Are you looking for a weekend away but only a short journey out of London? There’s loads of great places to get to easily – Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Kent and Somerset to name but a few! So, recently, I packed my bags and headed off somewhere which, as a northerner, I’d never really got around to visiting yet.
Bristol appealed to me for several reasons – it’s a city but has a bit of a country feel, being set around a marina, with plenty of greenery around the edges. Then, of course, it’s famous for its cider and it’s a completely different style and atmosphere to any other cities I’ve seen. So, if you’re considering a trip to Bristol, here’s some things to do that I’d recommend…
Our Airbnb was fantastically located on Corn Street – backing onto the St Nicholas Market, five minutes’ walk from the marina and from the town centre, and just over a half an hour walk from Clifton Village. We dropped off our bags and grabbed the most delicious hummus and falafel from a stall in the market and started to plan out our weekend.
Arriving to a peek of sunshine, and knowing it would be raining on Saturday, we headed up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge for the view and it didn’t disappoint! With views over the city to one side and a gorge from the other, it really is breathtaking. We also popped into the Tourist Info on the other side of the bridge, which has some really interesting stories about the bridge’s history. We headed into Clifton Village and had a wander around the boutique shops before stopping at ‘The Mall’ pub for our first cider of the weekend!
We’d planned ahead and booked tickets for the ‘Sunset Special’ at Bristol Zoo so we headed up here from the bridge as it was only a short walk. It may be a slightly smaller zoo than, say, London, but with some great animals to visit, this was a great way to spend our evening. There were talks about animals, such as the lions, gorillas and meercats, which were really insightful into the conservation work the zoo does – for example, they are involved in many global breeding programmes for almost extinct species (check out the baby gorillas!). We headed back into town for a gorgeous slap-up Indian at ‘4500 miles from Dehli’ before calling it a night.
On Saturday, we headed down to the marina and had a wander around it, stopping to take pictures of all the colourful, quaint houses you can see on every horizon! We headed into the ‘M Shed’ which had some interesting info on the history of the city, and some great views from the rooftop balcony. Back at the marina, we grabbed some food from the street stalls littering this area, before heading on a boat tour around the marina and down towards the bridge.
At this point in the afternoon, the weather turned a little sour, so we headed to ‘The Apple’, a cider serving boat, for a couple of drinks, then headed to Cabot Circus, a huge shopping complex in the shopping quarter of the city. Planning to avoid the rain, we grabbed some delicious pizza at ‘Renato’ before dropping into ‘BrewDog’, ‘The Old Duke’ (a jazz pub) and then finding the secret speakeasy ‘The Milk Thistle’ (below) for a classy end to our night!
On our last day we decided to round off our trip with a hop on/hop off bus tour, which went under the Clifton Suspension Bridge and up to the gorge viewing point for plenty of photo opportunities! With the sunshine out, we wandered the marina again, towards the SS Great Britain, and stopped for a drink in a lovely bar and kitchen called ‘The Brigstow’ for a gin and a gorgeous waterfront view. A perfect end to a lovely Bristolian weekend!
With more time in the city, you could easily plan to do some day trips out to see more of beautiful Somerset, but if you’re after a city break weekend, Bristol is definitely worth a try! There’s good eateries, good boozers, good shops, the city is beautiful and so easy to get around and the whole atmosphere is very chilled out…
I hope this blog has persuaded you to visit Bristol! But if you already know the city, let us know what you love about Bristol below!