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      14.08.2009 18:20

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      Must discover

      I am not writing anything about Bristol that anyone can read in a guide book. I was not born there and I have not lived there in my whole life. I only lived there for 2.5 years, and I am glad I did.
      It is beautiful, hilly and green. The river Avon meanders everywhere, giving the opportunity to cycle by it, or do some fishing or a bit of paddling.
      It is possible to drive in green environment forever, while actually still staying within Bristol. So it is quite spacious to the North and East, in fact, I think in proportion, the city centre is a bit too small. Public transport is also worth mentioning. Let me just say that If you live in Bristol, you do need a car, or at least a bike, otherwise you are in serious trouble.
      What I like in Bristol the most is that it is said to be the capital of trip hop. No wonder that the Massive Attack, Portishead & Friends aid concert for the victims of the Tsunami Disaster took place here a few years ago. Not to mention Tricky, and drum&bass DJ Roni Size, who are also from here.
      Bristol is a music paradise, there are always festivals and concerts to go to.
      Bristol is remarkable historically, too. Beautiful historic places and monuments, honestly, it is a fantastic place, a must see, especially in summer.

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      19.04.2009 11:34
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      Lots to see if you like history

      Other have written about the shopping and night life. Me - I like history, so a trip to Bristol is a treat. For starters there is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the Avon Gorge. This magnificent bridge was designed by one of the greatest Victorian engineers - Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
      At the Great Western Dock, is another of his achievements - the "S.S. Great Britain". This was the first ship to be built of iron, and to have propellers. She was launched July 19th 1843, in the presence of Prince albert (Victoria's consort) and apparently, Bristol celebrated the day in festive mood. Bells were rung, shops closed and flags flew everywhere. Her maiden voyage, however, did not take place until lmost 2 years later. It took her 14 days and 21 hours to cross the Atlantic on her journeys, and her passengers travelled in luxury - although the size of the cabins will amaze you. In later years, she was converted to a cargo ship, and was finally retired in 1933 because she was uneconomical. 1937 saw her beached and abandoned in Stanley Harbour, The Falkland Islands, where she remained for over 50 years until efforts began to bring her back to England, and the restoration project which is still ongoing. She is a beautiful ship, and well worth a visit.

      To the East of the "S.S. Great Britain" is another marvel of shipping history. The "Matthew" was John Cabot's square-rigged caravel, in which he sailed on his voyage of discovery to 'New Founde Lands'. This is a replica of that ship, and took crafsmen 2 years to build, under the auspicious eye of renowned naval architect, Colin Mudie. He undertook extensive research into ships of the period, and it is believed that the replica is authentic in all respects. It is a wooden sailing ship, and seems quite small, although it is in fact 70 feet long. It is hard to imagine that a ship of this size could travel the Atlantic ocean and survive. A tribute to the master shipbuilders of those days, over 500 years ago.
      Near both of these ships, is the Industrial Museum, which is a brilliant collection of exhibits which tell the history of Bristol, from it's Maritime Heritage right up to recent years. Nauticul buffs will find much to enjoy in these 3 places.

      Bristol is home also to the St. Mary Redcliffe Church, of which Queen Elizabeth I (the 'Virgin Queen') said was "the noblest church in the land". It's spire can be seen soaring above the end of the docks, to the East. On the Northern side, you can see the Cabot Tower, erected on Brandon Hill, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage. Sharing this vista is the Cathedral, on College Green.
      I had a wonderful trip to Bristol, but a word of warning to visitors. DO NOT venture out on the roads during rush hour. The people who drive in Bristol are fiercely protective of their road space, and when we were there, blocked intersections at red lights so that our lane was unable to move. They take their getting home VERY seriously. Having said that, everybody we met was friendly, the curators at each place were knowledgeable and only too willing to talk about local history with us.

      So, read the other reviews for shopping and night life, but take time out to delve into the past. You will not regret it.

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      04.04.2009 16:13
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      My Home

      I was born in Bristol and have lived here for most of my life so may be a bit biased but think this is a City that has a lot to offer and well worth a visit. I will try to summarise the best places to go and see as well as some local insider information!


      History / Culture
      One of the most famous attractions in Bristol is the SS Great Britain. Built and launched in Bristol by Brunel this is well worth a visit. Tickets allow you to see the museum and the dry dock and allow unlimited access for the year. The harbour itself is also worth wandering around, especially on a sunny day and there are regular boat tours as well, which is a relaxing way to see what Bristol has to offer. Another Brunel landmark and a symbol for Bristol is the Suspension Bridge - you can walk over it for fantastic views over Bristol and the Avon Gorge. Perhaps not for those who are scared of heights though!

      Bristol Museum (at the top of Park Street - well worth a bit of shopping on the way!) is also a good way to spend a few hours. It has collections of art and archaeology, geology and natural history - my favourite is the wildlife gallery which has examples of endangered and extinct animals. It can be a bit grotesque but it is fascinating and it also has the much-loved Alfred - a gorilla which was at Bristol Zoo for many years. Obviously if you are on a budget then the free entry is also a bonus and will keep kids occupied for a while!

      Just off Park Street - In Brandon Hill Park is Cabot Tower. This is over 100 feet tall and worth climbing the spiral staircase to see far reaching views of the City and harbour.

      Both Bristol Cathedral and St Mary Redcliffe's Church are also worth a visit as both are wonderful buildings. Bristol Cathedral is situated just from College Green (at the bottom of Park Street) and is a lovely place to sit and relax in the summer and is often packed with students.


      Families / Children
      I don't actually have any children but I still like visiting these places each year anyway but these are particularly aimed at families!

      Bristol Zoo - A short bus ride from the centre (Parking can be difficult at busy times) - this zoo has really improved over the years and really is a lovely place to visit. I recommend a whole day here though really so you can see everything. It has hundreds of different species but my highlights are the Gorilla Island - they currently have young gorillas there who are always amusing to watch and the Seal and Penguin Coast where you can walk underneath and watch them swim underwater. It is worth going to the feeding times, although they can get busy. Food can be expensive so it is worth taking food along but there are many places to stop and eat.

      Noah's Ark Zoo Farm - This is a beautiful site and has animals from the very small such as gerbils to the very big - Giraffes! It is a short drive from Bristol (about 15 minutes) but worth seeing. This has lots of play areas for children and they are meant to be getting a new Tiger enclosure this summer so that is sure to be popular.

      Explore@Bristol - This is definitely one for the kids! This is an interactive Science centre and will keep them busy for a long time.


      Parks
      Blaise Castle is an estate with amazing views and riverside walks. Great for a picnic but there is a good café here as well. Ashton Court estate is closer to the city and also has two golf courses with stunning views across the city.

      My favourite is the Oldbury Court Park (Fishponds and Frenchay). You can walk alongside the River Frome and has many woodland areas to explore as well. This also has play and picnic areas and car parks at either end.


