Bristol is a hive of activity for tourists and visiting students, but attractions in the south west are not restricted to the city centre. Explore these surrounding areas for a wider view of what Britain has to offer.
From Banksy street art to the Bristol Old Vic, the south west city has plenty to keep visitors entertained. With students flocking to the red brick university and the BLC English school Bristol is a vibrant centre of culture and the arts. It is also conveniently positioned. Bristol airport and regular train services to the capital make getting to and from the city hassle-free. Further afield are a host of attractions across the south west. Visitors are encouraged to take a day out of the city to explore highlights of the region to gain a broader view of what Britain has to offer.

Bath Spa
Half an hour by car (or an hour by bus) from Bristol is the city of Bath. The city is famed for its impressive stone work and architecture, and historical sites. The Roman Baths complex is a must see for visitors. Here, beneath the nineteenth century buildings, are a series of preserved Roman baths with thousands of years of history. The rooms have been damaged and rebuilt at various periods, leaving marks of Britain’s turbulent past.

The complex features a museum with costumed characters and interactive displays, and a Pump Room restaurant. For a relaxing afternoon, consider visiting the Thermae Bath Spa – a modern spa complex which makes use of the natural thermal waters. Spa treatments are also available, including massage, facials, and the Kraxen Stove.
Glastonbury Tor
Whether enjoying a short leisure stay or studying on full time or evening courses Bristol is only part of a diverse wider region of the UK. This diversity can be seen in unusual and interesting towns across the south west. Glastonbury is perhaps best known for its large performing arts festival, but during the rest of the year this small town has other attractions on offer. Rising above the flat Somerset landscape is Glastonbury Tor; the tower is now all that remains of a larger chapel that once stood on the top. Today St. Michael’s Tower is managed by the National trust, and the building is associated with Celtic mythology.

Forest of Dean
An hour by car north of Bristol is the Forest of Dean; an ancient woodland bordered by the rivers Severn and Wye. The forest was traditionally the home of mining communities, but today tourism contributes largely to the local economy. The Forest of Dean features in the Harry Potter series, written by JK Rowling who lived in the area. It has also inspired other writers including JRR Tolkien and Denis Potter. Visitors are encouraged to explore the scowles of Puzzlewood, Symonds Yat rock and the sculpture trail to enjoy the natural surroundings.

Cardiff, the Welsh capital, has much to offer tourists and visiting students. The National Museum, Cardiff Castle, and Cardiff Bay are popular tourist attractions. Being a large, urban centre, Cardiff is easily accessible from Bristol with frequently running public transport services.


Exmoor National Park
A little further afield from Bristol is Exmoor National Park. 267 square miles of moorland and valleys provide a quiet getaway from city life, or the space to get active and take up a new sport or exercise. There are many walks in the area that make the most of local wildlife, and horse riding lessons or bike hire for eager cyclists. Fishing and canoeing also feature at lakes in the region.

Resource Box:
Exmoor National Park
The official site of Exmoor National Park, with advice and event listings for visitors to the area.

Visit Cardiff
This Cardiff tourism website provides information on accommodation, activities, work and study in the Welsh capital.

South West
A tourism website dedicated to promoting the tourist attractions of the south west.

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