In a rush? Have little or no time to plan your city break to Bristol? Here are several activities and attractions you can easily do/see with minimal planning (some may require booking in advance however), and still make the most of your visit to a city dripping in history and culture. So relax, you’ll still have a great time!
- Familiarise Yourself with the Surroundings and Get Acquainted with the Vibrant Collection of Streets at the Same Time.
Being a city renowned for its artistic expression – particularly within the last few decades – WHERE THE WALL is an award-winning tour provider which offer just that; A walking tour of Street Art around the City. Their main tour The Bristol Street Art Tour is available every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year whereas The Banksy and Historic Harbour Walking Tour runs primarily during holidays and half-term. Be sure to visit their website here for more information.
If visiting in July, be sure to explore UPFEST; Europe’s largest Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Over the course of a single weekend upwards of 300 Artists descend onto the bristolian streets, painting over 40 venues and attracting crowds up to 40,000 in number. And ITS FREE!
Bristol’s answer to the London Boris Bike – YoBike – gives you the capability of renting a bicycle at an hourly rate, with no designated pick up/drop off points. Using the App, you can see where a bicycle is located near you, walk up and unlock it using the instructions on the App. When you are done, just lock it and walk away wherever you are. It’s a great way to explore the city particularly in the summer time!
- Explore the Cider
South-west England is widely known as Cider-Country. Many of the locally brewed ciders sold here are not sold anywhere else. Head to The Coronation Tap in Clifton Village, or the Apple Boat in the city centre to try a wide variety of ciders which you’re unlikely to encounter ever again – unless you love the city so much you return.
- Spend an Evening on King Street
King Street in the central area of Bristol is a Cobbled street, home to a number of pubs and bars including the Llandoger Trow – the oldest pub in Bristol dating back to 1664. Opposite sits The Old Duke, a small pub where you can be guaranteed to see some great live Jazz, Blues or Funk every night of the week as well as during the day on weekends. Further down and you will discover the Famous Royal Naval Volunteer – another 17th century pub which is now Bristol’s largest craft beer and drinks emporium. You can then end the night in Kongs, a bustling bar attracting a wide variety of people from young hipster students to the average office worker. Oh, it also has a Foosball Table, and Table Tennis!
- Visit M-Shed
A free museum on the harbour-side in central Bristol (donations are encouraged). As oppose to the Bristol Museum, the M-shed provides a more specific display of the history directly associated with the city and surrounding areas. showcasing the rich history Bristol has in Aviation, First and Second World Wars, pivotal roles in political movements, world renowned artistic expression, and the foundations of the unique and vibrant metropolitan society Bristol has today. Even life-long residents can discover something new about their beloved city here.
- Clifton Suspension Bridge
A beautiful Suspension bridge built in 1864 based on the designs of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Spanning the Avon Gorge from Clifton to Abbots Leigh, the bridge is a beautiful structure with excellent views. Visit in the dark before midnight to witness the Clifton Suspension Bridge illuminated; a striking and stunning view from the Clifton Observatory.
- Visit the Saturday/Sunday markets.
Everyday weekend, 11am-4pm there is a pop-up market on the harbourside which sells a variety of wares as well as some pretty great food. All from local businesses. Is there anything more authentic, really?
- Visit St. Nicks Market
An indoor market selling many quirky and unique trinkets and garments. St. Nicks Market, open Monday – Saturday 9:30AM to 5:00PM is a beautiful indoor market well worth your time.
These points so far have encompassed activities which cost next to nothing and provide a great insight to the city. However, some visitors (and locals) like some more adventurous activities, right?
Paddle along the historical harbourside and try not to fall-in. For the more adventurous; partake in a Yoga lesson at the same time! SUP Bristol offer a variety of different activities from taster sessions lasting 1.5 hours, Harbourside Adventures – lasting 2.5 Hours, and group booking sessions which vary. They cater for kids, families, stag and hen do’s, as well as yoga sessions!
A huge Trampoline park on the outskirts of the city can provide great fun for any occasion. AirHop, with its foam pits, dodgeball arena, basketball slam dunk area, and many other activities included, it will keep you entertained and be a great experience for everyone.
- Rock Climbing
Climb the 100m cliff faces near central Bristol if you are in need of some outdoor adventure and adrenaline. Available year-round with Adventure-Café, (Contact for specifics), the sessions can last from 2 hours to a whole weekend.
These are just a glimpse into the adventures and sights that can be had in a great city. You can truly spend weeks here and not see everything due to its rich diversity yet strong community.