Author Archives: Brian Berkman


Brian Berkman

Take a walking tour of Bristol. Immerse yourself in its multi-layered skin.

22/07/2024 by .
walking tour of Bristol.

A getaway in the UK’s Green capital? Brian Berkman says take a walking tour of Bristol to really get under its skin.

Just 95-minutes from London’s Paddington station, on the Great Western Railway, Bristol is a perfect weekend getaway.

Start with the From Banksy to Blackbeard, The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour and hope that Luke Sargeant will be available to show you around this exciting city. The artist Banksy hails from Bristol and his painting, The Well-Hung Lover, is one of the stops on the tour. A better name, however, might be Blackbeard, Brunel and Banksy to also credit Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s many engineering and mechanical feats.

walking tour of Bristol.

The two-hour walking tour begins at The Bristol Cathedral, a Grade 1 listed building of historical importance. Its Nave was built in 1140 and is an important example of Norman architecture.

Bristol was the European Green Capital in 2015, and also the UK’s second Gold Sustainable Food City and first Cycling City. As a creative centre, Bristol is known as the Green Hollywood and some of the most awarded environmental films are made here by Silverback Films, Plimsol, Wildstar Films and the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

Luke Sargeant will take you to where Silverback Films has its office, just 100 metres after visiting the circa 1500-built Hatchet Inn. The inn, still in operation today, is believed to be the place that Edward Teach (1680-1718), infamously known as the pirate Blackbeard, frequented.

Also nearby, the Llandoger Trow, is said to be the pub that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island and where Daniel Defoe supposedly met Alexander Selkirk, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. Both places are popular watering holes and Instagram-worthy.

Street Art

walking tour of Bristol. walking tour of Bristol.

Other stops on the walking tour include many fine examples of street art, an underground alleyway, and contemporary art gallery Centrespace. Look out for miniaturised artworks painted on littered pieces of chewing gum.

The Bristol Old Vic, the oldest continuously running theatre in the English-speaking world and the Hippodrome, Bristol’s answer to London’s West End, both add to the cultural appeal.

walking tour of Bristol.

This year, a new Wallace & Gromit film is due for release by Bristol natives Aardman Animation and recent Doctor Who and The Outlaws episodes were filmed in Bristol.

Bristol History

All that remains of the statue of slaver Edward Colston, once a celebrated Bristol scion, is an empty plinth in its original location.  In June 2020 the statue was toppled, defaced and rolled into the city’s harbour in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the USA murder of George Floyd. Today it forms part of a Protest exhibition at M Shed.

In as much as a single excursion can whet the appetite for a future, deeper dive, this tour succeeds handsomely. With something of interest for people of varying ages too, including a mysterious echo, ghost tales and the story that the Hatchet Inn’s door was covered in human skin. It is fascinating to learn how the Avon and Frome rivers were joined which helped Bristol become a major trading port, and how the city is dealing with its painful history to become a place that is proud of its many races, cultures, gender and sexual identities as a welcoming, inclusive city.

Brunels Ss Great Britain 1 Credit e1721662568454

While not part of the walking tour of Bristol , do visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge which Brunel designed, and which has an excellent information centre. It is easy to access Clifton via bus or car. Consider too the Observatory and other elegant Regency-era buildings and shops.

Brunel’s major achievements includes the SS Great Britain, the first steam-driven iron ship and which you can still visit today in the Great Western Dockyard. From there it is a 10-minute walk along the waterside to M Shed where you can also see Banksy’s Grim Reaper. A suitable end to this walking tour of Bristol.

All-weather shopping

walking tour of Bristol.

Italian-born John Cabot lived in and sailed from Bristol in 1497 to his intended Asia but instead claimed Newfoundland (Canada) for Britain. Cabot Circus, named in his honour, is a lively shopping and dining precinct. Because of its architecturally impressive glass-dome enclosure people can remain mostly dry while walking from one shop to the next in the rain

Image credits Paul Box, Morgane Bigault,Philip Vile

Tell me more about this walking tour of Bristol

Visit Visit Bristol for more details about this walking tour of Bristol and information about the city.

Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour  £12 adults £5 children.

Recommended stay in Bristol.

Especially if travelling by train, lodging at Leonardo Hotel Bristol City is very convenient as it is only a few paces and a lift-ride away from the Temple Mead Train Station. Graded four-stars, Leonardo Bristol City promises a great night sleep with its DREAM purpose-designed and registered bed base and mattress system.

Awarded GOLD for Green Tourism, the hotel building is Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) accredited. Leonardo Hotel Bristol City won an internal company award for their “Positive Impact” to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Leonardo Hotel City Bristol has a well-equipped complimentary self-service laundry and luggage-storage facility on ground floor along with a gym and meeting rooms.  The Cathedral and Cabot Circus are within easy walking distance.

Room-only rates from £185.

The Leonardo Hotel Bristol City, 3 Temple Way, Bristol BS2 0GS

T: +44 11 73745900   E:

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Magnificent Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town

10/09/2022 by .
Table Bay Hotel

Brian Berkman says a visit to Cape Town should include full-time views of Table Mountain and The Atlantic Ocean and The Table Bay Hotel delivers both.

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Capital Mirage hybrid apart-hotel. Cape Town

08/08/2022 by .
Capital Mirage hybrid apart-hotel

Brian Berkman finds the Capital Mirage hybrid apart-hotel merges the benefits of staying in a hotel and an apartment.

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Capital 15 on Orange Hotel. Cape Town

26/07/2022 by .
Capital 15 on Orange Hotel

Brian Berkman stays in Capital 15 on Orange Hotel, a luxury hotel in the heart of historic Cape Town literally bathed in premium wines and spirits.

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Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. Private island luxury.

03/06/2022 by .
Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita

Brian Berkman says that even if you don’t play golf, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita five-star deluxe resort in Mauritius will keep enticing you back.

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The Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. Johannesburg luxury

30/05/2022 by .
Radisson blu Gautrain hotel

Brian Berkman lets the train take the strain when he visits the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Johannesburg

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