Back in early November, I was itching to get out of London for a day. Discussing day trip options with friends, Bristol came up- friends knew people there, and in our group of six people traveling from London, four of us hadn’t been before.
I understood Bristol to have a reputation for being a creative and culture hub, big on street art (hello, home of Banksy), and also modern- it was recently named the UK’s best city to live in.
I was excited to spend a day in the city, but didn’t have expectations for what we’d see or do. That said, I was elated on our train back to London after having spent the day wandering the city in search of colourful homes, street art, great food and craft ciders.
If you’re planning on spending time in Bristol, these were a few of my favourite activities:
- With lauded maritime history, Bristol’s harbour is a happening place. We visited in November, but I’ve heard on sunny summer days, the harbour is magic – sailboats gently gliding through the water, and rays of light reflecting off the surface
- Home to Banksy, you can still see some of the artist’s original works around the city. A few of my favourites we tracked down: Well-Hung Lover, You don’t need planning permissions to build castles in the sky, and Girl with the Pierced Eardrum. If you have time and want to see more local work, take a street art tour- Google to see tour options, most happen daily/semi-weekly
- Sip coffee in some of the city’s cool cafes– Society Cafe and Full Court Press Speciality Coffee were two places I liked. The Florist was my favourite coffee place (I hear they also do great cocktails) for its atmosphere- the decor is very Instagram (and relaxing). If you go early, it’s relaxing to be surrounded by such nice interior design. Nearby The Florist, don’t miss Pinkmans for their great pastries and doughnuts. Coffee + doughnuts, is there a better way to start a Saturday?
- The region of England Bristol is located in is known for its cider production. Of course, we had to try regional varieties while in Bristol. First up, The Stable for sampling ciders (found a Rhubarb one we loved) and pizza. Then, Muddock Cafe for an afternoon snack and more cider tasting- loved this place for its deck that overlooks part of the harbour. Our favourite spot though was the final one we visited, The Apple. What’s not to love about a floating cider barge? So many local varieties and great chips to munch on- a dream come true
- Although cider is the mains how in Bristol (in my opinion), we also enjoyed Hatchet Inn for pints in a historic pub, King Street Brew House for craft beer, and The Milk Thistle for speakeasy cocktail vibes
- Meander The Christmas Steps for Victorian England vibes
- Pop into Bristol’s Cathedral, near a Banksy piece (…Castles in the sky) to be awed by English architecture
- Peruse the stalls of the Harbourside Market, near The Stable, as you’re wandering town
- Climb up to Redcliff Hill for great views of the city and to admire a row of beautiful pastel homes
I only had a day in Bristol, but I’d love to return someday to see and do more than we had time for. If you’ve been to Bristol, what would you recommend to visitors as a must see or do?