Car Hire in Bristol
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Bristol has well and truly recovered from its post-industrial decline. These days, culture is its trade. It specialises in the cutting-edge, the designer and the world-class, with a lingering sense of the raw. It’s also well placed for exploring Bath and the rural delights of the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire.
Car hire designed to suit you
It couldn’t be easier to arrange your car hire for your West Country adventure. With this much ground to cover, why not choose to add satellite navigation to your booking? Sit back and enjoy the drive. Which part of Bristol would you like to start your drive from?
Things to see and doA dynamic and cosmopolitan hub, Bristol is where old meets new and tradition meets innovation.
For all its traditions and heritage, Bristol is also a very modern, vibrant city. With a flourishing foodie scene, no end of art collectives, music venues and independent cafes, the city is extremely lively.
The revamped harbourside offers a stroll past plenty of trendy bars, shops, restaurants and hotels, whilst the energetic nightlife continues through to the early hours on weekends.
Bristol was once a great maritime city. You won’t have to try too hard to imagine it as such as you step aboard Brunel’s ss Great Britain. The world's first great ocean liner is docked in the harbourside and today serves as an award-winning visitor attraction. Explore the ship then dress up in period costume to have your photograph taken.
What to do in Bristol
The entire harbourside underwent regeneration in the 1990s. Today, the former warehouses are home to modern bars, restaurants, hotels and shops.
You can also visit the interactive At-Bristol science centre, the Watershed art house film and cultural centre, and the Spike Island contemporary art and design space.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
The city’s most iconic attraction is another of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s creations, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was designed in the early 19th century but still stands up to the thousands of commuters that cross it every day. This splendid structure spanning the Avon gorge looks its best on sunny days and at sunset.
The Old City, with its cobbled streets and historic architecture, is the mediaeval heart. There’s the old Corn Exchange and original 'nails' on Corn Street – used by merchants of old when closing a sale. Bristol is also something of a cultural retreat.
There’s the Art Quarter around the medieval Christmas Steps with its unique shops, art galleries, studios and creative outlets. St Nicholas Market is the site of the world's first Slow Food market and a regular farmers' market.
Old Vic theatre
The Old Vic theatre is renowned for its world-class productions and creative performances. Finish off your day with a drink or dinner in the Llandoger Trow, one of the city’s oldest pubs dating back to 1664.
Graffiti artist Banksy's work was born of the underground scene here. You can spot some of his classic pieces as you wander through the city. You’ll see the Grim Reaper on the side of the Thekla boat moored in the harbour and the ‘mild, mild west’ piece in Stokes Croft.
With so much to entertain and entice, Bristol impresses at every turn. Discover this sparkling gem for yourself with the help of your Avis hire car.
Road trips from BristolSouth-west England is a stunning part of the country. Areas worth stopping by from your Bristol start include Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Cornwall. Whether you're looking for beach life, cultural exploration or retail therapy you’ll find it close to Bristol.
Less than half an hour by car is the World Heritage City of Bath. The Roman Baths are the main attraction. Visit the preserved ruins of this magnificent temple and bathing complex that was built around Britain’s only hot springs. The mineral waters are not just for the Romans however. You can now take a dip yourself in the Thermae Bath Spa, with its naturally warm Minerva Bath, steam rooms and open-air rooftop pool. For the full experience, take afternoon tea afterwards in the magnificent 18th-century Pump Room.
This mysterious prehistoric monument has captivated visitors for centuries and the new visitor and exhibition centre provides audio guides for those wishing to find out more. Many visitors combine a trip here with a walk around nearby Salisbury, which is only a 20-minute drive away.
Salisbury Town and Cathedral
Aside from its impressive Gothic cathedral which is home to the Magna Carta exhibition, this delightful city in Wiltshire offers a vibrant arts scene and various museums. If you're in search of some souvenirs, an afternoon browsing the bustling market is highly recommended.
With Avis car rental, you are all set for exploring the Cotswolds. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the quintessential Englishness of the honey-coloured, sleepy limestone villages and gentle hillsides. It would make sense to start with the wool town of Painswick, the Queen of the Cotswolds. Admire the beautiful old buildings lining its quaint and narrow streets. Other must-sees include Castle Combe, Burford and Lacock.
You can also visit Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills of Somerset. As well as being Britain’s biggest gorge, there are dramatic cliffs rising up 450 ft and stunning stalactite caverns. There is even a caving and rock climbing activity centre for the more adventurous. The nearby village of Cheddar is of course the original home of the ever-popular Cheddar cheese. The real thing used to be stored and matured in the limestone caves.
For some more rural splendour, head north to Gloucestershire. Here you can visit England’s oldest inhabited castle, Berkeley Castle. It was in these cells and dungeons that Edward II was notoriously imprisoned and murdered. You can enjoy the terraced Elizabethan Gardens with a lily pond and – in the summer – the tropical Butterfly House. The current heir, Charles Berkeley, is sometimes on hand to show you around himself.
With mountains to its north and the coast to its south, Cardiff is a city of many charms. Just under an hour’s drive west from Bristol along the M4, the Welsh capital mixes its ancient architecture with its cosmopolitan present. The ultra-modern waterfront of Cardiff Bay, and the thriving pubs, bars and music venues make this city an exciting metropolis well worth exploring.
Discovering the beauty of the UK’s south west is simple. All you need to do is drive.
Avis van hire arrives in BristolWhat do you need to shift? Our new van rental fleet spans small hire vans, perfect for that weekend DIY project; medium vans, well suited to hauling rolls of carpet, heavy floor tiles, or moving the kids to university; and large hire vans to accommodate some or all your wordly goods.
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Driving rules in United KingdomWhich side of the road?
In the United Kingdom, please drive on the left side of the road.
Country driving laws
- Mobile phones may only be used with a headset or hands-free device
- There is a congestion charge payable when driving in London
- Use the outside lane to overtake on motorways and dual carriageways
- Zebra crossings (black and white stripes on the road) give pedestrians right of way to cross the road
All speed signs will be in mph.
For a standard Avis rental vehicle with no trailers:
- Urban areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
- Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
- Rural areas: 60 mph (96 km/h)
Child safety / Seatbelt laws
- It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear a seatbelt
- Children aged under 12 or less than 135cm tall must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size
This road rules information is for provided for general guidance only. We endeavour to keep the information up to date and accurate, but any reliance you place on this information is at your own risk.