Save the stress and the Earth by travelling to Bristol by train with Great Western Railway this Christmas. Unwind and enjoy the festive feeling from the moment you step on board, getting you in the mood for exploring all Bristol has to offer at Christmas.

The city is bursting with activities and excitement that leave you totally spoilt for choice. There are twinkly Christmas lights and festive illuminations dotted across the city; a fairytale combo of quirky independent shops, high street brands and a whole shopping quarter; the smell of mulled wine and sweet treats drifting from the Christmas markets and the incredible Christmas theatre on offer.

Couple walking on train station platform between two GWR trains

All aboard for Bristmas

GWR runs train services from a number of major cities such as London, Bath, Cardiff, Exeter and Southampton directly to Bristol’s main central station, Temple Meads.

With free WiFi, plug sockets at every seat and an at-seat trolley service, it’s an easy and relaxing way to visit Bristol. Plus, no driving means you can enjoy a glass of something festive as you get into the Christmas spirit!

Bristol Temple Meads station

Image - Bristol Temple Meads station

Save 1/3 with a Railcard  

If travelling from further afield, Advance single tickets are one-way tickets available on many of GWR’s most popular routes to Bristol. They’re great value, and numbers are limited, so you’ll need to be quick. Travel from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads from £20.40, or Southampton Central to Bristol Temple Meads from £19.20. 

A little closer to town, GWR’s Off-Peak Day Return tickets are great value for a Christmas visit. Return fares to Bristol Temple Meads from: 

  • Cardiff £14.70 return 
  • Gloucester £10.60 return 
  • Weston-super-Mare £7.70 return 

Don’t forget, children aged 5 to 15 get a 50% discount on most tickets and under 5s travel free! 

Book direct at GWR.com or using the GWR App. 

New Family Ticket from GWR 

Up to two adults and four children (or a minimum of one adult + one child) can travel from London Paddington to Bristol for £39 per family one-way when you book a GWR Family Ticket in advance. Just search for a journey on GWR.com with the number of people travelling and look out for the Family Ticket price. 

Plus, when you book through GWR.com, you’ll collect two Nectar points for every £1 you spend. 

Plan a #MerryBristmas

Once you arrive in Bristol, you'll discover everything to make your Bristmas sparkle. Hop off at Temple Meads and explore the festive delights in the city centre. Or take a short journey on the Severn Beach Line to neighbourhoods such as Montpelier and Gloucester Road (around eight minutes away) and Clifton (around 13 minutes away).

Here are some tips for how to have a #MerryBristmas in each area.

Bristol Christmas Market at night

Image - Bristol Christmas Market

Bristol city centre at Christmas

It’s around a 15-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride from Temple Meads station to the thick of festive activity in the city centre. The smell of mulled wine and sweet treats will no doubt lure you to Bristol Christmas Market in Broadmead, the perfect place to get gift shopping all wrapped up.

Head to the Harbourside to discover some of the city’s most popular family attractions, including Brunel’s SS Great Britain where you can experience a Victorian Christmas. Combine a trip to science museum We The Curious and Bristol Aquarium with some festive fun at the Vintage Winter Wonderland in Millennium Square. 

Theatre fans won’t want to miss Snow White at Bristol Hippodrome or magical new production Robin Hood: Legend of the Forgotten Forest at Bristol Old Vic.

Cocktails from The Coconut Tree with 'Merry Christmas' decoration in front

Image - The Coconut Tree

Gloucester Road & Stokes Croft

Montpelier station is just a stone’s throw from Bristol’s longest stretch of indie shops, Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft. Find everything from art and homewares at places like Room 212 and Fig, to great reads at Gloucester Road Books, to locally made ceramics at Stokes Croft China.

Food and drink choices are just as plentiful. Enjoy island spice and all things nice at Sri Lankan restaurant The Coconut Tree, where they’ve got some special festive editions of their dishes lined up. Likewise, Pieminister has festive versions of their epic pies on offer, such as the Mistlemoo with British beef steak, bacon and port and the Christingle with parsnip, chestnut, cheddar and leek.

You can also tuck into a Christmas menu of delicious seasonal, locally sourced grub at The Gallimaufry. Stick around for some live music after satisfying your appetite!

Clifton Christmas tree

Image - Clifton Christmas tree

Clifton

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to visit Clifton, which oozes with festive atmosphere thanks to pretty lights and a magnificent Christmas tree. From jewellery boutique Wylde Jewellers to foodie heaven Papadeli, there are excellent independent shops for gift shopping, with late night shopping coming up on Saturday 4, 11 and 18 December until 7pm.

Make time for family fun at Bristol Zoo Gardens or at Redgrave Theatre where the nation’s favourite panto Cinderella is on from 14 to 31 December. And for Christmassy catchups over good food and drink, check out festive menus at the area's many restaurants such as Coppa Club, The Clifton Sausage and Aqua.

This content was kindly sponsored by GWR.

More ways to have a #MerryBristmas:

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