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The vibrant and quirky city of Bristol in the south west of England certainly has plenty to do for its young people, with a variety of bustling bars, eateries, harbourside bars and trendy art spots. However, Bristol doesn’t cater exclusively to younger generations - and there are lots of things for elderly people to do too.
So, from bus tours and bridges to galleries and gorges, read on to discover the top seven things to do in this colourful city.
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One of Britain’s most awe-inspiring natural landmarks, Cheddar Gorge is also an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, as well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. With stunning cliff top walks and subterranean caves steeped in local history, the Gorge is also an international centre for caving and rock climbing - so see how adventurous you’re feeling!
Audio guides, hearing loops and written transcripts are available and guide dogs are welcome, but Cheddar Gorge isn’t the most practical option for wheelchair users or those with restricted mobility - so if your loved one isn’t as steady on their feet, they might not wish to venture into the caves themselves. However, Gough’s Cafe is open and ready to serve hot and cold drinks, light lunches and delicious snacks, ideal for enjoying views of the Gorge on a sunny day.
Find information on ticketing info and opening times here.
The Wild Place Project makes a great day trip for people of all ages, offering fascinating wildlife - from European brown bears and grey wolves to pygmy goats, reindeer and numerous types of lemurs. That's just the tip of the iceberg, with Bristol's Wild Place being packed with an amazing array of animals!
You'll also find daily talks and feeds. Here, you can learn more first-hand about some of these amazing creatures, thanks to the caring experts who work with the animals day in and day out. Tickets are really affordable and you can book here.
On a sunny day you can enjoy the many sights of Bristol from the top of a bus, complete with audio guide. There are two routes through the city, stopping directly at all the top spots, including the Old City.
The bus tour is both relaxing and informative, so why not spend the day discovering fun facts about Bristol and get off at the landmarks that interest you the most for a look around. The buses are hop-on, hop-off, so you can always get back on to continue your tour.
Tickets can be purchased from the Tootbus website at a cheaper price and are valid for two days, great for those spending a few days in the city. Those over the age of 65 will also get a discounted concession ticket. You can even buy a combination ticket giving you access to the ferries that float along the city’s waterways.
Explore the wonders of the deep at Bristol’s very own aquarium, offering plenty of fun activities and lots to see. With more than 40 themed displays, wander through the exhibits at your leisure to spot fish, seahorses, sharks, rays and more. There’s even a giant botanical house called the Urban Jungle to discover, plus open-topped pools.
An aquarium ticket grants unlimited entry all day between 10AM and 5PM and includes access to talks and events. Concession prices are available for over 65s and carers can get in for free. There are ramps throughout, multi-level viewing, accessible toilets and hearing loop services too - and mobility scooters, wheelchairs and service dogs are permitted. See more information here.
One of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks, the Clifton suspension bridge is a must-see on any visit to the city. Designed by the famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge represents a turning point in the history of engineering and today symbolises the creativity and spirit of Bristol.
Elderly people who don’t like walking for too long have nothing to fear from the bridge - it takes just ten minutes to walk there and back - a bit longer if you stop to enjoy the amazing views.
You can also take a light stroll around the Visitor Centre and the Clifton Observatory, originally built to be a corn mill in the 1700s. There’s also a 360 cafe open during the summer where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and a light snack.
Immerse yourself in the history of Bristol at Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery. With a collection spanning three floors, there are countless exhibits to explore, including Egyptian and Assyrian history, geological and palaeontological artefacts, gemstones, fossils, vases and portraits.
The museum has a relaxed environment and visitors are free to peruse the exhibits at their own pace. There is plenty of seating available throughout the building and all floors are easily accessible. Entry is free, but you must book a time slot for your visit.
If your parents or grandparents are up for a walk, there is a charming little footpath just outside Bristol known as the Strawberry Line. The Strawberry Line Path project was designed to facilitate a more active lifestyle and reduce noise and air pollution across the county, as well as being a popular tourist attraction.
The path follows the old Cheddar Valley Railway line and offers views of the gorgeous Somerset countryside, British wildlife and orchards, as well as top spots like Cheddar, the City of Wells, Glastonbury Tor and Bishop’s Palace.
Although some parts of the road are still being constructed, the route is easily traversable for walkers, hikers, cyclists and disabled users, so why not pack a picnic lunch and some cold drinks and enjoy a ramble through the countryside? You can find more information about the Strawberry Line Path project here.
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