      Film / Theatre / Entertainment
      If you here for a longer visit it is worth booking to see some shows. The Hippodrome often has musicals, plays, ballets and the obligatory Panto's every year and is quite mainstream but it is a lovely building and it is right in the centre of Bristol so easy to get to. The Bristol Old Vic has recently been refurbished and is a fantastic venue to see plays. For something a bit different, the Tobacco Factory in Bedminster (just South of Bristol) has a café bar and has a range of productions - including more recently Shakespeare.

      The Colston Hall is the main venue for comics and music arts. It is worth keeping an eye on who is there but is not a huge venue so it doesn't attract he biggest stars - in fact I think that is really what is lacking in Bristol - I would love a large music venue, something to rival Cardiff or Birmingham where I usually have to travel to. Occasionally bigger stars play at Ashton City football ground. There are many good smaller venues to see local talent / bands though such as the Thekla, Louisana, The Bierkeller The Fleece and Firkin pub.

      As well as all the usual cinemas such as Vue, Showcase and Cineworld, it is worth going to the Watershed cinema. This shows independent films and has a lovely café / bar on the Waterfront for a break from all the sightseeing.


      Shopping
      For me, it has the best shopping in the South West! For big shopping developments it has a huge choice. Cabot Circus is a new development with many big department (Harvey Nichols included) and high street stores. It has a huge Car Park and many nice places to eat as well - including a Raymond Blanc restaurant. It is also next to Broadmead - which used to be the main shopping centre in Bristol but has some cheaper shops and a smaller mall called the Galleries.

      The most convenient place to shop is the Mall at Cribbs Causeway in North Bristol. (off the M5) It is always easy to park and has everything you need under one roof so this is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. It doesn't get too busy now since Cabot Circus has opened so find this a bit easier. It also has a cinema multiplex, a retail centre with huge superstores including a huge Asda, a bowling alley and many chain restaurants nearby.

      Park Street and Clifton has many 'trendy' shops but can be expensive. For quirkier and also second-hand shops and charity shops I like to either go to Gloucester Road (North Bristol) which also has many interesting cafes and bars or North Road in Southville. Great places to hunt out bargains.

      It also has a large IKEA in Eastville!

      Since I always talk about books is also worth mentioning that just outside Bristol is the UK's largest second-hand book warehouse - The Bookbarn. It really is huge (it apparently has over 5 million titles and you could spend all day there and still not look at everything so go with a wishlist in hand.


      Food / Drink
      Bristol has all the usual chain restaurants. However my favourite places to eat are: The Mud Dock Café - this is a unique place to eat, it is over a bike shop and looks out over the harbour. This is perfect on a sunny day to eat on one of the terraces and the food is delicious - very fresh ingredients and home made food, a real must if you come to Bristol. I love their fresh salads when I am feeling healthy.

      The Severn Shed is a lovely restaurant and next door to the Mud Dock café. This is a bit more expensive but worth it. They specialise in fish dishes and I would highly recommend the lobster risotto.

      The Bridge Café is also a recommendation from me, the food is great but the views are even better!

      For a night out, generally the best places to go to are the Harbourside, Park Street or Whiteladies Road in Clifton for a whole range of pubs, bars and clubs. There is plenty of choice and Bristol is always a vibrant place in the evening.


      Overall
      I love Bristol - it has so much to offer and I never tire of the place. It has a lot of diversity which keeps it interesting and I would say that us Bristolians are a friendly bunch as well! Driving around Bristol can be a pain - especially in the centre with the one way system but that is probably true of most city centres. The public transport is generally very good and Temple Meads has direct trains to many major cities and we have an international airport as well. All we need is a big music venue! No, it's not perfect but it's home.

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        24.01.2009 22:46
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        Lovely

        I quite like bristol as a city. it has a rather large ikea which is always appealing, as well as a massive shopping centre on the outskirts of the town, fantastic if you live in places like cornwall and devon and don't have those types of shops nearby.

        the city itself is quite old fashioned in places and modern in others, with a good mix of old and new architecture. i've always enjoyed driving through the city as you have places like the imax cinema to make it stand out from the crowd.

        it's fun, has a good range of places to eat and shop and is relatively cheap to stay in. If you're looking for somewhere on the West of England which has good transport links to the south, Wales and London, Brisol is the ideal place to stay, either for short stay or an elongated visit :) definitely worth checking out!

        [Originally posted on www.helphound.com]

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        07.01.2009 23:48
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        Bristol: something for everybody.

        Bristol is a great city with a plethora of things to see and do, and is especially great in the summer! There's the harbour festival, the balloon fiesta and all manner of other events that take place throughout the summer season. However, it's not a seasonal city and there is always something to see or do.

        Bristol encapsulates a huge amount of history, and there are a huge number of historic buildings to visit for those who enjoy architecture, or taking a good photo. There's Cabot Tower, on Brandon Hill which is great for picnics, Wills Memorial and the Clifton Suspension Bridge to name but a few.

        Bristol is a city full of cafes and bars, from your favourite chains such as Starbucks and Wagamamas, to a huge number of independent restaurants. There's something for all tastes and all pockets. The shopping is also great, with small independent boutiques, vintage shops and the commercial chains and high street stores that you see everywhere.

        Living in the centre can be expensive, but there are houses that'll suit any budget. The Clifton area of the city is largely taken over by Students, however in the holidays it becomes a peaceful place to live.

        Public transport is reasonably good in Bristol, if a little pricey, however the buses are reliable, and there are many small train stations dotted around which allow easy transport to the main station at Temple meads and to places such as Bath.

        Bristol is a great city, there's definitely something for everybody!

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        11.05.2006 19:59
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        Bristol - a city steeped in the recent and less recent history of Britain's empire

        One of the things my wife and I have decided to put more effort into is travelling more to parts of Britain about which we know little; this interspersed with frequent foreign travel, in fact as much as budget/credit card limits and school holidays will allow.

        This last Easter (and my birthday) weekend, it was Bristol’s turn.

        I’m not sure how Bristol has slipped through my fingers so easily before, after all, I live in west London, and it only takes me an hour to drive to Swindon, so Bristol should only take a further 40 minutes, I’d have thought.

        I’d been to peripheral bits, like the Clifton Suspension Bridge (and the nearby Camera Obscura), and I’d even managed to visit the S.S Great Britain, Brunel’s magnificent iron steam ship back in the 70s when it had first been towed home, but just don’t ask me how it is I’ve missed the city itself.

        Anyway, I’ve partially put that right now.

        So here, in true Nibelung form, is not so much a travel guide as ‘how we spent two nights in Bristol – the *expurgated version'. If this doesn’t seem very comprehensive, bear in mind we were only there for what was effectively a day and an half.

