Checklist: Bristol, England

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Checklist: Bristol, England

There’s something in the River Avon’s waters.

Nestled in the hills of the West Country, next to the river, the city of Bristol has a youthful, offbeat character that distinguishes it from any other English city, and a creative and cultural output to rival that of the capital. Set around a harbor and once a major center of maritime trade, Bristol is home to many sites of historic interest—from its iconic suspension bridge to the ground-breaking steamship, the SS Great Britain—but has become better known over the past few decades for its thriving arts scene. Bristol is the birthplace of street artists Banksy and Nick Walker, as well the eternally popular Aardman Studios, creators of beloved plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit, and the “Bristol Sound” music scene, which gave us bands like Massive Attack and Portishead. Here are a few of the things that make Bristol, less than three hours outside of London, a worthy trip.

Karen is a Scottish freelance writer now based in New York City.