Home to two world class universities and drama school (with an associate theatre to boot), beautiful architecture, an inclusive attitude and a history of thousands of years, has there ever been a bad word said about Bristol? We don’t think so, and we don’t think you or your almost 60,000 student body members will either.
The Arnolfini is Bristol’s centre for contemporary arts; dynamic and adventurous, expect ‘visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events’.
Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft areas are just north of the centre and is the home to all things indie. Self-proclaimed ‘cultural quarter’, in Stokes Croft each wall is a piece of art, constantly evolving. Gloucester Road boasts the longest road of independent shops in Europe! Both come with masses of cafes and bars to satisfy any foody’s fantasy.
Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate is the great escape to the country for when essays and exams are getting you down. A stunning 19th century mansion with traditional decor, period costumes, exhibitions, and Victorian school room set in 650 acres. It’s all free to enjoy and only a bus ride away (1,3,4,76).
Throughout the summer months (Jul-Aug) Bristol is chockablock with festivals that marry culture and creativity - think hot air balloons, literature, circus, and burlesque, to name a few.
Meet and Eat
Pepe Nero’s - Located in two spots across the city to meet demand, Beer Emporium and Full Moon Bar, they serve authentic Italian wood fired pizza, which has been said to be “probably the best pizza I’ve ever had” by a number of people. Vegan, veggie and gluten free catered for.
The Love Inn - In alternative HQ Stokes Croft, this place’s tag line is ‘Your locally grown go-to for good music, good food, and good times'.
The Canteen - a cafe, bar, restaurant and a music venue - The Canteen is - a place for people.
Pieminister - for pies that pack a punch and a smile.
Edna’s Kitchen - a vegetarian kiosk at the heart of Castle Park. Most meals cost around £4 and deliver mega mediterranean flavour and very decent portions.
Biblos - Fast food that promises a delicious fusion of Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavours without the guilty feeling we get from the Golden Arches.
Hart’s Bakery - Artisan bakes; just look at their insta-worthy website, or just their intsta account.
Source - They say ‘Good food starts here’ and we’d agree. Find this food hall and cafe at the heart of Old City.
Cafe Kino - Vegan and VERY good.
Sometimes, the sun will shine, you’ll look out of the window from behind your laptop and text books and think, this day is for me, and you’ll go outside, and will (maybe, perhaps) think of doing some of the following things…
Brandon Hill is Bristol’s oldest park, suitably located just off Park Street. It has play area, beautiful parkland and treelined paths as well as the iconic Cabot Tower which is open daily and free to climb - the steps, not scaling the walls. The spiral staircase takes you to the top for panoramic views of Bristol and beyond.
If you fancy an excursion to UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath, you’re a well marked 12 mile cycle route away (or of course, buses and trains are available).
Avon Valley Railway is ‘your friendly local steam railway’. For a uni-family day doing something a bit different. There are themed events including Christmas buffets and Murder Mysteries.
Bristol has its fair share of markets so whether you’re after some freshly baked bread, nicknacks to fill your room, or just fancy clearing your head of essays, the following markets will do the trick:
No.1 Harbourside Market ‘street food, live music, makers and creators’ three times a week.
Bristol Flea Market - as you’d expect, a buzzing hub of vintage, industrial, retro bits and bobs and furniture. Even if you’re not looking for an old piano or a stuffed badger in a scarf smoking a pipe, it’s certainly worth a visit.
St Nicholas Markets street food, a labyrinth of eclectic stalls and 2016 winners of Britain’s Best Large Indoor Market; well they’ve been at it since 1743.
There are a number of bus systems running through Bristol, but honestly, it’s a beautiful and not particularly big city that’s best done by foot - or bike.