Bristol is one of the UK's most vibrant cities. Surrounded by the the hills and countryside of South West England, it has the perfect blend of culture mixed with nature. The city is historically famous for its rich maritime history, but nowadays Bristol is a hotbed for artists, activists, and the green movement.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

To celebrate Expedia's new feature that allows you to book UK train travel, it's the first city to be covered in our new video series, 'UK Train Travels with Victoria'. The video also features tips from local blogger Lori at Wild and Grizzly.

Here are some of the best things to do in Bristol.

Explore the city's maritime history

Bristol has a rich maritime history and there are plenty of ways to explore this in the city. Visit the ground breaking SS Great Britain, designed by Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and said to be one of the most important historic ships in the world. You can also visit The Matthew, a replica of the English ship that discovered North America in 1497. If you're lucky, you might also see the Matthew sailing down the river, or even better, take a trip yourself. Both the Matthew and the SS Great Britain are down by the waterfront. And while there, you can also visit the M Shed, a museum all about Bristol, including its maritime history.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

See the view from Cabot Tower

The best view of Bristol can be found from Cabot Tower, at the centre of Brandon Hill Park. It affords beautiful views across the harbour and the centre of town, all the way out to the surrounding countryside. The tower is free to enter.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

Take the family to the Aquarium

Bristol has plenty of family-friendly activities, but one of the best attractions is the aquarium in the centre of town. There's also the renowned Bristol Zoo, and the At Bristol Science Centre, which is filled with fun, interactive exhibits.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

Wander Clifton Village

Clifton Village is one of the prettiest spots in Bristol, and true to its name, it has a lovely village-feel. Clifton is filled with cafes, boutiques and restaurants, and it's also a great place to see some of the city's Georgian architecture. Don't miss the impressive Royal York Crescent.

Be wowed by the Suspension Bridge

Bristol's most iconic sight is the Clifton suspension bridge, perched in a spectacular setting, high above the Avon Gorge. Also designed by Brunel, it's one of the jewels in Bristol's crown and a must for any visit to the city.

Get a taste of the countryside

Bristol has countryside in every direction, but for a taste just moments from the city, Leigh Woods or Ashton Court are excellent options. To get there, just cross the suspension bridge. Both are perfect for walks, and Ashton Court also often hosts events, like the annual Balloon Fiesta, and is home to a 18-hole golf course.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

Discover the city's street art

Bristol is the home of Banksy, and you can see a few of his original pieces around the city. Even without Banksy, Bristol has an impressive array of street art, from graffiti to huge murals. You can do a street art tour, or head to Stokes Croft and the surrounding area to explore some for yourself.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

Enjoy Bristol's food scene

The food scene in Bristol grows every year, and has something to suit every taste, from perfect pizzas to organic, locally sourced tapas. Down by the waterfront, Wapping Wharf is a new foodie hub, which is home to Cargo, a collection of shipping containers housing all kinds of different restaurants and bars. Other favourites include Bosco Pizzeria, Little Victories and Poco.

Photo via Victoria Watts Kennedy

Sample the city's nightlife

As the birthplace of drum and bass, Bristol is famous for its nightlife. But if clubs aren't your thing, there are plenty of other options too. Go to The Bristol Old Vic or the Tobacco Factory for some theatre, Colton Hall for live music, or try one of the many speakeasy bars that Bristol is becoming well-known for. A favourite option is the Psychopomp Gin Distillery, which doubles as a bar.

For more, check out Expedia's package holidays to Bristol, and make sure to check out Victoria's blog, Bridges and Balloons!