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Discover the history and culture of Bristol Harbourside

For such a progressive, modern city, Bristol has a huge amount of heritage, history and culture for visitors to explore. Our history spans thousands of years and the change and progression is evident when you look at the eclectic mix of buildings lining our streets, from heritage sites to modern skyscrapers. Aside from the history that surrounds us, it’s our culture that gives Bristol its colour and vibrance with works from Banksy dotted throughout and a buzzing food & nightlife scene. Here are some of our favourite parts of the history and culture of the harbourside, a stone’s throw from our serviced apartments in Bristol.

Bristol Harbourside

Bristol has a rich maritime history, historically being one of the major ports for trade. What was once a busy trading dock welcoming sailors &merchants trading goods and setting sail on voyages of exploration and discovery, is now an attractive, modern development and the epicentre of Bristol’s history. Enjoy heritage sights like Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Watershed, before learning about our underwater biodiversity in Bristol Aquarium. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try an exciting water-based activity like yachting, paddle boarding, cycling or rowing. Bristol Harbourside is less than 10-minutes’ walk from our serviced apartments in Bristol’s Redcliffe area.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

A jewel in Bristol’s crown, Brunel’s SS Great Britain is one of the most important parts of our culture and heritage. SS Great Britain was the world’s first great ocean line and is still Bristol’s no.1 attraction for good reason. Step on board the floating time machine carefully and lovingly restored to her former Victorian glory. Explore a sample of the rooms on board, from the opulent first-class to the cramped lower deck, experiencing sounds, smells and sights for a truly authentic and fascinating day out. You can step ‘under the sea’ viewing the harbourside from a very different perspective and see some of Brunel’s personal artifacts on display. It’s a fascinating day out for all ages.

The Matthew

Another place for the bucket list for lovers of maritime heritage is The Matthew. The boat you see if Bristol Harbour today is a modernised reconstruction of the original Matthew that John Cabot sailed to Newfoundland in 1497. They offer an array of trips for both public and private parties, setting sail from the harbour and exploring the surrounding area while providing entertainment and delicious fresh fish & chips. The ship is free to board when its docked and you can explore the upper and lower decks at your leisure.

The M Shed

Originally a 1950s transit shed, M Shed has been transformed into a flagship museum with education and interaction at its heart. M Shed challenges the perceptions of what it has meant to live in Bristol over the years through the memories of locals. It encourages the people of Bristol to create interesting displays based on their own recollections and feelings, creating a living museum. You’ll see a huge collection of over 3000 objects from the city’s museum and archive collections, more than 150 restored and digitalised films for a first-hand glimpse into our past and you can join discussions which allow stories of the past to spark discussions about the future.


The Arnolfini

Arnolfini is Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts located on the harbourside in the heart of the city. Housed in an imposing but beautiful Grade II building on the harbourside, Arnolfini offers a packed programme of visual art, performance, dance, film and music throughout the year, appealing to a broad audience. It’s part of a network of culturally significant sites in the harbourside that contribute to the rich heritage of Bristol.

Our goal at PREMIER SUITES is to make each of our guests feel a true sense of home from home no matter where you are. Our Making Memories -One City at a Time package aims to encourage guests to explore PREMIER SUITES destinations across Europe. Start your journey of discovery in our serviced apartments in Bristol by booking this very special offer today. Remember, our best available rates and special offers are exclusively available on our official website. We look forward to welcoming you and guiding you on your journey to discover the best of Bristol soon.


Learn all about PREMIER SUITES and discover things to do and see near our fantastic city centre locations.

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