        *(The unexpurgated version would need a mention of dodging 18 year old girls throwing up outside wine bars and clubs – oops I HAVE mentioned it, sorry)

        SATURDAY MORNING – PADDINGTON

        09:58 We leave bang on time in a train that’s practically loaded to the gunwales even leaving London, although having got there 30 minutes early we’ve got seats, unlike the well-to-do couple who got on with ten seconds to spare and spent the time on board bitching about the little fold-down seats they were perched on. Mercifully for all our sakes, they got off at Reading. Curiously, according to the terms of our ticket, we HAD to travel on this train but COULDN’T have reserved seats. Despite the final destination of Paignton, it half empties at Bath, which allows for the poor souls boarding at Reading, Didcot, Swindon and Chippenham to find a seat. No wonder they won’t let Londoners book the whole train if most of them only want to go to Bath.

        We arrive at Bristol Temple Meads about two hours later – I really like this station. It’s got something of the romance of York about it, with its long gracefully curved train-shed** (OK, it’s not AS long or AS graceful, but it’s one of Brunel’s so I love it anyway), and equally importantly, important trains pass this way or terminate here. To Brunel, this was Paddington’s alter ego; the Great Western Railway’s other reason for living. The landward far end of his ‘big plan’ to get you to America faster.

        **(That’s what real train-sp....errrr...rail enthusiasts call the roof)

        It’s actually difficult to think of Bristol without thinking of good old Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and they make sure you don’t forget him once you’re there, especially just now, as it was his 200th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

        After establishing that we need to exit the station via ‘the tradesman’s entrance’, i.e. through the car park, not the main doors, we find our hotel, the Bristol City Inn, only 400 yards away. Thank goodness for those airline cases with wheels and extending handles, although the current trend to put cobbles back at every decorative opportunity can be a nuisance.

        CITY INN – I’m not a great fan of anything that smacks of a ‘chain’, with all that it promises/threatens in ‘corporate’ i.e. indifferent levels of service, and there’s always that institutionalised same-at-every-branch food to look forward to, as well, all with some happy-go-lucky name to make you think it’s unique, like ‘The Cap’n’s Table’ or ‘Tabitha’s Bistro’!

        (Joke Break – TV Ad Waitress. “Have you ever been to a Harvester before? Customer: “Why, does anyone come twice?”)

        However, the City Inn cracks the mould. For one thing, there’s only 4 in the chain at the moment, Bristol (obviously), London, Glasgow and Birmingham; Manchester’s pencilled-in for 2007. What a pleasant surprise – OK, yes, the hotel IS modern, but with expensive taste in décor. Rooms have flat screen TV, LAN internet access and a DVD player so you can hire movies from reception or play your own. There’s also a half-decent mini-hifi for your own CDs or listening to the Light Programme on the Wireless Telegraph . Our room only had a ‘dry mini-bar’, that is to say a wicker basket full of tit-bits that you have to pay for, although the complimentary tea and coffee with bickies was present too.

        I measure a hotel by how quickly and efficiently it rectifies mistakes, rather than expecting everything to be perfect, which is usually only a fluke when it happens. We queried why all our tea bags were Earl Grey as it seemed an odd choice. Hardly had we got through our own room door when we were supplied with a more normal selection, including plain old ‘builder’s tea’ (bum-crack extra) which is what we were after.

        Bathrooms were well equipped with everything ...errrr...except a bath, there being a proper shower cubicle with acres of elbow room instead. Our room rate over Easter weekend for two night’s bed and (full English) breakfast came to £140.

        Add to that the £70 spent on dinner, so what gives? Did I acquiesce and eat there anyway? No, the restaurant came highly recommended, so we booked ahead for the Saturday evening, leaving Sunday for our favourite occupation, browsing for somewhere to eat later.

        The food really was good, with friendly polite waiting staff. I had a layered terrine of bacon, black pudding and potatoes crowned with a poached egg for a starter, followed by venison in a raspberry vinegar and dark bitter chocolate sauce, which despite the description worked rather well. I do find that venison, with its strong flavour either needs leaving alone, or a sauce that can fight its own corner. This was definitely the latter

        Sticky toffee pudding rounded off the ‘solids’, thus making damned sure I was going to blow away on our strolls around the docks.

        Now for the only downside – the coffee. What is it about drowning some soluble vegetable matter in water that people find so difficult to make it taste of anything? (I can almost see ‘mattygroves’ smile as [or if] she reads this!) Maybe it’s because once you’ve gotten used to making your own filter, espresso whatever, no-one else’s will do, so let’s be charitable and call it that – after all, it happens to me wherever we go.

        FIRST WANDERINGS – The City Inn is reasonably central, Temple Way (A4044), being only about half a mile from High Street, so a treatise on Bristol’s public transport will NOT be following. We walked everywhere, as it transpired.

        Having settled into our room, and unpacked, such as it was, we had a lot of afternoon left over. Time for drinky-poos methought, so we stumble into the first decent looking pub we come across and order drinks. Blow me down, it’s a Fullers pub, the irony of which isn’t lost on me as I live 4 miles from the brewery. I really like London Pride, but 120 miles from home? Still, having recently bought out Gales of Horndean, Gales HSB is on tap too, so that goes down rather nicely with a selection from the pub’s (Thai) kitchen.

        Having set ourselves the target of visiting some of Bristol’s many ‘industrial’ exhibits with a heavy pinch of Brunel thrown in, there was no time to waste. Besides which, I couldn’t stand to watch any more of the Bolton v. Chelsea match on the Sky telly in there.

        Walking down the side of the Avon, which threads its way through the city, I was taken by how many of the vistas that have been opened up are starting to look quite ‘Amsterdam-like’. For example, the cobbled quayside along Welsh Back is alive with open air eateries, some on dry land, some on boats. In fact the only thing missing from the Dutch illusion is a floating flower market.

        Following the Avon downstream brings you into the docks proper, and here you can see a working swing bridge in fairly frequent action as Prince Street is put out of action for 20 minutes whilst a tall boat passes through. Just over the bridge, in a converted dock warehouse lays Bristol’s Industrial Museum, which refreshingly does not charge for entry.

        Most of the exhibits relate to Bristol’s engineering past (there’s not much ‘present’ on show). For example, Concorde having been co-built at nearby Filton, there’s a mock-up of its nose cone, and one of its Olympus engines on show. Likewise, there’s a Bristol helicopter, a 1966 Bristol ‘Lodekka’ bus, a 1955 Bristol sports car, and there’s even a bare bones chassis of a more recent Bristol bus, complete with the plywood shed of weather protection for the hapless crash-helmeted driver. It was his job to drive it to Lowestoft to have Eastern Coach Works fit the bodywork! This was arguably the most ubiquitous partnership in UK bus design outside of London anyway; ‘Bristol’ on the radiator grille, and ECW coachwork.

        Outside the museum, they’ve resurrected part of the dock-side railway lines, complete with steam locomotive to carry open air passengers the half mile or so down the quayside to what must be Bristol’s highlight engineering exhibit (excluding the bits that are still used like the Clifton Bridge).

