For my first adventure, we (Mr NTbB and I) started with a fairly simple journey. We’d already arranged a weekend in Bristol, travelling down there by train, so a trip to Tyntesfield on the bus seemed pretty straightforward. Tyntesfield offers a 20% discount in the shop and café for those arriving by public transport – a great incentive – and the bus stop is at the top of the drive – so it’s not too tricky to navigate to.
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From our central Bristol hotel (the newish Premier Inn in the redeveloped Finzel’s Reach, which we’d highly recommend), it was a short walk (10 mins) to the city centre bus station at Haymarket. The bus station is modern, with indoor seating right by the bays where the buses pull in.
You can’t use cash to buy a ticket on the bus in Bristol; instead there are various options for purchasing them. The easiest way is to download the First Bus app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store (First Bus runs the vast majority of services in Bristol). Alternatively you can buy tickets on the bus with contactless payments (including Apple Pay and Google Pay), or buy a ticket from one of the First Bus travel shops (see opening times and addresses here), the Tourist Information Office or at a PayPoint retailer. I’d recommend the app because, as well as being able to buy your ticket on it, it allows you to see live departures and track your journey – always useful when you’re somewhere unfamiliar.
After much studying of route maps we established that Tyntesfield is just within the Bristol Day Rider ticket area – which covers 6 miles in any direction from the city centre. So we bought day rider tickets (£4.50 each) which allow unlimited travel on that day within the city. The option was that or a single (no return tickets exist), and two singles added up to more than a day rider.
To get to Tyntesfield there are two options – the X6 towards Clevedon travels along the Clevedon Road and stops at the top of the driveway into Tyntesfield. The X7 travels along the Bristol Road and stops at the bottom of the estate, where there is a path into the property which comes out near the Kitchen Garden (full disclosure: we didn’t investigate this). Between the two buses, there’s a service every half hour Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, there’s just the X7 running. We opted for the X6, as it was the soonest departing after we arrived at the bus station (departs from bay 10).
Much to my pleasure, the X6 was a double-decker, so we enjoyed great views from the top deck on our way to Tyntesfield. Using the app it was easy to keep an eye on where we were, so there was no panic about missing our stop!
As mentioned, the bus stop is at the top of the driveway, so it was a simple matter of following the drive down to the Home Farm visitor centre – the road is tarmacked, but there’s no separate path for pedestrians, so we had to watch out for other visitors arriving by car.
The signage was not entirely set up for people arriving on foot – there’s a clear entrance way for vehicles, which takes them to car park and in through the main entrance. A sign tells pedestrians not to go this way, but to take another path, which confusingly brings you to the rear entrance of the visitor centre (marked ‘Way Out’). This also means back-tracking all the way through the check-in area and café to find the toilets (which are outside the visitor centre, in the car park) and shop.
We were warmly greeted on arrival though and the volunteers were impressed that we’d come by public transport. Once we’d scanned in and got our 20% vouchers, we wandered straight down to the house with our pre-booked tickets* (via the NT website) and enjoyed a lovely visit to the house, grounds and woodland. (We made good use of our 20% off vouchers too!)
(*Top tip: I would strongly recommend booking your house tickets in advance – there are a limited number available on the day, but you don’t want to make the effort to get there by public transport only to find you’ve missed out. They do ‘sell’ out! The link to the Eventbrite page can be found on the Tyntesfield page of the NT website.)
On leaving the estate, retrace your steps from the visitor centre (ignoring the Way Out signs!), and walk back up the driveway – it’s uphill on the way out, so make sure you leave enough time to get back to the bus stop. We were pleased to discover we weren’t the only ones waiting at the bus stop – there were two others who’d clearly enjoyed a day out on the estate.
In all, we had a great day out, didn’t have to worry about parking and didn’t contribute to global warming (the bus would have run without us). A perfect first adventure for NTbyBus!
Please note: All information is correct at time of publication, but please do check – timetables and ticket prices are subject to regular changes.