Don’t let those hills put you off: using a bike to get around makes perfect sense. Bristol, after all, is the country’s first Cycling City and home to Sustrans, creators of the National Cycle Network. In Bristol itself, the network of cycle lanes and cycle paths is growing all the time. Hire a bright yellow YoBike by downloading the app; for just £1 you’ll receive one hour’s riding. A trip along the Bristol and Bath Railway Path makes for a very pleasant day out, while for the more adventurous there are mountain bike trails at Ashton Court Estate.
Everyone should ride around the Floating Harbour on a ferry at least once. As well as being fun, the ferries also serve a very practical purpose with commuter routes extending from Temple Meads to Hotwells. Several companies operate boats along these routes and there are handy stops at key locations around the harbour (near Watershed, SS Great Britain etc). For something a little more hedonistic, you could try a waterborne booze cruise.
Chances are you’ll become pretty familiar with the city’s bus network while you’re here. First Group run the vast majority of services, linking up the city from the centre to the outer suburbs, with a growing number of night buses for late-night revellers. They will also be running the new MetroBus network, due to start in autumn 2017. Many university campuses and halls are connected by routes run by Wessex. Bristol Bus & Coach Station is the hub for services out into the surrounding area as well as for National Express coaches to London and most other major cities. Megabus also operates a cheap-as-chips service to the capital from the city centre and from UWE.
Regular mainline services run from Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway, most frequently to London Paddington via Swindon and Reading. Thanks to Bristol’s convenient location within the rail network, though, direct services to Wales, the South West, Midlands and most major cities also run on a regular basis. More locally, there are frequent trains to places like Bath and Weston-super-Mare, while the Severn Beach railway snakes through northern Bristol from Temple Meads via the likes of Montpelier, Redland, Clifton and Sea Mills.
If you’ve brought your own car with you, good luck. Parking will probably be your main nightmare, but one-way systems and rush-hour snarl-ups may cause you a few headaches as well. If you only need a car occasionally, City Car Club hires out cars to members for an hourly rate. There is, of course, no shortage of taxis either, with big ranks at Temple Meads and in the city centre.
Bristol Airport is well-connected to the centre and Temple Meads by the Bristol Airport Flyer bus service. As well as domestic services to the likes of Glasgow and Inverness, there are direct flights to destinations across Europe and north Africa. Airlines using the airport include British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair and Wizz Air.