        S.S GREAT BRITAIN

        As I said earlier, I’d seen this grand old lady of metal ships when she was first towed back from the Falklands in the 1970 to be placed in the foetal position, i.e. back in the dock of her birth. At the time, the entrance money didn’t feel well-spent, as there was literally nothing left of her interior, having been used by The Falkland Islands Company as a coal scuttle and one-time store for wool awaiting export. I remember thinking that this’d take about 30 years to put right, and I wasn’t far wrong! I won’t attempt to detail the ship to any extent, and if you really want the low-down, see Richada’s superb opinion on subject.

        Suffice it to say that the ‘lady is back’ almost in her former glory – there’s still much to be done below decks at the bows end, but this is blocked off to hide work in progress so the illusion isn’t marred to any great extent. The ship now appears to be floating on real water, but that’s an illusion too – either that or I had the driest sub-aqua experience of my life.

        Despite being surrounded by water, it’s only inches deep over a ceiling of plate glass, below you which you are free to roam, to inspect the hull and the mighty propeller and rudder. You’ll glean from this below decks peek that it’ll never float, being holed in quite a few places (she was brought back ON a pontoon, if that answers your next question). In fact they are doing their darndest to keep even moisture away, let alone water. A huge desiccation plant extracts the damp from the air down here to delay corrosion hopefully almost indefinitely. On board, the process of renewal seems complete – the huge saloon for ‘nobs’ glitters, the meat locker has dummy carcasses in, a notice board announces births and deaths amongst the ‘steerage’ passengers and you can even see a scenario depicting the Captain arguing with the First Officer.

        They’ll hand you an electronic talking guide when you go in if you want one.

        Maybe it all seemed a bit too new, as even the door knobs still had that ‘fresh from Homebase’ newly lacquered look to them, but no doubt a few years of the Great British public trying to turn them will ‘patinate’ them a trifle.

        Having had its steam engines taken out fairly early on in its life, the owners of the day preferring to sacrifice speed for cargo capacity, she reverted to being a clipper ship. Now, of course, they are slowly but surely putting replica engines back in!

        They’ve fitted lifts for wheelchair access both to the below decks of the ship and to the ‘underwater’ gallery – even Brunel hadn’t thought of that! Sadly, on the day we were there, the ‘tween-decks lift was out of order with a note saying that the engineers were aware, so phone ahead if this is important.

        Whilst the ship itself is quite definitely the star attraction, you are gently led through an exhibition hall first, plotting the history of the S.S. Great Britain. This also has a life-size mock up of the mechanism to disengage the propeller and raise it to be more ‘slippery’ in water when using sails alone. Over the years, the S.S. G.B. seems to have fallen from Brunel’s original grace. Designed to be a steam ship with the ability to save coal by hoisting sails when conditions permitted, she was re-engined with more compact engines. Then the emphasis was placed on ‘sailing ship with auxiliary engines’ – just in case the wind dropped, and finally she was stripped of engines altogether to become a clipper; her successive owners clearly being more interested in payload than speed. During this period, the ship was steadily ‘demoted’ from luxury ‘liner’ on the trans-Atlantic route to Australian-migrant ship to cargo vessel, so this was to be expected I suppose

        Adult entry to the S.S. Great Britain exhibits costs £8.95, but remains valid for repeat visits for the subsequent year. It currently includes entry to the “Nine Lives of IK Brunel” exhibition which runs from April to October 2006 in the adjacent Maritime Heritage centre, where more of the great man’s work is on show, including the Thames Tunnel and a non-working replica of one of his 7’¼” gauge locomotives. Understandably, broad gauge hardware is thin on the ground, what with there being no track to run them on these days. (You can see a working steam locomotive on this gauge at the Didcot Great Western Railway Centre, running on its own short length of non-standard track – even then, it’s a recently-built replica).

        THE NON-BRUNEL BITS

        If you’re now feeling entirely ‘Brunelled-out’, don’t say I didn’t warn you. We had 1½ days here, and being my birthday treat the agenda was all mine (well nearly!).

        Of course, I couldn’t be somewhere new without my darling wife wanting some retail therapy, but since most cities are becoming clones of each other, comparing M&Ss at the nearest mall seems futile. What we did discover was a rather nice open-air market on the Saturday in Saint Nicholas Street, just off High Street and therefore very central. I distinguished myself here by talking to Italian stall holders in German, which, being South Tyroleans, was in fact their native language, albeit with a rather odd accent. Not being able to buttonhole my accent either, they assumed I was from The Netherlands. Anyway, their fresh Parmesan was a delight, and I’ve still got a bit left, although it’s slowly becoming a lot of rind around very little cheese! The fantastic taste certainly puts that powdered stuff from a drum in the shade, and makes you realise what a waste it is to grate it and put it on pizzas.

        Such is the eclectic mix of stalls and shops in this area, that I found myself fascinated by the Bong Shop, with all its ‘smoking paraphernalia’ from bulk offers on ‘Rizlas’ to Turkish hubble-bubbles

        Side streets off the trendy cobbled waterfront of Welsh Back reveal a decent haul of ‘proper’ pubs; the ones with real beer (without a slice of lime in the neck of the bottle – in fact not from a bottle at all), and with the occasional tear in the benches nearest the dart board; pubs that serve up a decent Sunday lunch, with not a hint of “Focaccia with Sun-Dried Tomatoes” to be seen.

        I think that this highlights the main problem with any up-market urban regeneration – it always seems to revolve around ‘café life’, and the doubtful practice of sitting outside in the three days of a British summer! No wonder they always use those rust-proof aluminium chairs.

        Still, if it preserves Bristol’s superb and varied architecture, then it’s not all bad. The Loch Fyne Restaurant on Welsh Back is now housed in what looks like a Byzantine warehouse, with striped brick arches, redolent of London’s Catholic Westminster Cathedral. At least the old place is getting a scrub up. Pizza Express is in what seems to have been an old bank, if the ceiling height is anything to go by.

        TIME TO GO HOME

        Sadly this came round all too early, and I feel I can’t possibly have done anything apart from scratch at the surface of Bristol, but then, with a day and a half what did I expect – at least I’d already been to Clifton in a ‘previous life’.

        Waiting on Temple Meads Station for the London train having got there far too early, we were at least able to admire the building in a little more detail than on arrival, when all is ‘now then, where’s the map – which door do we need to exit by?’

        I have to say that the First Great Western train despatcher patrolling the platforms that morning was a credit both to the company and probably Bristol, judging by his accent.

        Obviously a fan of the building himself, he was a pleasure to talk to, and it was with some regret that we had to part company when we found that our train was coming in on one of the more open air outlying platforms.

        I’ll be back, and that’s a promise, not a threat!

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          06.03.2006 04:42
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          Plenty of nightlife but beggers are a pain and transport isn't great.

          OK I'll start with what is good about Bristol well its a fantastic night out many places offer cheap deals for students and the new Oceana is fantastic. Just avoid the burger van on St Augustines lol! I like the harbouside area always nice to take a walk to see what going on lots of development taking place. I love the arnolfini and the architecture centre well worth having a look. Most of the people in Bristol are friendly enough and will help you out if you get lost although don't rely on the blue signposts not really that acurate.

