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Pocket Guide: Bristol

Bristol, the most populous city in south west England, has been a thriving trading centre since the Roman Empire, and is still one of Britain's busiest ports. The city has a superb mix of hotels providing stylish accommodation for different budgets, and is home to many world-class museums and a flourishing restaurant and nightlife scene.

The Cabot Tower

Dating back to the 1890s, the Cabot Tower was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary the Italian navigator John Cabot's expedition to North America in 1497, one of the earliest explorations of the New World. It was built in a former chapel designed in the Middle Ages, and was partly created with Bath Stone that was also used to create the architecture of the famous city of Bath nearby. It's within easy reach of the deluxe Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, a prestigious four star venue offering immaculate rooms and excellent leisure and business amenities.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge

Accelerating the 150th anniversary of its opening in 2014, the Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by one of the world's foremost engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who never got to see his bridge as he passed away five years before it was completed. It features 3,500 load-bearing bolts, and was originally a busy crossing point for horse carriages, and is now a Grade I-Listed landmark. Brunel, who in 1829 won a contest to become the designer of the bridge, described the structure as 'my first love, my darling', and was originally planned to include Egyptian-themed towers.

Bristol Zoo

One of the world's oldest zoos, Bristol Zoo has hundreds of species represented by thousands of animals, and has existed since the 1830s. It's particularly noted for its extensive mammal collection, and opened the innovative Wild Place Project in 2013 to demonstrate the diversity of conservation programmes taking place all around the world.

Bristol Harbour

Nicknamed the Floating Harbour thanks to its immunity to the Severn Estuary's tidal variations, Bristol Harbour has been a busy port since medieval times, and was expanded during the Industrial Revolution to accommodate the city's developing global trade connections. Today, the site is home to a wide range of vibrant cafés and restaurants, including popular hotels such as the very affordable, contemporary Ibis Bristol Centre.

The harbour is also the location of SS Great Britain, a pioneering museum ship that was also designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the early 19th Century and is considered to be the oldest great ocean liner in the world. Each summer, the city celebrates the Bristol Harbour Festival, which includes plenty of great live music, dances, and arts events, as well various water-based events such as boat races.

Spacious, Comfortable Rooms In All Bristol Hotels

Whatever hotel you choose in Bristol, you'll stay in elegantly decorated, decent-sized accommodation with high-quality bedding. Many hotels also provide free WiFi access in all rooms and public areas, and more high-end establishments have fully equipped fitness centres, 24-hour room service, and large conference centres.