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17 Unusual Facts About Bristol

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These facts about Bristol may just surprise you

There’s a lot of things most people know about Bristol. Wallace and Gromit, Skins and Deal or No Deal is filmed here. Banksy is probably from Bristol and we have the world’s first mayor with red trousers. But here are some other facts about Bristol that you might not have known.

1. Part of Bristol from World War 2 now lives in New York.

2. The “cafe wall illusion” is named after the former cafe at the bottom of St Michael’s Hill.

703px-CafeWallIllusion

3. Chocolate bars were invented in Bristol in what is now the Odeon cinema in Broadmead.

Bristol Chocolate Bar

4. Bristol Airport is actually owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

bristol airport

5. Peckham’s Nelson Mandela House from Only Fools and Horses is actually behind Ashton Gate.

1106601_b4d72dbe

6. More only Fools. The famous Batman and Robin scene was filmed in Broadmead.

 7. In the event of a nuclear strike in the Cold War, Bristol was 4th on the list of British cities to be targeted. Isn’t it good to feel important?

Nuclear Bristol

8. In 1979 there was an unexplained ‘hum’ in Bristol.

Han Solo GIF

9. Ribena was invented in Bristol at the National Fruit and Cider institute.

Ribena Invented in Bristol

Photo courtesy of Zzzone Bristol.

10. Gary Glitter was held in Bristol’s Horfield prison after taking his laptop into PC World in Cribbs Causeway and a technician yet again discovered child porn on his hard drive.

gary glitter bristol

11. We produce more hot air balloons than anywhere in the WORLD

Bristol balloons

Via Neil James B

12. The Young Ones was filmed in Bristol

young ones

This ridiculous house was actually up in Bishopston on Codrington Road.

13. The first ever bungee jump actually happened on the Clifton Suspension Bridge

14. The infamous pirate ‘Blackbeard’ was actually a Bristolian

blackbeard

15. There was actually a jail opposite the Louisiana 

16. Isambard kingdom Brunel actually built a second Bridge in Bristol – The Swivel Bridge

swivel bridge bristol

Credit: brunelsotherbridge

17. Casualty is actually filmed in Bristol

Casualty

If you enjoyed these Bristol facts then how about you check out 27 famous people from Bristol.

Or watch the video on things you might not know about Bristol

For more Bristol articles, follow see Sam Gillies Bristol posts. Or follow Sam Gillies on Twitter.

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Bristol Guides

29 Famous People From Bristol

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famous people from bristol

Bristol actors, musicians and porn stars.

As a pretty awesome city Bristol has it’s fair share of famous Bristolians. We take a look at the most famous people who were born in and around Bristol.

1. Russell Howard

Comedian Russell was born in Bristol. Eventually he even studied economics at UWE.

2. Banksy

banksy

Still unconfirmed on who Banksy actually is, but a recent Daily Mail report has him supposively as a former pupil at the public Bristol Cathedral School.

3. Stephen Merchant

Merchant’s career actually began performing stand up comedy at Bristol’s own Comedy Box.

4. James May

James May GIF

The former Top Gear presenter was born back in 1963 in Bristol.

5. Maisie Williams

maisie williams

Star of Game of Thrones, Maisie was born in Bristol before moving to Bath. She’s now regularly seen out and about at various Bristol nights out.

6. Ben Collins, aka The Stig

The Stig

‘The White Stig’ was born in Bristol, but ended up spending the first 10 years of his life in California.

7. Massive Attack

massive attack

One of the most famous artists from Bristol, Massive Attack have been going strong since 1988 and made their return to the Bristol music scene during their amazing Clifton Down gig in 2016.

8. Hannah Murray

hannah murray

Best known for playing Cassie in Bristol based Skins and now Gilly in Game of Thrones. Hannah’s parents actually work at Bristol University.