          Ok downsides the beggers! I am sick and tired of them the Police and the council must do something about them. Some of them are extremely nasty if you don't give them money one tried to hit me tried to lol! Others are just annoying 10p for the phone er how about no and how many others have you said that to? What else oh getting about hellish buses are ery expensive all day ticket now £3.50! Buses could be lovely but they are poorly looked after. Takes a long time to get to the centre on the bus often I catch a train from Filton Abbeywood instead. Oh the M32! hideous concrete shrouded monstrosity forcing its way into the centre like a dagger dividing St Pauls in the process a terribly misguided venture. Final rant Broadmead reallly rather nasty chav infested shopping area thankfuly being redeveloped. On the whole ok and geting better.

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            09.05.2002 23:50
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            • "House prices"

            So people, this will be my last op for a couple of weeks after I move on Sunday and have to wait for a new phone line, etc, I've decided to write an op on my native city. This will be my 10th move and I wouldn't dream of living anywhere else, so heres the low-down on the South West's funkiest city. Bristol is the 7th biggest city in the UK and has around 400,000 people living in it. Due to the two universities in it, they being Bristol University and the University of the West of England (my own beloved uni!), the population can move around about, UWE has 24,000 students alone. That's not to say that Bristol is just a student city, there's definitely much more to it than that. I could concentrate on the bad things, like the rising crime rate, one of the highest council taxes in the country, highest homelessness population outside Bristol, a council estate (Knowle West) so affected by drugs and crime it featured in the News of the World, I think the 9yr old heroin addict started that off! But as these problems are being dealt with I'm going to look at the positive stuff!! Bristol is accessible by every mode of transport, bus, coach, train and even the airport. That's not to say the city transport is any good, it was recently voted the worst in the country (I've written an op on this by the way! So be prepared to wait if you want to explore it by bus, there is plenty of parking around though, especially in the centre. So lets take what the average person would come to Bristol for: The Shopper: Plenty of that, every Christmas the town is invaded by hordes of Welsh shoppers looking for a bargain. We have 2 main shopping areas, Broadmead in the centre of Bristol which has the shops you would expect to see on the High St, clothes, books, music stores, etc. Then there is Cribbs Causeway, a massive shopping mall to the north of Bristol, many buses go there and there is loads of parking. Again a lot
            of the high street stores. But some designer stores as well. Cribbs Causeway also features huge outlets of Asda/WalMart, Toys 'R'Us (Done an op on that as well!), Argos etc. There is also an eating park and cinema. For those more individual shoppers there is St Nicholas Market, just off the centre. There are many stalls there, the best places to get alternative clothing, candles, crystals, etc. Then we have Park St, leading up Bristol University, its where all the 'hip young thing' shops are, as well as an number of second hand retro stores. I think these would probably give you enough to do for a day! The Tourist/Sightseer Loads for you, absolutely loads! Parts of Bristol date back to the 11th Century but there is little evidence of this left. The magnificent Cathedral in the Centre dates back to before the 13th century and is fully open to the public, you can just wander round, takes in all the different rooms to the Cathedral, the Norman Chapter is worth taking a look at. And its where I shall be in November when I graduate! St Mary Redcliffe is again another massive church, even mentioned by Elizabeth 1 as the 'fairest, most godliest church in the whole land', although it is doubted she was ever here! On open days they allow you to go into the vaults where slaves were chained to the walls before being moved. Brandons Hill, a large open space in the centre of Bristol with a large folly that you can climb and the view across the whole of Bristol is fantastic. The @Bristol complex, rather new to Bristol, it features the @Bristol centre, the IMAX cinema, and the Wild Walk. Great for the young and old, the IMAX is one of the largest in the country and provides a 3D experience, the centre is very scientific, you can learn to build a bridge, learn all about the bits of your body, take in the Night Sky experience or make your own TV programme. Not having been in the Wild Walk I cant comment but it looks very ex
            otic from outside with all its tropical plants. You can also take a trip round the Harbour, passing the Industrial Museum, Bristol Bridge which has been there for centuries, and passing the old docks. Did I mention that John Cabot sailed from here to Newfoundland in 1497? Bristol is also full of little treasures, too numerous to mention here, the Wills Building, the Suspension Bridge, the first Iron ship the SS Great Britain, the hidden away little churches, your best bet is to grab one of the tour buses from the centre. And musnt forget Bristol Zoo, and its new underground penguin sanctuary, and the new lion cub. (all animals are endangered species and bred to go to other zoos and safari parks) The Clubber Bristol definitely doesn't disappoint! The world renowned Lakota and Blue Mountain Club is here, playing the best Techno, drum and bass, garage and jungle around. Creation is also known to pull in the biggest names from around the globe, Judge Jules is a particular favourite. For the pop types of you there is the Works, Evaluation, the Old Fire Station and loads more. The alternative fans get a little harder done by, none of the alternative clubs are huge, there is anything for the goth/industrial types but Nu-Metal and Indie are going well at Inferno and the Bierkeller (also famous for their Oompah night!) Well after all that you'd need some grub, again there is so much to choose from, right in the shopping centre there is the usual Pizza Hut and burger outlets. But moving away from the Centre there is much more. Morrocan, Italian, Lebanese, Australian, Vietnamese, its all here! I can particularly recommend Melbournes on Park St, Henry Africa's Hothouse on Whiteladies Rd and La Campagniola on Zetland Rd. If you aren't sure what you want ask someone to point you in the direction of Gloucester Rd, every 3rd shop is a restaurant! And if you just want a drink there are many,many pubs and bars around, try and avoid t
            he Centre at 2am on a Saturday night, its not particularly pretty. Bristol is trying to be a European City of Culture in 2008, while its getting there it does need a few improvements. There isn't a National Arena, an Exhibition centre, an Olympic size swimming or a large enough stadium to hold concerts and events there. We did get a new Centre though, all cobbles, shiny lights and fountains (until someone puts washing up liquid in them and then the whole centre gets flooded) There is lots of proposals for the above though. So if you want to visit a city with the majority of the attractions within a small area, do a bit of shopping, go out for a good meal then go clubbing (there are lots of hotels in the centre), Bristol is the place to be! Take a gander at www.thisisbristol.com for updated details And no comments about Bristols thank you... Or Bristol Rovers. So goodbye for a while people, hope you enjoy this op and you lot are so lucky, its my birthday today and I'm writing this. Not because everyone forgot and I got no cards or presents you understand...........

