Must-See Landmarks in Bristol, UK

The incredible Clifton Suspension Bridge is well worth including on your Bristol itinerary
The incredible Clifton Suspension Bridge is well worth including on your Bristol itinerary | © CW Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Callum Davies
3 July 2020

Bristol is a city that blends the old with the new. Despite having a rich and storied past, it is also one of the youngest and most progressive cities in the UK, with plenty of interesting landmarks that account for both the past and the present. Here is our list of six of the best.

M Shed

Museum
Map View
M Shed and the dockside cargo cranes on Princes Wharf in the old City Docks, Bristol, England, UK
© Keith Douglas / Alamy Stock Photo
Where better to start when exploring Bristol culture than a museum filled with it? M Shed is a museum built into a dockside transit shed. It houses over 3,000 different items and stories spanning everything from transport, art, industry and even some disturbing but educationally vital accounts of the city’s history with the slave trade. M Shed is along Wapping’s Wharf, 15 minutes on foot from the city centre.

Bristol Old Vic

Building, Theatre
Map View
Want to check out a historic building and take in some theatre at the same time? The Old Vic is the place for you. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it’s the oldest theatre in the English-speaking world still to be operating (construction having been completed in 1766), and it remains one of the most popular theatres outside of London in the UK. The Old Vic is on King’s Street, less than 10 minutes from the city centre.

Blaise Castle

Historical Landmark
Map View
Blaise Castle folly, Bristol
© Samuel Walker / Alamy Stock Photo
Another piece of living history, Blaise Castle has stood proudly on the Bristolian horizon for more than 250 years, although the site has signs of activity dating back to Neolithic farmers. Situated 20 minutes north of the city centre (by car), you have to travel a little to see it, but it’s well worth the distance.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Bridge
Map View
Clifton Suspension Bridge Clifton Bristol Avon England
The incredible Clifton Suspension Bridge is well worth including on your Bristol itinerary | © CW Images / Alamy Stock Photo
No picture of the Bristol skyline would be complete without the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Spanning the Avon Gorge, it has been the site of several historical events over the years, including the world’s first modern bungee jump in 1979. The bridge is on the western edge of the city, 15 minutes by car from the centre.

Ashton Court

Park
Map View
Ashton Court had been a bastion of British aristocracy for centuries when it was bought by the City of Bristol in 1959. Now, the vast estate is open to be explored by the public, and the manor itself can be toured, having gained a reputation for its bizarre architecture. Ashton Court and the grounds are around 20 minutes west of the centre by car.

Clifton Cathedral

Building, Cathedral, Park
Map View
dh St Peter and St Paul cathedral CLIFTON BRISTOL Roman Catholic Church of building uk modern english architecture. Image shot 2011. Exact date unknown.
© Doug Houghton UK / Alamy Stock Photo
Speaking of architecture, Clifton Cathedral is often considered to be one of the most interesting buildings in Bristol. Construction was completed in 1973 and the end result looks like something out of a science fiction film, both inside and out. Situated next to Clifton Park, the cathedral also has one of the best views in the city, and is 30 minutes on foot from the city centre.
These recommendations were updated on July 3, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.