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Bristol Summer Guide

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The vibrant and exciting city of Bristol comes into its own in the summer, with attractions to appeal to all ages and tastes. From historic sites to harbour-side lounging, incredible festivals to fun activities for the kids, Bristol is a prime spot for visitors from all over the UK as well as overseas. Check out our top tips for visiting Bristol in the summer, to help you make the most of your visit.

Catch up on culture

Bristol is renowned for its support of contemporary arts – and has been home to some of the most respected names on the modern arts scene, including controversial graffiti artist, Banksy. Get up close and personal with up and coming artists during the annual June Open Studio in Bristol’s bohemian quarter in Jamaica Street, where you can explore the rarely seen creative world of the artist, outside of a gallery. Discover some of Bristol’s expansive history at Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery, and get on board with its long shipping history by exploring the Brunel.

Tune in to Bristol

If music’s more your thing, Bristol has a brilliant range of music festivals running all through summer, from the Folk Festival in early May, to indie-extravaganza, Dot to Dot, in June. Attracting top acts from around the UK, you can catch some of the rising stars of the scene as well as more established talents. For a family-friendly experience, don’t miss WOMAD at Bristol Zoo, combining world class music acts, fun workshops, grub and games – all in the sunny surrounds of one of the biggest zoos in south west England.

Gastronomic delights

Part of what makes Bristol such an exciting place to be is its vibrant, multicultural buzz. Check out Bristol’s ample food markets that take place all summer – heaving with fresh local produce and food to meet all tastes. The Harbourside Market is a great place to check out local seafood, freshly prepared with tantalizing aromas, while the Slow Food Market in early summer showcases the best in the revival of the old-fashioned ‘slow food’ cookery movement. The gem in Bristol’s gastronomic calendar is Grillstock – the utterly unique festival combining sizzling BBQ, Southern music and Americana. Taking place every May, it feels the Bristol Harbour with real American soul food and music. If you head there further into summer then take along portable outdoor barbecues to recreate the great event.

Park life

When you’ve had enough of exploring, take a break in one of Bristol lush green parks. Excellent facilities in many of the city parks mean they are great for kids of all ages. Dame Emily Park is fantastic for both young tots and older kids – with a dog-free playground for under-10s as well as a zip wire, five a side teams and basketball courts for older children. Felix Road Adventure Playground is a haven for children tired of sightseeing – with comfy seating for adults too, it’s a great spot to relax and unwind. And for nature lovers, a trip to Bristol’s Botanical Gardens provides a serene getaway, away from the buzz of the city centre, with a wealth of plant life on show.

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