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Top 5 Things for the Elderly to see and do in Bristol

• Written by Stephanie Organ

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Bristol is a lively and vibrant city with a plethora of things to do! It has a youthful culture and arts scene, a deep pool of history and some precious sights to see. That’s not to say it is exclusively for young people!

As an older citizen you will find that Bristol welcomes you with open arms. This well-connected hub has plenty to offer for all ages! So, let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Bristol as an older person.

1. Hop-on, Hop-Off Open Top Bus Tour

We feel that the number one attraction in Bristol for the elderly is the Bristol Insight open top bus tour, as it takes you on two routes through the city, stopping directly at best points in Clifton and the Old City (everything on this list is accessible through this tour).

Sit on the bus all day, listening to the information and checking out the amazing sites. Alternatively, get off at the landmarks that most interest you and take a look around. You can always jump on the next sightseeing bus and continue the tour.

The other great thing about this option is that your ticket is also valid during the following day, so if you missed anything, or you just want to use the bus to get between two points, you can do that. Discounted concession tickets are available for over 65s and buying tickets online (which must be printed) will save you £2. Furthermore, a combo ticket can be bought which gives you access to ferries, if you are interested in seeing the city by the waterways.

2. Clifton Suspension Bridge & Observatory

The Clifton suspension bridge is one of Bristol’s most iconic spots, so no trip here would be complete without stopping by to admire the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel breaching the gap across the Avon Gorge. While vehicles pay a small fee towards maintenance of the bridge, pedestrians maintain free access.

Whilst by this little corner of Clifton Downs, take a five to 10-minute stroll to a small round tower known as Clifton Observatory, walking past a natural rock slide made shiny over years of use from children skidding down!

The observatory itself is even older than the bridge, originally constructed as a corn mill in 1766 - back when sheep still grazed Clifton down. Here you can glimpse a panoramic view of the surroundings using the camera obscura (a periscope-like device) which is the only one in the UK open to the public.

Opening times vary depending on the time of year, and the 360 cafe is open during the summer. You can save 5% by booking online (you can also get a combo ticket with access to Giant’s Cave just under the observatory).

3. Bristol Zoo Gardens

Also in the Clifton area lies the UK’s fifth oldest zoo, Bristol Zoo Gardens, a wonderful day out no matter what your age or who you go with. Though there is a lot of walking to visit all the different areas, there are plenty of benches for breaks and wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be hired when you call in advance.

The Hide Cafe is open all day if you want to pop in for a bite, or there are plenty of picnic areas if you prefer to bring your own lunch. Don’t get carried away with the animals and forget about the plants! The gardens offer a lovely spot to relax surrounded by beautiful and rare plants.

Your visit to see the popular Seal and Penguin Coast to Gorilla Island, the Reptile House, Bug World and more, helps fund important research and conservation projects all over the world, making your visit truly worthwhile.

4. Brunel's SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain is another one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's designs. This sits proudly in the Great Western Dockyard as a token to Bristol's rich and outstanding history. SS Great Britain now serves as a museum to the public. It held the crown for 10 years as the world's longest passenger ship, delivering passengers between Bristol and New York.

Step on board to learn all about the history of the ship that changed the world. Afterwards, head to the Harbourside Kitchen for a bite to eat. You'll be rewarded with a view of Britol's historic floating harbour.

Save 5% by buying tickets in advance online.

5. St Mary Redcliffe Chruch

Admire the elaborate Gothic architecture of this remarkable 15th Century church with some sections dating as far back as the 12th Century. This spectacular masterpiece is so grand that many people mistake it for Bristol Cathedral, making it an essential sight to see.

If you pop out to the churchyard you will find a section of rail from the old tramway embedded in the ground. A bomb exploded there during the Bristol Blitz in World War Two. This threw a rail from the tramway, over houses and into the churchyard. It has been left as a memorial ever since.

Personal Alarm Details

Personal Alarms have been designed to help older and disabled people, especially those living alone. To learn more please read or in-depth guide or give our team a call on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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