City, county and unitary authority
A view from above of office blocks and church spires adjacent to a river which is crossed by a road bridge. In the right foreground a city park and a ruined church. A small boat is moving on the river and a larger barge is moored against a wooded quay. In the distance on the right wooded hills and on the left a mass of predominantly red brick housing.
Motto(s): Virtute et industria
(With courage and industry)
A map showing the location of the county of Bristol in England.
Location of the county of Bristol in England
Bristol is located in West Country
Bristol is located in the United Kingdom
Bristol is located in Europe
Location of Bristol
Coordinates: 51°27′N 2°35′W / 51°27′N 2°35′W / 51.450; -2.583
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region South West
Royal Charter 1155
County status 1373
Status City, county and unitary authority
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Governing body Bristol City Council
 • Admin HQ
 •  Leadership Mayor and Cabinet
 •  Mayor Marvin Rees (Lab)
 •  MPs Kerry McCarthy (Lab)
Darren Jones (Lab)
Karin Smyth (Lab)
Thangam Debbonaire (Lab)

Chris Skidmore (Con)
Jack Lopresti (Con)

 • City and county 40 sq mi (110 km2)
Elevation [1] 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2017)
 • City and county 454,200 (Ranked 10th district and 43rd ceremonial county)
 • Density 10,080/sq mi (3,892/km2)
 •  Urban 617,000 (2,011 ONS estimate [2])
 •  Metro 1,006,600 ( LUZ 2,009)
 • Ethnicity [3]
  • 84.0% white (77.9% white British)
  • 6.0% black
  • 5.5% Asian
  • 3.6% mixed-race
  • 0.3% Arab
  • 0.6% other
Demonym(s) Bristolian
Time zone GMT ( UTC)
 • Summer ( DST) BST ( UTC+1)
Postcode BS
Area code(s) 0117, 01275
ISO 3166 code GB-BST
GVA 2012
 • Total £11.7bn ($19.4bn) ( 8th)
 • Growth Increase 1.6%
 • Per capita £27,100 ($44,900) ( 5th)
 • Growth Increase 0.6%

Bristol ( əl/ ( About this sound  listen)) is a city and county [4] in South West England with a population of 454,200 [5] in 2016. The district has the 10th-largest population in England. [6] According to data from 2015, the city itself is the 8th-largest by population in the UK. [7] The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively.

Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and around the beginning of the 11th century the settlement was known as Brycgstow ( Old English "the place at the bridge"). Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was historically divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373, when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities after London in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution.

Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock.

Bristol's modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the U.K.—the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium. It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road, rail, sea and air by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32), Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations, and Bristol Airport.

One of the UK's most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world's top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides. The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the EU's European Green Capital Award in 2015.


The most ancient recorded name for Bristol is the archaic Welsh Caer Odor (the fort on the chasm), which is consistent with modern understanding that early Bristol developed between the River Frome and Avon Gorge. [8] It is most commonly stated that the Saxon name Bricstow was a simple calque of the existing Celtic name, with Bric (meaning a break) a literal translation of Odor, and the common Saxon suffix Stow replacing Caer [9]. Alternative etymologies are supported by numerous orthographic variations in medieval documents, with Samuel Seyer enumerating 47 alternative forms. [10]

The Old English form Brycgstow is commonly used to derive the meaning place at the bridge. [11] Utilizing another form, Brastuile, Rev. Dr. Shaw derived the name from the Celtic words bras (quick, rapid), or braos (a gap, chasm,) and tuile (a stream). The poet Thomas Chatterton popularised a derivation from Brictricstow linking the town to Brictric, the last king of Wessex. It appears that the form Bricstow prevailed until 1204, [12] and the Bristolian 'L' (the tendency for the local dialect to add the sound "L" to many words ending in a neutral vowel) is what eventually changed the name to Bristol. [13]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Bristol
አማርኛ: ብርስተል
Ænglisc: Bricgstōw
العربية: برستل
aragonés: Bristón
asturianu: Brístol
azərbaycanca: Bristol
Bân-lâm-gú: Bristol
беларуская: Брысталь
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Брыстал
български: Бристъл
bosanski: Bristol
brezhoneg: Bristol
català: Bristol
čeština: Bristol
Cymraeg: Bryste
dansk: Bristol
davvisámegiella: Bristol
Deutsch: Bristol
eesti: Bristol
Ελληνικά: Μπρίστολ
español: Brístol
Esperanto: Bristolo
euskara: Bristol
فارسی: بریستول
Gaeilge: Briostó
Gaelg: Bristol
Gàidhlig: Bristol
galego: Bristol
한국어: 브리스틀
Hausa: Bristol
Հայերեն: Բրիստոլ
हिन्दी: ब्रिस्टल
hrvatski: Bristol
Ido: Bristol
Bahasa Indonesia: Bristol
Interlingue: Bristol
íslenska: Bristol
italiano: Bristol
עברית: בריסטול
ქართული: ბრისტოლი
қазақша: Бристоль
kernowek: Bristol
Kiswahili: Bristol
Latina: Bristolium
latviešu: Bristole
Lëtzebuergesch: Bristol (England)
lietuvių: Bristolis
lumbaart: Bristol
magyar: Bristol
македонски: Бристол
മലയാളം: ബ്രിസ്റ്റൽ
मराठी: ब्रिस्टल
مازِرونی: بریستول
Mirandés: Bristol
日本語: ブリストル
norsk: Bristol
norsk nynorsk: Bristol
Nouormand: Bristo
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bristol
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਬਰਿਸਟਲ
پنجابی: برسٹل نگر
Piemontèis: Bristol
polski: Bristol
português: Bristol
română: Bristol
Runa Simi: Bristol
русский: Бристоль
Scots: Bristol
shqip: Bristol
sicilianu: Bristullu
Simple English: Bristol
slovenščina: Bristol
српски / srpski: Бристол
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bristol
suomi: Bristol
svenska: Bristol
Tagalog: Bristol
Türkçe: Bristol
Twi: Bristol
українська: Бристоль
اردو: برسٹل
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Bristol
Tiếng Việt: Bristol
Volapük: Bristol
West-Vlams: Bristol
Winaray: Bristol
ייִדיש: בריסטאל
Yorùbá: Bristol
粵語: 碧仙桃
Zazaki: Bristol