Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

It’s been a rough few weeks.

I was going to write about the rest of my marvellous time in Sweden.

I was going to tell you that I was asked to be one of the five (5) members of an academic discussion panel on Brexit, at the Humboldt University of Berlin!

It’ll be on 24.06.17 as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies in Berlin.

I was also going to tell you that not only was I featured as a guest blogger on the University of Chester Alumni website, but I’m also going to be on the University of Chester’s official Case Study posters for postgraduate recruitment too! Now isn’t that cool!

Berlin – very British – rbb

However, bearing in mind what has been happening in my home-country of England, there was just no way that I wasn’t going to mention it.

And sadly, this isn’t the first time.

There have been terrorist attacks in both London and Manchester.

Everyone is in a state of shock.

Our sympathies and condolences are with the people, family and friends of both Manchester and London.

Tributes left in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, for the people who died in the terror attack
©Jeff J Mitchell /Getty

The world has been in a dreadful state within the last year.

First, we had that horrible referendum in which my fellow Brits voted to Leave the European Union, and won! Shortly after, we had airport explosions and train attacks in Belgium, awful situations of terror in France, mindless shootings in the US, the senseless mass killing of the gay community in America, a mad axe-wielding teenager in Germany, an airport terror attack and a near military coup in Turkey, another disturbed teenager ran riot of an evening, randomly shooting innocent shoppers, after luring them to a free McDonalds’ burger, in Germany, and the awful fact that Donald Trump, a laughable figure, actually ended up as the President of the United States, and thus, the leader of the Free Western World!

I mean, how did that happen?!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Berlin was targeted by a mad man at the German Christmas Market, then London was terrorised in March, Stockholm in April, and very very recently, Manchester was attacked, and just over the weekend, London, all over again!!

Just what is the world coming to?

MANCHESTER

That famous and historical city – Manchester!

I’m a British girl!

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of a most famous and historical city – Manchester.

Manchester is in England and when you think of England you think of icons like King Henry VIII, The British Empire, David Bowie, and of course, The Beatles.

Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!
@Debbiefm

The Beatles may come from Liverpool, but you can’t have everything can you!

Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.

Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!

The lovely” Just So Festival” is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!

Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester and making it the first industrialised city in the world!

Phew!

It’s lovely cruising down the Castlefield Canal, or any other canal in Manchester!

Manchester is the highest-ranked British city, apart from London of course, and is the third-most visited city in the UK!

It’s famous for it’s universities and seats of academic learning, architecture, art and culture, museums and galleries, theatre, literature, nightclubs and bars, cinema, music, Manchester Pride, the BBC, science and engineering, sport and excellent transportation. In fact, Manchester has loads of river canals which you can cruise along, free trams that you can use in the city centre, and Liverpool Road train station, which is the first inter-city passenger railway station in the world!

Manchester has about half a million people.

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

So of course, when terrorism came to my home-town and therefore, my city, I was saddened and outraged.

This act of terrorism was not only cowardly, but taken out in an area where teenagers and young children were watching a fabulous concert of Ariana Grande.

Everyone was most upset.

And so was  I.

Everyone was most upset.

My fellow Mancunians rallied round to give each other comfort and support.

They are brave, and so must we all be.

This was not the first time that Manchester has been bombed by terrorists, as the IRA tried to destroy the city in 1996, and sadly, it won’t be the last.

And this time it came very close to home, as the office of my brother – The Writer – is opposite the Manchester Arena! I rang home in the middle of the night with a shaking hand!

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

And I’m just so sad.

The terrorist have have struck my continent and attacked my country.

This wonderful continent of Europe might make tourists and visitors wonder.

They might think that perhaps travelling abroad isn’t all it’s made out to be.

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

They might think that Europe isn’t the place to be after all!

My blog isn’t about politics, and I’m not a politician or a secret agent, so outside of the odd look-between-the-lines rant, I can’t tell you what to do, or advice you as to who best to run your country. Or mine!

What I can tell you is how to cope, and how to keep on living, doing whatever it is you’re doing.

