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Pocket Guide: Bristol British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Hotels

Formerly known as the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the recently revised Bristol Museum and Art Gallery brings together some of the city's best works of art and relics that document its place in both national and international history. The museum is a treasure-trove of goodies that take visitors back not just a few centuries, but a few million years! Book into a hotel in Bristol or one of the many family-run B&Bs that pepper the city and you'll have a chance to discover more about Bristol's past.

A Family-Friendly Attraction

From pickled people to Pissarro, modern art to mountain gorillas, the museum and art gallery offers up three floors of fascinating artefacts and interactive exhibitions. On the ground floor you'll find displays of treasures from Egypt to Exeter, in an eclectic mix that's bound to keep everyone interested. An army of sarcophagi stare out at visitors, drawing them deep into the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians. Closer to home, wildlife lovers can find out about the geological past of the South West, and its wetland wildlife.

Say Hello to Alfred the Gorilla

Head up the stairs to the first floor and you get the chance to say hi to Alfred the gorilla, one of the most famous (and now sadly demised) inhabitants of nearby Bristol Zoo. This is the natural history floor, so kids who love critters will adore the insect displays, while grown-ups will be able to admire the botanical drawings and the dazzling mineral collection.

An Art Lover's Delight

Finally, the second floor houses an exemplary collection of fine art that covers all ages from the Renaissance through to modernism. Find out more about the Age of Enlightenment and its influence on the artistic styles of Europe and the United Kingdom, while the Bristol School of Artists is also represented in an inspiring display of silverwork by the students.

Plenty of Hotels in Bristol to Choose From

Whether you choose to stay in a four star luxury hotel in Bristol or a homely B&B, you're just a short hop from this excellent museum. It's a compact museum that manages to pack an incredible amount in over three floors, and makes a perfect day out for all the family.