If you’re running a meeting or conference over several days it’s a good idea to block out time for your guests to explore the local area. Inntel’s meetings experts always have a scout around when they visit potential venues around the country. Here’s a recent field report by Mollie Powles, Team Coordinator for our Supplier Management Team, who was on a reconnaissance visit to Bristol.

Banksy to Blackbeard Walking Tour

This two hour walking tour is run by Duncan Mckeller, a local historian and artist, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11.30am from just outside the Cathedral and finishing at a ‘smugglers’ cavern’. I found it as informative as it was entertaining as the tour takes you around the whole of Bristol’s city centre, over bridges and through the little backstreets around the harbour so you feel you have seen the real Bristol. One part of the tour highlighted the fact that Bristol has a new area, with modern buildings and streets, and an old area with Norman buildings and traditional pubs. I found this particularly useful as some clients will favour traditional over modern environments and vice versa, so we can use this information to tailor our recommendations.

Banksy is a modern icon for the city and the tour also included a fascinating insight into Bristol’s street art and how it has been influenced by Banksy’s rise to fame.

I’m a bit of a history nerd so I was particularly interested in the insights into Victorian Bristol – maybe more than others on the trip. However our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and it was a great way to see the main areas of the city.

Bristol Packet Boat Trip

Bristol Packet Boat Trips is a private company that offers public and charter excursions around Bristol Harbour and along the River Avon. Having walked my feet off it was really nice to have this contrasting view of the city from the water.

We had beautiful weather on the day and exclusive use of the boat, which made the experience all the more enjoyable. The running commentary was very informative and, as the river runs through the central areas of Bristol, we passed by all of the city’s main hospitality hubs and visitor attractions. This was especially useful for me as it allowed me to see where different things are located (including the SS Great Britain, key hotels and conference centres) and the distance between them, which I can now pass on to any clients who may be considering Bristol for their own event.