I’m a British person and I live in Europe. People are worried and concerned:

I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL TO THE UK!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

You don’t need to be.

However!

I’ll tell you something for nothing.

We Brits are as stoic as we come.

Britain is thousands of years old and has been through battles many, many times.

We’re not strangers to attacks.

Or threats.

Or war.

Britain is thousands of years old and has been through battles many, many times.

You’ve only got to look through the last century to see that.

Britain has been blighted by the IRA in Ireland for years, and tourists still love to come to the UK.

Spain has had train explosions from people fighting for the separation of the Basque Region from the country, and tourists still love to visit Spain.

Heck! World War II was started by a madman from Austria, who terrorised the whole continent by his fantasy of German supremacy! Not to talk of the Berlin Wall that was to divide a nation for 38 years, and tourists still love to come to Germany too!

BUT WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Manchester – And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

We must cry, and we should.

And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

Manchester people (of which I am one) are known for plain speaking, and being strong of mind.

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! #DontLookBackInAnger.

Whatever you think of Britain, the UK is open for business, and always will be.

The point I’m trying to make is:

DON’T LET FEAR TAKE CONTROL

The London Bridge attacks were devastatingly horrible, but you’ve got to keep your head up high, have a bit of a laugh, and get yourself a cup of tea, or in this case, take your beer with you!
©AP

During times of upsetting national news, as British people, we use bleak humour to comfort each other and rally around our community. And even though the London Bridge attacks were devastatingly horrible, you just have to keep your head up high, have a bit of a laugh and a cuddle, and get yourself a cup of tea. Or in this case, take your beer with you! So…

Walk outside your front door.

Drive your car.

Get on that train.

Take a flight.

Sail on a ship.

Take a step at a time.

Don’t let fear take control!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO BRITAIN & THE UK ‘COS I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL ABROAD? 

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Sure it is!

Manchester isn’t #reeling, and neither is London. We’re British, we’ve got a stiff upper lip, and we’re going to get on with things, and pull through!

Millions of international tourists and travellers visit and travel through the UK every year, and most visits are completely and utterly trouble-free.

Millions of international tourists and travellers visit and travel through the UK every year, and most visits are completely & utterly trouble-free!

However, if you have any concerns, or need help, or information, I recommend the following:

  • As much as possible, stay away from large crowds and high-profile events
  • Don’t leave bags or luggage unattended. Take care of your belongings and passports at all airports and train stations
  • Remain vigilant, but don’t go crazy and finger-point at random innocent people going about their business
  • Follow the instructions of the local authorities
  • Monitor media and local information sources
  • Allow extra time for your journey due to increased security measures at airports, important train stations, and international borders
  • If you’re German, contact the Außenministerium der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Andere Länder
  • If you’re American, contact the Embassy of the United States in whichever country you’re in
  • Take out travel and medical insurance BEFORE you travel

Don’t panic. Remember:

Keep calm! Don't worry! Don’t panic!
Keep calm!
Don’t worry!
Don’t panic!

Britain is safe.

Ordinary people don’t carry weapons of any kind. There isn’t a need to!

They say that most accidents and deaths occur near to, or in the home. Statistically, you’re safer outside your home!

And if you’re still not sure take a peep.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO BRITAIN & THE UK ‘COS I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL ABROAD?

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about taking control of travel nightmares and the fear of terrorism, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll continue my articles on Sweden.

In June, I’ll also be visiting Slovenia! Yay! Follow me on Twitter & Facebook to find out what I’m up to!

On June 24th, I’ll be at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens with Travel Massive Berlin.

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in June, you’re crazy!

Save the Date!

June & July are going to be awesome!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

 

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Is it safe to travel to Britain and the UK right now? Are you scared to travel abroad? Will you let terrorism take control? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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10 amazing reasons why you should visit Bristol.

@picture-alliance/dpa
@picture-alliance/dpa

As you know, a few weeks ago, I went to England.

And of course, I didn’t just go to Blighty but I decided to Visit Bristol.

