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The Five Best Ways To Spend Your Time in Bristol
Check out the Blue Islands guide to what to get up to in Bristol over the coming months...
It’s said that if you talk quietly to a NASA engineer they’ll admit that putting a man on the moon was nothing compared to developing Concorde. Travelling at twice the speed of sound, military aircraft could only keep up by turning the afterburners on – before dropping back for lack of fuel. The ‘e’ caused a diplomatic rift between England and France, and its £1.6bn cost – more than 50 years ago – could buy the Royal Navy’s entire fleet of Type 31e frigates. Why do I mention all this? Well, because it’s good conversation for when you visit Aerospace Bristol – the new home of Concorde.
This gleaming icon takes centre stage at the museum, which also houses a true cornucopia of the most brilliant and amazing flying machines made in British history. The Concorde housed is the last ever to fly and this gorgeous machine is yours to explore, just without the usual Concorde ticket price, and while you can’t zip champagne on the edge of space, like passengers did, you can bag a selfie in front of it. Which they couldn't do.
And that's just one of the truly incredible things to do in Bristol. But if aerospace ain't your thing, then fear not, because there's all this to do as well.
Starting with, the aquarium. Journey into the incredible underwater world via the 40 themed displays. There's everything from sea horses and puffer fish to sharks, stingrays and James Bond bad guy favourite, the piranhas. The Sunken Ship exhibit gives you the chance to learn more about the UK coastline while zipping into the Urban Jungle is a little slice of the Mediterranean. And if you've ever wanted to walk underwater but lacked the lung capacity, then they've just the thing: the underwater tunnel. Built through a reef it's your only chance to get up close and personal with a shark this side of a cage (some of which are leopard sharks, which are just spectacular to behold).
Next up is Wild Place Project, which promises three things: outdoor adventure, play and learning. And that's just the adults. With an emphasis on protecting threatened habitats you can meet animals from across the globe, right on your doorstep. Shoes and socks are banished on the barefoot trail, climb the scramble net in the Fun Fort or a relaxed stroll in the ancient woodland. But that's not the only reason to go: the Leap of Faith. With 12 different climbing challenges – including a 25ft giant swing – over the course of the hour it takes to complete, it's time to test those nerves.
Something which will test your adrenaline reserves, the Bristol activity centre. The chance to play `bubble football', which is either depending on your point of view, either semi zorbing or football for the health and safety obsessed. Paintball, soft paintball (slower balls so it doesn't hurt as much) quad biking, airsoft and battlezone archery. Basically this paintball meets dodgeball sees you firing an arrow tipped with a soft ball instead of the life threatening spear, which makes any risk assessment for a company car easier to handle.
End the day at Wapping Wharf, one of iconic brewer Wild Beers tap rooms. If you’ve seen a massive bottle of beer with the top dipped in wax, chances are it’s one of theirs. With 22 beers on tap, it is an epicentre of hop goodness. Handpicked staff beers in the fridge and everything from sharing platters to fish and chips on the menu, you’ll be sure to round off your day in Bristol with some of the best food (and beer) around.
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