9. Stephen Lansdown

Co-Founder of Hargreaves and Lansdown, and also one of the major shareholders of Bristol City Football Club, Bristol Rugby, and Bristol Flyers. He’s basically pretty minted.

10. Josie Gibson

Josie Gibson’s fantastic Bristolian voice was a fantastic addition to Big Brother 2010, in particular her amazing ‘face ripped off by a chimpanzee’ moment.

11. Judd Trump

Judd Trump

Born in 1989, Bristol’s most famous snooker player has hit more than 450 century breaks during his career.

12. Justin Lee Collins

Justin Lee Collins Bristol

Hailing down from Southmead, Bristol. Justin’s fallen on err, hard times recently.

13. Lee Evans

Lee Evans Bristol

Hailing from Avonmouth, he and his family left Bristol when he was 12 to move to Essex.

14. Cathy Barry

Cathy Barry

One of the UK’s most famous pornstars and she hails from little old Bristol. If you’ve ever seen one of her movies, that becomes apparent immediately.

15. Roni Size

Roni Size

Drum and Bass DJ who rose to prominence in 1997 as the founder of Reprazent.

16. Ian Holloway

‘Ollie’ has one of the most spectacular Bristolian accents that you’ll hear on TV. He’s a Kingswood native, where he grew up in a council house which his mother still currently lives in.  

17. Damien Hirst

Bristol born Hirst, is reportedly the UK’s richest living artist.

18. Marcus Trescothick

marcus Trescothick

Marcus represented Somerset County Cricket since 1993.

19. J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling Bristol

J.K. Rowling was born in Yate, just outside of Bristol, a few miles south of a town called Dursley (yep, those Dursleys). Her father also an engineer for Rolls Royce in Bristol.

20. David Prowse

david prowse

Bodybuilder, weightlifter and probably best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies. David was also the original Green Cross Code man.

21. John Cleese

john cleese

Born in Weston (that basically counts) Cleese is actually a Bristol City FC fan. He even had an exhibition at Clifton College when he was 13.

22. Cary Grant

cary grant

Might be one most famous Bristolians of all time. Cary was a definitive leading man in Hollywood during its classical era. Born in Horfield he eventually became an American citizen in 1942.

23. Portishead

portishead

A fantastic Bristol band named after the nearby town Portishead.

24. John Challis

john challis

John Challis is best known for playing Aubrey “Boycie” Boyce in the BBC series Only Fools and Horses, and the lesser known spin-off The Green Green Grass. Good Bristol lad.

25. Eats Everything

eats everything

Since the huge ‘Entrance Song’ came out in 2011, Dan Pearce aka. Eats Everything has risen to become one of the biggest DJs in the UK. He even played a set in a Bristol chip shop a couple of years back.

26. Gary Mabbutt

gary mabbutt

Ex-Spurs and Bristol Rovers. He was capped more times for England than any other Bristolian footballer.

27. Sir Bernard Lovell

sir bernard

Born at Oldland Common, Bristol back in 1913. Sir Bernard Lovell was an English physicist and radion astronomer. He was the leader of the team that built (at the time) the larest radiotelescope int eh world – the Jodrell Bank telescope. Sadly he passed in 2012 at the age of 98.

28. Colin Trevor Pillinger

Born in Kingswood, Colin was a famous English planetary scientist. He was actually the principal investigator for the infamous Beagle 2 Mars lander. Has also sadly passed in 2014 at the age of 70.

29. Jacob Anderson

grey worm

Best known for playing Grey Worm in Game of Thrones, Anderson has also starred in Broadchurch and is a pretty decent singer as well.

Like this? You’ll probably enjoy finding out 27 unusual facts about Bristol.

For more Bristol musings, see Sam Gillies Bristol posts.