Now for international visitors, Bristol isn’t a destination that immediately comes to mind but if you’re in London and looking for somewhere different or going to Wales! Do yourself a favour and drop in for a few days.

I was a guest of Visit Bristol and I found Bristol to be engaging and exciting and as a result, my press trip was personally designed with my interests and passions in mind.

Thank you so much for your generosity and allowing me press access to various sights and venues.

Here are the previous posts that I wrote:

Ah. Bristol?

Where is it again?

Sigh!

England, UK.

Bristol is in England.

It’s a county in the South West of the country, is England’s sixth (6th) most populous city and has a population of about 400,000 people.

It began life as a village Brycgstow in Anglo-Saxon times and changed to Brigg stow – Bristol sometime in the 10th century.

Don’t you want to know more?

WHY GO TO BRISTOL?

A coastal course on the Bristol Channel ©VisitBritain Harry Williams
A coastal course on the Bristol Channel
©VisitBritain Harry Williams

So let’s get down to brass tacks. Bristol is delightful. I’m going to give you ten (10) amazing reasons why!

  1. It’s in England: That’s right. The Mother Country. Old Blighty. One of the most respected and most admired nations in the world – Eeeeeengland!
  2. It’s a green city: Bristol takes the environment seriously. It is one of the first cycling cities in the UK and is the only UK city to have won the title ‘European Green Capital’ for 2015!
  3. The architecture is amazing: Everywhere you look is an impressive piece of art from each and every era. Whether you like the Norman, Georgian, Medieval or even Mock-Tudor architecture, just keep walking and you would find it not too far away. People say that Bristol is a miniature version of London and isn’t that something!
  4. It’s a university town: It’s bustling and crammed with a young population. The University of Bristol or Bristol University was founded in 1876 and is not only a red-brick university but also a member of the Russell Group representing the top 24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining the very best research, outstanding teaching and unrivalled links with business and the public sector!
  5. A buzzing nightlife: Bristol doesn’t just buzzes, it thumps, and leaps and jumps around. What with the many speakeasy bars, restaurants and theatres dotted all over the city, it’s a hotspot for a really good night out!
  6. It has a bohemian artistic village: Yes it does! Just a few minutes away from the town centre, you move into the bohemian area called Clifton. And. It’s. Amazing.
  7. It’s small: With a population of just 442,500, everywhere is walkable and very much, within range. Even though I had passes to take the bus, I pretty much girded up my loins and went for a hike up the countryside hill!
  8. English food: OMG! Bristol has got to be one of the best regions for food as Bristol is situated in a major farming area and many regional dishes use a lot of dairy products. Rich, creamy milk, ice cream, clotted cream and a variety of cheeses. I mean, where would we be without Afternoon or High Tea? Nowhere. That’s where!
  9. Bristol has a river: You know what a sucker I am for river destinations having been born in Manchester and now living in Berlin. Bristol is surrounded by water and it’s history, myths and tales all have to do with the river side. Long John Silver anyone!
  10. Because Bristol: If ever there was a city with a story to tell, it’s Bristol.  Enveloped in the hills of South West England, it has its own unmistakable identity, grounded in roots from centuries past and carved out since by passionate locals, spirited fans and a hotbed of artists and creatives!
Bristol Harbour Festival Market. Everyone's here. Are you? ©Plaster Creative Communications
Bristol Harbour Festival Market. Everyone’s here. Are you?
©Plaster Creative Communications

A fine combination if ever I saw one.

TAKE ME THERE?

20 years of EasyJet flying!
I have no qualms flying with EasyJet!

As you know, I was lucky to be a guest of Visit Bristol and so as is the norm, I organised my own transport and flew with EasyJet from Berlin directly into Bristol Airport. KLM, Brussel Airlines and RyanAir (yikes!) also fly into Bristol but of course, you can just as easily fly anywhere into London and take the train from London Paddington into Bristol Temple Meads which takes just 1 hour 39 minutes or 1 hour 55 minutes with one (1) change.

