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Introducing Bristol

For years gritty, grimy old Bristol has been the ugly sister of Britain’s cities, outclassed by Bath, outsmarted by London and upstaged by the rejuvenated cities of Newcastle and Manchester to the north. But the fortunes of this old industrial city have changed dramatically in recent years, and the transformation that’s taken place over the last decade is pretty astonishing. There’s a new sense of swagger and self-belief around Bristol these days; while the once-great trades of shipbuilding, manufacturing and the railways have long since sailed upriver, the city has steadily reclaimed its rightful place as an economic powerhouse, gastronomic centre and a cultural force to be reckoned with. The crumbling docks have been prettified and polished up; the streets are packed with cutting-edge restaurants, designer bars and world-class museums; and the city’s music, media and nightlife scenes are all showing the rest of the country how things should be done. It’s real, raw and just a little rough around the edges, but if you really want to know exactly where Britain’s at right now, then Bristol is hard to beat.