Bristol Experiences

Bristol is a city full of unique experiences. There are year-round festivals, award-winning cycle tracks and first-class arts venues. Taste and create gastronomy of every flavour, peer behind secret doors and feel the beat of the city at night. You'll encounter nature and gaze at awe-inspiring street art.

Food and Drink Experiences

Bristol is a foodie's paradise, and what better way to explore it than with one of our fantastic food experiences, whether it’s wine tasting, food tours, Michelin-starred dining, world-class street food markets or afternoon tea on a boat.

Hone your skills in a cookery class, learning everything from world cuisines at Papadeli to cooking with kids at Cooking It. Or learn all about wine in a class with Bristol Local Wine School.

Want to see how some of our finest local tipples are made? Go behind the scenes on a brewery tour with Wiper and True or Bristol Beer Factory, or learn the difference between scrumpy and perry from local cidermakers Thatchers. We've also got some award-winning distilleries and vineyards too, so you won't be short of choice!


Bristol is home to Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, and ballooning is the ultimate Bristol experience. Book a trip with a date or a mate. Trips or vouchers can also be booked in advance with baskets taking up to 16 people.  Find out more about Ballooning in Bristol.

Family Experiences.

Perfect for a special occasion or birthday or just to add a little something to your family break to Bristol. Get up close to animals, step onto a legendary aeroplane or gaze at the stars, these will stay with you forever.

Secret Bristol Experiences

Explore the hidden side of the city with these secret Bristol experiences.

See behind the scenes at some of Bristol's most iconic buildings including Bristol Cathedral, The Lord Mayor’s Chapel, St Mary Redcliffe, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Hippodrome and Britain's oldest working theatre, the Bristol Old Vic.

Explore the subterranean passageways WW2 Bunkers with St. Nicholas Air Raid Shelter Tour.

Bristol also has a range of stunning private gardens and a world renowned Herbetum which are usually closed to the public, but accept small groups or private tours throughout the year. Perfect for some spring or summertime days out! Yeo Valley also run tours of their organic garden.

You can even take a tour of the underground vaults beneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which were only discovered in 2002, and offer an exciting new perspective of this world-famous engineering marvel.

Sports and Active Experiences

Climb or abseil the Avon Gorge with Adventurous Activity Company, or head just outside the city and take to the tree tops at Ashton Court, or make a Leap of Faith at Bristol Zoo Project.

Venture to nearby Mendips or Cheddar. If you need instruction Mendip Activity Centre run instructor-led sessions. Try adventure caving at Wookey Hole or Cheddar Caves, ride a mountain bike through woodland, or have a go at 4x4 off-road driving across the countryside outside Bristol.

If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing, you can explore Bristol’s scenic harbour with a stand-up (or sit down) paddleboarding session, learn how to sail or row with All Aboard Watersportscanoe around the waterways at night time with a guide, or soar over the city in a hot air balloon with Virgin Balloon Experiences, Fly Away Ballooning or WonderDays.

We’ve also got plenty of options for couples and groups, from tandem bicycle rides to Segway adventures in the Forest of Dean, and even raft building. These experiences are perfect for gifts or an memorable day out with friends.

You can even be a mascot for your favourite Bristol sports teams, now there's an unforgettable experience!

Accommodation Experiences

Why not start your unique Bristol experience from the moment you check in? From fairytale castles with enormous beds, retro caravans on inner-city rooftops and special themed rooms, you'll find somewhere a bit different and quirky to stay in Bristol.

Get the best of both worlds and combine a break in the city with a rural getaway! Fill your day with exciting events and attractions in Bristol before retiring for the evening to gaze over countryside views from at Basecamp at Mendip Activity Centre, or try Glamping at The Wave or explore more on from our list of rural retreats.

Spa and Wellbeing

Spend some time nurturing your body and mind in Bristol, whether you opt to relax at Bristol Float Centre, enjoy a massage at PURE Spa or swim alfresco at Bristol Lido.

You can soak away your troubles at one of these spas in and around the city.

Wildlife Experiences

Create unforgettable memories and encounter Bristol's most exciting residents up close at one of our animal attractions.

