Welcome to Visit Bristol Places
The Walkfo guide to things to do & explore in Bristol

Visit Bristol PlacesVisit Bristol places using Walkfo for free guided tours of the best Bristol places to visit. A unique way to experience Bristol’s places, Walkfo allows you to explore Bristol as you would a museum or art gallery with audio guides.

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Bristol is the most populous city in South West England . It is bordered by ceremonial counties Gloucestershire and Somerset . Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World . The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK; the Bristol pound . When you visit Bristol, Walkfo brings Bristol places to life as you travel by foot, bike, bus or car with a mobile phone & headphones.


Bristol Places Overview: History, Culture & Facts about Bristol

Visit Bristol – Walkfo’s stats for the places to visit

With 376 audio plaques & Bristol places for you to explore in the Bristol area, Walkfo is the world’s largest heritage & history digital plaque provider. The AI continually learns & refines facts about the best Bristol places to visit from travel & tourism authorities (like Wikipedia), converting history into an interactive audio experience.

Bristol history

Archaeological finds indicate the presence of Neanderthals in Bristol during the Middle Palaeolithic. Iron Age hill forts near the city are at Leigh Woods and Clifton Down. Roman settlement, Abona, existed at what is now Sea Mills (connected to Bath by a Roman road)

Middle Ages

Bristol was founded by 1000; by about 1020, it was a trading centre with a mint producing silver pennies bearing its name . By the 12th century Bristol was an important port handling much of England’s trade with Ireland . The town incorporated neighbouring suburbs and became a county in 1373, the first town in England to be given this status .

15th and 16th centuries

Bristol 15th and 16th centuries photo

Bristol was the second most important port in the country, trading with Ireland, Iceland and Gascony . It was the starting point for many voyages, including Robert Sturmy’s unsuccessful attempt to break the Italian monopoly of Eastern Mediterranean trade . During the 16th century Bristol merchants concentrated on developing trade with Spain and its American colonies .

17th and 18th centuries

Bristol was a major supplier of slaves to South Carolina before 1750 . The 18th century saw an expansion of Bristol’s role in the Atlantic trade in Africans taken for slavery to the Americas . At the height of the Bristol slave trade from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried a conservatively estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery .

19th century

The city was associated with Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the Great Western Railway between Bristol and London Paddington, two pioneering oceangoing steamships (SS Great Britain and SS Great Western), and the Clifton Suspension Bridge . The tidal Avon Gorge, which secured the port during the Middle Ages, had become a liability . Competition from Liverpool, disruptions of maritime commerce due to war with France (1793) and the abolition of the slave trade contributed to Bristol’s failure to keep pace with the newer manufacturing centres of Northern England and the West Midlands .

20th century

Bristol 20th century photo

From a population of about 330,000 in 1901, Bristol grew steadily during the 20th century . Its Avonmouth docklands were enlarged during the early 1900s by the Royal Edward Dock . The unsuccessful Bristol International Exhibition was held on Ashton Meadows in the Bower Ashton area in 1914 . Bristol was heavily damaged by Luftwaffe raids during World War II; about 1,300 people living or working in the city were killed .

21st century

A statue of Edward Colston was pulled down from its plinth by protestors and pushed into Bristol Harbour on 7 June 2020 . The statue was recovered on 11 June and will become a museum exhibit .

