Oh Bristol. One of the most fun, vibrant, diverse and relaxed cities in the UK. I’m lucky enough to have lived in Bristol for four years, I chose Bristol to move to for university because it wasn’t too far away from Devon. In my first year living there I hated uni, I didn’t take full advantage of what Bristol had to offer but as soon as second year came about and I moved closer the center, I fell in love.
Bristol has a wide variety of different events going on all of the time. It’s a vibrant city which I love. Music is a massive part of my life and Bristol has been dubbed in the past as the most musical city. Festivals such as Love Saves The Day and Tokyo World take place in Eastville park every year with a good mix of acts.
Then there’s Motion, officially rated as the 19thbest club in the world! Motion sees some of the world’s best dance and house artists play in a warehouse close to Temple Meads and it’s good to see a venue down in the South West for such acts. Leading on from Motion there’s Rave on Avon which takes place in Stokes Croft every year.
Want something more family friendly? Harbourfest takes place every July and over the weekend there’s music, dance, food and tons more to keep the whole family entertained. How could we forget the Balloon Fiesta? If you’re from Bristol it’s a common occurrence to see hot air balloons forever floating in the sky and every August the balloon fiesta takes place where you can enjoy light-up night shows and early morning flights.
Then there’s the Hippodrome. There’s always a good show on, so there’s no need to travel all the way to the West End. One of my favourites was seeing Sherdian Smith in Funny Girl, because I grew up watching her in Two Pints of Larger and seeing her in a theatre fifteen minutes from my home was insane.
That’s only just a small handful, there are events going on every weekend suitable for everyone and is one of the main reasons I love Bristol so much.
Whenever I’m in Bristol I discover a new place that has an amazing view, or would be a good shot for an Instagram post. Firstly, Bristol Suspension Bridge has to be mentioned. There’s just something so peaceful about sitting on Brandon’s hill or drinking a Pimm’s on the terrace of The Avon Gorge Hotel overlooking the famous bridge. It’s an iconic landmark in Bristol and even after five years, I’m still not bored of the view.
Strolling along the Harbourside is a favourite of mine, taking in all the sites. If you go as far as Hotwells you can spot the colourful, iconic houses. I’ve spent many weekends sitting along the Harbour, can of cider in hand and just enjoying being where I am.
Bristol is known for its Banksy art which is sprawled all over the city. Street art is a massive thing, everyone embraces it and it’s nice to see artists being creative, showing off Bristol as one massive canvas.
I actually have a list saved in my notes, of places I want to eat in Bristol. I tried to tick off the majority before I moved back to Devon after graduating, but there are still a few that remain. There’s far too many on the list to rave on about in this post, so I’ll do a separate blog post for some of my favourite places to eat in Bristol.
There are sooomany good places to grab food in Bristol from Hobgolins dirty fries to Eat A Pitta’s falafel to Three Brothers yummy burgers to The Stable’s tasty pizzas, there’s something for everyone whether you’re a vegan, veggie or a meat lover.
Bottomless brunches or lunches are becoming a fast favourite of mine. I went to Aquila the other week for a three-course bottomless brunch, where my glass was rarely empty! I’ve also been to Brace & Browns; there bottomless brunches are hard to get booked in for however I bagged two spaces a few years ago. The food did not disappoint and we tried various dishes in our two-hour slot. I feel as though I may need to start a list of the bottomless brunches and lunches in Bristol because food and prosecco are a match made in heaven!
I’m a massive foodie and my list of places to eat is forever growing.
Back in my hometown I was used to the one night club and when I moved to Bristol it opened my eyes to whole new world! Bristol has a nightclub for every genre and is definitely known for its music. If you want a proper indie night out, Propaganda on a Saturday is ideal. Want to dress up and head to somewhere a bit more elite? Pam Pams is the one for you. Want to wear glitter, see some of the hottest dance and house acts? Motion is rated as one of the best clubs in the UK.
Not forgetting The Triangle with M Bargo’s, Lola Lo’s, Lizard Lounge and Gravity (or as I still call it, Bunker). Then there’s Park Street; I spent a lot of my weekends on Park Street hopping from bar to bar, starting at Greenhouse and working our way up past Antix, Forty Eight, Agora and Yia Mass. There really is a club for everyone, so whatever genre you’re into, there will always be something for you.
I’m not only partial to a cider but I love a good cocktail and there are some lush bars in Bristol, whatever the vibe you’re going for. The Florist has just recently opened in Bristol, which looks cute – I’ve not been yet but it’s definitely on my list! The Harbourside is good for a range of bars as well as Baldwin Street, Clifton, Gloucester Road, Stokes Croft and Park Street, just to name a few! From a girl who grew up in a little village in Devon, I’ve never had the luxury of different streets with different bars and clubs so moving to Bristol, I was in my element.
Bristol has a very chilled out vibe and you aren’t judged on what you wear on a night out; want to go ultra-glam with 6 inch flamingo pink heels and swimwear? Do it, no one will bat an eyelid. Want to wear jeans and trainers for a night on Park Street? No one will judge you either. I like being able to wear whatever I want, whenever I want.
I’m a massive shopaholic so clearly Bristol’s shopping had to be included. I worked at Cribbs Causeway for a few years and the diverse range of shops is amazing and easily located just off the M5, so if you’re heading past Bristol it’s a quick pit stop. Then there’s Cabot Circus, an even larger range of shops, I could spend a whole day just wondering around the high street and the quirky vintage shops.
If you’ve read my previous blog about Primark, you’d also know I am obsessed with all things Primark. Bristol’s Primark does not disappoint. Even Zoella has named Bristol Primark as her favourite Primark in the UK. It’s massive and I could easily spend a few hours wondering around each level.
Bristol has been dubbed the new London, with the diverse range of events going on every weekend, what’s not to love? It has a good mixture of both a city and a countryside, so whether you want to sit in a chic café in the city center or take a stroll by the Clifton Suspension Bridge or Blaise Castle, you cannot get bored of this city.
There’s always something to do, which is massive thing for me as I like to be out all the time doing something and Bristol is a great city to get lost in. I fell in love with Bristol four years ago and it still amazes me how incredible this city is. Moving to Bristol for university was the best decision I’ve ever made, countless memories have been made in the vibrant, relaxed city.
Bristol is so diverse and you will come across so many amazing but different characters making it a very unique city. Maybe I’m biased as I lived there or because all I know of other than Bristol is a small village in Devon, but to me I wouldn’t have wanted to spend four years anywhere else.
Bristol, you’ll forever have my heart.