The home to Banksy, a great live music scene, an iconic bridge and some of the best craft ales: Bristol is just about one hour drive from Cardiff. Let’s find out how to make the most of the trip.
People in Cardiff are dreaming of a getaway after a year in lockdown and the summer getting closer. Although, with travel restrictions still in place, we may need to think about local alternatives to the usual international destinations. The city of Bristol, right at the Cardiff doorstep, makes it ideal for people looking to spend a day or two out of town.
Are you thinking to take a trip? Here, the 10 best things that you should not definitely miss during your visit.
1. Stroll along the Harbourside
Take a walk along the Harbourside towards Hotwells to admire the ‘colours’ of the city. Here, you will see houses painted with candy and bright colours that form all together a sort of pastel rainbow. Along the way, many bars, restaurants and, if you are lucky, people busking on the streets will definitely enrich your time.
If you want to boost your experience, take a ferry tour for discovering Bristol directly from its water level.
2. Look at the city from above the Cabot Tower
At the heart of Brandon Hill, Bristol oldest park, Cabot Tower is a 105ft tower built in 1897 to homage John Cabot’s famous voyage from Bristol to North America. Designed by the Bristol architect William Venn Gough, the tower has been reopened to the public after refurbishment in 2011.
Climb the spiral staircase and enjoy the panoramic views of the city and its Harbourside. Always open and free to entry.
3. Enjoy the view at Clifton Suspension Bridge
You cannot come to Bristol without paying a visit to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. Became the symbol of the city, it has been offering spectacular views of the Avon George since 1864.
Perched on the adjacent hill, you will find a massive park with at the centre the Clifton Observatory. Here, you can look at the landscape through a camera obscura and make your way down the subterranean passageway leading to Ghyston’s Cave.
Hometown of Banksy, throughout the city you will find plenty of his works alongside those of others talented artists. Take an organised tour or just walk around its streets to discover and get lost between all these pieces of art. You will find evocative and thought-provoking decorations which led the Independent to name Bristol as one of the best city for street art in 2016.
Every summer thanks to Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, the city fills up with colour and creativity coming from a huge international audience.
5. Have a bite in St Nicholas Market
The 18th-century Exchange building at the heart of St Nick’s market is the last remaining architecture of this kind across the country. Today, it is packed with independent traders alongside a huge variety of food stands offering dishes from across the globe.
From Caribbean jerk pork wraps to juicy falafel, every taste will be satisfied.
6. Quench your thirst with the best craft beer
Bristol is not anymore just a cider destination. In the latest years, the craft beer revolution has shaped the city offer with an eclectic range of modern local products. Home of some of the best micro breweries of the country as well as of one of the best craft beer festivals of UK, it is worth a visit for any beer enthusiast.
Bristol art is not just across the walls of the city. There are some cutting-edge galleries that are definitely worth a visit.
Go to Centrespace for discovering the work of some of Bristol’s best up-and-coming artists.
Facing the Harbourside, Arnolfini is famous for showcasing contemporary installations and exhibitions that are not afraid of pushing the boundaries. Plus, its bookshop and café are ideal to take a little break and recharge your batteries!
8. Discover Bristol Caribbean soul
Bristol Caribbean community is a big part of Bristol heritage that helped to create the inclusive and diverse vibes that many love about the city. St Pauls is the centre for this community and it is now a multicultural hub hosting one of Bristol’s top attractions, the Jamaican carnival (St Pauls carnival), every summer. If you feel spicy, go to check out some of the best Caribbean restaurants in town. Then, follow the Seven Saints of St Pauls to get to know more about their contribution to the community. Download this app and start your heritage trail!
9. Chill at The Downs
Head to The Downs for getting your green fix and take a break for the hustle of the city. Stretching from the top of Whiteladies Road all the way to the Suspension Bridge, it is a massive park where you will always be able to find your social distanced spot.
Over the summer, Breaking Bread project brings to the park some of the best Bristol’s independent restaurants and bars. Remember to book a table beforehand!
10. Have a G&T directly from the distillery
Bristolians love everything that is local and so should you! Gin is a serious affair here, still riding the wave of popularity. There are several local distilleries where you can enjoy a gin tour or simply pop by for sipping a fresh G&T at the end of your day. You should definitely not miss Bristol Dry Gin, Psychopomp Micro-distillery and Bristol Distilling Co.