Got 24 hours to spare in beautiful Bristol? Often forgotten in favor of beachy Cornwall or sunny Somerset – Bristol is actually an unmissable hub of art, design and music. Check out graffiti-covered buildings (many courtesy of world-famous, Bristol-bred street artist Banksy) and trendy art studios, sat comfortably alongside vintage fashion shops and arthouse cinemas. There’s even a music venue that looks like it’s straight out of New Orleans. Here’s our dream itinerary to make sure you see as much of “Brizzle” as you can before your 24 hours are up.
10:00: Clifton Suspension Bridge
After a good lie-in (it’s essential before a relaxing day of discovery) sprint to the top of Clifton Village for a pre-breakfast photo opportunity on the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, stretched mightily across the Avon Valley Gorge.
11:00: Brunch at Rosmarino
Head to Rosmarino for brunch (or a late breakfast, if you haven’t already grabbed an emergency croissant). This Italian-style eatery offers Bristol’s most satisfying “colazioni” (breakfast spread). You’ll find it on the corner of Clifton Road and York Place, a few minutes’ walk from the snazzy Clifton Village center. Breakfast is generously served between 9am and 3pm so if you’re running a little late, worry not.
12:30: Museum musings
Done with dining? Walk down York Place to the Triangle, at the top of Park Street, and step inside the impressively imposing Wills Memorial Building for a stroll around Bristol Museum, piled high with treasures from around the globe. Even better, Bristol Art Gallery is located right upstairs. You can also hop on a bus and head down to M Shed, Bristol’s newest museum and a stylish homage to the city’s rich cultural history – from prehistoric times to the international trading that made it world famous.
14:00: Shop until your drop on Gloucester Road
You’ll reach this really (really) long road via bus, passing some of the city’s most iconic street art installations on the way. It’s the place to be if you’re a young professional, student or just trend conscious – packed with quirky boutique shops engorged with either retro or cutting-edge fashion; a bevy of cute cafés in which to grab a tasty lunch; and the highest concentration of independent retailers in the UK.
17:00: Hit up Cabot Circus
If you didn’t find what were looking for on Gloucester Road, then make tracks to the many chain stores in flashy Cabot Circus. Opened just a few years ago and connected directly to the already-enormous shopping district of Broadmead, it’s the home of retail royalty – from Apple to Urban Outfitters. Make sure you stop by the recently-renovated and delightfully absurd Bearpit en route.
19:00: It’s dinner time!
Bristol has plenty of options to suit all budgets: sample swanky cuisine at Bordeaux Quay in the Harbourside district; authentic Indian offerings at Thali Café in Clifton Village; or bold British food at Pieminster in Stoke’s Croft or St Nick’s Market.
21:00: Dance the night away
End your Bristolian day at The Louisiana, the music venue you won’t want to miss. It looks like a bar straight out of New Orleans and everyone from Kings of Leon and the White Stripes to Bloc Party and Coldplay have played here over the years. Catch an up-and-coming act and dance late into the night.. Alternative options include nightclub-on-a-boat Thekla, ultra-alternative discoteque Lakota and bowling alley-cum-bar-cum-nightclub The Lanes.