Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery offers a great collection of two and three dimensional art and design from across the world, as well as a wide-ranging archaeological collection of, particularly, objects from Ancient Egypt.
The paintings from the late Nineteenth century and the glassware, ceramics and prints from Asia benefited enormously by a bequest in the late 1940's, from Max Schiller, whose brother, Ferdinand, in addition, collected Chinese ceramics. As a result of this gift the museum has examples of work, for example, by Vuillard, Alma-Tadema and Sisley, as well as glassware from the Tang and Sung dynasties, of great quality. There is much other work of equally high quality including a beautiful Japanese woodblock print of a waterfall by Hokusai.
At certain times of the day and at weekends the museum is full of young children, which is of course an admirable feature but the racket they create can become wearisome. Perhaps like cinemas, museums should arrange noisy days for kids and quiet days for those who want to get close to the art work without being run over or deafened.
There's a good museum shop and cafeteria. The latter is particularly good.
Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
+44(0)117 922 3599
Google map: bit.ly/f5unHQ
If you are after a fun-filled yet educational trip for your children, this is the place to go. It's an inclusive science centre that caters to all age groups, including children under eight years old.
It refreshes exhibitions yearly and the most recent one, Fossils and Funny Bones, is specially designed for early years learners. By the end of this year, there will be even more on offer in the science centre with two new exhibitions, Inside DNA (all about human genome) and LoveSport.
The science centre is located right at the heart of Bristol harbourside, which provides the perfect setting for a great family day out!
Address: Anchor Road, Habourside, BS1 5DB
Nearest station: Bristol Temple Meads
The excitingly designed Harbourside concert hall by architects Behnisch & Partners was set to do for Bristol what the Guggenheim had done for Bilbao. A shameful Arts Council decision cut the funding and the project has never been revived. With this turn of events At-Bristol, with its stunning all-reflective planetarium, became the centrepiece of the Harbourside development. The centre mixes art, science and nature. It includes an Imax cinema, the interactive 'Explore' science museum and 'Wildwalk', a walk through a living section of rainforest.
Harbourside, BS1 5DB;
tel: 0845 345 1235;
Fascinating museum presenting the 500-year history and legacy of Britain's overseas empire. Bristol benefited immensely from the bad old days of Empire. The city, along with Liverpool, derived huge financial gain from its heavy involvement in the slave trade. The museum is housed in Brunel's original 19th century railway station. The grandly constructed Passenger Shed is a testament to what the riches of the world were once able to finance.
Station Approach, Temple Meads BS1 6QH;
tel: (0117) 925 4980
Brunel's iron clad steam ship stunned New Yorkers as she completed her maiden voyage in 1845 from Bristol to New York in just 14 days. After acting as a troop carrier during the Crimea War the ship was abandoned on the Falklands. It was salvaged in the 1980s and towed across the Atlantic and back up the River Avon to the dockyard where it had originally been built. Now fully restored, it's a museum. To stop the hull from rusting away it is kept in an impressively designed chamber where the humidity is the same as in the Arizona desert.
Great Western Dockyard,
Gas Ferry Road BS1 6TY
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