Bristol

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For other places with the same name, see Bristol (disambiguation).

Bristol [87] is the unofficial capital of the West Country of England. Famous for its maritime history it also offers a great and diverse range of attractions, hotels, bars and events. The best time to visit is in the summer when major festivals are held in the city.

Understand[edit]

Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the Avon Gorge.

Bristol is the United Kingdom’s eighth most populous city (approximately 450,000) and the most populated city in South West England. It received a Royal Charter in 1155. From the 13th century, for half a millennium, it ranked amongst the top three English cities after London, alongside York and Norwich. It borders the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire and is also located near the historic cities of Bath to the southeast, Gloucester to the north and Cardiff, the capital city of Wales which lies to the northwest. The city is built around the River Avon, and has a short coastline on the estuary of the River Severn where it flows into the Bristol Channel.

Bristol is an excellent base for exploring the West Country, with relatively inexpensive accommodations compared to nearby Bath and a huge choice of bars, restaurants and shops. It's one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the South of England, hosting a wide variety of visual arts, theatre, speciality shopping and live music.

Get in[edit]

Map of Bristol

By plane[edit]

Bristol Airport is situated a few miles south-west of Bristol city centre and offers direct services to over 125 destinations across Europe. The major international hubs of Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Dublin continue to be served by KLM, Brussels Airlines, bmi regional and Aer Lingus making hundreds of onward connections across the globe accessible from Bristol Airport. The airport is also a major hub for budget airline providers Easyjet and RyanAir.

There is a Flyer bus service which links the airport to the city it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the journey takes 30 minutes. At peak times, it leaves up to every 8 minutes. It costs are £11 for a return ticket (the second part of which can be used up to a month after the first), £7 for a one-way.

Car parks serving Bristol Airport[edit]
Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Park Mark®
[88] Award
Additional Information
Long Stay Car Park
Bristol Airport
Bristol
BS48 3DY
On
0.4 miles / 3 minutes
CCTV, high perimeter fencing, security lighting, entry/exit barriers and security patrols.
Yes
Maximum vehicle size is a minibus. Trailers are allowed, but prior notice must be given to the car park.
Premier Parking
Bristol Airport
Bristol
BS48 3DY
On
0.2 miles / Walking distance
CCTV, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols 24 hours a day.
Yes
Special assistance for Blue Badge holders is available, and Help buttons are located at the entry/exit barriers.
Silver Zone Car Park
Bristol Airport
Bristol
BS48 3DY
On
0.5 miles / 5 minutes
CCTV, high security fencing, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols 24 hours a day.
Yes
Trailers are allowed, but prior notice must be given to the car park.
Valet Parking
Customers' vehicles are parked in a secure, on-airport car park.
On
Customer is met at terminal. No transfer required.
CCTV, high perimeter fencing, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols.
Yes
Customer is met at the terminal upon departure and arrival.
Meet and Greet Parking
Bristol Airport
Bristol
BS48 3DY
On
N/A Met at the terminal
CCTV, high security fencing, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols 24 hours a day + disabled access.
Yes
Regrettably, no cars with trailers are permitted to use the meet and greet service at Bristol International Airport.

Sources:

The alternative is to use one of the London airports or Birmingham airport and travel on to Bristol by train, car or bus. The most convenient are:

  • Heathrow Airport is about two hours drive straight down the M4 (westbound) motorway. Alternatively the RailAir express bus service (running every 20 minutes) connects with the main London to Bristol rail service at Reading rail station; expect the total journey to take slightly over two hours.
  • Birmingham International is within quicker (and cheaper) reach of Bristol than London's two other airports, Gatwick and Stansted. By car it takes about 2 hours and you'll be avoiding the congestion-prone M25. Rail services connect Birmingham International to Bristol every 30 min at peak times with a change in Birmingham New Street. The journey takes between two and two and a half hours.
  • Gatwick Airport is about three hours drive away via the M23 (northbound), M25 (clockwise) and M4 (westbound) motorways.
  • Stansted Airport is about three hours drive away via the M11 (southbound), M25 (anti-clockwise) and M4 (westbound) motorways. By train you will need to catch a Stansted Express train to London Liverpool Street station, the tube to London Paddington station, then follow the directions below; expect the total journey to take around three and a half hours.
  • Cardiff International Airport is about one hour west of Bristol, going northbound from Culverhouse Cross, to J33 of the M4, then Eastbound, to Bristol. Alternatively take the train direct from Cardiff Airport, to Cardiff Central Station, then take another train to Bristol Temple Meads Station .

By train[edit]

Bristol Temple Meads station is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the city centre and has regular inter-city and regional train services from Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, London, Plymouth, Southampton, Swansea and York. It is the oldest, continuously and still operating train station in the world.

Bristol has a second main railway station in Bristol Parkway, which is located several miles north of the city centre. This station also has frequent services to many of the same locations as Temple Meads.

From London, you can travel from London Paddington station. There are several direct trains an hour and the journey only takes 1 hour 45 minutes. Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling 08457 48-49-50 from anywhere in the UK.

By bus[edit]

National Expressoperate services to Marlborough St Coach station, located in the city centre, from cities throughout the UK including London. The journey from London to Bristol takes about 2h30min. Tickets are much cheaper if booked in advance online.

Megabus also operate budget coach services from London and other UK destinations to a stop on Bond Street, Cabot Circus, near Haymarket. Tickets must be booked online and fares are demand responsive but can be very cheap (£1.50 if you book far enough in advance). The journey to London takes about 30 min longer than by National Express. Megabus have expanded in 2017 and now offer direct services to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and Barnstaple amongst others.

South West Falcon is a 24 hour coach service linking Bristol with Bristol Airport, Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth. Pay the driver on the coach or it is possible to book through Megabus See the website for stop locations.

By car[edit]

The M5 and M4 motorways intersect near Bristol and the M32, a motorway 'spur', brings traffic directly into the city centre. The M4 links London with Bristol with a driving time of less than two hours.

The city also has 3 Park and Ride facilities, A4 Portway, Long Ashton and A4 Bath Road sites, for more information see The Bristol City Council website [89]

Parkopedia.com [90] is a free service that allows users to search and compare parking rates and locations for commercial and private parking facilities in Bristol [91].

Get around[edit]

Maps[edit]

Visit Bristol the official tourism website for Bristol has free maps of the city [92]for visitors. Distinctive blue A3 tourist maps which cover the city centre, the Harbourside and Clifton, are available for free from the Tourist Information Centre on the harbourside and also from locations such as libraries, shops, Temple Meads railway station, hotels and the YHA hostel.

Detailed maps for districts within the city (such as Fishponds and Lockleaze), cycle, bus and a very detailed harbourside map are available from the City Council .

On Foot[edit]

Most locations in central Bristol (the Harbourside and Old City areas) are reasonable easily walkable, and there are plenty of attractive walking routes along the quaysides and in the pedestrianised central streets. The main rail station (Bristol Temple Meads) is a little further (about 15 mins walk) but still accessible by harbourside walkways or by bus. Bristol walking directions can be planned online with the walkit.com [93] walking route planner.