If you’re already in England and looking for a cheaper way to get into Bristol, the bus-coach is the way to go with the National Express or Megabus. It’s not the quickest way being almost 3 hours, but if you book waaaay ahead, tickets are as little as £1.00!

It was lovely having a Bristol cab and driver waiting for me!
It was lovely having a Bristol cab and driver waiting for me!

I took the last flight and Visit Bristol were enormously generous to have a driver waiting for me who took me into the city.

On the way out, I took the Airport Flyer Express Bus which takes about 30 minutes and has a frequency of (in peak times) every eight (8) minutes and costs just £11.00 for an Adult Return ticket!

Relaxing with Italian nibbles & champagne at the AspirePlus Executive Airport Lounge in Bristol!
Relaxing with Italian nibbles & champagne at the AspirePlus Executive Airport Lounge in Bristol!

Not only that, but Visit Bristol were really generous and also offered me a business lounge pass at the AspirePlus Lounge. I’ve never really been to an executive lounge before (not counting the missed flight in Qatar and thus missed 5 star-luxury hotel, executive lounge, free visa and free driver! And also not counting the horrible time that I had at the Barcelona El Prat Airport in Spain, which didn’t even have free wifi!)  so it was really, really lovely.

The seating was plush and spacious, the staff were welcoming once they got over the fact that I was a guest of the city rather than an executive high flyer, the food was lovely, the atmosphere was relaxing, there was hardly anyone there and I got to have a few chilled glasses of my drink of choice – champagne!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

@Chris Bahn
@Chris Bahn

Hardly!

It’s not your usual destination for international tourists so it’s still a little bit of a secret but I’m writing it here. Right in this here blog so it’s not going to be a secret for very long.

Hurry up!

WHAT IS BRISTOL LIKE?

Myself "sailing" Brunel's ss Great Britain in Bristol.
Myself “sailing” Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol.

I was only there for two (2) days but Bristol definitely made an impression on me.

It’s charming and fun and the type of place very eager to welcome tourists and entertain you. In fact Bristol is a place is of historical interest, art-inspired and filled with lovely cafés, bars and restaurants as well as museums, art galleries, historical squares and places of worship!

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

No need to worry. I'll do the talking! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
No need to worry. I’ll do the talking!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Not. A. Problem.

Everywhere you go are people with huge smiles ready to help you.

Oh, and booklets and info pamphlets in the main languages of German, Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese. I didn’t check for Russian, Arabic or Hindu but it’s probably there too!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Ha! Ha! It’s England. We’re cultured and civilised!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

I can’t give you any details but for the more budget conscious traveller, I’m sure there are plenty of hostels and other moderately priced accommodation to be had.

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days - GB / UK.

Yes indeed!

When we think of England, we think of rose-covered cute cottages and baronial country hotels, but did you know that you can also sleep in a windmill, a treehouse, a pineapple, a gypsy wagon, and a chocolate boutique hotel? Well not only did I find somewhere different but I ended up sleeping in a caravan.

Yep! Yours truly went glamping on a rooftop!

One of the views of theBrooks Guesthouse Airstream Rooftop Caravans in Bristol!
One of the views of the Brooks Guesthouse Airstream Rooftop Caravans in Bristol!

I stayed at a rather exciting boutique Bed and Breakfast (B&B) called Brooks Guest House and I slept in a stylish rooftop caravan rocket! Brooks Guest House is located opposite Bristol’s oldest market – the 200-year-old St Nicholas Market – and is in the heart of the city centre. It’s a building with a lot of character, a villa gate and a mediterranean feel courtyard garden.

Brooks Guest House has 23 stylish compact rooms and four (4) British-built roof top Retro Rockets capturing not only the glamour of a timeless vintage aluminium design with all the luxury of a modern hotel room, but also as the only vintage airstream-style caravans in Britain!

Yes, you won’t find it anywhere else!

Brooks Guesthouse Airstream Caravans. Glamping in Bristol!
Brooks Guesthouse Airstream Caravans. Glamping in Bristol!