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              01.05.2002 18:37
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              Bristol is a sizeable city with a good deal going on. Obviously, to make the op palatable, I'll have to be quite superficial about some bits. Shopping - yes, there's a lot of scope for this, but the shopping areas are quite sprawly, so you can end up walking a fair distance. There are some good mall-like arrangements, and on the outskirts of the city is Cribbs Causeway - a large shopping and entertainment complex - you have to drive to it. Shows etc - The Hippodrome gets west end musicals and the like - a wonderful city centre venue. The Colston Hall gets many musical events - modestly sized popular bands, golden oldies - well worth seeing what they've got on. The Old Vic is an excellent theatre, also quite central - I once went on an excellent backstage tour there. The Watershed is a complex next to the docks which puts on arts cinema and has lectures - sometimes authors, again well worth a look. Water related - you can get boat trips along the Avon from Bristol (again, I did this some eyars ago, it was very good, as the Avon gorge is quite dramatic.)The docks are well worth a wander round. Museums - there's the S.S. Great Britain - a restored ship with loads of history - well worth a visit if you find the romance of sailing ships appealing. Bristol museum is superb, includign a sizeable Egyptian collection (yes, there are mummies on display, no, I am not at ease with this.)The museum is also home to a stunning pre-raphaelite painting "La belle dame Sans Merci" - worth going just to see that. Bristol zoo - again, I haven't been to this one in a good few years, but I remember it as being fairly small, and the animals not having much space. I can only say I hope things have improved. Again this is fairly central. Other things to see - Clifton suspension bridge - spanning the Avon gorge -which you can walk or drive across - not for the fainthearted, although the drop is very impressive
              . The camera obscura - which allows you to see great vistas, and is quite impressive, if strange. The science museum - good for kids. Pubs, clubs etc - there are a good number of these, although I've only ever ventured into a few. Generally Bristol has a good reputation on this score - I have friends who go clubbing there. Particularly worthy of note is the Beer Keller, which does occasionally get some very interesting bands. Things to be wary of - driving. Bristol is not car friendly, its a very counter intuitive place, and the signposts are unreliable. Hills - Bristol is built on hills and no matter where you want to go, you always seem to end up having to go up something. The train station - Bristol temple meads is a sizeable station, and not a bad way of getting into the city as its not a huge distance on foot from the centre. The only trouble is this. last time I went, i wandered out blithely and looked around me, at roads and buildings. No map, and no sign of where the town centre might actually be. I headed off in quite the wrong direction, and it was a good half hour before I managed to orrientate myself. That was a couple of years ago, so things might have improved, but then again, they might not. On the whole, Bristol has a good deal to offer for family days out, for evening entertainment and for shopping. However, make sure you know exactly where you are going before you head off, and elave yourself some 'getting lost and confused' time.

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                20.02.2002 01:10
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                As we live in Cornwall my wife and I like to occasionally get away to the big towns and cities for a contrast. As much as we love where we now live it's nice, now and again, to get out amongst the theatres, restaurants and general hubbub and atmosphere of the big population centres. A couple of weeks back we had a long weekend in Bristol, from Friday to the Monday, and these are my impressions of the city. What I noticed straight away was that this is a place of change and development, somewhere that seems to be moving forward. There are new buildings shooting up everywhere. Where we stayed, near the main Templemead railway station, there are new offices of quite modern design everywhere with other plots waiting their turn to be improved. The only problem with this is that perhaps the roads aren't quite up to the traffic. I might, however, just be saying this because I got lost when trying to find my hotel and had to do a big tour before ending up in the right place. Bristol is a city of contrasts, the modern exisiting alongside the ancient which is steeped in history. It grew up around its harbour on the River Avon and became a flourishing commercial port from the 10th century onwards. At one time it's importance was emphasised by Bristol being made a county in its own right in 1373. It became famous throughout the world after John Cabot set sail in 1497 from Bristol to discover Newfoundland and North America. This was a year before Colombus landed on the American mainland. Also founded here was the Society of Merchant Venturers, in 1552, who are partly responsible for the prosperous foundations of the old British Empire. That is all in the past, though much remains despite being bombed during the Second World War. What about today? Where shall I start? #Shopping As I was with my wife I'll have to start here! The main centre is the Broadmead, which is reputed to have the largest shopping are
                a in the South West, and is right in the centre of Bristol. It was only a ten minute walk from our hotel so I couldn't avoid going there. no matter how hard I tried. I was actually quite impressed, but that's not difficult when comparing it to towns in Cornwall. There are over 400 shops with something for most tastes and pockets. I bought a sweater and a jumper at only £5 each but my wife managed to spend much, much more at Laura Ashley! There are big department stores such as the House of Fraser and Debenhams but cheaper shops as well selling discount items at, what seemed to us, very competitive prices. Part of the Broadmead is under cover in the form of the impressive Galleries indoor centre. This has a good range of shops in itself, on three floors, and includes Food Street with seven or eight take away food outlets. There are also other shopping areas at Clifton Down, The West End, The East Side and one out of city called The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. More Info:- Broadmead ~ www.bristolbroadmead.co.uk The Mall ~ www.mallcribbs.com #Cathedral Being a city you can't really miss out the Cathedral on a visit, so we didn't. It was founded back in 1148 as an Augustinian monastery. The building was gradually developed over the years until it became a cathedral in 1542. To me the inside was more attractive and interesting than the outside. I have seen superior looking places of religion but inside the Norman Chapter House and the early English Lady Chapel are worth seeing. We sat for a while inside, listening to the organ being played and admiring the architecture. Admission is free. I thought the St Mary Redcliffe Church was superior to the cathedral in many ways. This is reputed to have some of the best examples of medieval architecture in the country and looks like a proper church with a magnificent spire. Queen Elizabeth I is reputed to have said that it was "the faire
                st and goodliest Parish Church in England". Also I'd better mention John Wesley's Chapel tucked away in the Broadmead shopping centre and built in 1739. This is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world. More info:- Cathedral ~ www.bristol-cathedral.co.uk St.Mary Redcliffe ~ www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk John Wesley's Chapel ~ www.methodist.org.uk/new.room #Other Things To See The newest place, where visitors head for, is called @ Bristol and is only a short stroll from the Cathedral. It has three main attractions, set in about 11 acres by the river, and again is in the centre of Bristol. There are three separate, independent attractions. These are: Explore @ Bristol, which is a science centre with latest hands on type exhibits; The IMAX Theatre @ Bristol, which as you may know is a massive screen (four storeys high) with special hi-fi sound so that you feel you are amongst the action happening on the screen and finally Wildwalk @ Bristol. We only had time to see the Wildwalk @ Bristol, entrance £6.50 each. It starts out with the beginnings of life on earth and takes you through the development and evolution of plants, animals, forests and people. It took us about one and a half hours to walk round. It was full of information, but I found it all a little dry and not terribly exciting. It didn't quite live up to the brochure and our expectations. It was alright, a 3/5, if I had to give it marks. The area with these attractions is pleasantly set out with a Millennium Square, statues, fountains and the usual overpriced cafe. There is an underground car park. @ Bristol is, I understand, the city's most popular place for visitors and is open 10am to 6pm. More info:- @ Bristol ~ www.at-bristol.org.uk Also very popular is the Bristol Zoo Gardens. Though I like animals I'm not altogether happy about zoos in general but Bristol say that they
                are carrying out conservation work locally and abroad. There are seals, penguins, a monkey house, bugs, reptiles and all of the usual captives you would expect to find. It's all laid out in a garden setting. Open 9am to 5.30pm. Another 3/5. More info:- Zoo ~ www.bristolzoo.org.uk One of the things you must see at Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, even if you simply drive over it. This is set in the Avon Gorge where the river flows between steep limestone cliffs. The bridge spans the cliffs some 254 feet above high water and was built by Brunel in 1864. The view of the gorge, from the Clifton area of Bristol, is spectacular. There is also a visitor centre which we didn't bother to visit. Looking at the bridge and the view was what interested us, definitely 5/5. More info:- Clifton Bridge ~ www.clifton-suspension-bridge.org.uk I'm now in danger of writing too much so I'd better give a general round up of just a few of the other things to see. There is the Create Environment Centre, all about recycling and ecohomes. Might not sound a bundle of laughs but it is free. For those into the arts there is Arnolfini, set on the harbour-side, which is one of Europe's leading centres for the contemporary arts. There is the Bristol Old Vic, which is the oldest working theatre in the country and shows everything from modern plays to the classics. The Hippodrome is another theatre, with Victorian architecture, though is classed as a music hall. At the moment it is showing the Beauty and the Beast. Museum-wise there is the City Museum, the Industrial Museum, The Georgian House and a few others but we ran out of time. We'll have to see some of these on our next visit. More info:- Create E.C ~ www.bristol-city.gov.uk/create Arnolfini ~ www.arnolfini.demon.co.uk Old Vic ~ www.bristol-old-vic.co.uk Hippodrome ~ www.bristol-hippodrome.co.uk Museums ~ www.b
                ristol-city.gov.uk/museums #To Finish Off We enjoyed our stay in Bristol, it made an ideal long weekend break. We virtually walked everywhere, though there appeared to be plenty of local buses. From the 23rd of March there will be special sightseeing buses taking in the major attractions. It will then be possible to buy 24 hour tickets so that you can jump on and off as you like. The best way to see the harbour and the river is by using the ferry. There are numerous landing stages along the Avon as it flows through the city. Recommended. We noticed so much by walking about, which we enjoy. The old part of the city is full of interest. The Corn Exchange, for example, is from where the saying "to pay on the nail" originated. Merchants would put cash on flat topped pillars (called nails) to settle deals made. This nowadays hosts markets on Saturdays and Wednesdays. It depends on what you like to do, but we found plenty of varied things to interest us. I wouldn't give Bristol five out of five, but four stars would be about right. It's worth a visit that's for sure. Final More info:- Buses ~ www.membersaol.com/bristolbustour/index Ferry ~ www.bristolferryboat.co.uk And for everything else ~ www.visitbristol.co.uk

