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I've been to @Bristol twice in the last two years. The first time I went was the most memorable, probably because it was new and exciting. The last time I went (a couple of months ago), I was slightly disappointed because half of the exhibit was closed as they were putting in a new one. Although this meant we paid a reduced rate to go in, which along with my student discount was okay.
The nearest car park is about a 5 minute walk away, which is a pay car park. I don't think the price was too unreasonable, considering it's in a city centre. If I'm honest I can't remember how much we paid. The car park itself was a little dingy and a bit scarey to walk through, but there are always other options of getting the bus down or the train, or even cycling if you don't live too far away. There are bus stops nearby, although the train station is probably a good 20 - 30 minute walk away.
The first time I'd gone, the observatory was closed, so when we went this time I was quite excited. On entrance to at Bristol they asked us if we'd like to book a place, so we did. The observatory, from the outside of the building, is a sphere dome which has mirrors covering it, which looks pretty cool and is fun to mess around under. On entering the observatory from the inside is pretty cool. You go in, and take your seats and then the show starts. It's basically a talk from one of the members of the at Bristol team, talking you through the names of the stars, how they work, how they are created and how they disappear. It's pretty interesting, and it's a talk directed towards children, but as a teenager I found this also quite informative.
The rest of At Bristol is pretty standard. It's basically a place to explore science and has things such as water mills which you turn yourself, along with kites which you can pull up on a type of machine which then takes it higher and then once it hits the top of the building it floats down with its little parachute. There is also a hot air balloon which you can try to acheive the right temperature to make it float. Parts of it are fun, with some being better than others, although I think children would find it quite exciting. They have a space dedicated to Wallace and Gromit where you can draw and animate the characters, and they also have the street wher Wallace and Gromit live which is hooked up to buttons and gives you a audio run through of things.
The best bit for me was the first time I went there, there was this womb which you could go in, and it talked you through the 9 months of pregancy and then eventually 'you' were born. The base of the womb moved aswell so it felt kind of real (even though it obviously wasn't).
The second floor was my favourite. There are cool things like making bubbles, making music, a room which is all lop sided, a machine which takes a photo of your shadow and stays there. I think it's good for children but not particularly anything special for adults. My boyfriend didn't particularly enjoy it, even though he's a bit of a geek.
Overall, it's quite good value for money, but definitely go when the exhibits are open in full or you find yourself going round there really quickly.
In an effort to entertain my children in the Christmas holidays we went over to @bristol, which my parents had heard about. Overall, I would mark it as average for a tourist attraction, but it depends on who you take to see it. For more, read on... I wasn't that impressed when we arrived and found that the only place to park was in a 3rd-party car park at £1 an hour with no discount for users of the @bristol attractions. We only entered the Wildwalk exhibit. The ticket prices were average, I think around £6-7 per adult and £5 for over 3 year olds, which I thought was a bit of a con, because as it turned out, most of the exhibit is probably for school-age children and above. My main disappointment was with the number of 'live' animals that were on show. There were plenty of videos to watch and information boards to read, but for young children there weren't really many actual animals to see. The "slice of a real coral reef" (quoted from website) is a single tropical fish tank. The Insects section had a few more things to see but the tropical rainforest was disappointing. I went to a similar attraction in France last year which I thought was vastly superior. I think Wildwalk is trying to cover too many areas in too little depth and might be better concentrating on less areas but with more to see. I would probably consider going back but not until the children are at least 6 yrs plus.
I was excited about 'Bristol 2000' nearly 5 years ago when i first heard about the scheme and have remained a firm fan since then. The three centres are proving more successful than anyones dreams. Explore, the science centre, is very impressive. It uses computers, hands on exhibits as well as guides to teach you about basic scientific principals as well as have a great day out. Be warned though, some of the more interactive exhibits (namely the simulator and the planetarium) cost more. Wildwalk (previously called Wildscreen) is an impressive combination of state of the art video projection and nature teamed together to provide a very interesting exhibit which can keep those natrualy minded amused for hours. The IMAX theatre is, in my opinion, the best exhibit. The films run fairly regularly and it is reasonably priced. Also, the biggest screen in the south west cant be bad. The sound quality is quite astonishing and the bugs crawling accros the lens of the projector all add to the effect. All in all, a great day out
I took my boyfriend and his two children to the @Bristol exhibition. Our first intention was just to visit the tropical gardens but i managed to convince them that the explore section was worth a look as well. As a frequant visitor to the much missed exploratory when i was a child i just wanted to show the kids what fun it was. Simon is 31 im 19 and the kids are 6 and 4 and so i thought it would be a good idea as they are beginning to learn some of the science stuff in school. We arrived quite early and there was an already large que. With a 6 and 4 year old queing it not much fun although there were plenty of staff onhand to entertain them whilst we waited. I am so glad that we bought the extra ticket and saw the science section as it would have been a waste of time otherwise. The wildscreen is basically lots of botanical gardens. Simon who is a garden center manager loved it but the kids complained it was too hot and they are too young to stand and absorb the various plants. We rushed this section. The explore part from my point of view was wonderful although it was a little too technical for the kids and far too crowded. A thoroughly enjoyable day for the adults but too technical for under 10's.
Live in Bristol or just visiting, then why not take a look at the @Bristol complex in the centre of Bristol by the docks. Today I took my son to the Explore @ Bristol complex and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Most Bristolians will remember the cannons marsh area of Bristol as a rundown open space, that was used as a long stay car park with a lot of old derelict GWR train sheds, well now that has all changed with this new development that has taken a number of years to create. The Explore @ Bristol complex has taken the place of the old exploratory that use to be situated by Bristol’s main train station (Temple Meads), this new complex is full of fascinating exhibits and 90% of them are hands on, in one part you can star in your own TV programme and in another you can play virtual volleyball, you can learn about the way the brain works, about electricity, light and sound and you can even create your own tornado. All the exhibits/experiments are all explained in an easy to understand language so even the youngest of children can understand what is happening, but if you do get stuck at all, there is plenty of staff about to lend a hand. The facilities are excellent with plenty of seating areas and there is even a play area for the under 6’s. The admission price is £6.50 for adults and £3.50 for children but if you mention Bristol’s radio station GWR, children are admitted free (as long as there is an adult paying full price). The @Bristol complex is easy to reach by car, public transport of foot, and if you take your car they even have their own purpose built underground car park. This is a must for anyone who lives in Bristol or who is just visiting. This just leaves the Imax theatre and the wildscreen@Bristol to visit, on another day WELL DONE BRISTOL.