Bike[edit]

Bristol has plenty of bike paths and routes and is at the centre of the National Cycle Network [94]. Sustrans, which manages the network, is based in the city, and has a shop and information centre on College Green, next to the Marriott Hotel. The staff can provide information on cycle routes throughout the UK. Free cycling maps for the Avon Cycleway, Bristol and surrounding council regions (South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bath and North-East Somerset) can be obtained by emailing, telephoning or writing to Bristol City Council's Transport Planning Team [95].

By train[edit]

Bristol Temple Meads offers direct trains to many UK cities including London (Paddington). It is also one terminus of the Severn Beach Line which passes through Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road in the East of the inner city; Montpelier, Redland and Clifton Down in the north before heading north-west to Severn Beach, although off-peak trains terminate at Avonmouth. The route is quite scenic - the line itself has been voted one of the most scenic in the world by Thomas Cook; the fares are cheap (a 7 day season ticket between Temple Meads and Clifton Down is £3.90 and an off-peak day return is £1.50), quick (Temple Meads to Clifton Down takes about 15 minutes) and usually punctual and reliable. The Severn Beach train usually runs approximately hourly from 0600 to 2200hrs, Monday to Saturday, with a reduced Sunday service from summer 2008, but check details using Transport Direct [96] before travelling.

By bus[edit]

Bristol Insight offer open top bus tours with commentary from February-December. The route takes in most of the major visitor destinations including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Zoo, City Docks, Temple Meads, old city and city centre.[97]

Most bus services in Bristol are operated by First Bristol. Live departure times are shown on most bus stops. As most of Bristol's hotels and places to visit are located near the city centre or are in the upmarket suburb of Clifton, First Bristol's number 8 and 9 buses are probably the most useful for visitors. They follow a route from Temple Meads station to Clifton, passing through the main shopping area (Broadmead), the city centre (also handy for the harbourside) and the West End on the way.

Visitors planning on using the bus service for anything more than one short return journey may wish to purchase a First Day ticket [98]. This will allow unlimited travel within zones 1 and 2 on most bus services for a one-off fixed fee. Currently, a FirstDay ticket for the inner zone will cost between £4.00 ( before 9AM Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays)) and £4.30 (any other time i.e. after 9AM Monday to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.)

An increasing number of Bristol's buses now run 24 hours a day. FirstDay tickets are valid until 4AM the following day, and Night Riders, unlimited travel tickets costing £3:00 are available after 7PM and are valid until 4:30AM the following day.

Other operators include Wessex Connect and Abus.

Boat[edit]

Tourist boats at Bristol Harbour Festival, by Jeremy McNeill

Because of the way the city centre is intimately interwoven with the old 'floating harbour', a boat is a good way of getting around as well as seeing a lot of interesting sights. Bristol Ferry Boat [99] runs several ferry services around the harbour, stopping at various quays on route, and even providing a commuter service between the city centre and the main rail station.

The Bristol Packet [100] offer city docks tours with commentaries daily during school holidays and at weekends throughout the year. They also run regular excursions to riverside tea gardens on the Avon towards Bath and Avon Gorge cruises under the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Avonmouth and back.

Number Seven Boat Trips [101] also offer a ferry service during the summer months.

Bristol City Council offers a useful walking and public transport journey planner at [102]. Bristol is quite a hilly city, but if you don't mind walking up hills the walk can be pleasant on a fine day.

By car[edit]

Driving is probably the easiest way of seeing the surrounding region. Traffic can be an issue however, so public transport, cycle or on foot is best where possible.

Parking[edit]

There are plenty of multi-storey and council or privately run car parks throughout the city. There is on-street parking throughout, but it can get busy, and a number of residents parking schemes run throughout the city.

Park and Ride[edit]

There are three Park and Ride schemes operating in Bristol. The main park and rides are at Brislington, on the A4 Bath Road. Another is in Shirehampton and a third is at the end of the A370 Long Ashton Bypass. These are recommended due to their cheaper fares and ease of access to the busy city centre. For more information, see the Bristol City Council website

Taxi[edit]

Taxis can be an expensive way to get around the city. There are about 700 licensed taxis (Hackney Carriages) and these can be distinguished by roof signs and meters charged at a rate set by the council. There are a similar number of private hire vehicles (without roof signs) that need to be pre-booked. All legitimate taxis and private hire vehicles should have a predominantly yellow council-issued plate at the front and back of the vehicle. More information on taxis and private hire vehicles and a cab rank map can be found at Taxis and Minicabs in Bristol [103]. Uber also runs in Bristol, but these drivers are not required to be licensed.

See[edit][add listing]

Bristol has many attractions you’ll not want to miss. So much in fact, it is sometimes difficult to find out what you definitely shouldn’t miss. Therefore the following list provides some things you really don’t want to miss.

  • WeTheCurious Science Centre, Anchor Road, Harbourside, BS1 5DB, 0117 915 1000, [1]. Mon-Fri: 10 - 17 Sat-Sun: 10-18. With hundreds of hands-on exhibits to explore, live shows and a Planetarium, WeTheCurious (renamed from At-Bristol) is one of the UK's biggest and most exciting interactive science centres.. £15.30 (adults); £9.90 (children 3-16); £0.00 (children 0-2 years).  edit
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA, 0117 974 7399, [2]. Open 9am-5:30pm; closed Dec 24 and Dec 25. It is the 5th oldest zoo in the world and the oldest outside of a capital city. It has over 400 species of animal include Western Lowland Gorilla and Asiatic Lion. £17 (adults); £15 (students & senior citizens; £11.00 (children 2-14 years inclusive); £0.00 (children under 2 years).  edit
  • Brunel's ss Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, 0117 926 0680 (), [3]. Open daily from 10am (except Dec 24 and 25 and the second Monday in Jan) Closing times: 4.30pm (Winter) 5.30pm (Summer). Last entry one hour before closing. The world's first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner, built by Brunel in 1843 and now preserved in a dry-dock alongside the floating harbour. Adult £14; Student £11; Senior £13; Child (5-17 years) £8; Child (4 and under) FREE.  edit
  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road, West End, 0117 922 3571, [4]. Open weekdays 10am – 5pm; Open weekends 10am - 6pm. Bristol's major museum and art gallery houses an outstanding and diverse range of objects, from sea dinosaurs to magnificent art. A visit to the region's largest museum and art gallery is guaranteed to inspire! A range of subjects can be found. From Archaeology to History and Art. It also has a cafe. free.  edit
  • M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol, BS1 4RN, 0117 352 6600, [5]. Open weekdays (closed Mondays) 10am – 5pm; Open weekends 10am - 6pm. See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of Bristol through the interactive displays. From prehistoric times to the present day, M Shed tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world. free.  edit
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge, 0117 974 4664, [6]. Always open. Possibly the city's most famous landmark, Brunel's 19th century suspension bridge spans the spectacular Avon Gorge at a height of 75m. A visitor centre is on the other side of bridge. Free to walk across, £1 to drive over.  edit
  • Cabot Circus, Cabot Circus, Glass House, Bristol, BS1 3BX, 0117 952 9361. Cabot Circus in Bristol is a uniquely-designed, modern shopping centre based in the heart of Bristol Shopping Quarter.  edit
  • Bristol Ferry Boats, Welsh Back (Ferry stops all around the city), 0117 927 3416, [7]. Throughout the day. Catch a ferry and enjoy the exciting world of Bristol's Historic Harbour - for a round trip tour, hop-on and hop-off, or getting from A to B; and to many of the harbourside attractions. Timetables are available online and at many places in the city.  edit
  • Bristol Insight Sightseeing Bus Tour, Stop 1 located in Central Bristol, 0117 403 1994, [8]. Hop-on the bus to sample the best that Bristol has to offer on a 75 minute fully guided tour.  edit


Harbourside[edit]

The floating harbour is the jewel in Bristol's crown, and many of its attractions are on or close to the harbour.