Bristol culture & places


Bristol Arts photo

Bristol has a thriving current and historical arts scene. Some of the modern venues and modern digital production companies have merged with legacy production companies based in old buildings around the city. In 2008 the city was a finalist for the 2008 European Capital of Culture, although the title was awarded to Liverpool. The city was designated “City of Film” by UNESCO in 2017 and has been a member of the Creative Cities Network since then. The Bristol Old Vic, founded in 1946 as an offshoot of The Old Vic in London, occupies the 1766 Theatre Royal (607 seats) on King Street; the 150-seat New Vic (a studio-type theatre), and a foyer and bar in the adjacent Coopers’ Hall (built in 1743). The Theatre Royal, a grade I listed building, is the oldest continuously operating theatre in England. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (which originated in King Street) is a separate company, and the Bristol Hippodrome is a 1,951-seat theatre for national touring productions. Other smaller theatres include the Tobacco Factory, QEH, the Redgrave Theatre at Clifton College and the Alma Tavern. Bristol’s theatre scene features several companies as well as the Old Vic, including Show of Strength, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Travelling Light. Theatre Bristol is a partnership between the city council, Arts Council England and local residents to develop the city’s theatre industry. Several organisations support Bristol theatre; the Residence (an artist-led community) provides office, social and rehearsal space for theatre and performance companies, and Equity has a branch in the city. The city has many venues for live music, its largest the 2,000-seat Bristol Beacon, previously Colston Hall, named after Edward Colston. Others include the Bristol Academy, The Fleece, The Croft, the Exchange, Fiddlers, the Victoria Rooms, Rough Trade, Trinity Centre, St George’s Bristol and several pubs, from the jazz-oriented The Old Duke to rock at the Fleece and indie bands at the Louisiana. In 2010 PRS for Music called Bristol the UK’s most musical city, based on the number of its members born there relative to the city’s population. Since the late 1970s Bristol has been home to bands combining punk, funk, dub and political consciousness. With trip hop and Bristol Sound artists such as Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack, the list of bands from Bristol is extensive. The city is a stronghold of drum and bass, with artists such as Roni Size’s Mercury Prize-winning Reprazent, as DJ Krust, More Rockers and TC. Trip hop and drum & bass music, in particular, is part of the Bristol urban-culture scene which received international media attention during the 1990s. The Downs Festival is also a yearly occurrence where both local and well-known bands play. Since its inception in 2016, it has become a major event in the city. The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery houses a collection encompassing natural history, archaeology, local glassware, Chinese ceramics and art. The M Shed museum opened in 2011 on the site of the former Bristol Industrial Museum. Both are operated by Bristol Culture and Creative Industries, which also runs three historic houses‍—‌the Tudor Red Lodge, the Georgian House and Blaise Castle House; and Bristol Archives. The 18th- and 19th-century portrait painter Thomas Lawrence, 19th-century architect Francis Greenway (designer of many of Sydney’s first buildings) were born in the city. The graffiti artist Banksy is believed to be from Bristol, and many of his works are on display in the city. The Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini gallery (both in dockside warehouses) exhibit contemporary art, photography and cinema, and the city’s oldest gallery is at the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton. The nomadic Antlers Gallery opened in 2010, moving into empty spaces on Park Street, on Whiteladies Road and in the Purifier House on Bristol’s Harbourside. Stop-motion animation films and commercials (produced by Aardman Animations) are made in Bristol. Robert Newton, Bobby Driscoll and other cast members of the 1950 Walt Disney film Treasure Island (some scenes were filmed along the harbourside) were visitors to the city along with Walt Disney himself. Bristol is home to the regional headquarters of BBC West and the BBC Natural History Unit. Locations in and around Bristol have featured in the BBC’s natural-history programmes, including Animal Magic (filmed at Bristol Zoo). Bristol is the birthplace of 18th-century poets Robert Southey and Thomas Chatterton. Southey (born on Wine Street in 1774) and his friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, married the Fricker sisters from the city. William Wordsworth spent time in Bristol, where Joseph Cottle published Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol, and comedians from the city include Justin Lee Collins, Lee Evans, Russell Howard and writer-comedian Stephen Merchant. The author John Betjeman wrote a poem called “Bristol”. It begins: Green upon the flooded Avon shone the after-storm-wet-sky, Quick the struggling withy branches let the leaves of autumn fly, And a star shone over Bristol, wonderfully far and high.


Bristol Architecture photo

Bristol has 51 Grade I, 500 Grade II* and over 3,800 Grade II listed buildings in a variety of architectural styles, from medieval to modern . During the mid-19th century Bristol Byzantine, a style unique to the city, was developed . St Mary Redcliffe is the tallest building in Bristol, and St Bartholomew’s Hospital dates back to the 12th century .

