Bristol is the largest urban area in South West England, and it is also an important cultural centre. The city has a vibrant music scene with something to suit all tastes, and there are festivals and other events throughout the year to enjoy. Culture lovers are also going to find plenty of Museums and galleries to visit in the Bristol area and many of these attractions are free.
Museums and Galleries in Bristol
The most popular cultural attraction in the city is the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery on Queens Road. This is free to visit and it offers a good variety of exhibits covering natural history, geology, Eastern art, archaeology, as well as modern art. M Shed (formerly the Bristol Industrial Museum) is also free to visit, and it offers a mix of attractions with the focus on life in the city. The Red Lodge Museum on Park Row is a beautiful Tudor building, and it is packed with exhibits dating back to the seventeenth century.
There are also plenty of other notable cultural attractions such as:
• King Weston Roman Villa
• Blaise Castle
• Glenside Museum
• Spike Island
• Bristol Guild of Applied Art
Music in Bristol
Bristol has been home to many popular musicians including Nick Kershaw, Tears for Fears, Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky. The fact that there is so much local talent means it has a reputation for being the most musical city in England. Bristol is the birth place of British hip-hop, and the Indie music scene is thriving. Other musical tastes such as jazz and classical are also well-catered for in the city.
Some of the main music venues in the city would include:
• O2 Academy Bristol
• The Fleece
• Bristol Hippodrome
• Colston Hall
• Anson Rooms
• The Bierkiller
Theatre in Bristol
There are about 27 theatres in Bristol including important venues like the Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Hippodrome, and the Theatre Royal (this is the oldest theatre in the UK). There are plenty of professional as well as amateur productions to choose from. Bristol also attracts many aspiring performers who come to study drama at the local universities. There is also a good selection of cinemas in the city including the Watershed Media Centre, Ashton Cinema, The Academy, and Whiteladies Picture House.
There are a number of interesting festivals that take place in Bristol including:
• Bristol International Balloon Festival (August)
• Bristol Harbour Festival (July)
• Bristol Festival of Ideas (May)
• Bristol International Kite Festival (September)
• BrisFest – British Music Festival (September)
• St Paul’s Carnival (July)
• Slapstick Silent Comedy Festival (January)
There is always something cultural going on in the city, and this makes it a good place to live or visit. Some of the largest events are during the summer months, but there is also plenty to see and do at other times of the year as well.