BRISTOL, ENGLAND BY SIMON PAULSON:

With its incredible topography and sovereign spirit, Bristol is loved amongst the British.

“My illustration is inspired by all aspects of Bristol from the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel whom amongst other thingsdesigned and built the Clifton Suspension Bridge, shown here in my window,” illustrator Simon Paulson says.

“I have featured him as a DJ also connecting Bristol’s vibrant and pioneering music scene. The illustration also draws upon thecelebrated Balloon Festival as well as the cities ecological outlook and the world-famous Graffiti Scene. The ship in thebackground is the ‘Matthew’, a vessel sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America highlighting Bristol’simportance at the port.”

For the uninitiated, the Bristol national Balloon Festival is held annually in the county. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world travel to Bristol with their hot air balloons and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at one time. The event was first held in 1979 and is now one of the largest in Europe.

Describing Bristol as “vibrant, green and artistic,” Paulson’s earliest memory includes seeing bands at a local venue on a boat called the “Thekla”.

“The Thekla is situated on the city centre part of the River Avon and it had been turned into a venue with a stage, dance floor and bar,”Paulson says. “After this, we headed over to a night bar called Renato’s on King Street. Renatos is next door to the Bristol Old Vic [theoldest continuously working theatre in the English-speaking world] and was often full of actors who would go there after a night’s performance.”

When you can, visit the Primrose Café in Clifton for breakfast, says Paulson. “Stroll around Clifton Arcade and then over the suspension bridge for a walk in Leigh Woods,” he says. “Later on, see a film at The Watershed harbourside cinema and then enjoy a meal at one of themany restaurants on Corn Street, Whiteladies Road or Gloucester Road.”

“Get out into the country. Go to the beach. Go for a long walk. Go to the pub.”

Follow Simon Paulson @simoncpaulson1310

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