bridge to Ashton court if you are in the mood for a bigger adventure, but that is a longer walk for another day ;).
From Clifton it's a 30 min walk to Park street and Cabot Tower, one of my favourite places in Bristol to take pictures. The surrounding buildings and history in that area make for some great street photography. There's a multitude of cafes' and lunch spots to chill out. On a sunny day Cabot park or College green is a great place to kick back and have a outdoor picnic! In the park there is plenty of wildlife and all different colours on displays in the variety of trees there. The park is well maintained, in the centre of the hill is Cabot Tower, which offers up great 360 views of Bristol and the surrounding area! You can see for a long way on a clear day. It is quite windy at the top though, so I would suggest packing a warm coat!
From here you can visit the historical old buildings of Bristol University, if there is good weather the buildings here catch the light and look fantastic! During the long summer evenings here, a walk through the parks here are some of the nicest places to explore. Park street leads down towards the dock, which has been renovated in the last 10 years or so. It used to be a fairly run down area, but now it's a fun place to look around, and browse the various museums and art galleries there. There are several floating pubs on boats moored there all year round that sell some of the best local cider in the area!
All in all Bristol has a lot of unique and lesser known spots well worth a visit! It's on the friendlier cities and has many options for food, coffee and nature exploration. If you are looking for a place to study English for a certain time, I would highly recommend it to any foreign student looking for a city to study or improve their language skills. It is a mix of modern and classical buildings that make for great street photos in my opinion!
Whether you are exploring Clifton, The docks or the city centre Bristol is a city that offers some great sights and accessibility to nature and the benefits of city life!
I hope this helps anyone thinking of visiting the South West
Until next time!