The ship docks at Avonmouth,a suburb of Bristol, some 7 miles from the city centre. This port is often used to start the cruise Itinerary.
The port experiences the second largest tidal range in the world. The water level within the dock is maintained by lock gates and impounding pumps. The pumps maintain a minimum water level in the dock when water is lost to the sea through ships entering/exiting the dock.
Located on the northern side of the mouth of the River Avon where the river joins the Severn estuary,
Today Bristol is a flourishing city with much to attract the visitor, including Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, the cathedral, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and one of the UK’s finest zoos.
The floating harbour is the jewel in Bristol's crown, and many of its attractions are on or close to the harbour.
Bristol is a large city with various areas in its center; a map is helpful to get to know the layout. The free map given away at the Tourist Information center at the Harbourside is excellent for this.
Most locations in central Bristol (the Harbourside and Old City areas) are reasonable easily walkable, and there are plenty of attractive walking routes along the quaysides and in the pedestrianised central streets.
At Bristol's core is the Floating Harbour - a stretch of water that snakes along the city-center which looks like a river in places but which is actually a dock. For centuries the Floating Harbour was where ships docked, bringing trade and prosperity to the city. It was created by diverting the River Avon in the early 19th century to the New Cut to the south, and by using various locks to create a non-tidal dock. Today, the industrial shipping has mostly gone and the Floating Harbour is a home for leisure, pleasure craft, upmarket waterfront apartments, and the occasional visiting sailing ship.
The Bristol Packet offers city docks tours with commentaries daily during school holidays and at weekends throughout the year.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Weston-super-Mare, probably the nearest sea-side resort with a sandy beach and plenty of entertainment suitable for young families. An adult day return from Bristol Temple Meads is £6.30. If possible, take the train to Weston-super-mare as an adult day return from the bus station will cost upwards of £8.
Cabot Circus, A large and architecturally impressive shopping centre in central Bristol, opened in 2008.
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