Brunel's ss Great Britain
  • Brunel's ss Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road (Harbourside), 0117 926 0680 (fax: 0117 925 5788), [9]. Open daily from 10am (except Dec 24 and 25 and Jan 10 2011) Closing times: 4.30pm (to Mar 26) 5.30pm (Mar 26 to Oct 31). Last entry one hour before closing. The world's first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner, built by Brunel in 1843 and now preserved in a dry-dock alongside the floating harbour. Winner of the Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year 2006 - the Biggest Arts Prize in the U.K. Adult £11.95; Concession £9.50; Child (16 and under) £5.95; Child (4 and under) FREE.  edit
  • Explore At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, 0845 345 1235 (fax: 0117 915 7200), [10]. Mon-Fri: 10 - 17 Sat-Sun: 10-18. The first true 21st century science centre – play virtual volleyball, enter the eye of a tornado, or be the star of your own TV show. £11.90 (adults); £9.90 (students & senior citizens); £7.70 (children).  edit
  • Wildwalk At-Bristol, Anchor road, Harbourside (In The City Centre), 0117 9298929, [11]. 10:00 - 17:00. Journey from the origins of life to the ends of the Earth - spy inside a spider’s web, come face-to-face with scorpions and walk through a tropical forest with free flying birds and butterflies. Adult £13.50; Child 3 - 14 years £9.20 (must be accompanied by an adult); Seniors & Students £11.50 Family of 4 £43.40 (2 adults and 2 children). (51.45081108358272,-2.599210739135742) edit
  • IMAX Theatre At-Bristol, Anchor road, Harbourside (In The City Centre), 0117 9298929, [12]. 10:00 - 17:00. Visit Cyberworld, float in space, or swim with dolphins – with a screen that is four storeys high and Dolby Digital Surround Sound, it’s the next best thing to being there. Adult £13.50; Child 3 - 14 years £9.20 (must be accompanied by an adult); Seniors & Students £11.50 Family of 4 £43.40 (2 adults and 2 children). (51.45081108358272,-2.599210739135742) edit
  • Bristol Industrial Museum, Princes Wharf, 0117 922 3571, [13]. This museum is located in the L-Shed.  edit

Old City[edit]

Bristol's Old City Walls

Within walking distance from the bustling shopping district of Broadmead, is old town Bristol where the town originated from. You'll discover old buildings and hidden alleys whilst walking along cobbled streets. Highlights include:

  • St John on the Wall, Broad Street, 0117 929 1766. Open most days. This hidden gem of a church is built into the old city walls, the last remaining of five built during Bristol's prosperous medieval period. You can descend into the 14th century vaulted crypt where the elaborate tombs of rich merchants testify to the wealth and business activity of the city in Medieval times. It is said that the fountain on the north side of the church was sometimes made to run with wine at election times. Free.  edit
  • Corn Exchange & The Nails, Corn Street. Exterior always open. The Palladian Corn Exchange, built in 1743, boasts a clock on its frontage that ingeniously tells time both in the new-fangled GMT and the old Bristol time. In front are nails (in reality Bronze pillars) over which the local merchants did business; from these come the expression 'paid on the nail'. Free.  edit
  • St. Nicholas Market, Corn Street, [14]. Monday - Saturday (9.30 - 17.00). All under a glass arcade and is a great place to grab some deliciously different and cheap food. Choices include, local cheeses, The Bristol Sausage shop, famous Pie Minister Pies as well as food from around the world such as Portuguese, Italian, Moroccan or Caribbean and Turkish.  edit
  • Castle Park & St Peters Church. St Peters Church is closed to the public. The park is freely accessible.. It is difficult to imagine now, but this large harbour-side park was a network of busy streets and shops until it was bombed out during the second world war. Within the park are the excavated ruins of Bristol Castle, and the ruined St Peters Church preserved as it stood after the bombing as a memorial to those killed. Free.  edit
  • King Street. King Street is now the heart of Bristol's theatre-land (see 'Old Vic' below) but it once lead down to the docks at Welsh Back, where the old sailing trows (a type of sailing barge) used to dock after their journeys from South Wales. The street has changed little since those days, and the Llandoger Trow [15] pub dates back to 1663. It is rumoured to have been patronised by pirates of old, not to mention Robert Louis Stevenson whilst writing Treasure Island.  edit

West End[edit]

  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road, West End, 01179223571, [16]. Daily 10am – 5pm. Bristol's major museum and art gallery houses an outstanding and diverse range of objects, from sea dinosaurs to magnificent art. A visit to the region's largest museum and art gallery is guaranteed to inspire! A range of subjects can be found. From Archaeology to History and Art. It also has a cafe. free.  edit
  • The Georgian House, 7 Great George Street, 0117 921 1362, [17]. Saturday - Wednesday: 10am – 5pm. Built for merchant and slave trader John Pinney in 1790, also the former home of Pero Jones, a slave brought to Bristol from Nevis, by Pinney. It is displayed as it might have looked in the 18th century and provides an insight into life above and below stairs. Free.  edit
  • Red Lodge, Park Row (Situated behind the Colston Hall and next to Trenchard car park, off Lodge Street (look for the red door).), 0117 9211360, [18]. Saturday – Wednesday: 10am – 5pm. The house was built in 1590 and then altered in 1730. It has fine oak panelling and carved stone chimney pieces and is furnished in the style of both periods. The garden has now been laid out in Elizabethan style Free.  edit

Clifton[edit]

The Clifton Downs

The old and up-market suburb of Clifton contains several more places of interest, as well as much of the city's student population:

  • Bristol Zoo Gardens, Guthry Road, Clifton, 0117 974 7399, [19]. Open summer 9am-5:30pm; winter 9am-5pm; closed Dec 25. It is the 5th oldest zoo in the world and the oldest outside of a capital city. It was awarded ‘Zoo of the Year 2004’ by the Good Britain Guide. £13 (adults); £11.50 (students & senior citizens; £8 (children 3 - 14).  edit
  • Clifton Suspenson Bridge, +44 (0)117 974 4664, [20]. Always open. Possibly the city's most famous landmark, Brunel's 19th century suspension bridge spans the spectacular Avon Gorge at a height of 75m. A visitor centre is on the other side of bridge. Free to walk across, 50 pence to drive over.  edit
  • Clifton Downs and Observatory, Clifton, [21]. The Downs provide a huge open space within Bristol, with great views over the Avon Gorge and the suspension bridge. On top of the downs, right by the bridge is the Observatory, housing a camera obscura and a cave leading down towards an observation point within the 250-foot sheer cliff face of the gorge.  edit
  • Clifton Lido, Oakfield Place, Clifton, 0117 9339530, [22]. A Grade II* listed building. The Lido and pub are separately managed, the historic Lido having closed in 1989, completely refurbished and reopened 24th November 2008. The Victoria freehouse pub stands in one corner of the site; it was created in 1851 to provide the funds to rescue the Lido the first time, and was itself saved from closure in April 2006.  edit

Eastside[edit]

Bristol's Eastside is the multicultural centre of Bristol and offers visitors a refreshing alternative side of the city, made up of a colourful collection of neighbourhoods that boast independent retailers from all around the globe. The wonderful thing about this side of town is simply walking around it - and most of the good things to do and see are free!