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Bristol Guides

74 Things To Do On Gloucester Road

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things to do on gloucester road

There’s loads to do on Gloucester Road

1. Sit in the beer garden of the Prince of Wales with a pint of Gem

prince of wales

2. Grab a Grecian and have an quick rave

3. Get some awesome fish and chips at Soul Fish

soul fish bristol

4. Have a lovely wheat beer and some sexy meat at Urban Standard

5. Get a hipster hair cut from ‘MackDaddys

Mack Daddys

6. Get all the penny sweets from Gloucester Road’s best sweet shop – ‘Scrumptiously Sweet

Scrumptiously-Sweet

7. Buy some new age things from Katze’

Katze Gloucester road

8. Sample some Korean food from Dain Korea

Dain Korea Gloucester road

9. Get a classic barbering ‘do’ at Francos

Barbering at Francos

10. Grab a flat white from Spicer and Cole

spicer and cole

11. Take on ‘The Kraken’ at the Hob Goblin

the kraken hob goblin

12. Buy a jumper with a wolf on it from Repsycho

repyscho gloucester road

13. Enjoy the Bristol sun at the Blue Lagoon before later watching some live music

blue lagoon

14. Eat some of the awesome ‘Galli’ plates and sink a pint at The Gallimaufry

the gali Gloucester road

15. Have a look at this brilliant graffiti on Claremont Road

Gloucester road graffiti

16. Get some home brew supplies from Brewers Droop

brewers drop

17. Load up on fireworks and ‘cream’ supplies at the Fireworks shop….

the fireworks shop Gloucester road

18. Draw a pretty picture when you get some art supplies at Art @ Bristol…

art @ bristol

19. Buy some books at ‘Books for Amnesty’ and do a little good

books for amnesty

20. Buy nothing but natural & organic wholefoods at ‘ScoopAway

scoop away

21. Eat everything on the mouthwatering deli counter of ‘The olive shed shop

the oliver shed shop

22. Buy some Hare Krishna stuff from ‘Tulasi Gift Shop’

tulasi gift shop

23. Look like you’ve been to India recently and buy a new rug from ‘Shanti’

shanti

24. Grab a nectarine from ‘Gloucester Road Fruits’

Gloucester Road Fruit Shop

25. If it’s a Saturday grab a gorgeous burger from ‘Murray’s butchers‘ bbq

Gloucester road butchers

26. Eat an absolutely scrumptious breakfast and drink a marvellous smoothie from ‘Cafe Ronak’

27. Tackle ‘The Fabulous McLovin’ at Atomic Burger

28. Have a slice of pizza from Planet Pizza

planet pizza Gloucester road

29. Have an Indian BBQ.. live at your table at ‘Food Nation

food nation Gloucester road

30. Buy a ridiculous outfit at ‘Poppers The Party Shop’ and make your way to the Harbourside for your stag/hen do

poppers the party shop

 31. Sit in the beer garden at ‘The Flyer’

32. Sip a spritzer in the brilliant beer garden of ‘The Grace’

the grace bristol

33. Get a new broom from ‘Bishopston Hardware & D.I.Y Centre’

bishopston hardware shop

34. Eat one of the best bagels you’ll ever have at ‘Bagel Boy

bagel boy Gloucester road

35. Nibble some cake from… ‘CAKE

Gloucester road cake

36. Devour some Bristol tapas at ‘Zazu’s Kitchen’

zazus kitchen

37. Sit down and have an unbelievable wrap from ‘Biblos on the Hill’

biblos on the hill

38. Gobble down one of the best burgers in Bristol at ‘Ciao Burger’

ciao burger

39. Pick up some celery from ‘Pawson’s’

pawsons

40. Drink with Bristol Rovers fans at the ‘Venus Bar’

venus bar

41. Get some new curtains at ‘Marialina

marialina

42. Check out some local Bristol artists at ‘room 212

room 212

43. Join the Bishopston mums and buy some new children’s shoes from ‘Odd Sox

odd sox

44. Buy some streaky bacon from ‘Dave Giles Butchers’….and also stick around and have a look at the fabulous graffiti on their shutters

