Bristol Sports and Outdoor Activities
(Bristol, England, UK)
The city of Bristol has excellent sports facilities, including famous football teams, rugby clubs, a county cricket ground and boating. There are various sports centres located around Bristol, with reliable choices being found at Avonmouth and Kingsdown.
Visitors looking for a leisurely round of golf will find courses at both Thornbury and Ashton Court, the latter of which is a popular spot for hot-air ballooning. Outside of the city, horse racing is available at the Lansdown racecourse in Bath and this always makes for a memorable day out.
The River Avon runs straight through the centre of Bristol and is a particularly scenic spot for walking and cycling in the city. There are also a number of pubs along the way, close to the riverside, should you fancy a traditional ploughman's lunch.
Football / Soccer
Football is one of the city's most popular spectator sports and the main football teams are Bristol City and Bristol Rovers. Bristol City play regular matches at Ashton Gate Stadium, which seats almost 22,000 people and is situated in Ashton Road, BS3 2EJ (tel: 0117 963 0630). The Rovers' home ground is the Memorial Stadium, Filton Avenue, Horfield, BS7 0BF (tel : 0117 924 7474) which seats around 12,000 people.
The Shoguns are the city's main rugby team and they play regular matches at the Memorial Stadium, Filton Avenue, Horfield, BS7 0BF (tel : 0117 311 1461). Well established in the premiership and European championships, the Shoguns Rugby Club is one of the city's most important 'rugger' teams and their main rivals are the nearby Bath Rugby Club.
Tel: +44 (0)117 924 1193
The Country Cricket Ground is located on Nevil Road, BS7 9EJ, and regularly draws large seasonal crowds of spectators. There are regular cricket matches staged here throughout the summer.
Bristol has a number of golf courses in and around the city and this is a particularly relaxing sport, with the courses often having exceptional views of the surrounding countryside. The city's two principal golf courses are:
- Ashton Court Golf Course - Long Ashton, BS41 9JN, England
Tel: +44 (0)1227 973 8508
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to 19:00
- Thornbury Golf Centre - Bristol Road, Thornbury, BS35 3XL, England
Tel: +44 (0)1454 281 144
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to dusk
Bristol is a major centre for ballooning in England and provides one of the best ways to appreciate the cityscape. Regular balloon flights take off at Ashton Gate Park and other venues throughout the summer.
Tel: +44 (0)117 926 8157
The Bristol Packet at Wapping Wharf, Gas Ferry Road, Harbourside, offers river trips around the docks, travelling as far as Bath or through the Avon Gorge, with stops at riverside pubs. Some boating companies also offer residential sailing programmes and short voyages to nearby destinations.
Tel: +44 (0)7803 651 945
The Bristol Bike Hire centre is situated in Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin, Harbourside, and rents out a selection of cycling equipment, including bicycles, helmets and other cycling accessories. Cycling trails are available along the Railway Path, which follows the former Midland Railway for more than 20 km / 12 miles between Bristol and Bath.
Fitness Centres and Gyms
There are numerous well-equipped fitness and sports centres in central Bristol, with excellent state-of-the-art fitness and weight training equipment, aerobic courses, personal trainers, saunas, solariums, steam rooms, hydrotherapy and massage. Most gyms and sports centres are open daily, from early in the morning until late at night. In the city centre, a popular gym stands just across from the Galleries shopping centre, next to Fairfax Street and close to Castle Park.
Kingsdown Sports Centre
Address: Portland Street, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8HL, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 942 6582
The enormous Kingsdown Sports Centre in located in the Kingsdown area, close to the city centre. Attractions here include squash courts, a five court maplewood, semi-sprung badminton hall, a health spa area with sauna and steam rooms, massages, a bar area and the Millennium Fitness Centre, which offers the latest in cardiovascular and resistance equipment.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 07:00 to 22:00, Saturday - 09:00 to 19:00, Sunday - 09:00 to 23:00
Robin Cousins Sports Centre
Address: Off West Town Road, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9GB, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 982 3514
The Robin Cousins Sports Centre is situated in the Avonmouth area, close to the M5 motorway, and features a wide range of sporting activities and facilities. Highlights include squash courts, a multi-purpose sports hall, a fully equipped Tone Zone fitness suite and a bar area.
Open hours: Sunday to Friday - 09:00 to 23:00, Saturday - 09:00 to 21:00
West Country Water Park
Address: Trench Lane, Winterbourne, Bristol, BS36 1RY, England
Tel: +44 (0)1454 773 594
The West Country Water Park, in the Chipping Sodbury area, features a large fresh water sports lake and offers many sporting activities, including canoeing, jet skiing, sailing, surf-biking, waterskiing, windsurfing and even the unusual sport of lake golf. Also nearby the water sports lake are two quad biking courses, for both children and adults.
Tel: +44 (0)1225 424609
Bath's racecourse in situated in Lansdown, 20 km / 13 miles from Bristol, on the outskirts of Bath, and this is actually the highest racecourse in the area, with spectacular views across the countryside. Horse racing at Lansdown often attracts large crowds. Founded in 1874, this racecourse also hosts a variety of weekend horse racing events and can be easily reached by car and bus from Bristol.
Badminton Horse Trials
The famous Badminton Horse Trials are one of the world's greatest sports events and are held in the Duke of Beaufort's Gloucestershire Park, within easy reach of the city. The Badminton Horse Trials is an annual event and takes place every May.
Other sports activities nearby Bristol include:
- The Approach Golf Course
Address: Royal Victoria Park, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA1 2DS, England
21 km / 13 miles
- Bath City Football Club
Address: Twerton Park, Twerton, Bath, BA2 1DB, England
19 km / 12 miles
- Bath Cricket Club
Address: North Parade, Bath, BA2 4EX, England
22 km / 14 miles
- Bath Rugby Club
Address: 11 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BQ, England
18 km / 11 miles
- Bath Sports Training Village
Address: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA2 7AY, England
25 km / 15 miles
- Entry Hill Golf Course
Address: Wellsway, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA2 5NA, England
22 km / 14 miles
- Lansdown Golf Club
Address: Lansdown, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA1 9BT, England
22 km / 14 miles
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