  • Stokes Croft / Montpelier. (pronounced Mont-pelly-err, rather than the French-accented Mon-pell-ee-ay!). The bohemian heart of Bristol and home to artists and musicians of all descriptions. The streets are often canvases themselves and you'll find work by famous graffiti artists around every corner. Great music, cafes, an independent cinema, and a treasure trove of vintage clothing.  edit
  • St Pauls. Is the Afro-Caribbean centre of Bristol and home to the world famous St Pauls Carnival. It still suffers from the negative reputation of having been home of the St Pauls riots over 25 years ago but visitors today will find it a colourful, friendly area with fantastic reggae pubs and clubs and a great street art scene. Host to an Asian supermarket on Ashley Road next door to Teoh's pan-Asian cafe.  edit
  • St Werburghs. Is the alternative quarter and a green oasis in the heart of the city. Filled with allotments, a city farm, eco-housing and lively pubs including the award-winning The Duke of York in Jubilee Road and The Miner's Arms in Mina Road [23] . The most recent addition to the area is the multi-million pound Eastgate Oriental City [24] complex which features a large Chinese supermarket and Chinese restaurant.  edit
  • Easton. Is possibly the most multicultural area in Bristol where people of all nationalities rub shoulders. For fantastic cafes and specialist shops (including the locally-famed Bristol Sweet Mart [25] selling a large range of south-Asian foods and ingredients) head to St Marks Road.  edit


Churches[edit]

  • St Mary Redcliffe Church, Redcliffe Way, 0117 929 1487, [26]. Weekdays - 9.0am - 5.00pm. Sundays 8.00am - 7.30pm. a short walk from Bathurst Basin. Described by Queen Elizabeth I, as "the goodliest, fairest and most famous parish church in England" Free.  edit
  • Bristol Cathedral, College Green, 01179264879, [27]. Open Daily. Originally the abbey of St Augustine, founded in the Norman era, extensively rebuilt in the 16th and 19th centuries. The seat of the diocese of Bristol. Free, donations are welcome.  edit

Parks[edit]

Bristol has many open spaces reasonably accessible from the city centre. The more notable include:

  • Clifton and Durdham Downs, [28]. adjacent to the Avon Gorge, the Suspension Bridge and Bristol Zoo, 400 acres of grassland, with views towards the Severn Estuary and the Mendip Hills.  edit
  • Brandon Hill & The Cabot Tower, Off Park Street (about 10 minutes walk up a steep hill from the centre of Bristol), 0117 922 3719, [29]. This attractive and hilly park is worth visiting, if only for the views over Bristol from the hill-top. Even better views can be gained by climbing the narrow spiral staircase within the Cabot Tower atop the hill. Open every day from 8AM to 30mins before dusk. The tower is currently closed for significant structural maintenance and it is unknown when it will re-open.  edit
  • Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, BS41 9JN (2 miles from the city centre to the west), 0117 963 9174, [30]. 850 acre city park, less than two miles from the city centre, with a mix of meadow, woodland, deer park, golf course, site of the Balloon Fiesta, the KIte Festival and the former Ashton Court Festival.  edit
  • Leigh Woods, [31]. A wilderness of beauty and tranquility set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Avon Gorge and Brunel's world famous suspension bridge  edit
  • Blaise Castle Estate, [32]. 650 acres of park and woodland on the northern fringes, with a folly, the gorge of the River Trym and a small museum in Blaise House  edit
  • Oldbury Court, [33]. woodland and riverside paths alongside the Frome, with historic parkland and children's play facilities, approx 3 miles north east of city centre.  edit

Details of other city parks can be found on the city council website.[104]

Do[edit][add listing]

Special Events[edit]

Bristol has a widespread range of festivals throughout the year. The most significant include:

Bristol Balloon Festival

Listings[edit]

There are various websites publicising these events, and Visit Bristol compiles those which are of most interest to tourists. Saturday's edition of the Bristol Evening Post has a free pull-out supplement called Seven that lists much of what is on offer in the city during the following seven days. Alternatively you can check out Bristol Music & Theatre listings online on Bristol Music which also house's contact details for all local venues and music contacts and reviews.

Cinema[edit]

  • Watershed, Canons’s Road, +44 (0)117 927 5100, [46]. The primary hub for art-house film in the city centre with a lovely (WiFi enabled) cafe too.  edit
  • Cube Microplex, Dove Street South, [47]. Hidden away not far from the bus station, this small non-profit making co-operative venue is housed in a beautifully shabby 1960's theatre. It's run entirely by volunteers and specialises in experimental film, music and performance. A unique experience.  edit
  • Odeon Cinema, Union Street, +44 (0)117 929 0884, [48]. Three screen mainstream cinema located in the center of Bristol  edit
  • Warner Village Cinemas, [49]. There are two of these Warner Village Cinemas in Bristol, one near the Mall out-of-town shopping center at Cribbs Causeway (near the M5/M4 junction) and the other in Longwell Green, off the A4174 Ring Road. Both are modern multiplex type cinemas with approx 10 screens.  edit
  • Showcase Cinema, [50]. Bristol's first multiplex cinema, the Showcase has been open since at least the mid-1990s. Compared with the more-recently opened Warner Village cinemas, it's beginning to look a little tatty, but it does offer cheap tickets on Tuesdays - £3.75 all day. The Showcase is situated on the Avonmeads retail park, off the spine road that runs between the Lawrence Hill roundabout (take the exit before Junction 2 signposted as the A4320 to Bath) and the Bath Road in Brislington.  edit
  • Cineworld, Hengrove Leisure Park, Hengrove Way (off the A4174 Ring Road in the outskirts of the south of the city), [51]. Notable for showing at least one Bollywood film per week.  edit
  • Arnolfini, [52]. Right on the water's edge at Narrow Quay, this contemporary arts center includes a cinema showing alternative and arthouse films. And the quayside is a great place to soak up the sun with a beer from the cafe!  edit
  • Showcase Cinemas De Lux, [53]. New multiplex in the Cabot Circus shopping centre next to Broadmead  edit

Theatre[edit]

  • Tobacco Factory Theatre, North Street, +44 (0)117 902 0345, [54]. A hidden gem outside the city center, in the Southville area of town. Well known for being involved in some of the most cutting-edge theater in the city.  edit
  • Bristol Old Vic, King Street, +44 (0)117 987 7877, [55]. Bristol's main repertory theater, located in the city center  edit
  • Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustines Parade, +44 (0)870 607 7500, [56]. Showing large West End-style shows.  edit
  • Alma Tavern Theatre, 18-20 Alma Vale Road, +44 (0)117 973 5171(reservations at +44 (0)117 946 7899), [57]. Theatre located on the first floor of the Alma Tavern & Theater pub in Clifton, a short walk from Whiteladies Road. The theatre seats 50, with the bar on the ground floor.  edit
  • Redgrave Theater, Perceval Road, Clifton, +44 (0)117 315 7620, [58]. 220 seat theatre hosting amateur drama, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School productions and concerts.  edit
  • The Wardrobe Theatre, The Old Market Assembly 25 West Street, 0117 902 0344, [59]. Throughout the year, The Wardrobe Theatre creates and co-produces brand new productions with some of Bristol’s most exciting and talented theatre-makers. .  edit

