Bristol for groups

Date Posted: 22/07/2015

At-Bristol Planetarium

Pictured: At-Bristol-Planetarium (Photo credit: Destination Bristol).

Sarah Holt took a trip to the waterside destination of Bristol to find out what's new in the city of Banksy, Brunel and ballooning.

What’s New?

In April, a new 3D digital Planetarium opened at At-Bristol Science Centre. The presenter-led shows here change with the seasons and take you on a tour of the sky above Bristol at the specific time of year. 

The Energy Tree is a new feature and talking point in Millennium Square. This community led art installation is also a renewable power source and provides phone charging, wi-fi, and countless photo opportunities.

On 17th July, the long-awaited Bristol Whales will take up residence on the Harbourside. Created from willow, these life-size sculptures have been designed to raise awareness of the damage mankind is doing to the world’s oceans.

Where to stay

The Grand by Thistle: This elegant Victorian Hotel is located in the Old City area. It’s walking distance from the key sites and Harbourside, but out of the thick of it enough to offer a quiet night’s sleep.

Victoria Square Hotel Clifton Village: Located in the Parisian-style Clifton, less than a mile from the city centre, this hotel is surrounded by pavement cafes, boutiques and delis.

Berwick Lodge: The ten luxurious suites here are available for exclusive hire to small groups who want to push the boat out.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Pictured: Clifton Suspension Bridge (Photo credit: Visit England).

Essential Sights

SS Great Britain: Now a museum, this ship was once the longest passenger vessel in the world. Group tours are available that give you an insight into how its creator Isambard Kingdom Brunel revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering.

Clifton Suspension Bridge: One of the icons of Bristol, this bridge (pictured above) towers 75 metres above the River Avon. There’s a visitors centre on site where you can find out about the original competition to design the structure and how it is maintained today.

M Shed: This harbourside museum tells the story of Bristol from prehistoric times to present day and features regularly changing exhibitions and events.

Best for groups

No trip to Bristol is complete without a cocktail, and Goldbrick House on Park Street is really geared up for groups. You can even organise group cocktail making classes here. Whatever you do, don’t miss the signature cocktail – The Goldbrick – made from rum, passionfruit, elderflower and fizz.

Bristol Hippodrome offers discounts if you book for ten or more people. Several big name tours are on the line-up at this theatre for the end of the year and 2016, including Mary Poppins in October and The Bodyguard in January.

Walk out onto the terrace at the White Lion Bar of the Avon Gorge Hotel and views of Clifton Suspension Bridge hit you right between the eyes. Groups can hire the entire terrace for themselves for barbecues, afternoon teas and even hog roasts.

Bristol Packet Tours/;

Pictured: Bristol Packet Tours (Photo credit: Destination Bristol.)

Take a tour

Bristol Packet Boat Trips offers harbour tours and river trips with commentary. Private trips can be booked for groups, including a tour of the dockside pubs and three-hour evening cruises along the Avon.

Bristol Insight open-top bus tours has hop-on hop-off stops all over the city. Private groups can arrange to have themed tours on topics like the First World War and Bristol’s connections to America.

Discover the secrets behind Bristol’s great street artists on a street art tour with Where the Wall. Private tours can be booked to include a mini spray can session.

For more information visit

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