Visit Bristol by Mouse
Bristol in the shire of Bristol is 118 miles west of London and 12 miles northwest of Bath. As we had in Brighton, we visited Bristol only for a short time and did not get to see much. This was as regrettable as our too short stay in Brighton. Now that we have researched the city, it appears to be a very interesting one indeed. There are, especially, many things of historic interest there.
Bristol has a wonderful web site that offers you the opportunity to take twelve pictorial tours of different parts of the city. Each tour consists of several photos and accompanying text. We visited Bristol to see the replica of the boat, The Matthew which John Cabot sailed from Bristol harbor on his voyage of discovery to Newfoundland and Cape Bretan in 1497. You can see it and read about it in the Maritime tour which is one of the twelve offered. Also on this tour is the 320 foot S.S. Great Britain, the first ocean going propellor driven iron ship which is docked near the Mathew. It was launched in 1843 and plied the Liverpool to London route, a trip that took between 13 and 20 days. This tour by mouse is not quite as rewarding as touring the actual ship itself, but it is considerably less expensive.
Another tour is of the famous peole, other than Cabot, who are associated with Bristol. Among these is the imposing name of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which identifies the designer, not only of the S.S. Great Britain, but also the Great Western, the first transatlantic steamship, and the Great Eastern, the largest steel sailing ship made as of 1858 when it was launched. Brunel also designed a very early suspension bridge, the Clifton, completed in 1864, which spans the Avon Gorge in Bristol, and still exists today. Other notables on the tour are John Wesley, an early leader of the Methodist movement, Cary Grant, the famous movie actor, and Sir William Penn, father of the William Penn who founded the Pennsylvania colony, thereby giving the US state of Pennsylvania its name. Not listed on the tour but a very important historical figure nonetheless is the great orator, author and legislator, Edmund Burke who represented Bristol as an MP in 18th century Parliaments.
Bristol also has a cathedral, dating from 1140 AD, which we regret not having known about when we were there.
The Bristol tourist office has more photos and suggestions about things to do and see. Letter
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