I was given the 16Ft Retro Rocket which (while I was travelling solo) is the smallest of the group, but the largest Rocket at 20ft, has a 5ft double bed, and a seating area that can be converted to two single beds for up to two children.

My 16ft Rocket was on the rooftop and even though I could see some of the bars and restaurants through the rooftop bars, I had a marvellous view of the church temple and my Rocket was extremely quiet on the inside. At night, one of the Rockets had colourful back flourescent lighting and looked pretty jazzy. At first glance, I thought there was a rooftop party! ‘Such a shame that I was the only guest up there.

Perhaps it was too cold.

Speaking of cold. The heating was top-notch and I actually felt that the room was too warm!

At the other end of my 16Ft Retro Rooftop Rocket room in Bristol!
At the other end of my 16Ft Retro Rooftop Rocket room in Bristol!

My rooftop caravan had a 4 ft 6 double bed (large enough for a couple, large enough for a parent and a child, or two very close friends)! It had a flat screen TV, a vintage radio, hanging space for coats and dresses and soft seating at the other end which I used to put my suitcase on and work on my laptop. I had to use my laptop at an angle as the side flap table was rather too small and my laptop was rather too large! I also had a tin box of hot chocolate (yes!), proper tea bags (oh yes!), tea biscuits, milk, sugar and coffee.

The bathroom was a small rain shower compartment and en-suite toilet with bath gels and shampoo, and at the end of a long day was awfully welcoming. I had plenty of fluffy towels, a bed spread and free WiFi!

Some English Scrumpy!
Some English Scrumpy!

The  WiFi didn’t always work and was a little spotty so you had to move around a bit to get into position. For FB & Twitter it was perfectly adequate but for downloading pictures or writing proper, I had to use the WiFi in the lobby.

The lobby was really nice with comfy leather sofas, crisp daily newspapers and glossy magazines. There was also an honesty bar behind the wall but sadly, I didn’t actually see it until my last night, so I had a very nice glass of scrumpy to keep my spirits up instead!

Loooovely!

An English breakfast in Bristol.

Part of what made my visit a success was the breakfast that I had every morning.

It was delightful. You could have a Full English with smoked streaky bacon, sausages, roast tomatoes, fried mushroom and eggs of any style, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, French toast with honey, porridge, a selection of cereals, homemade muesli & granola, organic yoghurt, seasonal fruit compote, juice and as much Fair Trade tea and coffee as you wanted!

All this from £80 or €113.53 per night in the 16Ft Retro Rocket which for two (2) people would be £40 or €56.77 a pop!

Delightful!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Sailing along with Bristol Packet Boat Trip.

Bristol is pretty small so that everywhere is walkable.

You could also use the ferry boats or take a bus.

ANYTHING ELSE?

If you’re going to the UK, don’t forget an international adapter so you can plug all your equipment in.

Ooops!

Oh yeah. It’s Britain. It rains so be prepared and take a raincoat or get an umbrella from your hotel or B&B!

MY VERDICT:

At Bristol Planetarium & Bristol Cathedral. @Bristol
At Bristol Planetarium & Bristol Cathedral.
@Bristol

I really liked Bristol.

It’s young. It’s got art and culture and has a vibrant history.

If you’re looking for a new British city to visit and a short-trip destination of just 1 hour 40 minutes, then Bristol is just a hop and a skip away from anywhere in Europe!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely!

Bristol is amazing and I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

Vintage nostalgic sweets, toffees and sherbet at Bristol’s oldest market – the 200-year-old St Nicholas Market.
Vintage nostalgic sweets, toffee and sherbet at Bristol’s oldest market – the 200-year-old St Nicholas Market.

Even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Visit Bristol all opinions and the stylish rooftop caravan that I slept in, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you and in the next few weeks I’ll be writing about the city of Bath!

In December, I’ll be taking part in The Best of Berlin in 48 Hours campaign.

Hurrah!

Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.
Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you have any questions about Bristol or Bath, let me know!

