More than 13 reasons why Bristol is a fab location for UK Meet 2014

Hi everyone, it’s Liam Livings again! *does a twirl* Are you all well? I do hope you’re sitting comfortably for this week’s post about UK Meet 2014.

This week, I’m talking about why Bristol is such a fab location for UK Meet 2014. And to start, I’ll recount a story a well known Bristolian comedian, Russell Howard, told about the difference between London and Bristol.

While in London, Russell heard announcements on the Tube and trains saying, ‘Passengers must not leave luggage unattended. Unattended luggage will be removed and may be destroyed.’

He returned home, to Bristol, and waiting for a train at Bristol Temple Meads train station over the tannoy, a voice with a strong Bristol accent said, ‘’Ere, don’t feed the pigeons.’

And with that, I give you 13 reasons why Bristol is ‘lush’ as they say down there. I know 13 is unlucky for some, but some of them have sub-reasons, so it’s really more like 20 reasons, so all those who are superstitious, can stay calm, *behind hand, whispering* I was a bit worried too, until I re-counted. 

  1. Bristol is an easily accessible city:
    • a large international airport, with operators flying into Bristol from over one hundred different countries
    • road access from all of the UK as it is located where the M4 and M5 motorways cross.
    • Bristol Temple Meads railway station has direct services from London, Scotland, Wales, Manchester and Birmingham
  2. Bristol, south west England’s capital, has a proud maritime history, and is the home of Banksy the street artist and Wallace and Gromit.
  3. Bristol is the shopping capital of the south west, and includes shopping centres for high street brands, as well as back street boutiques for that unusual one off must-have.
  4. The Victorian architect, Brunel, has several famous works within Bristol include the SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Temple Meads Railway Station.
  5. The historic Floating Harbour brings the water and boats right into the centre of the city, and is bordered by cafes, restaurants, museums and arts centres. Some of them are even floating themselves!
  6. Bristol Cathedral, which is a fine example of a hall church, can be toured for free.
  7. Beautiful Georgian Clifton is close to the city centre and very similar to nearby Bath in its architecture and exclusive shopping opportunities.
  8. Home of BBC Bristol, where you can have a tour around the interactive studio; you can have a go at presenting the weather and star in your own radio drama.
  9. Home of Aardman Animations, the groundbreaking film and TV company who brought Wallace and Gromit to life.
  10. Bristol has two distinct gay districts, each with their own flavour, and the home of the only bespoke bear bar in Britain!
  11. Some of Banksy’s most famous Bristol works are all over the city and can be visited on foot, along with a wealth of other fascinating street art.
  12. The city also includes: Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, MShed and At Bristol.
  13. Further into the countryside around Bristol, you can visit:
    • Cheddar Gorge – discover the place after which the most popular British cheese is named. It’s one of the UK’s most famous beauty spots with the largest natural gorge and two beautiful caves with stalactites
    • The historic city of Bath is just a short train ride away, and includes the Royal Crescent, Georgian terraces and Bath Spa. Bath has been used as the location of many costume dramas, and the whole city is a World Heritage Site. It is certainly one of Britain’s most picturesque cities and perfect for whiling away some time over the weekend, shopping, sightseeing or relaxing in the spa.
    • Weston-super-Mare – a traditional Victorian British seaside resort, also only a short train ride away.

How many of you have been to Bristol before? Have you sampled some of the delights the city has to offer? Or is this part of the UK completely new to you? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Liam Livings xx

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32 Comments

  1. suze294

     /  October 22, 2013

    I did go christmas shopping in Bristol one year when on secondment to Swindon – back in the late 1980’s – the dinosaurs were still roaming! I will be looking at ways to get there from the Isle of Man as I would love to come if I can wangle it! The dates are a bit better for me than this year.

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      suze294 It would be lovely to see you if you can come over from the Isle of Man. Were the dinosaurs wearing rara skirts and leg warmers?

      Reply
  2. I love Brizzle! It’s gert lush, my lovers.

    Reply
  3. I have another one – the great gay novel The Charioteer is set there. We need to do summat Charioteer related, my lovers.

