Discover the historical city of Bristol
With a population of roughly half a million, Bristol is the largest city in the south west of England. Situated at the confluence of the Avon and Frome rivers, there is little wonder that much of Bristol's prosperity has been linked to the Port of Bristol. As a leading international port, Bristol has docks at Avonmouth, Portishead and Royal Portbury, all of which enable it to continue its role as a transportation hub in England. On land, Bristol is bordered by Gloucestershire and Somerset. While it was first chartered as a city in 1155, Edward III decreed it a separate county in 1373. Thus it can properly be titled "the City and County of Bristol".
While not much is known of how Bristol came into existence the town of Brycgstow, which means "the place at the bridge" in Old English, already existed by the 11th century when it was under Norman rule. It was in this time period that it came to have one of the strongest castles in the southern half of the country - an impressive structure which was unfortunately destroyed by the weapons used in World War II. It wasn't long before Bristol became Bristol Harbor and by the 12th century the harbor was an important port. At first it saw much of the trade between England and Ireland. Not long after John Cabot departed for North America from Bristol harbor, it gained an important role in the trade between England and the Americas and had a significant impact on the slave trade there. Despite the presence of plague and war, Bristol managed to maintain its population and to expand. In the 16th century Bristol became Bristol City with the conversion of the former Abbey of St Augustine into the Bristol Cathedral. Later years saw many exciting developments as the city became involved in the development of the Great Western Railway and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It even entered the aeronautics and automobile industries in the mid 20th century which saw it assist with the construction of the Concorde and several of England's finest fighter planes which were used extensively during World War II.
Despite damage during the war, Bristol has many fine attractions. These include the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, the 14th century cathedral with a Norman chapter house and gateway, the University Tower, the Merchant Venturer's Almshouses and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The original city centre which was severely bombed during the war, is now a park filled with graceful remnants of once magnificent buildings. It's a great place to get away from the bustle of the city.
Many people choose to arrive at the Airport in Bristol as it is convenient and small. Bristol's hotels are plentiful so accommodation is easy to find. If you are hungry, there are many fine Bristol restaurants which offer exceptional food to cater to different tastes. And if you simply cannot go without spending some money on yourself, Bristol shopping is varied and enjoyable. After spending time enjoy the sights, you may enjoy a trip to the Bristol Zoo, enjoy a movie at the Bristol cinema or even take in a game at the Bristol hippodrome. For those looking to further their education, the Bristol University is a popular choice. Bristol really has a lot to offer and should not be overlooked when planning a trip to England.