What’s Bristol Harbour Festival All About?

Overlooking the Harbour at Bristol Harbour Festival

If you’re a regular to my blog or know me well, you’ll know that I love Bristol! It was my home for four years during university, I spend probably over half of my weekends here and it will be the place I buy my first home. There’s something about the buzz of Bristol and the incredible events which take place, especially during the summer months. One of my favourite events is the Bristol Harbour Festival! So, what is it all about?


Bristol Harbour Fest has been going since 1971 and celebrates the maritime heritage of the city. The docks and the harbour are a very important part of Bristol, I mean, it is a beautiful part of the city and is most definitely the heart of Bristol. 


The event has grown massively and centres around five themes; markets & food, music, performance, family and maritime, with 250,000 people attending each year. 

A lot of the festival is dedicated maritime, as there’s such a strong connection between Bristol and the sea. You can watch a boat race and a carrier challenge as well as clasping eyes on the astonishing tall ships!

The best thing about it all? It’s completely free! But you’ll more than likely want to tuck into some incredible street food (I’d recommend the incredible brownies from one of the markets!). 

Ship on Bristol Harbour during Bristol Harbour Festival


The festival takes place in July every year, it’s usually the third weekend of July, this year (2019), it runs from Friday 19thto Sunday 21st. The main two days are Saturday and Sunday, with an abundance of events, there’s something for all the family. Things kick off at 11 AM on both days and events run until late! 


Well, the festival spans over quite a bit of the centre (three and a half miles to be exact!). There are six main areas; The Amphitheatre, Cascade Steps, Cathedral Walk, The Dockside, Queen Square and Millennium Square. You won’t be able to miss it, my advice would be to take a stroll around and do whatever takes your fancy. 

Sit by the Harbour with a nice cold cider, many of the restaurants and bars on the Harbourside will have something on offer just outside, so pick something up on your way through!

Bristol harbourfest - Bristol summer events

So, there we have it, pretty short and sweet! The Harbour Fest is one of my favourite events to take place probably throughout the whole year, not just the summer! There really is so much to do, everyone is happy and the atmosphere is incredible. 

If you’re looking for other summer events in Bristol, you can check out my blog on summer events in Bristol.Have you been to Bristol Harbour Festival before? I’d love to know what you’d recommend doing, seeing and more importantly, eating! Let me know in the comments ??


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *