193km (120 miles) W of London; 21km (13 miles) NW of Bath

Bristol, the largest city in the West Country, is just across the Bristol Channel from Wales and is a good place to base yourself for touring western Britain. This historic inland port is linked to the sea by 11km (7 miles) of the navigable River Avon. Bristol has long been rich in seafaring traditions and has many links with the early colonization of America. In fact, some claim that the new continent was named after a Bristol town clerk, Richard Ameryke. In 1497, John Cabot sailed from Bristol and pioneered the discovery of the northern half of the New World.

Although Bath is much more famous as a tourist mecca, Bristol does have some attractions, such as a colorful harbor life, that makes it at least a good overnight stop in your exploration of the West Country.