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Bristol Travel Guide and Activities

The biggest city in South West England and less than two hours from London, Bristol is green, historic and has a young atmosphere (it’s home to one of Britain’s top universities). As well as being vibrant and fun, Bristol has some of England’s finest countryside stretching out in all directions around it.

5 things to see

  • Banksy's Graffiti Art
  • Liberty Park
  • Engineer Isambard Brunel's ss Great Britain
  • Cabot Tower
  • Clifton Village and the Suspension Bridge

5 things to do

  • Walk across the Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • Boat cruise on the floating harbour
  • Shopping on the Gloucester Road
  • See the International Balloon Fiesta
  • Day-trips to Bath & Stonehenge


The weather in the UK is the topic of many conversations because it is so changeable. It is possible to see sun, rain, wind and clouds all in the same day so it is a good idea to always carry a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella!


Great British Pound (GBP), also known as sterling.

Students can change money and traveller’s cheques at the post office or banks in Broadmead. There are several banks (Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest and Barclays) where they can withdraw money from as well as ATMs (cashpoint machines) in local supermarkets close to the school.

Public holidays falling on a weekday

2022 Public Holidays on a weekday: 03 Jan, 15 Apr, 18 Apr, 02 May, 02 Jun, 03 June, 29 Aug, 26 Dec, 27 Dec

Telephone Country Code

Sim cards for international calls are provided free of charge at the school reception. Additional call credit can also be purchased at the school reception.


230 V; 50Hz - 3-pin plug Travel adaptors can be purchased at the school reception.

Tap water

Tap water in England is safe unless there’s a sign to the contrary (eg on trains).


If you feel ill or are injured and you need to see a doctor, please contact Reception. If you do not have an EU Health Insurance Card or then there will be a charge. You should pay the doctor directly and then claim a refund from your health insurance company (where applicable).

The nearest hospital is Bristol Royal Infirmary, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS2 8HW; 0117 923 0000 / 0117 342 2710. This hospital has an accident and emergency department where you should only visit if you require urgent medical attention!

There is an NHS Drop-in Centre in the centre of the city should you feel unwell.

Students staying in Bristol for more than 6 weeks should register with a local doctor as soon as possible. If you want to see a doctor you must be registered. Directions and information are available at the school reception.


Bus Service

Bristol boasts an efficient and extensive bus service network. Some routes also operate night buses. Tickets for buses may be purchased from the bus drivers on boarding the bus or you may wish to purchase a pass in advance. Bus passes are available from Reception. Bus tickets are as follows:

  • Single tickets: £0.70 - £2.45 (from bus driver)
  • Day Rider tickets: £3.00 for unlimited journeys for 1 day (from bus driver)
  • Weekly bus pass: Inner Zone £11.90 (from EC)*
  • Monthly bus pass: Inner Zone £46.20(from EC)*
* With an EC Student ID Card. Please note that these rates are subject to changes and not applicable to night buses so please consult Reception on arrival. Bus route maps are available from Reception and there are various bus routes passing close to the school. If in doubt ask the bus driver to tell you when the bus is about to arrive at the bus stop you wish to get off at. We recommend using for bus timetables and directions. There is also a downloadable app for smartphones.

Car Hire

If you would like to hire a car, please speak to the staff at reception. EC students can enjoy discounted car hire rates with the school’s car hire partner. (Students must be 21 years old to hire a car).


Taxi service is available throughout the city. If you need a taxi we recommend you call V Cars on 01179 25 26 26. Always take a taxi with a yellow licence plate number located at the back of the taxi, with a recognisable logo on the doors/windows and if you are not sure do not use it.


A cheap and eco-friendly alternative to get around is cycling – what luck that Bristol was recently named the cycling city of the UK! Bristol has a number of roads with cycle lanes and many people cycle to work regularly. Should you wish to hire or even purchase a bike there are several cycle shops in Bristol. If you do hire or purchase a bike then make sure that you secure it with a bicycle lock. Also make sure you have lights on your bike as it is a finable offence if you are caught by the police cycling without lights. We also advise that you cycle with a helmet and reflective straps on your arms and legs for your safety.

Travelling outside of Bristol

Should you wish to travel outside Bristol you may either take a coach or a train. The National Express provides a regular coach service and tickets may be purchased from Bristol Tourist Information. Coaches depart and arrive at the Coach Station located at Marlborough Street. We recommend that you book coach tickets in advance and please ensure that you wear your seatbelt on the coach as this is compulsory.

Alternatively you may wish to catch a train to various parts of the UK from Bristol Temple Meads Station from where tickets may be bought in advance or on just before your journey. Remember London is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes away by train!

There are also alternative train stations which are smaller and more local to areas of Bristol so you may not always have to travel so far – take a look online to see which is closest to you!


For Visa information please read Applying for a Visa in UK

Cost of Living

Coffee/cappuccino (Starbucks) £2.30-£3.50
Bottle of water/soda (0.33 litre) £0.60-£1.20
Fast-food combo meal £4.75-£7.50
Meal, inexpensive restaurant £10.00-£20.00
Fitness club (monthly, 1 adult) £20.00-£45.00
Public transport (local transport) £2.00-£3.00 (one-way)
Public transport (monthly pass) £50.00-£90.00

Other Useful Information

Driving Age

Legal age for driving is 18 years. Most car hire companies require that you be at least 21 years old and have an international or European driving licence.

Alcohol Age

Legal age for drinking in the UK is 18 and many places will ask for identification if you look below the age of 21.

Smoking laws

Smoking in enclosed public places is illegal in the UK.


Students must have adequate health, accident and travel insurance while attending any of our programmes.