Sharing the wonders of travel & everyday adventures
I recently visited a spunky place called Bristol, in the south-west of England, and was wildly impressed with what I found.
A city of about 440,000 people, Bristol boasts an active cultural scene, a dramatic suspension bridge, plenty of cider, lovely manners and a laid-back charm… all things that make me smile. Known for being a historical (pirate infested) port-city, as well as the birth place/urban canvas for world-recognised graffiti artist, Banksy, Bristol can certainly hold its own in the list of must-see UK cities.
We arrived on a grey Saturday morning with few expectations besides the forecasted afternoon snow. I’d heard murmurings of a creative urban culture – guerrilla knitting, public book swaps and more street art than your camera can handle – but told myself to contain the excited dance until I’d experienced said coolth.
Well, over the next few days, I did many a dance in the colourful Bristolian streets. Within an hour of arriving, I was bounding between bright multi-storey artworks on Nelson and Quay streets. Then I explored the book stores, boutiques and cafes along Park Street. I was introduced to the historical structures through the views from Cabot Tower on Brandon Hill, the foyer of the University of Bristol Wills Memorial Building and the uplifting chime of the Bristol Cathedral bells. And then, the recently-opened M Shed whisked me through an engaging version of local culture and development.
An afternoon stroll led me south of the lazy River Avon to admire rows of coloured houses, scarf-warmed bridges and sweet messages underfoot. Finally, to add some spice and cider to my day, I enjoyed an evening at Soukitchen and The Tobacco Factory in North Street, Bedminster.
Day two in Bristol offered more wonderful delights, starting with the scent of Pieminister pies, wood-fired pizzas and gluten-free brownies at St Nick’s Market. Naturally, after enjoying a slow food market, one wants a bit of literary stimulation, which was appropriately provided by the nearby Bristol Book Market. Then it was off to find a pre-loved clothing stalls and a fancy Sunday roast in the retro-inspired bar, Start the Bus.
A post-roast walk up the hill led us to the very pretty suburb of Clifton, where crescents of houses and parklands overlook the city and the pubs are fire-warmed nooks. Clifton is also where we found the famous Bristol suspension bridge, as well as a sneaky camera obscura and cliff-side observational balcony/‘chapel’ that was worth every pence of the £3.50 admission price.
Other things to see/do/experience in Bristol:
Info & resources:
Also, a big thanks and hello to James from the great travel blog, www.ouroyster.com – I enjoyed our random international blogger catch up and appreciated your local knowledge. Safe travels.