You might think this another one of those lists about Bristol. An ‘isn’t Bristol amazing’ type of thing, or the new ones when people invert it and say ‘no look it’s rubbish here’ but really it isn’t.
Or interesting facts about Bristol. Top five this, or top ten that. It’s none of those things. It’s not even about Bristol. It’s about Bristol.
Well I will explain. It’s about Bristols. Different cities around the world that are called Bristol.
There a few around. In fact there are 35 in total across the world. And 29 of these are in the good ‘ole USA, making Bristol the fifth most popular named place in Trump’s kingdom.
But you might be surprised where some are. But then you might not.
With my best Judith Chalmers travel guide, let’s look at the six most interesting ones.
I lied about the list bit. But I needed an intro.
Bristol sits in Sullivan County, Tennessee with a population of 26,702 and is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia. Uh what? This Bristol apparently lies just across the stateline. But lets’s forget that Bristol and talk about this one for now.
It is most famous for music. Wait for it – even more than our Bristol. Yes. But not Massive Attack, Tricky or Portishead. Think more Hank Marvin and Dolly Parton. Yes country music.
The US Congress itself recognised Bristol as the ‘Birthplace of Country Music’ in 1998. With the likes of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers first recording there.
For those that know anything about country music Joan Carter was married to Johnny Cash. If you don’t know Johnny Cash, stop reading and do something else please.
Anyway I suggest we move a motion for our Bristol to be the ‘Birthplace of Trip Hop’ sharpish.
Bristol, Rhode Island
Bristol is in Rhode Island, which you know as you have seen the sub heading. Rhode island is in the state of New England.
This is where all the leaves go all nice and brown in the Autumn that you see in films and that.
The surrounding area is where some of the first ever settlers that ever came to United States were based.
And this Bristol is famous for one thing. Where we bang on about having the largest street art festival in Europe, Upfest, this lot have bettered it. They have, wait for it…the oldest continuous independence day celebrations in the whole of the United States. It started in July 1777. That’s seriously old school.
But not as old school as the Native American Indians who had a few of their own before. Cough cough. On that Bristol is lovely though apparently, and the parade was very good this year.
There is a sizeable Portuguese population that like watching actual football, real football that we like. So you can catch a game.
The most famous person there is Antony Quin who won a best supporting actor Oscar in 1952 and 1956. No I haven’t ever heard of him either, but by all accounts he is better than our own Joe Sims off Broadchurch.
I have had enough of America now, so let’s cross the border into Canada. There’s a placed called Bristol in New Brunswick. It’s merged with a placed called Florenceville now, so some call it Florenceville-Bristol, but we wont bother with that.
Bristol is in the part of Canada where it snows a lot. Which is pretty much all of it.
Now we like to think of our Bristol as quite up there in a culinary way, with lots of nice cafes and restaurants. Well this Bristol blows us out of the water. It’s where the best chips in the world come from. The best. Yes it’s home to McCain Foods, who make McCain oven chips.
You can hear the advert in your head can’t you? ‘McCain oven chips really taste great, gone in a flash on your plate mate. Chips are a banga to date mate. 40% less fat.” Great song. Great chips. They do thick ones, thin ones, anything. The town salutes its finest achievement by having a potato museum.
There are also some lovely rolling mountains either side of the town, where you can do a bit of snowboarding or tobogganing.
The main attraction to the town sits just outside, where a giant 300 ft replica of the biblical Noah’s Ark can be found. In a potato field. That’s a bit weird. Don’t have any ideas, Marvin.
Bristol, Costa Rica
Bristol on the Caribbean coast in Central America is a bit different than ours.
The centre is bit more sparse than Cabot Circus. For many it could lack amenities, for others it could be seen as a breath of fresh air. There are lots of trees and a nice river.
People use boats a lot, and there is a real range of different fruits available.
If you like adrenalin sports, then this place is probably not for you, but they do have white water rafting.
The best thing about this Bristol is that the airport isn’t too far away. In fact its only 20 miles away from Lima. So you could fly somewhere else that may be better.
Oh and its not far from a place called Mantina. Which has a population of 38,000, and probably a bit more to do.
Bristol is in Peru. Peru, that’s mental. Yes in the depths of Peru you will find a place called Bristol. And they actually have a football team called ‘The Gas.’ Gasheads of Peru.
I made that bit up. To be honest I could make all this up and there’s no way you would know or be able to check.
Because this place is far into the Amazon. This Bristol only has a population of 285 people. Maybe more or less now.
The village sits in Lorenzo, along the River Maranon in the Amazon. Ideal if you like canoeing or fishing. Maybe less so if you don’t like either of these things.
But in many ways it’s better than our Bristol. The people are isolated but happy away from civilisation. Unlike in Easton, where I live, there are no dangers of gentrification here. The hoards of London hipsters are unlikely to make their way there. Unless after they see me mentioning it.
They have a statue of Ian Holloway by the river bank.
Last, but not least, is Bristol in Barbados. Or to be accurate little Bristol. Or to be even more accurate Speightstown. That’s actually true.
This Bristol was one of the first settlements in the country dating back to 1630. It was one of the first major port and commercial parts of Barbados during the Transatlantic Slave trade. Ships laden with sugar and other commodities were bound for London and guess where else? Our Bristol.
On a lighter note the beaches are lovely here.
There is also a posh marina now, with nice cafes and restaurants not far away. It’s been redeveloped. Wait a minute…this sounds Harbourside. But apparently the food is better than Turtle Bay.
If you like rum this is the place to be. I like rum and sun, so this would be my favourite of the Bristols.
That’s it, done. End of list. Which Bristol would you like to visit or live? Please let us know. Maybe research the remaining 29.
Actually don’t bother. Cue cheesy ending where I say there is only one Bristol I would love to stay in and that’s ours.