Music[edit]

  • Colston Hall, Colston Street, +44 (0)117 922 3682, [60]. Wide variety of concerts, gigs and performances.  edit
  • St George's, Great George Street (off Park Street), +44 (0)845 40 24 001, [61]. Wide variety of acoustic music including classical, world and jazz.  edit
  • Bristol o2 Academy, Frogmore Street, [62]. Large gigs and club nights  edit
  • Anson Rooms ((University Union)), Queens Road, [63].  edit
  • The Fleece, St Thomas Street, [64]. Free on Monday and Tuesdays.  edit
  • Thekla, East Mud Dock, [65]. The famous club on a boat, sporting a Banksy graffiti work and prime location by Queens Square.  edit
  • Bristol Bierkeller, All Saints St., [66]. Rock, Metal, Punk, Goth, Alternative  edit
  • Full Moon & Eclipse, North St./Stokes Croft, [67]. Formerly an important Metal and Punk venue but has now become a backpacker hostel with some music events targeted at their guests.  edit
  • The Louisiana, Wapping Road/Bathurst Terrace, [68]. Bands that have played here include, Coldplay, the Whitestripes, Kings of Leon, Keane and many, many more.  edit
  • The Junction, 51 Stokes Croft (opposite City Road junction), [69]. Punk/Alternative.  edit
  • The Old Duke, King Street, [70]. Jazz, Blues  edit
  • Black Swan, 438 Stapleton Rd, Eastville, +44 (0)117 939 3334. A pub that regularly hosts alternative liberal, electronic dance, rave music events.  edit

Pubs offering live music of some sort are extremely numerous in most areas of the city.

Comedy[edit]

  • The Comedy Box, [71]. Usually hosted above the Hen and Chicken pub on North Street, Southville but sometimes at the nearby Tobacco Factory (especially for more popular acts). Has hosted a number of major stand-up acts, including Mark Thomas, Sue Perkins, Ed Byrne and Marcus Brigstocke.  edit
  • Jongleurs, 28 Baldwin Street, [72]. Situated above the Stone House Bar, on the 2nd floor.  edit
  • Jesters Comedy Club, 142 Cheltenham Road, [73]. Live performances offering stand up comedy.  edit

The Bristol to Bath Railway cycle path[edit]

This showcase cycle path runs on a disused railway line from central Bristol to Bath. With its traffic free tarmac, gentle gradients, and only two minor road crossings on its 22km stretch, it is ideal for cycling. At a leisurely pace the journey to Bath takes a good 2h through green suburbs and some attractive countryside. If you are too tired to cycle back, you can take your bicycle free of charge on one of the frequent trains from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads station. The journey takes 10-15 min.

From Bath, you can continue cycling along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal all the way to Bradford on Avon, taking another hour or so. Though not paved and somewhat narrower than the Bristol to Bath cycle path, the towpath is still traffic free and the scenery even more beautiful. There are two or three places to stop and eat or drink on the way. The aqueduct at Avoncliff is worth seeing. From Bradford too there are direct trains back to Bristol that carry bicycles. You can view a PDF map at Bristol and Bath Railway Path .

Learn[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Bristol is home to two universities: University of Bristol and University of the West of England . There is also a music college on King Square, the Bristol Institute of Modern Music, which from September 2009 will offer a BA (Hons) course in Professional Musicianship. Circomedia offers a one year diploma in Circus Skills and Physical theatre.

Work[edit]

  • The largest independent employers in Bristol are the two Universities, the Orange telco, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, AXA and various media companies including BBC Bristol (famed for its natural history department), HTV West and Endemol. The Ministry of Defence has a large site employing around 5000 people in the north of the city.
  • Casual work, usually supermarket, call centre, bar and restaurant work is fairly easily available in Bristol. Many employment agencies are located in the city centre. Bristol has the second highest job ratio of the eight English core cities (after Manchester) making it very good for employment opportunities
  • Office space is available to rent at * Studio 31 , , tel: +44 117 923 7947, [105]. which offers a creative work environment in the center of Bristol.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Malls & Shopping Centres[edit]

  • Broadmead & Cabot Circus are the two major precincts within the city's central shopping district. The newer of the two is Cabot Circus[106] which opened in September 2008. The name was chosen by public vote after it was decided that the name 'Merchants Quarter' brought with it too many connotations to Bristol's slave trade past. It is a large, and mostly under-cover shopping centre, containing over 120 shops including House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, 'Apple', Hollister, Boss, Ted Baker, Fred Perry as well as a Cinema Du Lux.
Cabots Circus Shopping

Broadmead remains a pretty dire indictment of post war planning and architecture; it contains the Mall Galleries, Bristol's city centre mall. It is large and has a good range of shops. Most of the major department stores can be found in the streets outside. Department stores in Broadmead include Primark and Debenhams. Other high street stores include Lush, BHS, Next, New Look, River Island, Marks and Spencers, Waterstones, HMV, Currys, H&M, Miss Selfridge.[107]

  • The Mall Cribbs Causeway, [108], is an out of town mall off junction 17 of the M5. This has a large John Lewis and Marks and Spencer as well as lots of other fashionable shops. The surrounding area of Cribbs Causeway is also home to large stores such as TK Maxx and furniture stores, with The Venue – including the Vue cinema complex, and chain restaurants such as Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito's and TGI Friday's.
  • Avonmeads Retail Park Situated between St Philips and Brislington, Avonmeads has a few out of town shops, restaurants, a Showcase Cinema and a Hollywood Bowl. Shops include Boots, Mothercare, Currys, Brantano, Outfit, The Range, JJB Sports and Comet, while restaurants include McDonald's, Chiquito's and TGI Friday's. A short distance away is Sainsburys.

Areas[edit]

  • Park Street, Queens Road and The Triangle (marketed by the local traders as Bristol's West End) has a good range of fashionable clothes shops, book shops, restaurants, takeaways, record shops.
  • Clifton Village contains a wide variety of smaller, more expensive boutique style shops, as well as some nice cafes and restaurants.
  • Whiteladies Road has some small department stores, takeaways, restaurants, bars, an ABC Cinema, Clifton Down shopping centre, electrical stores, bookshops, gift shops.
  • Old Market Street/West Street is just outside of the city centre where you'll find the charming areas of Old Market and Redcliffe and the rapidly developing area around Temple Meads Railway Station. Each offers its own feels but all are crammed full of beautiful architecture, interesting stories and friendly passionate locals.

Bristol also has quite vibrant district shopping centres. The best of these are probably:

  • North St and East St, in Bedminster in the south of the city. A wide range of independent shops, also supermarkets, greengrocers, butchers, bars, cafes, delicatessens, charity shops.
  • Gloucester Rd/Cheltenham Rd in the North, which contains a large number of cafes and restaurants, a number of instrument shops, many hardware stores and a good selection of independent butchers, bakers and greengrocers. At night, the restaurants and pubs attract lively nightlife.
  • Fishponds Rd and Staple Hill in the East. Asian restaurants, thrift shops, bakers and independent stores.
  • St Mark's Rd in Easton, in the east of the inner city, which is particularly noted for its mainly South Asian food shops and restaurants. It is also home to a modern vegetarian/vegan restaurant (Café Maitreya) that has won national acclaim.

