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Bristol Life

Your Bristol Bucket list

By JForrester 21 Sep 2020

Moved in and unpacked ✔️
Met the flat family  ✔️
Done your introductory lectures ✔️

Well, now it's time to get started on your Bristol Bucketlist and making those precious Bristol memories! 

Here are some ideas to get you started...

1. Feast at St Nicks 

St Nicks market is full of scrummy foods and gorgeous stalls selling crafts, locally produced goods, vintage clothing and jewlellery, you could easily spend an afternoon wandering through the all the stalls.

The street food market opens its doors on weekends and weekday afternoons, from Moroccan to Caribbean, English to Italian, there are so many delicious offerings here, you definitely won't leave hungry. On Fridays and Thursdays they often have events with live music, so you can make an evening of it.  

2. Soak up the Sights in Clifton

Bristol has lots of small neighbourhoods around the city centre, each with a unique character and different feel. Clifton, as you probably already know, is home to Bristol's iconic suspension bridge, but there's so much more to explore. Its home to some of Bristol's best pubs and restaurants, the White Lion bar,  part of the Avon Gorge hotel, boasts the best views over the suspension bridge. Why not take a walk over  Clifton Downs and then stop for a bite to eat? If you're not peckish you could visit the zoo, or go for a swim at Bristol's very own Lido.

3. Watch a film 

If films are your thing, Bristol is home to all your favourite cinemas & then some. If you're in the mood for something a little bit different, try the Watershed, this small movie theatre nestled right in the centre of Harbourside specialises in independent & foreign films. There's also a cafe/bar to catch up with friends with after the film. If you're after something a bit special - The Everyman cinema, is one of the oldest cinemas in Bristol complete with plush interior for the ultimate viewing experience.

4. See a show

Bristol Old Vic has been running since 1766 and is the oldest continuously working theatre in the UK. Check out their website for all the latest shows. If you're into your West End grand theatrical productions, then The Hippodrome is the place for you. 

If neither of those are your bag, a simple google search with bring up many small independent theatres such as The Wardrobe Theatre in Old Market & The Alma Taverin Clifton which have a variety of more alternative shows in an intimate setting. 

5. Sail away

There may not be a beach, but you can't deny that Bristol's location on the water, snuggled at the edge of the West Country, gives the city a unique holiday feel. You can't live in Bristol without catching a boat once in a while. Bristol packet offers a variety of boat tours, from Cream Tea Cruises to City Dock Tours. 

6. Get some fresh air

There's nothing like a bit of fresh air to refocus, Stoke Park with the golden Dower House, is just round the corner from campus and is the perfect place to take a walk and unwind. You never too far from lush green spaces living in Bristol; Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills are also within walking distance from Frenchay & Glenside, with woodland trails, a café & riverside paths it's the perfect place to take a break from the books. 

Check out Culture Calling's guide to Bristol's Best Gardens and Green Spaces here. 

7. Have a laugh

Comedy clubs are a plenty in Bristol. Colston Hall is the place for all your big name comedians, but what Bristol does so well is small independent venues, there are so many to choose from when it comes to comedy. The comedy box at the Hen and Chickens is a personal favourite. 

Bristol also has a comedy garden festival at the beginning of July, which is well worth a visit.

8. Tea and cats at You and Meow

One for the cat lovers! Fancy going for afternoon tea and petting some gorgeously cute cats? You&Meow is Bristol's first cat cafe, kitted out in Zen style, it's the perfect place to relax and take time out.

9. Discover the harbour by paddle-board

No doubt you've seen those gorgeous Instagram pictures of paddle-boarders tranquilly floating down harbourside! Fancy trying it? Well then check out SUP Bristol; they provide both paddle-board hire and lessons.

10. Shop till you drop

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is only a short bus ride away from Frenchay and Glenside campus and Cabot Circus is another great option when it comes to shopping. If you love vintage clothes, you're in the right place. Loot Vintage has a great selection of vintage and retro clothing. If you take a stroll down Park Street, you will find a selection of boutiques, book shops, charity shops and places to eat.

11. Dance the night away

Bristol's nightlife is second to none. It's got everything from free live music every night at The Canteen to partying on a boat at Thekla. There are so many places to dance the night away, head to Stokes Croft, Park Street & Kings Street to start exploring.

12. Throw an axe

Pizza and axe throwing what a perfect combination. Whistle punks have taken the axe throwing out of the woodland and brought it into the city! This could be a fun and unique flat evening out!

13. Get Arty

I'm guessing since you have chosen to spend the next three years in Bristol, you're well aware that Bristol is famous for its Graffiti! Get out there and see if you can spot some of Banksy's famous pieces, you could even take one of Bristol's many graffiti tours.  Follow Upfest's Instagram so you don't miss any of the amazing artwork popping up over the city.  Keeping on the theme of art why not drop into  Bristol's museum and art gallery.

14. Step aboard the Concorde

Two hours, fifty-two minutes and fifty-nine seconds, that's how long it took to fly from London to New York on the Concorde. You might not be able to get there that fast anymore, but you can board the Concorde at Aerospace Bristol. There are also a ton of other great feats of engineering for you to marvel at.    

15. Get lost in space

Bristol's planetarium is part of We The Curious, Science and Arts Center. Inside this shiny sphere you'll find 3D Planetarium, from Solar System Odysseys to Stargazing there are many different shows for you to enjoy! 

16. Dive into Bristol's history

If you want to really get to grips with Bristol and all its history, head down to the M shed. This fantastic museum traces Bristol's history from the pre-historic era to the current day.

17. Be at one with nature at The Botanical Gardens


Bristol's Botanical Gardens are snuggled away up in Stoke Bishop on the edge of Clifton Downs. Part of the University of Bristol they boast beautiful plant collections including tropical and sub tropical zones collection, local flora, rare native collections and useful plants collections, to name a few.

18. Enjoy a festival 

Bristol Balloon Fiesta really is a feast for the senses. Whether you go to Ashton Court on the day or just visit your favourite outdoor vantage point watching the balloons sail over Bristol is a real spectacle. Bristolians love festivals so which one's will you attend this year? 

  • Harbourside Festival 
  • Upfest
  • Love Saves the Day
  • The Downs Festival
  • St Pauls Carnival
  • Dot to Dot
  • Bristol Film Festival 
  • Foodies Festival
  • Dog Festival
  • Bristol Food Connections
  • Bristol Comedy Garden
  • Bristol Pride

Main photo by Harry Kessell on Unsplash

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