Car hire in Bristol

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Car hire in Bristol

Rent a car in Bristol and get set to make the most of this vibrant and cultural city and the natural beauty of Britain’s south-west.

60-second guide to Bristol

In its own head...

"We're an idyllic location that manages to combine the best elements of culture and nature with a ruddy good knees-up."

...but more realistically

Yes, you'll have fun in Bristol, but it's also an impressively smart city that boasts world class music and arts venues as well as stunning architecture and even more stunning scenery.

The vibe

There's a surprisingly active World Music scene in Bristol; get down on a French/African tip with people who say "alright my luvver?".

The natives

A relaxed bunch who aren't afraid of a good time. There's a heck-load of students there too.

The weather

It always feels like summer in Bristol, even when it's raining. And, rest assured, it will rain...

The local speciality

The speciality here is not so much a dish, but a venue. For the best English fare in town, order a Hungry Man's Breakfast at Joe's Smokehouse and Diner on Whiteladies road – the fare is legendary.

The celebrity

The king of smooth, Cary Grant, hailed from Bristol but headed to Hollywood. As did Wallace and Gromit. Turncoats.

Did you know?

The world's first test-tube baby was Bristolian. She was born Louise Brown on July 25, 1978, and weighed 5lb 12oz.

They say

"Bristol is often overlooked in favour of its more picturesque neighbour Bath ... if you haven't been to Bristol, though, you really should." - DK Eyewitness Travel Guides on why Bristol is on their World's Top 10 Cities to visit list

5 to see in town...

1. Arnolfini Museum & Art Gallery

Culture vultures head here for film, dance music and exhibitions. It's a full on art attack.

Where to park:

You can use the NCP multi-storey car park next to the Jury's Hotel on Prince Street or metered street parking on Wapping Wharf and also on Queen Street.

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2. Clifton Suspension Bridge

At the first hint of sun, this is the place to be. Kickabout, lounge about or check out the view from the bridge.

Where to park:

You can use the Clifton Downs car park on Long Ashton Road.

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3. Watershed

Full-on films for arty types. Muse over the deeper subplots of the latest non-Hollywood offering over nibbles in the site bar.

Where to park:

The nearest parking facility is a two minute walk away from Watershed; Queen Square Pay & Display is situated off Welsh Bank.

4. Cabot Circus

Basically it's the future. Yes it's a mammoth shopping centre but it's also an art space and therefore much cooler than any other shopping centre in the world.

Where to park:

The venue has 2,500 pay and display car parking spaces for customers.

5. Clifton Lido

Recently re-opened after a much-needed facelift allowing Bristolians to swim in the Great British outdoors for the first time in 18 years.

Where to park:

The nearest car park is at Berkeley Place, off Clifton Triangle. Alternative parking is at Sainsbury's car park off Whiteladies Road at Clifton Down shopping centre.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Burnham-on-Sea

Seven miles of golden sands allow plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, sand castling and rolling down the dunes.

How to get there:

Head south out of the city on the A370 and join the M5 until junction 22, the exit for Burnham.

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2. Westonbirt Arboretum

How many different species of tree and shrub do you need to have a good time? If you think the answer is 3,000 you're going to love this place.

How to get there:

Head north out the city on the M32 to meet the eastbound M4. Exit at Junction 18 and take the A46 north towards Stroud, turning right on to the A433 (signed Cirencester). The Arboretum is three miles further on.

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3. Forest of Dean

Take to the forests for proper outdoorsy activities and appreciation of the wonder of nature. If it's good enough for JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling, it's good enough for you.

How to get there:

Once on the M4, exit at junction 22 for the M48 which will take you over the water and in to Wales. Heading northeast on the A48 will take you towards the forest.

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4. Cheddar Caves and Gorge

It's not an instruction to ram down cheese, it is home to the world's oldest complete human skeleton, and superhero-in-waiting, Cheddar Man.

How to get there:

Head south on the A38 and turn left at New Road; drive on through Shipham and you'll come to Cheddar. The whole journey should only take about 40 minutes.

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