Culture lovers, travellers and school children alike can explore Bristol’s heritage, street art, galleries, historic museums, music and top attractions online, with virtual tours, podcasts and playlists. Here’s our round-up of the best ways to virtually visit Bristol.   

Brunel’s SS Great Britain 

Take a virtual wander around Brunel’s iconic Victorian luxury ship, the SS Great Britain. The world’s first great ocean liner is one of the city’s top visitor attractions today, lovingly restored to her former glory after an incredible rescue from wreckage and homecoming 50 years ago (more on that here). Hover over the blue flags for additional sensory information and learn about this ship’s pioneering past. 

Search the #VirtualArchiveInFive hashtag on Twitter for videos of the SS Great Britain team revealing fascinating finds from their archive collections. 

The weather deck on Brunel's SS Great Britain

Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain

We The Curious 

Both kids and grown-ups love playing with the 300+ interactive exhibits and experiments at We The Curious, there to test out mind-bending ideas and surprise you with things you never knew about the inner workings of the world. Marvel at what’s on offer through their virtual tour, from a ball run through a hungry skeleton to giant whisper dishes that carry your messages metres away.

Mum and daughter in the Greenhouse at We The Curious

Image - We The Curious, credit Paul Blakemore  

A 360 view of Bristol attractions

Featuring Brunel’s SS Great Britain and We The Curious along with Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo Gardens, M Shed and Leigh Woods, get a snapshot of these awesome attractions with locals sharing what makes them so special.


While you can't currently catch a flick on the big screen at independent cinema Watershed, you can still enjoy great films from one of its partners, as MUBI is offering three months of free access to their streaming site. The current programme includes What We Do in the Shadows, The Hills Have Eyes, The Wind that Shakes the Barley and many more. 

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery 

Enter the magnificent Bristol Museum building in their online tour. Housed here are all kinds of treasures, some of which can be spied on your virtual way round, including Banksy’s Paint Pot Angel, a Bristol Boxkite and the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries. 

Lose yourself in the online exhibitions archive for Bristol Museum and M Shed too, revisiting past exhibiitions or experiencing them for the first time. Those available online include Masters of Japanese Prints, Empire through the Lens, and death: the human experience. 

Google Expeditions

You can also use Google Expeditions to access Bristol Museums' wider collection. Once downloaded, search for ‘Living as a Georgian’, ‘Blaise Castle House Museum’ and ‘Elizabethan life in Bristol’ to find tours of Georgian House Museum, Red Lodge Museum and Blaise Castle House Museum.  

Bedroom in the Georgian House Museum, Bristol

Image - The Georgian House Museum, credit Destination Bristol

Bristol Old Vic Theatre

If you're missing trips to the theatre, keep an eye on Bristol Old Vic's 'Watch At Home' programme. Catch shows like the powerful dramatisation of Handel's Messiah, family musical Swallows and Amazons and online murder mystery Sherlock in Homes, where you get to don your deerstalker and play detective to unmask a murderer. 

Usually projected on the foyer wall every night before a show, you can also watch the motion mapped video Aardman and Limbic Cinema created for the theatre on YouTube. Over on Soundcloud, listen to the Women of Bristol Old Vic sound installation, featuring interviews and stories bringing the voices of women in theatre to the forefront and celebrating their achievements across history. 

Bristol Cathedral  

Bristol’s beautiful and historic Cathedral has almost certainly stood on the site for over a thousand years, but it came to prominence in 1140 when Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St Augustine. Before the lockdown, Bristol Cathedral was streaming their services live, but as this is no longer possible, you can still see The Cathedral's spectacular stained-glass windows and find out about its history via their online tour. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for live-streamed services and pre-recorded videos too. 

Clifton Suspension Bridge 

Clifton Suspension Bridge's lockdown resources page offers loads of activities, challenges and educational resources. Also, their history pages are full of stories about the iconic bridge. On their YouTube channel, you are able to go on a virtual tour of the Leigh Woods Vaults. Their archives have been digitalized for you to explore!

