Bristol is a vibrant and interesting city with a population of nearly half a million people in south west England, situated between Somerset and Gloucestershire on the tidal River Avon. It has been among the country’s largest and most economically and culturally important cities for eight centuries. Today Bristol stands as the largest city in the South West. Bristol is the only UK city to have won the title European Green Capital for 2015.
Bristol’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. Bristol has a significant amount of rainfall during the year. This is true even for the driest month so bring your umbrella or waterproofs. In Bristol, the average annual temperature is 9.8 °C.
LOCAL BUSINESS ETIQUETTE and customs
English is the main language in Bristol. Communication is usually by email or phone.
Shaking hands is a common gesture when meeting someone. In email correspondence always begin formally by addressing someone with ‘Dear [Insert Name]’, and only switch to another, less formal greeting, if the person you’re emailing does. If you are not sure of the marital status of a women use Ms. Meetings should, where possible, be made a few days in advance and kept to the time allocated. You should be punctual when arriving for meetings, arriving 5 minutes early if possible.
Business cards are often exchanged at meetings, however do not take it personally if people do not have one.
Travel and Transport
Airports – Bristol has a large international airport. From Bristol Airport you can get the airport flyer (https://flyer.bristolairport.co.uk/) link bus into the City Centre; this is easy to do, taking 30 minutes, and the buses run every 8 minutes. Tickets can be pre-booked via your Travel Agent or you can buy them on the bus for approx £7.00 per single journey.
Bristol is ideally located for road access from London as well as from the north and east of England, being situated at the intersection of the M4 and M5 motorways. It is approximately a 2 hour drive from London Heathrow Airport which serves many airlines and has train connections to Bristol.
Trains – There are two train stations serving Bristol: Bristol Temple Meads which is a 15 minute walk to the city centre, or Bristol Park Way situated on the North of Bristol and a 10 minute taxi trip to the centre of Bristol.
Taxis are safe to use, although it is always a good idea to book them in advance if you can. Make sure taxis are registered or booked through a hotel. The blue cabs are the proper Bristol City cabs and are registered.
dining and Bars
Bristol is proud of its independent restaurants, bars and cafes and is home to an award-winning array of them. Recommended areas for dining out for something less formal is the area in Cabot Circus, home to quite a few informal restaurants and is well lit with plenty of people in the area. You will find Nandos, Wagamamas, Bella Italia etc.
If you’re looking for a more formal atmosphere try Piccalinos in Cabot Circus or The Glass Boat with its waterside location and exquisite dining. Other good restaurants are The Ox, famed for sensational steaks, Harveys Cellars – here you can enjoy sherry and tapas in the former home and birthplace of Harveys Bristol Cream – and not forgetting the Bistro Du Vin which is inspired by French home cooking and has an exceptional wine list!
The South West is famed for its cider and scrumpy and you will easily find pubs and bars in Bristol offering a host of different varieties. But if you are an ale or beer fan then you will not be disappointed either; Bristol’s craft beer scene is fermenting as well as the award-winning ale it produces. There are also plenty of wine bars and cocktails bars.
Beauty and fitness
Most hotels have fitness facilities, check with your hotel before you book. If the hotel you’re staying at does not have these facilities you can pre-book beauty treatments at any hotel in the area and there are quite a few nail bars in the city centre that do not require pre-booking.
The Lido in Clifton is worth a visit if you have time, Bristol’s most unique spa destination, featuring a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, spa, restaurant bar and terrace.
Bristol is fairly safe but like any city centre you should always be careful and avoid walking around alone in the night. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the ways of life of the locals before traveling to the city. This will help you to blend in and avoid looking too much like a tourist. It is advisable that visitors to the area and tourists avoid flashing their valuables when walking on the streets.
Cases have been reported of women whose drinks were spiked when they left them unattended. All visitors are advised to be careful when exploring the nightlife in Bristol. There are some areas to avoid even during the day like Eastvile, Easton, St Pauls, Knowle West and Hartcliffe.
Maiden Voyage’s partners, IWant2Network offer membership for the best professional networking groups and meetings, locally, nationally and all over the world. See what’s happening in Bristol and join IWant2Network here.
ambassador: Alex Jones
Welcome to the beautiful vibrant city of Bristol! I am Operations Director at TravelSolutions, an independent business travel management company based in the city centre of Bristol with locations in Guernsey, Jersey, and Bromley.
I have worked in business travel for over 20 years so have a wealth of experience and information to offer.
I live with my husband and two children and although I do not live in Bristol I visit a lot for business, and we visit as a family for pleasure and always enjoy the wonderful city. If you have any questions at all please email me at email@example.com or through twitter at @AlexLBurke (personal) or @TS_Corporate.