Markets[edit]

There are also a number of markets in and around the city. St Nicholas Market [109] in the center, near Corn St. is a permanent fixture and has stalls selling jewellery, books, CDs and fresh food. It also hosts the 'Nails' market on Fridays and Saturdays and a Flea Market on Fridays, as well as various special markets around the end of the year. There are a number of farmers markets (and similar events) held at different venues around the city. These include:

  • Corn St. Bristol Farmers Market on Wednesday mornings 0930-1430hrs. Local producers from a 40-mile radius sell a massive range of food from cheese, fish, honey, cakes, vegetables to meat, game and poultry at this award-winning market. All the produce is grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked or smoked by the stallholders.
  • Tobacco Factory, Southville,, Sunday market 1030-1430hrs. It has around 30 stalls and leans strongly towards eco-friendly, fair trade and local products.
  • Corn Street, every Wednesday, 9.30am–2.30pm
  • BS4 Market, Wells Road, Totterdown, second Sunday of the month, 11am–3pm
  • Fishponds Farmers Market,Fishponds Park, Second Thursday of every month 9am–1pmEmail: [email protected]
  • Friday Food Market, Wine Street, every Friday 10am–4pm
  • Harbourside Markets, Weekly outside No.1 Harbourside and along the harbourside area. Every Saturday 10am–4pm
  • Knowle West Project Agricola A weekly market stall at the Mede Centre, Inns Court, selling a wide variety of British-grown fruit & veg at affordable prices. Fridays 10.30am–1.30am
  • Temple Quay Market, Every Thursday 12–2pm
  • Whiteladies Road market, Organised by local residents’ group Sustainable Redland, and held on the corner of Whiteladies Road and Apsley Road. Every Saturday 8.30am–2pm.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Bristol has a huge choice of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There are many around the Harbourside and The West End's Park Street and Whiteladies Road, but do not be dissuaded from trying those outside the centre as many are superior to those that attract passing trade due to their location. After a night out, or if your hotel allows food delivery, you will also be able to find many takeaways in Bristol , with different variaties of food.

Budget[edit]

  • There is a food aisle within the glass arcade at St Nicholas Market, near Corn Street. Many international cuisines are represented, including Italian, Indian, West Indian/Caribbean, Moroccan and Portuguese.
St. Nicholas Market
  • One Stop Thali Cafe Southville, Totterdown, Clifton, Easton, Montpelier, tel: +44 (0)117 942 6687, [110]. The Thali Cafe is an award-winning restaurant renowned for producing simple food full of exotic flavours, using local, seasonal produce and traditional Indian techniques.
  • Las Iguanas, Whiteladies Road (opposite Clifton Down Shopping Center), Clifton, [111]. Delicious South American food with the fresh flavors of lime, salsa and chillis.
  • Wagamama, Queen's Road, [112]. is a professionally run, good value Asian noodle bar. Main courses are filling, of consistent quality and cost £8-12. Walkable from the center, or take a bus from St. Augustines Parade/College Green up Park Street.
  • Wetherspoons, Queens Road, Canons Road [113] Basic, cheap and cheerful food and booze.

Mid Range[edit]

  • Severnshed, The Grove, tel: +44 (0)177 925 1212, [114]. The famous eatery with a bar that moves (using compressed air). They serve modern cuisine, and prices can be reasonable (especially at lunch time / early evening when they do a number of meals for £9.77). Right in the heart of the city center, on the waterfront. Open every day noon-late. £8-£30. Walkable from the center.
  • Boca Bar, Paintworks, Bath Road, Arnos Vale, [115]. Gourmet pizzas from £9-12, tapas.

Splurge[edit]

  • Bell's Diner, 1-3 York Road, Montpelier, tel: +44 (0)117 924 0357, [116]. A very well respected Bristol institution for those who know, Bell's serves up some of the most unique menus in the city, including their 'taster' menu where you get to work your way around everything. Open Tu-F noon-3PM (lunch); M-Sa 7PM-10:30PM. £18-£35.
  • Hotel du Vin, The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, tel: +44 (0)117 925 5577, [117]. This hotel has a wonderful Bistro with a great atmosphere. Food and service is of excellent quality. Starters about £7, main course £15 and dessert around £7. Walkable from the center.
  • Cafe Maitreya, St. Marks Road, Easton, tel: +44 (0)117 951 0100, [118]. Nationally acclaimed vegan/vegetarian restaurant. So good, even many omnivores enjoy it too! Open Tu-Sa 6:45PM-9:45PM. £16-20, excluding drinks.
  • Bordeaux Quay, V-Shed Canons Way, tel:+44 (0)117 9431200, [119]. Bordeaux Quay is a harbourside venue with an upmarket restaurant upstairs, a casual brasserie, bar, deli downstairs, with a bakery and cookery school - all under one roof. They aim to offer the very best in regionally sourced organic food and drink, while it tries to maintain environmental sustainability, energy consumption, minimalism waste and reducing food miles. Grab a coffee and freshly baked pain au chocolat for breakfast, or indulge in succulent mussels for dinner.
  • River Station, The Grove, tel: +44 (0)117 9144434, [120]. The restaurant aims to be carbon neutral with naturally generated air-conditioning. Great location on the harbourside looking towards Redcliffe. Fresh locally sourced menu with a lean towards Mediterranean seafood.
  • Casamia, High St, Westbury-on-Trym, tel:+44 (0)117 959 2884, [121]. Located in the city's north-western suburbs, this Italian restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2009 and is currently the only restaurant in Bristol to hold that honour.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The fact that it's the home to around 44,000 students probably says a lot for the quality of the city's nightlife. The eastern end of King Street in the old city provides a slightly more relaxed, but popular, outdoor drinking area on sunny summer evenings, surrounded by historic pubs such as the 17th-century Llandoger Trow (reputed to have been the haunt of pirates and the model for the Admiral Benbow in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island"). The South West is famed for its cider and scrumpy and you will easily find pubs and bars in Bristol offering a host of different varieties. But if you are an ale or beer fanatic then you will not be disappointed either; Bristol’s craft beer scene is fermenting as well as the award-winning ale it produces.

Imagine spending a warm sunny afternoon (no, it doesn’t rain all the time) on the roof of a barge in the harbour, or sipping a glass of bubbly looking out to Brunel’s iconic suspension bridge. Or perhaps you prefer to snuggle up in the warmth of the fire in winter at a traditional country pub. You can when you visit Bristol.

If you’re looking for something a little sassier, Bristol’s creative and unconventional style influences the speakeasies and cocktail bars around the city. Don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper into Bristol nightlife; look for a red light, knock on the door to be let in or chase the white rabbit to really experience what Bristol has to offer after the sun goes down.