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                  23.08.2001 15:31
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                  The centre of Bristol has been transformed and the council in their infinite wisdom has created an entirely new look. Is this an improvement? For those of you who were not familiar with the appearance of the centre of Bristol pre-facelift, let me enlighten you; the end of the docks was fronted by a statue of Neptune, trident aloft, overseeing the expanse before him in the middle of the busiest part of the City. There was a central pedestrian area, which had some grass, flowerbeds, trees and benches. Then came the approach of the millennium and councils across the country were offered money to do something special for their citizens. Bristol City Council spent a long period of time and huge quantities of taxpayers’ money consulting us, the People; what did the Bristolians want to happen to their city centre? What improvements would we like? The People spoke. We wanted the docks to be extended up to the original state in which they were centuries before in a return to the City’s glorious maritime history. The waters would flow once more through the heart of the city. Then the Council acted. Did they extend the waters once more? No; they concreted over the entire area and put in a row of identical modern ‘fountains’ (this word is too elaborate, as they are more like symmetrical floor level jets of water). Apparently this was to ‘represent’ the waters of the docks extending through the City! Gone were the grassed areas, gone were the trees and flowerbeds, gone were Bristol’s hopes of recreating the maritime feel of the City and Neptune was relegated to a far more inconspicuous position. Why did the Council make such an effort to ask the People their opinion only to ignore it? One cannot but speculate that they spent so much money on carrying out their polls that there was not sufficient left for the project itself. At this point the story of the transform
                  ation of the centre has a twist. The fountains developed a strange algae, which changed the water green and hundreds of thousands of pounds had to be spent to rectify this. And, a City counsellor slipped on the newly decked surface, broke her leg and sued the Council. Natural justice? Perhaps so!

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                    23.07.2001 03:45
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                    If you live in, or visiting England, take the time to enjoy Bristol - a city on the West Coast almost directly across form London, on the map. For those who like to shop, there is ample opportunity to indulge in that pastime and apparently the night life is supposed to be pretty lively as well, although I have not sampled that. Close by is another city of note - Bath, famous for it's Roman spas. Me - I'm a history buff. I love history, so a trip to Bristol is a treat. For starters there is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the Avon Gorge. This magnificent bridge was designed by one of the greatest Victorian engineers - Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He is one of my "heroes" from childhood, builder of various bridges, overseer of the Panama Canal, pioneer of one of the greatest steam ships ever built. The bridge spans the River Avon as it makes it's way to the Bristol Channel, and you can see it as you approach the city. Another of his achievements - the "S.S. Great Britain" is at the Great Western Dock . This was the first steam-ship to be built of iron, and to be propeller-driven. She was launched July 19th 1843, in the presence of Prince Albert ( Queen Victoria's consort) and apparently, Bristol celebrated the day in festive mood. Bells were rung, shops closed and flags flew everywhere. Her maiden voyage, however, did not take place until almost 2 years later. It took her 14 days and 21 hours to cross the Atlantic on her journeys, and her passengers travelled in luxury - although the size of the cabins will amaze you. In later years, she was converted to a cargo ship, to a floating store-room, and was finally retired/discarded in 1933 because she was (by then) uneconomical. 1937 saw her beached and abandoned in Stanley Harbour, The Falkland Islands, where she remained for over 50 years until efforts began to bring her back to England, and the restoration project which is still ongoing. She is
                    a beautiful ship, and well worth a visit. To the East of the "S.S. Great Britain" is a replica of another marvel of shipping history. The "Matthew" was John Cabot's square-rigged caravel, in which he sailed on his voyage of discovery to 'New Founde Lands'. This replica took crafsmen 2 years to build, under the auspicious eye of renowned naval architect, Colin Mudie. He undertook extensive research into ships of the period, and it is believed that the replica is authentic in all respects. It is a wooden sailing ship, and seems quite small, although it is in fact 70 feet long. It is hard to imagine that a ship of this size could travel the Atlantic ocean and survive. A tribute to the master shipbuilders of those days, over 500 years ago and to the prowess of the crew. Near both of these ships, is the Industrial Museum, which is a brilliant collection of exhibits which tell the history of Bristol, from it's Maritime Heritage right up to recent years. The size of some of the engine parts, turbines, etc. will surprise you. They are massive. Nauticul buffs will find much to enjoy in these 3 places. Bristol is home also to the St. Mary Redcliffe Church, which Queen Elizabeth I (the 'Virgin Queen') said was "the noblest church in the land". It's spire can be seen soaring above the end of the docks, to the East. On the Northern side, you can see the Cabot Tower, erected on Brandon Hill, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage. Sharing this vista is the Cathedral, on College Green. I had a wonderful trip to Bristol, but a word of warning to visitors. DO NOT venture out on the roads during rush hour. The people who drive in Bristol are fiercely protective of their road space, and when we were there, blocked intersections at red lights so that our lane was unable to move. They take their getting home from work VERY seriously. Having said tha
                    t, everybody we met was friendly, the curators at each place were knowledgeable and only too willing to talk about local history with us. So, take some time out to delve into the past and where better to start than Bristol? You will not regret it. Home-schoolers will find plenty of material here, whether as part of a project on England's Maritime History (both ship-building or sea-faring), or as a starting point on Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his achievements. Depending on age, comparisons could be invited between the 2 ships with regard to size, power source (sail, steam turbines, etc.). The "S.S. Great Britain" could be compared to the "Titanic"or "Queen Elizabeth II" to show how the premise of "luxury" has changed over the years, as she was the fore-runner of the Transatlantic passenger ships as we know them nowadays. The Industrial Museum, will provide much to think about in the manner in which power is provided, and older students could be encouraged to examine why steam power was utilized in the Victorian Age and yet fell from grace in the Twentieth Century. This could lead to discussions on the depletion of fossil fuels, what made steam uneconomical as a source of power in transport, as well as ecological issues. For non-British home-schoolers, there is the chance to compare the British shipbuilding industry with their own, or to compare the time frames when each country was using a particular method of power or building. Both ships and the Industrial Museum, have plenty of literature and memorabilia available, and there is a teacher's pack for the "S.S. Great Britain" that cost £2.50 in 1999. There is also an Information Spotter Pack which is like a treasure hunt for slightly older children to work through, to enable them to get the most out of their exploration. It provides an insight into the history of Brunel's Iron Ship.

