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12 Free Things To Do In Bristol

Named the best British city to live in 2017 (and best city to live every year by the locals!), Bristol is steeped in history and culture. But what if you’re on a budget and still want to enjoy everything that the best city in Britain has to offer? No fear! Bristol has plenty of free things for you to do, without breaking the bank.

M Shed

If you’re a history junkie in need of a local fix, get yourself down to M Shed. Situated on Prince’s Wharf, it tells the city’s history through film, photographs, personal stories, and more, from prehistoric times to today. Entrance is free, and there’s something for the whole family!

Floating Harbour

If you want a slice of Bristol culture on the move, follow the self-guided trail around the city’s Floating Harbour. Learn about Bristol’s rich maritime history, with plenty of swashbuckling tales of smuggling pirates thrown in for good measure!

Bristol and Bath Railway Path

Bristol is known for its love of cycling, and the Bristol and Bath Railway Path is probably the best place to do it. The 13 mile route goes through tranquil woods and clear rivers, and keep an eye out for the old train station. It’s also a great way to discover the picturesque Bath next door — but be sure to come back to Bristol afterwards!

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Up, up, and away! August sees Bristol’s skies full of an array of cool and quirky hot air balloons with the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Head over to the beautiful Ashton Court Estate for fireworks, night displays, and live music. Plus there’s a breathtaking dawn liftoff too — if you’re up to the early start of course!

Oldbury Court & Snuff Mills

Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills offers a number of walks through dense woods and past flowing rivers, and is only three miles from the city centre. With plenty of green open spaces and a children’s play area, there’s fun for all the family.

Leigh Woods

This ancient woodland is just a short walk over the bridge from Bristol city, and offers plenty of meandering walks for visitors to discover the ruins of a number of Iron Age forts and ramparts. Leigh Woods is beautiful, whatever the weather!

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Where London has Highgate Cemetery, Bristol has Arnos Vale Cemetery. With a history stretching as far back as 1837, this 45-acre site offers towering Victorian headstones and eerie crypts, as well as a dazzling array of wild flowers and plants.


Are you a budding Banksy? Or just a street art fanatic? Then you’ll love Upfest, Europe’s largest urban art festival. Come July, the streets of Bedminster will be ablaze with colour, with artists working for hours on end to bring the streets to life!

Cabot Tower

If it’s stunning panoramic views you’re after, then head down to Bristol’s Cabot Tower. Set in the picturesque Brandon Hill, Cabot Tower was originally built in 1897 to commemorate explorer and slave trader John Cabot’s voyage to North America from Bristol. Today the 105ft tower provides 360° views of the city and its harbourside, but only for those willing to climb the 110 steps to the top!

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Of course, no list of free things to do in Bristol would be complete without mentioning the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. Completed back in 1831 by famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge offers breathtaking views across the city, and on a clear day you can see for miles. Just don’t look down!

Stoke Park Estate

Bristol has no shortage of places to go for fantastic views, and Stoke Park Estate is just one of them. Green open fields, gorgeous woodlands and the beautiful yellow Dower House all make for a great walk away from the city. Keep an eye out for Purdown Percy, an old anti-aircraft battery from the second World War!

The Downs

If you want to get away from the city and feel the grass underneath your feet, then head on up to the Downs. Acres of open space situated just on the edge of Avon Gorge provide the perfect place to watch the sunset after a busy day in the city.

You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy all the delights that the best city in Britain has to offer. There’s plenty of free events, attractions, and places for you to visit, give AA Taxis a ring and we’ll take you to all the best that Bristol has to offer!


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