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Bristol town guide

An ancient port on the River Avon, in the sixteenth century ships from Bristol set sail for every port in the known world. Wines, tobacco and chocolate were the main cargoes from which the wealth of the city grew. More recently, with the increasing size of ships and containerisation, trade has moved downriver to Avonmouth.

Bristol boasts a fine cathedral and many graceful church spires. The old docks and warehouses have been developed into an attractive Waterfront bringing water sports into the centre of the city. Further down the river, Brunel's great steamship, the S.S. Great Britain is open to visitors. The Old Vic Theatre and the Bristol Theatre Royal stage many major productions, often before they go onto the West End stage in London.

Every July, Bristol hosts a Hot Air Balloon Festival with a mass ascent of balloons and night-glow-quite a spectacle! Bristol is an important university city and has an excellent Zoo. Shoppers are not forgotten in Bristol-Cribbs Causeway offers a large shopping Mall to the north of the city.

A trip up to Clifton Downs and across Brunel's world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge affords one of the finest views of any city in England.

If you have a hire car, you can go north four miles to Filton, a centre of the aircraft industry where the British Concorde prototype was built. One of the Concordes is soon to be housed there in a new museum.

Around the Bristol area there are many places to be explored-now there are two crossings of the River Severn to South Wales over spectacular road bridges. The Cotswolds, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall are all within easy driving distance too.

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