dave giles butchers

44. Have a coffee and talk to some Christians at ‘Fresh Ground Cafe’

fresh ground cafe bristol

45. Sample a full English breakfast at this classic greasy spoon ‘Metro Cafe’

metro cafe Gloucester road

46. Play some Yu-Gi-Oh! at ‘Area 51′

area 51 Gloucester road

47. Rent out ‘The Chimp House’

the chimp house bar

48. Pick up a chicken from ‘W.G Stutt & Son’

wg stutt son

49. Eat some of the best made bread in town at ‘Joe’s Bakery’

50. Quickly get your nails done at ‘Icon Beauty’

icon beauty

51. Watch some rock and or roll at ‘The Golden Lion’

View this post on Instagram

Guys, remember that we are spending the month of February showing Gloucester Road some well earned appreciation and attention! We want you to get out there and take photos of Gloucester Road and show off the country’s largest collection of independants! We’re working with all kinds of cool cats to offer lots of prizes to people sharing their experiences! 🙌🏼 • We want you to share your favourite parts of Gloucester Road, whether that’s an art piece, a certain drink or meal, a shop, a person. Anything. The only way you’ll be in the running for prizes is by using #igersloveGloucesterRoad, so be sure to add it to any photos you share and ones you’ve already posted! ———————————————– This photo was shared by @sirchristoffofswashington and he says “Growing up around Gloucester Road is one of my fondest memories.” • Last thing, follow the link on our profile where you’ll find 74 things to do on Gloucester Road by @bestofbristol. If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will! 😀 ———————————————– Shared by moderator @antimitch! 🤙🏼

A post shared by Instagramers Bristol (@igersbristol) on

52. Pick up a single origin coffee from ‘Boston Tea Party’

boston tea party gloucester road

53. Eat some of the best fish and chips in Bristol from ‘Bishopston Fish Bar’

bishopston fish bar

54. Walk into ‘Bob’s Best’ and discover an electric shop that is still selling VCRs and Walkmans

bob's bar

55. Buy some ‘ruskie pierogi’ from this Polish shop

polish shop gloucester road

56. Visit the ’emporium of delights’ at ‘Bliss’

bliss Gloucester road

57. Pick up a marrow from ‘Five-a-Day’

five a day fruit shop

58. Grab a very sexy takeaway from ‘Food Box’

food box Gloucester road

59. Pop into ‘The Anchor’ for 2 4 1 cocktails

the anchor bristol

60. Buy some unusual furniture from ‘The Reclaimers’

61. Smoke some shisha at ‘hookah shisa garden’

hookah shisha garden

62. Eat the awesome ‘Lounge Breakfast’ at ‘Tinto Lounge

tinto lounge

63. Pick up a pickle at the best named fruit shop on Gloucester Road – ‘Three Wise Monkeys’

three wise monkeys fruit

64. Support St Peter’s Hospice by grabbing a coffee from ‘Nonesuch Cup

nonesuch cup

65. Eat one of the best sandwiches in Bristol at ‘Mad About Sarnies’

mad about sarnies

66. Get an all day breakfast and a Sunday roast at ‘International Cafe’

international cafe Gloucester road

67. Drop your kids off at ‘Soft Play’

soft play bristol

68. Stop by the famous sign

69. Have a quick pint in The Wellington

View this post on Instagram

The local was looking mighty inviting this evening!

A post shared by Andy Norman (@__normandy__) on

70. Have a coffee & gelato at ‘Seeb’

gelato Gloucester road

71. Sample some pork and cider at ‘Royal Oak’

royal oak gloucester road

72. Get all of your Vietnamese needs at the ‘Vietnamese Supermarket’

vietnamse-supermarket-bristol

73. Discover a little bit of Vietnam at ‘Lost in Saigon’

lost-in-saigon

74. Eat some ridiculously exotic burgers at M.J. Dalton Butchers… including horse!

exotic burgers bristol

For more things to do on Gloucester Road make sure you follow Gloucester Road Gloucester Road Central.

