Top Ten tourist attractions in Wales

November 6, 2016
Millennium Centre

1 Floating Harbour

The old Port of Bristol on the Avon River has been given a new and imaginative lease of life, with many wharves and warehouses converted or restored. Traditionally it was known as the Floating Harbour - named after the 80-acre site that enabled visiting ships to remain afloat around the clock. The area is now home to museums, galleries, exhibitions, and the Bristol Aquarium, as well as excellent walking and nature trails.

2 St Mary Redcliffe

When Queen Elizabeth I visited Bristol in 1574 she described St Mary Redcliffe as "the fairest parish church in England". Built in the 13th century, the church is situated on the south side of the Floating Harbor and takes its name from the red cliffs on which it stands. With its slender clustered pillars and reticulated vaulting, hexagonal porch and richly decorated doorway, it perfectly displays the wealth of rich merchants like William Canynge, whose tomb is in the south transept. Also of note is the memorial tablet and tomb of Admiral Sir William Penn, father of the William Penn who founded Pennsylvania.

Address: 10 Redcliffe Parade West, Bristol

3 Bristol Cathedral

Originally the church of an Augustinian house but elevated to cathedral status in 1542, construction of Bristol Cathedral spans almost 600 years. The east end, superbly rebuilt in the Decorated style by Abbot Knowle, dates from between 1298 and 1330, the central tower and transepts were completed in the 16th century, and the nave and towered west facade are from the 19th century.

One of the most interesting features of the cathedral is the rectangular chapter house with its late Norman decoration of zigzags, fish scale patterns and interlacing.

Location: College Green, Bristol

4 Brunel's SS Great Britain

Brunel's SS Great Britain


The SS Great Britain, Brunel's most famous steamship, lives on at the same dock from which the great vessel (the world's first iron-hulled passenger ship) was launched in 1843. Located at Bristol's Great Western Dock, the ship is a testament to Brunel's engineering ingenuity. Today, you can stroll the ship's upper decks, or explore below decks and peep into the luxury cabins of First Class passengers.

The site is also home to the Brunel Institute and the David MacGregor Library, an archive of thousands of books, documents, plans and objects related to England's greatest engineer and inventor.

Location: Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol

5 Llandoger Trow

The famous triple-gabled, half-timbered Llandoger Trow in King Street, built in 1669, is where Alexander Selkirk is said to have told the story of his shipwreck to Daniel Defoe, who immortalized the tale in Robinson Crusoe. The Llandoger Trow was also the model for The Admirable Benbow, the inn frequented by Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Location: Llandoger Row, Kings St, Bristol

6 Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

No visitor should leave Bristol without seeing the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the 260 ft deep Avon Gorge on the west side of the limestone plateau known as Clifton Down and Durdham Down. Measuring 702 ft between its piers, the bridge was completed in 1864 - 33 years after Brunel had first submitted his prize winning plans. Pay a visit to the visitor information centre to learn about the bridge's construction, or join a weekend behind-the-scenes tour.

Location: Bridge Rd, Leigh Woods, Bristol

The Exchange

Facing Corn Street in the old city and adjoining the covered market, the Palladian style Exchange (built in 1743) is noted for its four tables, the brass "nails" on which Bristol merchants settled their transactions and gave rise to the expression "paying on the nail".

Other buildings worth visiting in the old city include 16th century St Stephen's Church; the neo-Classical Old Council House, constructed in 1827; Christ Church, built in 1790, and noted for its unusual clock; the beautiful Bristol Guildhall (1846); St John's Gate, originally part of the old city wall, famous for its figures of Brennus and Belinus, mythical founders of Bristol; and Christmas Steps, an ancient alleyway paved in 1669 and now lined with antique and souvenir shops.

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