Amongst the hundreds of brilliant venues in the city, there are four outstanding areas:

  • St Nicholas' Market, including Baldwin Street: on and around Corn Street, you'll find several chain bars, including Wetherspoons' the Commercial Rooms on Corn Street which was once a meeting place for Merchant Ventures. Other reliable venues include the Slug & Lettuce and Vodka Revolution on St Nicholas Street, All Bar One and Walkabout on Corn Street and O'Neill's and Reflex on Baldwin Street.
  • Harbourside area: the regenerated waterside is a great place to drink, especially on summer afternoons. On Welsh Back, there's the famous Old Duke jazz pub and, opposite it, the famous Lladngoer Trow - plus, the Apple, a floating cider bar. Bristol's famous bar on a boat, the Thekla, is around the corner, and there are plenty of big chain and independent bars on Canon Road. Millennium Square has lots of chain restaurants and bars centered on the impressive mirrored 'Imaginarium' and fountains. The Waterfront by the hippodrome can be rowdy of a weekend and is best avoided.
  • Park Street, Park Row, Clifton Triangle and Whiteladies Road: Whiteladies Road runs from the Downs on top of Blackboy Hill, past Clifton on one side and Cotham and Redland on the other; at the Triangle, traffic runs around the eponymous island of shops and bars before pushing down Park Street to the center of Bristol. There are hundreds of bars and clubs along this busy thoroughfare.
  • Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road: the anarchic area of Stokes Croft is home to Bristol's big independent clubs, Blue Mountain, Lakota and Clockwork; after these monoliths, there are live music venues, pubs and bars to please the alternative crowd. Highlights include the Pipe and Slippers, the Crofters Rights, the Bell, the Flyer and the Prince of Wales.

If you're a tourist in Bristol, you may enjoy visiting one of the city's pubs and bars with historic and literary connections.

The Llandoger Trow
  • The Llandoger Trow on King Street is supposedly the meeting place of Daniel Defoe and 'Robinson Crusoe', Alexander Selkirk. It is also rumoured to be Robert Louis' Stevenson's inspiration for the Admiral Benbow pub in his work, Treasure Island. The pub is a 17th-century Grade II listed building.
  • Abolitionist the Reverend Thomas Clarkson stayed in the Seven Stars in Redcliffe while he researched the British slave trade in 1787.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey used to meet in the Rummer Tavern to talk about emigrating. An earlier pub on the same premises, known as the Greene Lattis, was the first pub in Bristol to get a license, back in 1241.
  • Actor Cary Grant often stayed in the Avon Gorge Hotel, which has a terrace bar opening out onto Clifton's best view of Brunel's suspension bridge.
  • Pioneers of the Bristol sound, Massive Attack, established the Tube, a bar/club at the foot of Park Street.

Notable Pubs include;

City Center

  • The Coronation Tap (address="8), 0117 973 9617, [74]. A small West-Country cider house in Clifton, famous for its Exhibition cider - sweet, innocent looking but lethal. Gets rammed at weekends.  edit
  • The Hatchet (address="27), 0117 929 4118, [75]. Bristols Oldest Pub is Favourite of many various 'alternative' sub-cultures and is sometimes the venue for related club- and live-music events in upper room. Due to its proximity to the Bristol Academy venue, it's convenient for pre-gig drinks. Open until 2AM on weekends.  edit
  • The Apple (address="Welsh), 0117 925 3500, [76]. The Apple: A floating cider bar! A converted old Dutch Barge where the decks have been transformed into seating areas where you can sit and lull with the water whilst enjoying some of the West Country’s finest ciders. A really unique place to grab a drink. Just be wary of what cider you are drinking as some are rather lethal and could lead to a man over board situation.  edit


Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road

  • The Miner's Arms (address="136), 0117 907 9874, [77]. This pub is the type of large, multi-roomed community local that is increasingly rare. Declared the Best Pub in Bristol by Venue Magazine in 2005, it has mirrored the resurgence of this vibrant community.  edit
  • Duke Of York (address="2), 0117 941 3677, [78]. Winner of CAMRA's Best Pub in Bristol 2008, has a friendly atmosphere and quirky décor.  edit
  • The Green Man (formerly The Bell), 21 Alfred Place, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8HD, 0117 930 4824, [79]. opened in September 2008 as the first 'Organic' Pub in the city. The pub was formerly the Georgian-built 'The Bell'. Notably, all the alcoholic drinks are Organic and the freshly-prepared food is all Organic or Free Range. Two of the six real ales are served on gravity from the barrel.  edit
  • The Highbury Vaults (address="164), 0117 973 3203, [80]. Winner of the CAMRA Bristol pub of the year in 2003, the Highbury Vaults is a classic traditional pub with 8 real ales available on cask. Popular with students and older customers alike, and with a large heated garden. Open until midnight.  edit
  • Cosies, 34 Portland Square Bristol, 0117 942 4110. Don’t let the location (St. Pauls) of this amazing place put you off. The best way to describe it, is an underground cave. You walk down some steps on the street and enter through one small door straight up to the bar. The first half of the bar is relatively open, by this there are a few windows , but as you turn the corner you enter the ‘cave’ . A low ceiling, arched brick room with a Dj booth in the corner. On weekends it gets rammed as the beer is cheap, the music is pumping and the wide range of people from the students and middle aged couples to the Rastas in the corner, are all bumping and grinding with one another, leading to one hell of a night.  edit

Clifton

  • The Portcullis (address="3), 0117 908 5536, [81]. Freehouse near Brunel's Suspension Bridge. A Grade II listed Georgian building, it has been a pub since the 1850s. On two levels, the bottom bar and main entrance is one of the smallest pubs in Bristol.  edit
  • The Victoria (address="2), 0117 974 5675, [82]. Freehouse is part of the Grade II* listed Clifton Lido site.  edit


Hotwells

There are a number of traditional pubs located around the City Docks, such as The Cottage at the Hotwells end of the Floating Harbour, Grain Barge and the Nova Scota. These pubs can be accessed by foot or by harbour ferry.

Bars with Live music;

  • Mr Wolfs (address="st), [83]. 6pm-3am. Mr Wolfs: live music venue and noodle bar which has Live music every night of the week from local bristol artists.  edit

LGBT

Bristol's an LGBT-friendly city, with a rounded and rich gay scene. There is something for all LGBT+ visitors in Bristol from the LGBT Festivals such as Bristol Pride, Trans Pride, Leather Pride and The Bear Fiesta to regular LGBT events, club nights, arts and film festivals, non-scene events which celebrate the unique queer culture of the city and intimate parties which host international performers and DJ’s from around the world.

  • Queenshilling, Bristol’s oldest & friendliest Gar club and bar. Mixed, friendly atmosphere & home to popular nights including Hush & ESDR. Drop by for warm-up drinks, or party the night away in safe, fun, friendly surrounds.
  • OMG, Bristol’s biggest LGBT+ club. Popular with the younger and student crowds. Expect dance, house & chart tunes. Busy at weekends.
  • The Gin Palace, Infamous for its wonky floors, retro-chic decor & regular cabaret, The Gin Palace is one of Bristol’s oldest LGBT+ venues. If you’ve a fondness for drag, a penchant for camp or a sense of fun The Gin Palace is a must-see. Mixed & older crowds mingle with the younger LGBT+ scene.

Non-alcoholic venues include:

  • The Big Banana Juice Bar, [122]. Great juice bar in the center of town at St Nicholas's Market on Corn Street. Fruit juices and organic wheatgrass. Into health and wellbeing. Juice promotions and promotional events.
  • Blue Juice, 39 Cotham Hill, Cotham. Also serves wraps and salads.
  • Shakeaway, The Arcade, Broadmead. Will make a milkshake out of pretty much anything, including Haribo, Mars Bars and Oreos.
  • Gallimaufry, The Promenade, Gloucester Road. The Gallimaufry is an independent restaurant, bar, music venue and art-space located in the heart of Gloucester Road. The venue was transformed from the Prom Music Bar in 2012, and serves tapas style 'galli plates' and live music most evenings from 8pm  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a large number of hotels and guest houses in the Bristol area. A selection is listed below.

