Bristol’s Best Bits: all the stuffs you need to see if it’s your first time in town


Rosie Carr checks out the best things to stick in your Bristol bucket list.

If you haven’t been to Bristol yet, take this as your sign to book that trip. Bristol is a buzzing city in Southwest England and - just an hour and a half away by train from London – just dandy for a great UK city break or day trip.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This iconic bridge is a must visit for anyone exploring Bristol. Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831 and is now Bristol’s most famous landmark. It spans the River Avon and links Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in Somerset.

There is a £1 toll for motor vehicles to cross the bridge, but it’s completely free of charge if you’re on foot or cycling.

‍Clifton Village

Clifton isn’t just home to the famous bridge, it’s also one of the loveliest neighbourhoods to explore in Bristol. Clifton is full of great independent shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as rainbow coloured streets and grand Georgian crescents to wander. If you’re visiting, make sure to stop by Victoria Street - a brilliant pedestrianised street with lots of pavement cafes.

Bristol Street Art

Bristol is well known for its epic street art, which should be no surprise given that it’s the birthplace of Banksy. If you roam the streets of Bristol, you’ll find great graffiti all round the city - with some of the best spots being in Nelson Street, North Street & Stokes Croft. There are also some great interactive Bristol street art tours you can Joining a street art tour is an ace way to soak it in.

St Nicholas Market

This vibrant Bristol market in the heart of the old city is the best place to head when you’re hungry. It’s here that you’ll find the largest collection of indie retailers up for grabs. St Nick’s Market has been trading since 1743 and has an array of quirky stalls selling food and drinks, along with antiques and gifts. Street food lovers can choose from deliciousness including hearty pies from Pieminister, authentic Szechuan dishes from Chilli Daddy and fresh Caribbean food at Caribbean Wrap.

Clifton Observatory

Another iconic landmark to visit in Clifton, Clifton Observatory offers amazing views over Bristol, Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The Observatory tower has one of the only camera obscuras still open to the public in the UK, which allows for panoramic views over the city. It’s also home to a glass cafe, with a rooftop terrace that overlooks the bridge and the city.

Christmas Steps Art Quarter

An astonishing amount of shops crammed around a titchy set of steps: the medieval Christmas Steps strung with fairy lights and surrounded by seven streets make up the Art Quarter. Here you can peruse this labyrinth of interesting streets filled with unique shops, independent art galleries and cosy pubs; a great little spot in Bristol for shopping and exploring.

Bristol Harbourside

Another very popular part of the city, Bristol Harbourside is a great place for a stroll and also home to plenty of foodie spots and free museums and galleries. One of the best places in Bristol to visit on a sunny winter afternoon, its cafe terraces & waterside pubs are the perfect spots for waterside hot chocolate and whisky toddies. Or if you feel like getting some exercise in, you can go kayaking, sailing or stand up paddleboarding in the harbour.