See more Bristol articles from Sam Gillies.

For see Bristol tweets on Sam Gillies twitter.

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Bristol Guides

50 Bristol Instagram Accounts You Need To Be Following

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bristol instagram

The very best Bristol Instagram accounts you need to be following

Do you ever get tired of cycling through a never ending stream of cat, food and baby photos on Instagram? Well it’s time to broaden your insta-horizons and check out these Bristol Instagram accounts that will spruce up your Instagram feed.

1. IgersBristol

Run by the brilliant Jess, Mitch, Ben and Rich this is your number 1 Bristol account to follow. Tag them in your photos and use #igersbristol for a chance to be featured.

2. Porthjess 

porthjess

Moderator of the aforementioned IgersBristol, Jess’ colourful photos are absolutely spectacular. She’s now amassed over 41,000 Instagram followers, making her a Bristol powerhouse on Instagram.

3. BristolJJ

A former moderator of Bristol Igers. Jon is a landscape photographer and his Bristol photos are absolutely majestic.

4. MoodyColin319

Armed with his Iphone and Go Pro, regular Best of Bristol contributor Colin Moody takes a picture a day and captures Bristol at its most candid.

5. Antimitch 

Another of the igersbristol gang. Mitch’s photos are stunning, look out for his photos high up in the sky on the hashtag #antimitchclimbs.

6. MrBenAdams

Another moderator of the wonderful igers gang and the founder of Bristol Art Collective. Ben has been taking awesome photos of Bristol for a few years now. You can see 10 of his best here.

7. _fukq

Dylan is a Best of Bristol favourite, regularly scaling Bristol heights to get stunning photos. Obligatory don’t try this at home kids.

8. neiljamesb

One of our overall favourite Bristol photographers. Neil has been taking gorgeous photos of Bristol and other places across the UK for a many a year. Check out 15 of his epic photos.

9. jimcosseyphotography

One of Bristol’s best photographers, you’ll find some out of this world Bristol photography from Jim Cossey.

10. carolyn.eaton

We’re huge fans of Carolyn’s photos, regularly featuring her on the BoB instagram page. She takes a brilliant variety of photos across Bristol.

11. richimal_bristol

richimail

Rich is another moderator for @igersbristol and takes absolutely glorious photos across Bristol.

12. Josh.perrett

At over 86,000 instagram followers, Josh is absolutely killing it on instagram. Every photo he posts is absolutely stunning.

13. Visit Bristol

Bristol’s resident tourist information showcase a lot about Bristol. Use #VisitBristol for a chance to make it onto their page.

14. Ellabonbella_x

Another member of Bristol’s blossoming colour photography scene. Ella manages to show the vibrant colours of Bristol in every single shot.

15. Sauntimo

Tim Saunders showcases stunning shots from across Bristol.

16. Bristol_Shabby

shabby

Carl takes a unique perspective on Bristol’s decaying under belly. Finding the beauty in shabby Bristol. You can see 10 of his best shabby Bristol photos here.

17. nickwhimster

Lot’s of epic shots of Bristol and others from across the UK for good measure.

18. paddyo.11

Paddy takes brilliant photos of Bristol. The above one is probably our favourite Bristol photo of 2016!

19. Sjtanton

Loads and loads of great colorful Bristol instagram photos. Glorious!

20. johndohart

This local street artist is worth following just to see what his next piece might be.

21. paintsmiths

Creators of some of the most famous street art in Bristol in 2016, check out what they get up to in 2017.

22. Rosiejam

You’ve got to adore Rosie’s photos. Another who focuses on the vibrancy of the many colourful places in Bristol.

23. spray.bristol

Captures Bristol’s iconic street art culture. You can share your art and pictures using #spraybristol.

24. streetartbristol

Another account that shoots Bristol”s street art. Use #streetart_bristol when you’ve seen some Bristol street art that’s instagram worthy.