November is snowing!

Watch this space!

10 amazing reasons why you should Visit Bristol!

What  do you think about going to Bristol? Any other tips?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

48 hours in Bristol – 48 things to do!

© The Milk Thistle.
© The Milk Thistle.

Have you ever been to Bristol – Let’s eat & drink ’till the cows come home!

My second glorious press trip to England. Yes, I’m going to Bristol & Bath. Yippee!

But first, did you know that:

I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief, in Bristol LOL!
I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief, in Bristol LOL!
  • Bristol is located just 120 miles west of London.
  • It’s the largest city in the south-west of England.
  • Bristol is the only UK city to have won the title ‘European Green Capital’ for 2015 and is one of the first cycling cities in the UK too!
  • Bath is about 12 miles to the east of the city.
  • Bristol is a 45 mile trip across the Bristol Channel to Cardiff in Wales.
  • The city is situated on the rivers Frome and Avon.
  • Bristol has been a wealthy trading port since the Roman era.
  • Bristol is a port city known as the “Birthplace of America”.
  • John Cabot sailed from Bristol to help “discover” North America in 1497.
  • The city played an important role in England’s maritime trade in tobacco, wine, cotton and more.
  • From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, Bristol was involved in a massive slave shipping industry.
  • Bristol is a university city of 400,000.
  • The infamous pirate Captain Blackbeard once had a hideaway cave under St. Mary Redcliffe church. His original birthplace and childhood home still stands on Bristol’s harbourside.
  • Pero’s Bridge is named after Pero Jones, who was the African servant of a plantation owner.
  • John Wesley’s New Room in Broadmead, is the oldest Methodist church in the world!
  • Hollywood legend Cary Grant (Archibald Leach) was born in Horfield, Bristol. Grant’s first role in theatre was working at The Bristol Hippodrome.
  • Bristol is the street party capital of the UK. I know. Bristol!
I'm sorry but I look amazing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

As you all know by now and if you don’t, whose blog have you been reading? No! Don’t answer that. Back to me!

As you know, I went to Bristol and I stayed there for two days. In short, just 48 hours. I’m sure that I could have stayed for at least a week but time is tight for many of us so I’m going to tell you how I managed it. And if I can do it, so can you!

Yes, I was working in partnership with Visit Bristol but if you’re looking for maps, brochures, addresses and the like, just log onto their website. It’s free and they’re wonderfully helpful.

So without much ado:

48 HOURS IN BRISTOL – 48 THINGS TO DO!

© The Cowshed.
© The Cowshed.
  • Go forth and have an English breakfast. As I told you last week, whenever you’re in England or anywhere else in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you must get yourself a full English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish breakfast. If you’re vegetarian, not to worry, just order a veggie English breakfast instead!
  • Book a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) rather than a hotel as a B&B has a more distinct British flavour. I went to the boutique Brooks GuestHouse B&B situated right next to the St. Nicholas Market!
  • Go on a walking tour: You know how much I like city walking tours here or here! I had my historical walking tour organised by a Blue Badge Guide called Liz Gamlin who even collected me from my B&B! She was lovely and flexible enough to make the walk geared towards my needs. She was also sensitive to my interests, and would stop whenever I wanted to take a photograph of something or needed more info. We got on so well that we eventually left each other about 13:00 instead of 11:30!

Banksy in Bristol.

