Imagine walking 10-15 miles, then sleeping on a bench in an airport, for all of 2 hours. Now imagine deciding to go on a trip the day immediately after that, and climb a beast of a hill. For some insane reason James and I – okay I, decided that this was a smart idea.
We flew back to Bristol International Airport from Dublin (see previous post) at about 8 am, and got on the bus back to the train station. However, instead of getting off at the train station, we got off one stop earlier in the heart of the city and decided to sightsee for the day before heading back to Exeter. James was already missing his one class that Monday due to our flight, and I had no classes on Monday so it seemed like a kill two birds with one stone situation.
Immediately across the bus stop, was the St. Mary Redcliffe Church, a must see in Bristol according to Pinterest. We also really needed to use the loo, and I told James that it wouldn’t be very Christian of them to turn away two tourists that desperately needed to use the toilet so in we went. The Church is free to enter for visitors, not during service of course, and is actually quite beautiful. Though I myself am not Christian, I always admire the ornate beauty of the Churches and Cathedrals we have come across in the U.K.
One of the things we were told is a MUST for visitors to Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s up on a massive hill, just in the suburbs outside of Bristol, and has a great view of the river overlooking Bristol. We decided as it was still early, and supposed to be a bit of a hike, we would do that first thing while the sun wasn’t as strong and then see the rest of our sites later on. On our way to see the bridge we cut through the center of Bristol and were able to see a few views of the city such as the Floating Harbor, Bristol Cathedral, and City Hall.
Everything was going well up until about 20 minutes into our walk when I just saw the steepest hill I’ve ever encountered. James and I were literally stripping off layers as we ascended the hill towards the bridge, and I’m not ashamed to admit we stopped a handful of times to catch our breaths. I may, or may not have looked for a walking stick to finish the trek. It was though 100% worth the climb. Once we approached the bridge I could see why so many people told me I should do it. The bridge connected the town over a massive gorge below us. For a fun fact, my snap chat filter said we were 275 ft in the air.
We decided to walk the bridge and take in the view and whilst doing that we saw there was actually a lookout point above the bridge. Up another awful hill, and we were at the Clifton Camp, which was very scenic as it allowed us to view the bridge and Bristol from afar. To be frank, it is extremely difficult to discern what exactly was Bristol since we were so far away and so far up, but I assumed it was the land beyond the bridge. It was a very lovely afternoon because we ended up having lunch, on a random bench next to the bridge, overlooking the gorge and Bristol. Hands down one of the best, though tiring, dates I’ve been on.
The walk down the hill and back to Bristol was far easier than the walk up. Though there were many instances where I felt like I would just roll down the hill because it was so steep and my legs already felt like jello, but we made it out in one piece. On our way back we stopped at Brandon Hill Park, as it is another must see view of Bristol per Pinterest. Gotta love the internet. Located in the park is Cabot Tower, which essentially was a real life Rapunzel’s Tower. I literally could envision a prince standing where I was, saying “Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair.”
In our infinite wisdom, we decided another trek was what we needed and we climbed all 108 steps of the Cabot Tower. It was a bit dizzying going up and around on narrow steps but well worth the view of Bristol, especially because since we were in the heart of Bristol we could actually pick out popular sights with our eyes.
After our climb down the tower, we decided to walk down to the waterfront and check out the harbor that we spotted from the tower. The harbor was truthfully just like any other, and we spent maybe all of ten minutes there before we decided to try and catch an earlier train back home. Though Bristol was magical in its own right during the day, I’ve heard the nightlife is very much unlike Exeter. Probably because Bristol Uni is “wild”, and there are many underground bars, some even located in old prisons. If we make our way back to Bristol, I’m sure next time around we would prefer to be well rested, and hopefully stay late enough to check it out at night.
Total Cost: £53.10
- Return train ticket from Exeter St. David’s to Bristol : £53.10
*Keep in mind our main destination was to Bristol airport because we went to Dublin, so this cost was allotted to two trips! We took the connecting bus back to the city instead of the rail station, and just walked to the rail station from the city*
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