Adventures around Bristolwith PlusBus
With its steep and colourful terraces, its many museums and galleries, and its famous suspension bridge, Bristol is packed with great places to visit. A PlusBus ticket, valid for the whole day on unlimited buses can take you to estuary views and woodland zoos, waterside bars and flowering parks.
1. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Bristol is packed with brilliant museums, from dockside gems like We The Curious science centre (pictured above), M Shed and the Arnolfini to a preserved Georgian House or the cutting-edge Spike Island, with its shifting showcase for contemporary art. Buy a PlusBus ticket for Bristol when you buy your train ticket and you can travel all day all over the city.
- The city’s Museum and Art Gallery is a family-friendly museum with permanent displays of all kinds of stuff from ancient Egyptian mummy cases to a colourful Gypsy caravan. High over your heads as you walk through the huge Victorian halls are a flying machine and a reconstructed pliosaur.
- It’s free to visit and there are temporary exhibitions too. And it’s right next door to the iconic Wills Memorial Tower (pictured), a tall neo-gothic venue that is part of the university and sometimes offers tours to visitors.
- Best of all, bus 1, bus 2 or bus 2a, which run frequently and take you there from near Bristol Temple Meads station, all roll past a series of city sights with particularly good views of them all from the top deck of the bus.
- Look out for street art along the way (Banksy comes from Bristol) and for the partly-ruined twelfth-century Temple Church behind Ye Shakespeare pub on the right. Keep enjoying the view as you pass the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, and the bottom end of the medieval Christmas Steps, a picturesque lane with a jumble of old shops and houses. Soon afterwards, the bus passes the cenotaph and Bristol Cathedral with the curving sweep of the city council offices nearby.
- The museum cafe is recommended with soups, salads and cake all freshly made.
2. Wild Place
Giraffes stroll across the fields, with their impossibly long necks and legs; bears amble through the wolf-haunted woodlands and meerkats stand guard on a rocky tower in the walled garden. One of the great things about Wild Place is how natural the animal’s habitats feel. Try spotting lynx and wolverine among the trees from a winding wooden walkway with views as far as the Severn Bridges. See Good Journey’s directions.
- Getting close to Wild Place by bus is easy and you can walk from the bus stop (see map below).
- Cross the road outside Bristol Museum to find stop U1 at the top of Park Street. Hop on bus 1 or bus 2 towards Cribbs Causeway, which between them run every few minutes. Get off at the stop called Catbrain Lane. The journey takes about half an hour and has views of the Downs and glimpses of the Blaise Castle Estate as the bus goes past.
- Walk back towards the roundabout by Mollie’s Diner and turn right beside the A4018. Cross at the lights, continue on the far side, following the road left under the motorway. Turn left through the signed gate to Wild Place.
- There are plans for a new, spacious Bristol Zoo at the Wild Place site, opening in 2024.