25. Gothick

Matt Gibson showcases brilliant Bristol instagrams across the city.

26. sichan.ne

Jessie takes absolutely gorgeous photos of Bristol. We’re bag fans of this rain dropped soaked one!

27. tom.9799

Lots of awesome Bristol photos from Tom.

28. infinity_bristol

Big fans of this Bristol based photography collective. This sunset photo of Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of favs of 2016.

29. Bristol247

Bristol’s erstwhile monthly magazine and website showcase the best of Bristol. Use #bristol247 for a chance to have your photo end up in their magazine.

30. Faygate

Richard takes a wealth of tasty photos across Bristol.

31. daysatbristol

Another account from sichan.he, this one is iphone only and has regular stellar pictures.

32. riverslade

Riverslade takes very unique photos of Bristol. You’ll find multiple amazing shots taken in the reflection of water.

33. richlock

Rich is a freelance photographer in Bristol who takes photos across the world but his Bristol ones are of course our favourite.

34. craigderrick40

Loads of really interesting captures from Craig on his account.

35. max_renaud

Max has been killing it recently with his awesome Bristol photos.

36. alka.lloyd

One of the moderators of igersbath. Lloyd takes absolutely stunning photos, granted they’re mostly of Bath but hey that’s fine to. The Bristol shots that appear are some of the best in Bristol.

37. bristolpictures

bristol pictures

We absolutely love Bristol pictures… pictures. Awesome colourful photography across Bristol that brings this city to life.

38. ryanmsearle

Ryan manages to capture glorious photos of Bristol at night.

39. _smurfious

Benji is an amateur photographer based in Bristol and you’ll find fantastic shots from across Bristol and London on his page.

40. richmccluskey_photography

Rich takes stunning photos on his nikon D5300 and iPhone6s. Glorious!

41. Live Bristol

live bristol

Now one of the biggest aggregators of Bristol content with over 14,000 followers. You’ll also find lots of great Bristol competitions here as well.

42. nataliebrereton

natalie

Natalie’s instagram is pure food porn. This girl eats her way around Bristol’s best food establishments and her instagram will do nothing other than make your mouth water.

43. Bits of Bristol

bits of bristol

Bits of Bristol is another aggregator of Bristol content with some marvellous choices. Also posts some belters from their personal account as you can see above.

44. Ryan.sainsbury1

ryan sainsbury

Ryan takes brilliant colourful and moody photos of Bristol in a style that’s becoming incredibly popular within the Bristol instagram community.

45. jpuentephotography

jpphoto

A Spanish photographer who’s based in Bristol and is killing it at the moment with his stunning images of Bristol.

46. Rob.Potter

rob potter photography

Rob unique and moody photos of Bristol makes him a must follow in Bristol.

47. MrJamieRhodes

mr jamie rhodes

Jamie is nailing it with his photos at the moment. His drone pictures are some of our favourite in Bristol at the moment.

48. kris.avery

kris avery

We’re huge fans of Kris Avery’s photographer, regularly sharing his stunning photos on our Facebook. Kris does a wonderful job of capturing the best of bristol.

49. Burnt.dog.prints

burnt dog prints

Burnt Dog is looked after by photographer Dan Kelly and associate Kieran Mcconnell. We’re a bit fan of some of the sets which have been taken with a film camera, not to mention that they donate £2.50 of each sale to charity ‘Peace of Mind’.

50. Bristol_Foodie

bristol foodie

Another fantastic food based instagram. Bristol foodie eats their way around Bristol and this delicious instagram will make you very hungry.

Brucie Bonus: Best of Bristol

Got an awesome Bristol photo or video? Then don’t forget to use #bestofbristol or tag @bestofbristol to be featured.

Did we miss your favourite account? Then be sure to tell us in the comments.

You can also follow Sam Gillies for more Bristol photos on Instagram. Or more on Sam Gillies Bristol Flickr.

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