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Bristol questions?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Brum, 20 Feb 2013.

  1. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Hi all,
    I'm off to Bristol for the weekend next month and obviously I'll be going to the zoo. :) I'm also going to do the docks and Clifton suspension bridge as a none animal related aside.
    I've looked at the aquarium website and it seems quite reasonably priced for what's on offer but would like some personal opinions if anyone has any?
    Also, Bristol Museum looks quite interesting but the website is a tad vague. Could anybody give me an overview of what's on offer please?
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    The Bristol Museum is a very interesting general museum that is well worth a visit. It is several years since I was last there but the zoology gallery has some noteworthy specimens on display including

    • thylacine (that died in London Zoo on Christmas Day, 1914)
    • 'Alfred' the famous Bristol Zoo gorilla
    • genuine Burchell's zebra
     
  3. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Thanks Tim, it seems like a good place to spend a few hours. And being from Birmingham, I'm severely lacking in a Natural History Museum since our one is now more art gallery than anything else.
    How long would you recommend for a visit?
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    Interesting :) on my visits to Bristol I have always wanted to visit the museum but not had the time - I may have to make some time on my next visit.

    You may or may not need this reminder, Brum, but when you visit the zoo remember that the nocturnal house now holds Kowari! Not a species you'd be wanting to skip, I suspect.
     
  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    That's one of the main reasons I'm going, don't think I've ever seen a kowari. It's been far too long since I was last there and even on my last visit didn't visit the nocturnal section as it closed early. (See the 'gutted' thread for details!)
    It was Chester or Bristol and Bristol won because there is a lot more than just the zoo and I have to make the occasional sacrifice... :p
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    Remember that if you get to the zoo for doors opening, and head straight for the nocturnal house, the lights will still be on for about half an hour - this, I have found, is the best chance to go through the place quickly to see if you can get photos of stuff like the lorises, aye-ayes and kowari.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    First off don’t confuse The City Museum and Art Gallery with The M-Shed which houses The Museum of Bristol. The City Museum and Art Gallery is at the top of Park Street and houses the taxidermy collection that Tim May mentions. There are also galleries for Egyptology, geology, wildlife of the Severn estuary and the art gallery. The M -Shed is on the harbourside and houses a collection dedicated to the history of the city; both are free.
    The harbourside is a nice place to wander and is where you’ll find the aquarium. In my opinion the aquarium is over priced as it is a similar price to the zoo but would only take an hour or so to look around. That said, it is quite a nice aquarium and I think there is a 3D film included in the price (at least there used to be).
    If you go to the suspension bridge it’s worth wandering into Clifton village for a look around. You can get good views of the bridge from the terrace at the rear of the Avon Gorge Hotel or, if it’s open, you can descend through a tunnel from the observatory and come out in a cave halfway up the cliff face with views of the bridge. Or you could cross the bridge to Ashton Court where there are two deer parks, one with fallow deer and one with red deer.
    Hope you enjoy your visit.
     
  8. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    I’m rather reluctant to recommend a certain length of time for a visit as that really depends on the individual; some people like to linger over each exhibit while others rush round. Nevertheless I guess you could see the main Zoology Gallery in about an hour or so; it is not large but there are some very interesting specimens on exhibit.

    Obviously if you want to see the whole museum thoroughly, and not just the Zoology Gallery, then very much longer would be needed.

    (Whenever I’m in Bristol I normally have a quick look round the museum’s zoology displays either before or after visiting the zoo.)
     
  9. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Thanks for the information again Tim, I appreciate it. I intend to get around a lot of it as my girlfriend is extremely interested in history, we may skip the art gallery though, depeending on how long we linger in the iother areas.
    I'm particularly interested in the local wildlife gallery that Ned mentioned as well, I couldn't find much information on their website about it. Can anybody tell me more please?
     
  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I didn't know that. Are these old traditional-type fenced parks, or something more modern with deer-netting fencing.? And are they seperate or adjacent to each other- also why don't they allow them all to mix in one park as at e.g. Richmond or Bushey near London?:confused:

    Any idea of numbers?

    I know though that Bristol Zoo used to have a very small herd of Axis deer which originated from Ashton Court circa 1950's or earlier.
     
  11. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Bristol Questions

    I remember those Axis Deer. They were in the 'Whipsnade Paddock' with Demoiselle Cranes, White Storks & Red Kangaroos. This area was later covered by Seal & Penguin Coasts.
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Correct.:) There was a grotto-style 'cave' under the hill, facing the Bear enclosures and both the Axis Deer and Kangaroos would rest in there. I always like that display.

    In an old Zoo Annual report there is a reference to 'the mother of the herd of Axis Deer that came from Ashton Court' having died.
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Ashton Court itself is a former country estate with lots of traditional parkland. The fallow deer park is not huge and for the most part the public view the deer from a path outside of the enclosure, although there is a footpath that passes through some woods at the back of the enclosure. The red deer park is much bigger and criss-crossed with footpaths. Both areas are fenced with metal railings except for a stretch of stone wall at the rear of the red deer park, this wall forms part of the perimeter wall around the estate. There are also wild roe deer on the estate and it’s not unusual to see one or two.
    The two deer areas are separated from one another by a large strip of parkland and Ashton Court house. I don’t know why the species aren’t mixed; I guess they could mix them especially in the larger red deer park.
     
  14. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    After all the advice I've had to postpone Bristol until the end of March or early April but will bear all of this in mind when I do get there.
    Thanks all.