So, you don’t want to live in London?
How about a city that was voted a ‘Rising Star’ destination by National Geographic, ‘Where to go on Holiday in 2019 hotlist’ by The Guardian, and ‘Best European Cities to visit in 2019’ by The Independent sound instead? Onto the greener pastures of Bristol, the largest city in the South West of England!
Affectionately known as ‘Brizzle’, Bristol is a green city with over 400 parks and gardens. It was the first UK city to be awarded European Green Capital in 2015 and ranked the UK’s greenest city by Compare the Market! To top this off, in a 30-minute drive South from the city centre you will find yourself in the picturesque rolling hills of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and in a 30-minute drive West you will find yourself on the seaside.
Aside from the beautiful greenery, Bristol is a bustling city with amazing food, nightlife, and festivals. Ask any Bristolian and they will boast about the boho vibe throughout the city. Sound like somewhere you’re interested in? We’ve compiled a cheat sheet of our local favourites! Check it out…
Places to see
Clifton Suspension Bridge (obviously!)
This iconic suspension bridge and widely recognised symbol of the city is a must see! Experience incredible views of the bridge and surrounding gorge. If you’re brave enough whilst visiting the bridge, you can also head to ‘Slidey Rock’. It’s a natural rock face that has been used as a slide for 100s of years and with amazing views of the bridge.
Clifton Observatory & Giant’s Cave
A former mill, now a famous viewpoint attraction tourists from all over the world. Marvel at the views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, look through the camera obscura (the ancestor to photography), visit the 360 Café, and don’t forget the Giant’s Cave (pay a visit to the infamous giants – Goram and Ghyston, in their natural cave located in the cliffs of the gorge with breathtaking views).
Banksy walking tour
Is street art your thing? You’ve come to the right place. Bristol is home to the famous street artist Banksy. Now, his pieces sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds, but back in the day he was just another kid with a bottle of spraypaint. His earliest work can be found dotted around the city. Look out for it yourself or join a walking tour!
Find yourself in Bristol in early August? Lucky you! Bristol is famous for its 4 day Balloon fiesta. Each year, teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to participate in a mass ascent. 2019 famously saw Darth Vader flying over the skies of the city! Fun fact, did you know the original Darth Vader is Bristolian? David Prowse played the physical form of Darth Vader in the original star wars trilogy!
Small Street Espresso
Located on the charming Small Street in Bristol’s old town, this hip café brings you their impressive selection of artisan blends and single-origin beans to be consumed amongst their backdrop of exposed brick and old wooden-flooring. Just be sure to get there early as seating is limited!
Ironworks Supply Co.
This Australian-owned café is a one-stop-shop for all your coffee, lunch, wine, beer and even fashion needs. Would you like a side of eggs, waffles or flatbread pizza with your morning brew? This is the spot for you.
Full Court Press
A major player (pun intended) in Bristol’s 2012 coffee revolution, this local café is one for the true connoseuir. The owner features a local blend as well as guest roasteries which are on a rotation, so customers will never get bored of the selection.
Bristol is a hot spot for foodies! With the most Michelin starred restaurants outside of London and many great independent restaurants to sink your teeth into!
If you want to get a cheap lunch that will blow your mind yet not empty your wallet, Bristol is the spot for you. Start with Marmo. This Italian restaurant is run by just two chefs, but trust us, they know what they’re doing. Think mussells with leeks and cider, or tagliatelle with shrimp. And it won’t even cost you a pretty penny –lunch with two courses is £14, three courses is only £17. For dinner, starters are £7.50-£9, mains £13.50-£18, desserts £6, and wines from £17.50. What more could you ask for?!
After travelling around Australia in their early twenties and eating pie every day, two friends moved home to Bristol with a plan to revive the British pie. Boasting a large array of awards from the British Pie Awards, to PETA Vegan Food Awards, and Great Taste too, these boys know their pies! Their menu uses only 100% free range british meat, and they offer an impressive gluten and dairy free menu as well.
Bristol has a plethora of burger joints to choose from. It is hard to know which one to go for, but a current front runner is the ‘deliciously dirty’ Oowee Burger! Famous for their double patties, brioche buns, and dirty fries, you won’t want to miss this local favourite. Oh and did we mention their three small plates deal? Did someone say halloumi fries, pigs in blankets and onion rings!
If you like a tipple, again, look no further, as Bristol has the 3rd most pubs per square mile in the UK. There are plenty of great areas to socialise with friends. The Waterfront, Welshback, Clifton Village, Gloucester Road, North Street… the list goes on! There are also lots of secret bars (if you can find them) selling delicious cocktails! Happy hunting…
A hotel pub offering stunning views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge from it’s spacious terrace, this is not a pub to be missed. Cosy up with a glass of rose on a warm summer’s evening to see the bridge light up at night!
The Coronation Tap
Ask any Bristolian about ‘The Cori Tap’ and they will recount their favourite night there for you. This renowned, low-ceilinged, Georgian pub specialises in local ciders, of which they have a massive array to choose from… Some of which are so strong they will only sell them in half pint measures! Head there on a Friday or Saturday night and catch some live music as well.
A growing trend in Bristol, microbreweries are popping up all over the city. Check out this guide – https://www.manvsglobe.com/craft-beer-guide-bristol-best-breweries-tap-rooms-uk/ – and plan a brewery crawl around to indulge in delicious bespoke pints.