  • Check out the Street Art: Banksy is huge in Bristol. I didn’t go on a specific street art tour but if you want to, you can contact the guys at The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour.
  • Visit Bristol’s oldest market – the 200-year-old St Nicholas Market and soak up the delights of the vibrant marketplace that has been trading since 1743! I really liked it and bought many nostalgic English gifts!
  • Check out the historical buildings. Bristol is centuries old and there’s a lot to see.
  • Ramble and stroll through the cobbled streets. Don’t be afraid to go down a narrow off-street path, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find.
  • Go into The Commercial Rooms or the Cosy Club on Corn Street. I won’t tell you what’s there. Go see for yourself!
  • Check out the churches: In pretty much every corner is a church or cathedral sticking out or hidden around the corner!
Redcliffe Sunset in Bristol. © Gary Newman
Redcliffe Sunset in Bristol.
© Gary Newman
  • Take a harbourside stroll along the floating harbour.
  • Have a snack on the river side. What better than with a bag of fish n’ chips!
  • Meet some of the locals at a typical old-time historical pub!
  • Go to the Old City and check out Norman Bristol, Georgian Bristol and Medieval Bristol which look as they did hundreds of years ago!
The Crucible at the Bristol Old Vic in Bristol with Daniel Weyman as Rev Hale and Dean Lennox Kelly as John Proctor. © Geraint Lewis.
The Crucible at the Bristol Old Vic in Bristol with Daniel Weyman as Rev Hale and Dean Lennox Kelly as John Proctor.
© Geraint Lewis.
  • Watch pieces of drama at the Bristol Old Vic. I watched an outstanding performance of The Crucible which was marvellous. I totally loved it.

The Bristol Old Vic is the oldest theatre in Britain and celebrating 250 years with a special year-round anniversary programme that will feature five (5) world-class productions – one from each century of the theatre’s life – as well as a production of a Shakespeare play to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

Jane Eyre at the Bristol Old Vic. © Manuel Harlan.
Jane Eyre at the Bristol Old Vic.
© Manuel Harlan.

With actors like Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, 2016 represents an extraordinary moment in British theatre history.

I’m a lover of the creative arts so this was always going to be something that I would be eager to watch. It was a great performance and surprisingly, the actors came out and mingled with the audience at the end. I’m used to this in Berlin but I’ve never had the luck in England, unless it was a premier night, so I was pleasantly surprised. Saturday, November 7th was effectively, the last performance night and everyone was in a merry mood. I would usually stay and hang out with the cast but was exhausted from the long day, I did however, manage to have a quick chat with the leading actor –  Dean Lennox Kelly – who used to be Kev in the original British series Shameless and who I found to be extremely humble as he told me that he couldn’t quite believe that he was performing in such an establishment as that of the Bristol Old Vic.

Dean Lennox Kelly
Dean Lennox Kelly

I found that charming!

  • Have a snack or a drink at the Llandoger Trow which was built in 1664 and one of the last timber-built buildings in Bristol! It’s also said to be the inspiration for the Admiral Benbow in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and where Daniel Defoe met his Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk!
  • Go on a ghost walking tour!
  • Bristol is surrounded by water so take a ferry ride with Bristol Ferry Boats which provides a scheduled water bus service around Bristol’s unique Floating Harbour. Due to Remembrance Day or Armistice Day on 11 November – a day used to remember all the people who died in wars since the Great War or WWI, I decided to sail with the Bristol Packet Boat Trips.

I was the only customer for half the ride but the skipper and his assistant were friendly and chatty and pointed out the best places to take photographs.

A Whippy 99 flake ice cream! © wouldliketoeat.wordpress.com
A Whippy 99 flake ice cream!
© wouldliketoeat.wordpress.com
  • Get yourself a Whippy or a 99 flake ice cream and make sure it has an original chocolate flake bar with raspberry or strawberry syrup on it!
  • Go to a museum or gallery. Most of them are completely and utterly free. Hurrah!
  • Take a trip to the M Shed which is on the harbourside. It focuses on the history of Bristol and it’s people and is a historic wharf which has been turned into a museum. I only had 1.5 hours there but I certainly could have spent more!
©Brunel's ss Great Britain in Bristol.
©Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol.

I would utterly agree!

If you only have time for one thing, I recommend you do this one! I had a marvellous time sailing the flag, skipping through the decks and imagining what it would have been like to be a passenger on board. It’s got a dockyard museum, a glass sea view of the ship’s hull, a dockyard where you can dress up and take photos, and you can climb up the top deck complete with flags, and then go from deck to deck opening doors and seeing what’s behind them. Some even have sounds and smells!