The New Room 

The world’s oldest Methodist chapel is a historic 276-year-old Grade I listed church originally built by John Wesley shortly after he arrived in Bristol in 1739. You can visit it virtually via The New Room’s online tour and see inside this historic chapel, which was also used as a filming location for Poldark.  

Entrance to John Wesley's Chapel, The New Room

Image - The New Room

Underfall Yard

On the 13, 16 and 21 January, you can take a virtual tour of this working boat yard on the Harbourside and its unique collection of Victorian buildings. Kids at Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3 age and their parents can also book on for Zoom tours which cover the history of Underfall Yard and Bristol Harbour, the machines and engineering and science at the yard, boat building and boat repair. 

Banksy tour 

Bristol is world-renowned for the vibrant street art that adorns its walls, including many of born-and-bred Bristolian Banksy’s earliest and most famous pieces. To see some of the anonymous street artist’s marvellous murals from your phone, including his latest 2020 Valentine's piece, download the Banksy Bristol Trail app. It gives you the lowdown on the early history of Banksy as well as articles with photos about the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show and his Dismaland exhibit. 

The Girl with the Pierced Ear Drum, Banksy in Bristol

Image - The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum by Banksy 

Hotel hop from home

See which Bristol hotels take your fancy for future visits with the virtual tours on offer. Sneak a peek at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, with decor inspired by the local art scene; the atmospheric Hotel du Vin & Bistro, based in a converted sugar factory; and the modern Cleyro Serviced Apartments in the Finzels Reach quarter.

Bedroom at Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

Image - Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

6 O'clock Gin

Join a Virtual Tour & Tasting in January to see how 6 O'clock Gin create their artisan gins. They'll take you behind the scenes, showing you around the distillery and then guiding you through a live gin tasting. 

A 360 view of Bristol’s food scene 

Enjoy a taster of Bristol’s brilliant food and drink scene in this 360 video. From lunch with a view of Brunel’s famous bridge at Clifton Observatory to globe-spanning street food at St Nick’s Market, check out just a handful of the vibrant places that make dining out here a treat. 

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Take in the exquisite seasonal sights and colours through the Arboretum's 'Walk with Westonbirt' playlist on YouTube, which is updated regularly, or brighten up your day with a look at their springtime Flickr album.   

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral have launched an interactive virtual art tour for people to enjoy from home. This remarkable show brings together work from some of the most important and influential contemporary artists of the 20th and 21st century, including Antony Gormley, Shirazeh Houshiary, Henry Moore, Grayson Perry, Conrad Shawcross, Stanza and Mark Wallinger.

You can also go on a virtual 'Chorister's tour of Salisbury Cathedral' with Alexander Armstrong, during which you'll meet a revolting rodent, learn about the choir’s strange traditions and discover why it's a Cathedral that floats.

Spike Island

Explore 'Life in the Margins', the first UK exhibition by Filipino American artist Pacita Abad, via video on Spike Island's website. It includes twenty large-scale vibrant and intricate ‘trapunto’ paintings and works on fabric made between 1983 and 2002.

Artwork from Life in the Margins exhibition by Pacita Abad

Image - Pacita Abad

Bristol History Podcast 

Brush up on your Bristol history through the back catalogue of this podcast, made in collaboration with Bristol Cable, a magazine produced by locals. The podcast has several episodes and interviews outlining the city’s history including the role of Caribbean migration in the city, Polling Day in 18th century Bristol, natural history of the West Country, Bristol’s overseas trade in history, street art and many more topics to delve into from your sofa.  

12 Communities 1 Bristol

New local oral history podcast '12 Communities 1 Bristol' puts the spotlight on areas of the city that are often overlooked. Discover unique local stories spanning everything from hip-hop in Knowle West to bee conservation in St George. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podbean and more. 

Bristol History Quiz

Developers First Base have devised a 15-question history quiz together with Visit Bristol. This quiz is replacing the Old Market walking tours planned for April and May, and is a great opportunity to put your knowledge to the test. Take a step back in time and uncover the area's untold stories and best kept secrets.

