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Bristol is one of Britain's most memorable cities. Its urban core, despite Second World War destruction and redevelopment, is a dense and rewarding place to explore, with good buildings ranging from medieval to Art Nouveau; rising rapidly from the old centre, the heights of Clifton boast major monuments to Georgian elegance, Victorian pride and – at Clifton gorge – the sheer drama of raw natural form. 

All of this has a pronounced Bristolian inflection, a tendency to quirkiness and originality in design visible in everything from 12th-century architecture to modern street culture. 

Perhaps this is because of the city's unique status: it was, until recent centuries, arguably the second city after London, and without doubt its most important west-facing port. As a result, the city's history is intimately bound up with the cultural themes that transformed this island and the world, from exploration of the Americas to the birth of Romanticism. As early as the medieval period it had a precociously mercantile economy and cosmopolitan outlook: a kind of English Venice or Shanghai. 

All in all, as rich an urban exploration as can be had anywhere in Britain. 

Jon Cannon is an architectural historian of a rare range of interests. He has taught at Bristol University. 

Start and finish

9.45am & 5.15pm, Bristol Temple Meads Station


£185. Includes admissions, morning refreshments, lunch and a taxi journey. 

More information about London Days gift vouchers.

Group size

Maximum 12 participants.


Walking: c. 5 miles. some on sloping terrain.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?


We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.