Bristol is a city that will forever be very close to my heart. I spent some of the best years of my life there at university, making close friends, finding myself and falling in love. It’s a great, bustling place to visit for a long weekend – there’s plenty to do and see and is a really beautiful city (especially when the sun is shining).
I think one of the best ways of seeing Bristol is by foot- it’s a very walk-able city once you are in the city center. The first place you have to visit is Bristol Suspension Bridge, which spans across the Avon Gorge and the River Avon and links Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. On a nice day you can see for miles and it’s well worth going to the less known viewpoint- Clifton rocks railway viewpoint, where you can get some beautiful shots of the bridge and the views beyond it.
After visiting Clifton Suspension Bridge, it’s definitely worth taking a walk through the quaint (and very expensive) village of Clifton. They have some architecturally stunning buildings with huge, Georgian doors and some lovely coffee shops and boutiques. Primrose Cafe is a firm favourite of mine, alongside Boston Tea Party – both are usually very busy so it’s worth getting to these cafes early to maximize your chance of getting a good seat. The Clifton Arcade has some great vintage shops- perfect for browsing and picking up gifts and there is a lovely florist called Clifton flowers which is worth popping into.
Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill are another two must-sees in Bristol. Just a 20 minute walk from the beautiful village of Clifton, Cabot Tower boasts some stunning views of Bristol city. It’s free to climb but the stairs are fairly steep and numerous. Cabot Tower sits at the top of Brandon Hill, which is a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get stuck into a good book or have a picnic. From the top of the hill there are good views of Bristol and a little garden with plenty of benches to rest on (necessary after a climb up the tower and/or hill).
From Cabot Tower, you can walk down Park Street where Bristol Cathedral is and the Harbourside. There is always a hive of activity down by the Harbourside and there are some great, lively bars and restaurants just beside the river. I would particularly recommend Stable for their pizzas and Dockyard Cafe Bar for their lattes and sweet treats!
Of course, Bristol is also renown for it’s shops. Cabot Circus, which is a short bus ride from the centre or a 15 minute walk from the Harbourside, has a huge selection of shops from high street to high end. It also has a lovely, modern cinema and a few nice restaurants. Not far from there is St Nicholas Market (The Corn Exchange) which is a really vibrant market place that has over 60 stalls that sell a variety of goods and food. It’s open Monday to Saturday and is definitely worth a visit!
This really is just a taste of what Bristol has to offer- other favourites of mine include; Ashton Court, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Zoo and The Downs (near Stoke Bishop). All very much worth seeing in you’re planning a long weekend to Bristol!