Bristol music on Spotify playlists 

As the birthplace of ground-breaking music from legendary acts such as Massive Attack, Portishead, Roni Size and Tricky, Bristol is well known for its rich music heritage. Listen to this Spotify playlist to rediscover some of Bristol’s iconic sounds, or hear the new sounds from the city including Beak>, IDLES, Heavy Lungs, Fenne Lily and Harvey Causon.

St John on the Wall

The hidden church built into the Old City wall is offering several virtual activities. Firstly, their online 360 tour lets you explore the 12th century chruch from the comfort of your sofa. Secondly, they offer you a free virtual audio tour.

St Thomas the Martyr

The Church of St Thomas the Martyr is a fine Classical building dating back to 1792-93. It was designed by James Allen and, with its handsome east end fronting onto a busy commercial street, has something of the style and impact of a church in Rome. You are now able to experience their virtual 360 tour from your sofa!

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Experience Bristol from your sofa: A virtual visit to the city


Brunel's SS Great Britain
Historic Ship
Brunel's SS Great Britain Bristol

Step aboard the award-winning Brunel's SS Great Britain for a ship shape and Bristol fashion day out!

We The Curious
Science Centre
We The Curious exhibitions

We The Curious is a state-of-the-art visitor attraction, offering an amazing world of hands-on discovery for you, your friends and family.

Bristol Aquarium
Children at Bristol Aquarium

Spectacular aquarium in the Harbourside area that provides an amazing underwater adventure from the British coast to exotic tropical seas

M Shed
M Shed Museum Bristol

The M Shed is an innovative and exciting flagship museum for Bristol, featuring gallery space and a packed events schedule.

Watershed Bristol Harbourside

Enjoy a lively programme of independent film, digital media and events at this fantastic media centre in the heart of the Harbourside

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery exterior

Museum and art gallery exhibiting some outstanding collections of art, archaeology, Egyptology and natural history in a magnificent building

The Georgian House Museum
Historic House/Palace
The Georgian House Museum exterior

One of the most complete 18th century town houses surviving in the UK, offering a glimpse of life hunderds of years ago.

The Red Lodge Museum
Historic House/Palace
The Red Lodge Museum interior

A historic Elizabethan house, with a stunning walled garden and many original or otherwise completely restored features.

Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate
Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate Bristol

Unique mansion that houses some stunning period costumes and everyday Victorian objects, including model trains, dolls and toys

Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral West End

Much more than a fascinating building, being a fine example of a hall church, it is a centre of Bristol's history, civic life and culture.

John Wesley’s New Room
John Welsey's New Room front

The oldest Methodist building in the world, constructed as a meeting room and accommodation after Wesley began to preach in 1739.

Underfall Yard
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Underfall Yard Bristol Harbourside

Underfall Yard – the heart of Bristol’s harbour since 1809 and the machines that powered a port.

Banksy Walking Tour
Walking Tour
Bristol Banksy Walking Tour - Mild Mild West

Some of Banksy's most famous Bristol works combined to make for a great self-guided walking tour of the city.

Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

The four-star Mercure Bristol Grand on Broad Street, Bristol has had an extensive makeover giving the historic Grade II listed building a stylish and distinctive new look and feel.

Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Hotel du Vin & Bistro room

Quirky, elegant and luxurious hotel, with some loft-style rooms and a fantastic on-site bistro

Cleyro Serviced Apartments
Serviced Apartment
Cleyro Serviced Apartments bedroom
The 6 O'clock Gin Distillery Tour
The 6 O'clock Gin Distillery Tour - Bramley and Gage Bristol

The 6 O'clock Gin Distillery Tour gives you unparalleled access to this Bristol distillery.

Clifton Observatory
Clifton Observatory and Suspension Bridge

The Bristol tourist attraction features a Camera Obscura and Cave and sits above the Avon Gorge offering superb views of Bristol.

St Nicholas Market
St Nicks Market Corn St

Established in 1743, St Nicholas Market is the oldest and best loved market in Bristol, famous for being home to some of the best food in the city.

Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Clifton Suspension Bridge

See displays and artefacts explaining the history, construction and maintenance of the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge

Spike Island
Arts Centre
Spike Island Bristol

A unique centre devoted to the production and exhibition of the contemporary visual arts, as well as a great café space