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                      22.06.2001 23:10
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                      I have lived in Bristol all my life so hopefully my knowledge or lack of due to alcohol will help you decide what clubs to go to when you visit our town. My personal favourite it 'The works' which is opposite Bristol’s police station. Five mins walk from the centre. It’s about £4 to get in after 10:30 before that about a £1. Members get in a lot cheaper plus can go straight in, no queuing which can take about an hour. The best nights are Tuesday and Thursday, student night you only need to be 18 to get in. Other nights 21+.The good thing about this club is that its full of people and drink is quite cheap. If you’re a cider drinker like me its only £1.50 a pint cheap huh. It’s the same for Fosters and John Smiths so it caters for all drinkers. The music is the only thing that lets it down. The main dance floor plays commercial chart dance which can get annoying after a while but once your plastered you don’t really notice it! There is a separate room on the top floor, the cheese room playing 60's 70's and 80's music which is great for a laugh. Overall the works is somewhere you need to go with your mates you will have a great time lots of people male and female plus some nights there are extra's. once a month foam parties and every so often manumission night where they hire strippers who go all the way!!! The next club that's on my list is evolution the next biggest club in Bristol. Its right on the waterfront 2 mins walk from the centre. The good thing about this club is that it has two rooms 1 & 2 both playing separate music so if your not a dance kind of person you can go next door and party on down to old music, hip hop and some of the classics. Drink is about the same price as the works but most Thursdays they have some bottles on special offer so keep your eyes out. Every so often good DJ’s are fronting the night like tall Paul, boy George, e.t.c so that&#
                      8217;s an attraction itself. Overall quite a nice club often packed and very similar to the works my tip if the que in the works is too big then walk down to evo if you cant be bothered to wait. A new club has opened in Bristol under the ice rink right next to the centre. Called the 'Rock' its a big thing and is getting a lot of good vibes from a lot of people. I haven’t been there yet so can’t give much info so watch this space. what I do know is all the big names are dj'ing there frequently thats probably why it’s between £10 to £14 to get in. My mates have told me its well worth it but watch out for pills cause everyone is doing it in there. There are obviously more clubs and bars around but ive focused on the ones I know well. Good bars to go to b4 though is something else. If you want cheap drink so you can get absolutely mashed then head to the cast next to the hippodrome in the centre. its usually packed so make sure you know where your friends are. £1 a pint very good but watch out its been watered down (what did you expect for a pound!) If you want a nice atmosphere then go to the Barclay up park street. Very nice usually full of students. Beer isn’t too expensive but it’s just got a nice atmosphere to it you will know if you check it out. The horn and trumpet, now this place is banging. Its right next to the cast convenient or what. They do great cocktails 2 for £4 very very nice. It has 2 floors the best is upstairs where they serve the cocktails. You may even find you'll want to stay there all night!!! The only problem with this place is that that bouncers don’t like to many men going in so try and pair off with a partner. Bar excellence opposite cast and the horn and trumpet. To get in you need to walk round the side entrance. You do need to pay £1 to get in but thats not much for cheap drink and lots of attractive company. Last month they had a speci
                      al offer on Guinness extra cold where every person got 2 free pints i was not complaining. this place is very tidy but there is not much seating so grab a chair fast otherwise you will be the lemon standing. This is only an outline of the clubs and pubs in Bristol but the ones listed are ones I attend frequently so I can have an informed opinion on them hope you check them out let me know what you thought.

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                        31.10.2000 17:08
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                        hill after hill after hill and then what do you find? a hill. Why didn't they build this wonderful city somewhere a bit flatter? Well at least the transport systems good.... well the trains are good, but the buses. It's great waiting for a bus, knowing one will come and whisk me to my destination. Not here it seems. You wait 15 minutes and the bus is full. You wait again and it doesn't come. Instead we are faced with a nice long walk, because there's hardly anywhere to park a car, is there? Well I shouldn't moan. Bristol itself is a lovely city, full of beautiful architecture and water. There are lots of pubs and clubs yet the number of late license bars is restricted. Taxis however are expensive if you have come from the north like me, so bring eztra money because the bus won't come.

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                          06.10.2000 20:28

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                          Bristol home to some of Brunel's great constructions and all based around the famouse River Avon and the severn Channel, So then why doesn't the city promote more of this fact. Some of the great historical building of this city are situated around the waters but still the council continue to allow the waters to get polluted and mistreated. You only have to look around the waterside to see the rubbish collected by the river. Please can the council help to improve the situation, it does nothing to improve the image of the city. After all some of the great T.V. programmes of all times have been filmed here and once the cameras highlight the River Avon I am too ashamed to say *that's the docks of Bristol*, The first episode of Casulaty was filmed along the docks and didn't they look awful!!!!!!!!! Only fools and horses has been filmed in this historic city and even they didn't use any river shots. If only the city would improve its water image then so much more revenue could be got to make the city famous again!!!!!!!!!1

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