Budget[edit]

  • The Washington, St Paul's Road, tel: +44 117 973 3980, [123]. A good value budget hotel in heart of Clifton with full English breakfast included in the price. From £26.
  • Youth Hostel, 14 Narrow Quay, tel: +44 117 922 1659, [124]. A modern, clean and very central YHA [125] youth hostel located in the Harbourside area; now with a newly revamped cafe on the quayside. Open every day all hours (reception 7AM-10PM). £17 (adult); £13 (under 18).
  • Bristol Backpackers, 17 Saint Stephen's Street, located in Old City close to many night venues, tel: +44 (0)117 925 7900, [126]. Reception hours 9AM-11:30PM. Dorm Rate £14 per person per night
  • Full Moon Eco Hostel, Stokes Croft near the '5102' apartments, opposite the large roundabout behind Debenham's department store and the bus station, [127]. Dorm Bed £15 per person per night. Take note however that this hostel is situated right next to two of Bristol's biggest nightclubs with music going on until 5AM.
  • Clifton Short Lets, Westbourne Place, tel: +44 117 923 7947, [128]. Flexible short term accommodation in Clifton from one week to three month stays.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Arnos Manor Hotel, 470 Bath Road, Arnos Vale, Bristol, BS4 3HQ, +44 117 971 1461, [84]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Built in 1760 as the luxurious home of wealthy Bristol merchant William Reeve, this historic building boasts many original Georgian Gothic features. From £45.  edit
  • Premier Inn, The Haymarket (near the Bus Station), tel: 0870 238 3307 (within UK only), [129]. Standard rooms, nothing fancy, has everything you need as a reasonable price. Not ideal for long stays as could get a bit depressing. Room Prices: £50-£90.
  • The Berkeley Square, 15 Berkeley Square, tel:+44 (0)117 925 4000, [130]. If your visit takes you nearer to Clifton, this could be useful, just off Park Street (where all the best independent shops in the city are). The hotel is a lovely old 3* Georgian house; staying here also gains you access to the exclusive members-only bar in the basement. Rooms from £54.
  • The Clifton Hotel, tel:+44 (0)117 973 6882. [131]. Offers rooms full of individuality and character. On arrival new guests are welcomed with a gift of hand-baked biscuits and seasonal fruit. From £50.
  • SACO Serviced Apartments, tel: +44 (0)117 970 6999. [132]. An alternative to staying in a hotel. 150 well-equipped apartments throughout the city in seven convenient locations with friendly staff. From £65.

Splurge[edit]

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bristol North, Woodlands Lane, Bristol, Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, BS32 4JF, United Kingdom, +44-1454-201-144, [85]. Easily accessible from both the M4 and M5 motorways, DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol North offers a convenient location, just 8 miles from the city center and close to popular attractions, museums and art galleries. Business travelers will also appreciate our close proximity to many corporate clients. (51.544040,-2.565978) edit
  • Cadbury House Hotel[133], tel: +44 193 483 4343. Located just minutes from Bristol Airport and a short drive from Bristol city centre, this 4 star hotel is suitable both relaxation and corporate visits.
  • Marriott Royal, College Green, tel: +44 (0)177 925 5100, [134]. Four star hotel, the most famous in the city. From £75.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre, [135], Temple Way, tel: +44 (0)1779 251 001. This Hotel is perfectly situated in the city centre and just a few minutes walk from Temple Meads Station with regular trains to London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Bath. This modern contemporary hotel boasts 167 bedrooms, free Wi-Fi, Gym and City Café with a fantastic outdoor decking area to enjoy a glass of wine whilst watching the sunset.
  • The Brigstow, Welsh Back, tel: +44 (0)117 929 1030, [136]. A modern, contemporary hotel in the center of all the action, near Broadmead/Corn Street. Overlooks a very attractive stretch of the floating harbour. £89-£250.
  • Hotel du Vin, The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, tel: +44 (0)117 925 5577, [137]. Walkable from the center. Has spacious rooms and a restaurant and winery.
  • Avon Gorge Hotel[138], tel: +44 (0)117 9738 955. Boast spectacular panoramic views of the Avon gorge and the Clifton suspension Bridge. Located in Clifton Village close to all the local restaurants, bars and the Clifton Downs. If you are feeling lazy or simply want to take in the views they also have their own bar and restaurant on sight which you can enjoy. From £115.
  • Mercure Brigstow Bristol, Welsh Back BS1 4SP, [86]. A prime position on Welsh Back with riverside frontage. Comfortable, modern bedrooms and there's even a plasma-screen TV in the bathroom.  edit
  • The Grand Hotel (Formerly the Thistle)[139], tel: +44 870 333 9130. Located in the center of Bristol, about a 2 minute walk from Corn Street and St. Nicholas's Market. It has its own health and leisure club. Ideal place to stay for either business trips or as a base for exploring the city.

Stay safe[edit]

By using the same precautions as you would at home, Bristol can be a very safe city to navigate. Crime in the South West is lower than in the rest of the UK.

  • Stick to well lit, busy areas
  • Don't take unnecessary valuables with you - leave your passport in the hotel safe, and if you must bring them, keep them out of sight in a zipped pocket
  • Check your route before you leave
  • Only use official taxi services - they'll an ID badge. Find out more about taxi travel
  • Be careful around the water. Bristol is on a river, and as such there are many unfenced areas where shops, bars and restaurants run next to the water.
  • If you have an emergency, call the police on 999. To report a crime which is not an emergency, call 101.

Stay healthy[edit]

  • NHS Direct [140] run a 24 hour helpline if you need emergency medical help but it's not life-threatening. The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the local service that can help you best.
  • Bristol Royal Infirmary [141] has an Emergency Department.
  • Southmead Hospital [142] has an Emergency Department. Minor Injury Unit available, only open limited hours.
  • Frenchay Hospital [143] has an Emergency Department.

Contact[edit]

Phone[edit]

Bristol's landline area code is 117. Dial 0117 from within the UK or +44117 from outside the UK.

Internet[edit]

Free wi-fi is easy to come across in the city in many of the cafes, restaurants and bars. The Tourist Information Centre on the harbourside offers free unlimited wi-fi.

If you need to use a computer, the council run libraries have guest computers for non-members to use

Get out[edit]

Towns and cities[edit]

  • Bath, with its famous Regency terraces, Roman remains and spa facilities, is only some 12 miles drive or 15 minutes train journey away, and makes an excellent day trip from Bristol.
  • Wells, with its beautiful cathedral, is a hour's coach ride from Bristol.
  • Weston-super-Mare, probably the nearest sea-side resort with a sandy beach and plenty of entertainment suitable for young families. An adult day return from Bristol Temple Meads is £5.50. If possible, take the train to Weston-super-mare as an adult day return from the bus station will cost upwards of £8.

Online details of public transport options can be found at Transport Direct [144].

Outdoor activities[edit]

Abseiling and rock climbing activities [145] are available in Avon Gorge with Sheer Adventure.


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