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      Charlie, just looked it up on the internetz, and it looks like a ‘lush’ book!
      Liam x

      Reply
  4. nordicgirl_2013

     /  October 22, 2013

    It’ll be my first visit to Bristol, the closest I’ve been is Bath (about 35 years ago), so I very much look forward to it!

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      nordicgirl_2013 you’ve not yet been to Bristol! You’ve not lived, ‘my lover’ – can you sense I’m ‘getting into character’ a bit with this…
      Liam

      Reply
      • nordicgirl_2013

         /  October 24, 2013

        LOL – you’re doing good Liam!

        I can’t wait to go to my second UK Meet and meet up with my new-found friends from the “Manchester Meet”, and make some new ones too, and of course see a bit of Bristol.

        Hanne 🙂

  5. I am one of the fabled locals – feel free to contact me if you need to anything about our beautiful city! 😀

    Reply
    • We have a wonderful list of locals we’ll be calling on nearer the time. 🙂

      Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      Hi Anna, we’ll be in touch with you ‘d’recktly’ as they say in Cornwall. I’m sure it’s come up to Bristol too. Liam x

      Reply
  6. Henrietta Clarke

     /  October 22, 2013

    Unless you count the many, many times I’ve changed trains on Bristol Parkway station en route to Cardiff, I’ve been to Bristol precisely once, for a John Barrowman concert a couple of years back. My best friend and I were scoping out the venue in her car, got lost, suddenly found ourselves round back near the stage door, and came within inches of rear-ending his tour bus.

    I’m hoping UK Meet 2014 will give me a story to top that. Very excited to see more of the city, since we were pretty much in and out that night and it sounds like a fabulous place. Anyone wanna hang around ’til Monday and go exploring with me?

    Reply
  7. My mother-in-law came from there 🙂

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      Clare, did you visit often? Can we make use of your wikipaedic knowledge of the city 😉

      Reply
  8. I’m another local and confirm Bristol is a great city. Liam gives one of the reasons why we’re meeting there next time as the proximity of Weston-super-Mare. That’s *SO SWEET!* Most people consider the proximity of Weston-super-Mare as reason enough to get a bit further away…
    Seriously, Bristol is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, diverse and mostly tolerant city with a thriving gay community that’s very welcoming and supportive. The venue is right in the middle of the city, where the arty areas surround the docks. Come along everyone, you’ll love it!

    Reply
    • Hehe. I added the WSM bit, as I wanted to let people know it was near the coast. I’m sure there must be something to charm overseas visitors there 😉

      Reply
    • And one of the loveliest things about Bristol is it’s where I first met Bruin, Charlie and Jamie Merrow 🙂

      Reply
      • Maybe we have to include the Old Market Tavern in one of our activities?

      • bruinfisher

         /  October 25, 2013

        The OMT is a bit of a walk from the hotel but if we did go there the landlord would certainly welcome us and get into the spirit of the event. He’s a real sweetie.

    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      Bruin, isn’t WSM referred to as Weston Super Mud, but some very cruel individuals? Mum went there for a holiday one Easter and it looked ‘lush’.

      Reply
      • bruinfisher

         /  October 25, 2013

        it is indeed. By me among others. The tide goes out over a mile and only the first 100yds are sand, the rest is sticky black mud. The wading birds love it of course but the tourists wisely stick to the amusement arcades or donkey rides.

  9. Lots of my friends have lived in Bristol at some point, although only the awesome spacefall seems to be there tight now.

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  October 24, 2013

      Hi Stevie, it seems to attract artistic types, much like Brighton. Liam

      Reply
  10. bevsutherland

     /  November 18, 2013

    Bristol is a wonderful, historic place, with lots to see and do, and have visited several times. Only there for the day on Saturday so any trip to either of the ‘gay’ quarters will have to be quick for me unfortunately. Really looking forward to it though. x

    Reply
    • liamlivings

       /  November 25, 2013

      Hopefully you can take more time over Bristol’s sites when you come to UK Meet14. Liam 🙂

      Reply
  1. Honeycomb

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