It would be a crime, I think, not to mention Bristol. Every Briton makes this trip at some point in their life. Whether it’s for one of the city’s famous festivals, a great night out, or a family trip; there isn’t much avoiding it. And why should you? Bristol is one of my favourite cities of all time, and while there are various guides that will inform you of the boring basics, Bristol is full of treasures waiting for you to discover.
So, what are the basics you really should do in Brizzle?
• Marvel at Brunel’s work. This includes the SS Great Britain; world’s first iron-hulled steam powered ship, and The Clifton Suspension Bridge (and take a walk back through Clifton’s gorgeous Georgian buildings).
• Do your share of learning. M Shed; the museum all about Bristol. It’s interactive and can be fun for people of all ages… Spilling out onto the harbour side where you can see the cranes, trains and boats constructed before the First World War. For more hands on learning, another favourite is Explore At-Bristol! With the aim of making science fun and engaging.
• Find Cabot Tower and get to the top. See the view of Bristol.
• Play ‘spot the Banksy’. How many can you find?
• Go to the Zoo. I’m not really one for promoting animals trapped in cages and all, but yeah… You could go.
• If it’s sunny, you can go kayaking in the harbour, with beautiful views of the multi-coloured houses you’ll speed past.
Like shopping? It’s time to get funky VINTAGE.
• Take a day for shopping, at least. A must visit is St. Nicholas Market, selling the best lunchtime meals and featuring a thriving indoor market. A variety of vintage and flea markets are spread far and wide across Bristol with masses of people gathering monthly in Ashton Gate… They’re fascinating even if you don’t buy anything, and you never know what you’re going to find!
• Continuing the Vintage adventure… Take a walk up Park Street, (make sure to get a snapshot with the Banksy on the way up) and hit Uncle Sam’s or Motel…
• Why not go up Gloucester road to have a taste of the organic fresh-food vegan lifestyle? While you are there, it’s worth visiting The Bristolian, an adorable little café tucked away just off Gloucester Road – it does gluten free and lactose free cakes.
• Alternatively for food, there are plenty of gluten free and unusual restaurants around Stokes Croft, or if this isn’t your thing, there are also millions of pubs.
Evening frenzies are of course a must.
• You can pub crawl down Gloucester Road. You will never have to walk far between pubs.
• Stop off at the Canteen for some live and FREE music (for those of us on a budget) and there’s always plenty of dancing to be done…
• Thursday = Thekla night club for your pop-punk/rock feel-goods. I honestly do not know why you would go anywhere else. It is also 2-4-1 on drinks.
• Friday night I recommend Pryzm; the four-floored surprise is guaranteed to give you a smashing night, whilst slightly lost in one of the many rooms, and definitely intoxicated on drinks cheaper than your post-party chips. Make sure you find your way to the top for the cheesy classics! Alternatively, you can go to Ramshackle, 3 different stages, great music and awesome staff. It’s only open on a Friday night so don’t miss out.
• Like the old school? You can rock up to the Old Duke to listen to some fabulous bluesy music.
And cider; because that’s what Bristol’s good for.
• The Apple, needless to say you’ll be sufficiently cider-ed, considering that’s all that they sell.
• Bristol’s specialist cider shop; unsurprisingly called Bristol’s Cider Shop.
• The Orchard near SS Great Britain.
• Generally, Somerset is known for producing some of the best ciders around, so keep an eye out for brands like Perry’s Farm Pressed or the Orchard Pig.