Myself "sailing" Brunel's ss Great Britain in Bristol.
Myself “sailing” Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol.

I liked it so much that I spent three (3) hours there!

  • Potter around a vintage or second-hand bookshops.
  • Hang out and chat with the locals. I spotted quite a few people in fancy costume and one of them was dressed as Keith Richards in Pirates of the Caribbean!
  • Go to fringe theatre performances. Perhaps make a stop at the Tobacco Factory Theatres or the Raucous.
  • If you’re into film culture and media and digital technology, then the Watershed is not to be missed!
  • I haven’t visited myself but I hear that the riverside restaurant – The Glassboat  – is to be considered for that extra something.
  • Take a hop-on-hop-off city sightseeing bus and let a local guide provide a unique and personal experience of Bristol.
  • Explore British artists and go to the gallery.
  • Get yourself a plate of good British grub and chomp on locally served nosh at The Cowshed.
  • Have a pint of ale, craft beer or English cider and scrumpy.
A speakeasy at the Hyde & Co. in Bristol.
A speakeasy in Bristol. ©Hyde & Co.
  • Be creative and search for Bristol’s speakeasies which have secret entrances and payphones to call a waiter, so part of the fun is to find how to get to the entrance in the first place!
  • Go unconventional and chase the white rabbit at the Illusions Magic Bar!
  • Go to the Old Market Quarter which is home to a great selection of vintage fashion and antique shops and also has strong connections to the LGBT community and popular gay-friendly shops, pubs, bars and clubs.
  • Climb up the hill and go to the bohemian village known as Clifton.
  • Be an undergraduate for a day and visit the University of Bristol.
A bottle of sherry from Harvey's Bristol Cream.
A bottle of sherry from Harvey’s Bristol Cream!
  • Get a real taste of Bristol’s heritage at Harvey’s Cellars – the home of Harvey’s Bristol Cream –  and relax while you fantasise about Bristol’s glorious past!
  • Take a discrete peek at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital, an independent school for boys and founded in 1586!
  • Go for a walk through the huge protected parkland and countryside known as The Downs.
  • Gasp over the amazing views and wildlife of the Avon Gorge.
  • Have a classy meal or Afternoon Tea at the Avon Gorge Hotel.
  • Prepare yourself for the gorgeous unparalleled views of Brunel’s grade-one-listed Clifton Suspension Bridge. A bridge said to be one of the greatest bridges in the world!
Go for a night out at the Milk Thistle in Bristol.
©The Milk Thistle in Bristol.
  • Go for a night out at any of the 101 bars and restaurants dotted about the Old City, the Harbourside, the West End and Broadmead.
  • Explore Bristol and hop on a bike.
  • Take out your credit card and go shopping at the Bristol Shopping Quarter. You know you want to!
  • Be an artist for a day and join in one of Bristol’s biggest and oldest art trails.
  • Visit The Harbourside Market which describes itself as ‘no ordinary market’ but an independent alternative to the high street, supporting local creativity and providing a safe space for people to shop, eat and relax within a setting rich with tradition. I saw a few food stalls, arts, crafts. It definitely lives up to it’s name!
  • Experience the luxury and glamour of a roof top Retro Rocket. The only one of it’s kind in the UK! More about that next week!
  • Have champagne. Why not!

 

 A glass of champagne at the Avon Gorge Hotel, Bristol.

Even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Visit Bristol all opinions and the sailing experience and skipping that I indulged in, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you and will continue next week with my final post on Bristol!

In December, I’ll be taking part in The Best of Berlin in 48 Hours campaign.

Yay!

Sausages and a meat pie at the AspirePlus Airport Lounge in Bristol.
Sausages and a meat pie at the AspirePlus Airport Lounge in Bristol.

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you have any questions about Bristol or Bath, let me know!

November is going to be frosty!

Watch this space!

48 hours in Bristol - 48 things to do!

Have you ever been to Bristol? Is there anything else you would do on a 48 hour weekend visit to Bristol?

See you in Berlin.

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