When Jacob Morton joined the Visit Bristol team for a week’s work experience, we decided it was time for him to get to know the city in the quickest way possible: a bus tour!

Over to Jacob...

We were invited to take a tour with Bristol Insight to see Bristol as a whole and the history behind the city. It was really interesting to see the wonders of Bristol and hear what has taken place in the city, as well as who helped make the city a better community and place to live. Here are five facts we were told during the tour (images courtesy of Bristol Insight):


1. The Cathedral School has some famous alumni

Graffiti artist Banksy is said to have attended Bristol Cathedral Choir School before going on to create some of the world's most famous street art (although his identity is still unknown).

You can find several original Banksy artworks still dotted around Bristol, and he still occasionally comes home to create more:

2. Bristol has fine form for engineering

Banksy isn't the only famous creative mind who has called Bristol home; Isambard Kingdom Brunel was as unique as his projects, which included Bristol's most famous ship, the SS Great Britain.  

Brunel also designed the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was started on 21st of June 1831 and opened to the public in 1864. 9th April is Brunel's birthday, so what better day to go and visit one of his creations?

3. Bristol is also the birthplace of one of our favourite soft drinks

Did you know that as well as its engineering achievements, Bristol is also the birthplace of sweet-tooth of Ribena? 

Scientist Vernon Charley created Ribena during the Second World War as an important alternative vitamin source, which was created in Long Ashton Agriculture Horticulture Research Station in North Somerset. 

4. There is hidden treasure underneath Brandon Hill

During the Second World War, brass was collected to melt down into weapons.

However, the supervisor of Brandon Hill was having none of it so he hid the brass cannons surrounding Cabot Tower in a pit under Jacob’s Well, where they remain to this day.

5. And Bristol is also responsible for one of the tastiest treats going…

The world's first chocolate bar was created in Bristol by Joseph Fry, who worked out how to make solid bars from the stuff - before then you had to drink it.

And what did Jacob think of the tour?

My overall thoughts about the Bristol Insight bus tour is that it's really interesting (eg. did you know that Isambard Kingdom Brunel smoked 30 cigars a day?). I would recommend this tour as it gives you a better understanding of Bristol’s success and background. I would rate my experience a 9/10.

Bristol Insight offer a hop on/off service from 20 stops around the city. For more information on ticket prices, special offers and routes see their website.

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