Book a zoo keeper experience and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at our world-class animal attractions, or see your favourite animals up close with a feeding experience, with choices including lemurs, okapi and giraffe. You can also fly a hawk, or book onto VIP animal experiences with elephants, gorillas and more.

Film and TV Experiences

Step inside the silver screen and into Bristol's Film and TV locations with these Film and TV experiences.

In 2017 Bristol was named a UNESCO Creative City of Film, a permanent status that recognises its global contribution to film and television. Home to Oscar-winning Aardman Animations and BBC’s Natural History Unit, Bristol combines world-class film festivals and popular locations with pop-up screenings and silver-screen history. 

The city’s distinctive architecture and harbourside landscapes are often cast as film locations: recent movies shot in Bristol include The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Stan & Ollie. Bristol’s BBC drama credits include Poldark, Sherlock, Doctor Who and Outlaws mostly shot at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios.

Bristol Film Festival also organises screenings in spectacular venues throughout the year, from horror movies in Redcliffe Caves through to sci-fi classics in the Planetarium, as well as other events on boats, in historic wine cellars and museums, and even under the world-famous Concorde at Aerospace Bristol!

Gardens and Nature Experiences

Bristol is often described as a city in the countryside, thanks to its green spaces, proximity to nature and large number of parks and gardens (there are over 400).

From secret oases hidden away behind Georgian town houses, to Tudor walled gardens in sprawling castle estates to city farms, there are plenty of opportunities to get closer to nature in the city. 

Discover the geology and history of Bristol on a walk with Steps in Stone, who offer a range of guided walks along Bristol's rivers and cliffs.

Make a difference by volunteering at Windmill Hill City Farm. Make a contribution in programmes ranging from gardening and health and social care to looking after the animals.

Arts and Culture

Experience Bristol's thriving arts and culture scene. Be inspired with a behind-the-scenes tour of the city’s world-famous cultural attractions, from one of the country’s oldest theatres to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s masterpiece, The Clifton Suspension Bridge

Seek out street art in the home of Banksy and discover the story behind graffiti across the world, before having a go at making some yourself! 

Or maybe you want a more meditative experience – in that case you can take contemplative tour of the beautiful Bristol Cathedral.

Dark Tourism Experiences

Discover Bristol's darker side with these 'Dark Tourism' experiences including ghost tours, a beautiful Victorian cemetery and horror movies in dark caves.

Or delve into Bristol's gruesome past with Ghost Tours or the Blood and Butchery tour of Bedminster.

If that's all not creepy enough for you, then why not visit the most haunted places in Bristol or take a dark walking tour to visits the sites of some of the macabre events in Bristol's history.

Historic Experiences

Retrace the steps of one of Britain’s most famous queens in one of the country’s largest four-poster beds at Thornbury Castle, or get a personal tour of Berkeley Castle by the heir himself!

Join a walking tour that will take you through the different eras of Bristol's history, from Blackbeard and Buccaneers to the Bristol Blitz.

Go back in time and ride a steam train or a mighty ship SS Great Britain. There are even steam train driving or electric crane experiences at M Shed for the more adventurous among you.

Luxury Experiences

Bristol is famous for it's hot air balloons and if you are looking for luxury, then why not book a private flight to float peacefully over the city?

Go full luxury and eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant, take a private tour of Berkeley Castle with the heir or book a personal shopping experience at Harvey Nichols Bristol.

Book a memorable experience

From brewery tours and ballooning to cookery school and street art tours there here are some ideas for a memorable experience in Bristol.

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Food & Drink Tours

Get a taste of the West while you’re visiting the area, and one of the best ways to try the best of what Bristol has to offer is to book a tour, where you’ll get expert knowledge and meet the people behind some of our most exciting food and drink businesses.

Film & TV

Are you ready for your close up? Not only is Bristol a recognised featured location in its own right, but it’s also a hot bed of production for many TV programmes and films. 

Cookery Schools

If you want to hone those culinary skills look no further. You can find a number of courses, running from a matter of hours to more intensive programmes split across several days.