Bristol etymology

The current name “Bristol” derives from the Old English form Brycgstow, which is typically etymologised as place at the bridge. Early recorded place names in the Bristol area include the Roman-era British Celtic Abona and the archaic Welsh Caer Odor.

Why visit Bristol with Walkfo Travel Guide App?

Visit Bristol PlacesYou can visit Bristol places with Walkfo Bristol to hear history at Bristol’s places whilst walking around using the free digital tour app. Walkfo Bristol has 376 places to visit in our interactive Bristol map, with amazing history, culture & travel facts you can explore the same way you would at a museum or art gallery with information audio headset. With Walkfo, you can travel by foot, bike or bus throughout Bristol, being in the moment, without digital distraction or limits to a specific walking route. Our historic audio walks, National Trust interactive audio experiences, digital tour guides for English Heritage locations are available at Bristol places, with a AI tour guide to help you get the best from a visit to Bristol & the surrounding areas.

“Curated content for millions of locations across the UK, with 376 audio facts unique to Bristol places in an interactive Bristol map you can explore.”

Walkfo: Visit Bristol Places Map
376 tourist, history, culture & geography spots


  Bristol historic spots

  Bristol tourist destinations

  Bristol plaques

  Bristol geographic features

Walkfo Bristol tourism map key: places to see & visit like National Trust sites, Blue Plaques, English Heritage locations & top tourist destinations in Bristol


Best Bristol places to visit

Bristol has places to explore by foot, bike or bus. Below are a selection of the varied Bristol’s destinations you can visit with additional content available at the Walkfo Bristol’s information audio spots:

Bristol photo St George’s Park, Bristol
St George Park is a park on the eastern edge of the inner city in Bristol . Built on land that was originally The Fire Engine Farm, the park had many architectural features . The St George Library is situated on the edge the park, on Church Road .
Bristol photo Eastville Workhouse
The Eastville Workhouse was a workhouse situated at 100 Fishponds Road, in Bristol, U.K. It was converted into a home for the elderly in the 1920s and demolished in 1972 .
Bristol photo Circomedia
Circomedia is a school for contemporary circus and physical theatre based in Bristol . The school offers a variety of training courses and workshops that teach circus skills in the context of physical theatre, performance and creativity .
Bristol photo Wow! Gorillas
Wow! Gorillas was a project organised by Bristol Zoo in 2011 that displayed 61 decorated life-sized fibreglass gorilla sculptures on the streets of Bristol, England .
Bristol photo Siege of Bristol
Siege of Bristol lasted from the 18th to 26th of October 1326 . Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer’s forces fought the garrison under Hugh Despenser the Elder .
Bristol photo Totterdown, Bristol
Totterdown is an inner-suburb of Bristol, England . It is situated just south of the River Avon and to the south-east of Temple Meads railway station .
Bristol photo Westmoreland House
Westmoreland House was a building at Nos. 104–106 Stokes Croft, Bristol, next door to the Carriage Works .
Bristol photo Carriage Works, Bristol
The Carriage Works (grid reference ST591740) are in Stokes Croft, Bristol, England . Carriage works are located in Bristol .
Bristol photo Lewin’s Mead Unitarian meeting house
Lewin’s Mead Unitarian meeting house is a former Unitarian church in Bristol, England . The building was built in the 1950s and 1960s .
Bristol photo South Purdown, Bristol
South Purdown, Bristol, is an ancient green space located in north Bristol . The area of land is bordered by central Muller Road, Sir Johns Lane Allotment site, Stoke Park, Lockleaze Open Space and the Priory Hospital . It has been designated a Site of Nature Conservation Interest .

Visit Bristol plaques

Bristol Plaques 113
Bristol has 113 physical plaques in tourist plaque schemes for you to explore via Walkfo Bristol plaques audio map when visiting. Plaques like National Heritage’s “Blue Plaques” provide visual geo-markers to highlight points-of-interest at the places where they happened – and Walkfo’s AI has researched additional, deeper content when you visit Bristol using the app. Experience the history of a location when Walkfo local tourist guide app triggers audio close to each Bristol plaque. Explore Plaques & History has a complete list of Hartlepool’s plaques & Hartlepool history plaque map.