Student Life in Bristol

Bristol Overview

The city grew from its humble beginnings of a harbour town on the river Avon and was a very prosperous port all the way back to the 10th century. Bristol's maritime days have now disappeared with the port being moved back to the mouth of the River Avon. All business and commerce in the city are now land-based. The River Avon runs through a spectacular gorge just below the city centre at Clifton (good for rock climbs), being crossed by Brunel's famous suspension bridge. Bristol is still a very wealthy city with Georgian houses, medieval churches and many other listed buildings which blend in with the more modern buildings of the city centre. The cathedral which dominates the city centre was originally founded in 1140 as an Augustinian monastery. Bristol's seafront is home to many leisure and cultural activities. Remember to visit The Watershed and the Arnolfini Centre when in Bristol. They both offer great experiences in the worlds of media and modern art.

Things to do in Bristol

The Theatre Royal dates back to 1766 and is the oldest working theatre in the country. It was recently restored to its former glory and now also houses a small studio theatre, the New Vic. The Theatre Royal is home to the Old Vic Company. The Bristol Hippodrome Arena seats over two thousand people and hosts operas, ballet and touring productions. If you are looking for live music, then be sure to visit Colston Hall which is the city's main music venue and houses concerts ranging from modern to classical. Many other smaller clubs and pubs also hosts live music and regularly host lesser known bands. The music scene here is excellent and still is inspired by some of the famous local acts which started ‘Bristol sound' bands such as Massive Attack, and Portishead. The UK’s premier music festival-Glastonbury is also very close. Bristol is packed with entertainment and has 8 cinemas, plenty of clubs, wine bars, restaurants and picturesque old pubs. Bristol is also a very lively city after dark. Students will flock to perhaps the best-known area for nightlife in the city which is on Whiteladies Road, a mile of pubs and bars named 'The Strip.

Sport in Bristol

Bristol has two local football teams (City and Rovers) which are supported by the city’s fans as well as the Bristol and Clifton Rugby Union Clubs. The city also boasts excellent tennis facilities such as Redland Green and has numerous private tennis clubs. Most parks also have good public courts. The city also has no less than nine public swimming pools, four sports centres, an ice rink and an indoor climbing centre. There are even several golf courses located around the city.

Escape Bristol

The area surrounding Bristol is rich with history and an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswolds with their villages, small churches, wooded valleys attract many visitors regularly. Also nearby are the Mendip Hills, Cheddar and Ebbor Gorges. The city of Bath and Glastonbury are also close and easily accessible. Across the River Severn you will find the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley complete with Tintern Abbey. You can also get to South Wales easily and enjoy the sights there. Please visit Cardiff and Swansea for a description of these places.

Transport in Bristol

Bristol is south of the M4/M5 intersection, giving direct access to London, South Wales, and the Midland. You can also reach most major cities via coach from Bristol. The rail network from Bristol is well connected and that means that you can reach London in no time (1 hour and 40 minutes) and offers easy connections to most major cities. Bristol International Airport has scheduled connections to many major British cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast) and some international flights.

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