5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Bristol

Clifton Pastel Houses

During the summer we were lucky enough to be invited to visit Bristol for a couple of nights to see what the city had to offer. It was our first time in Bristol, mainly due to how far it is from our home city of Norwich. Now that Lilah is old enough to endure long journeys without giving us too much grief, we decided August was the perfect time to visit. We travelled from Norwich to London via Greater Anglia trains, then from London Victoria to Bristol via National Express coaches.

We stayed in a comfortable and modern apartment located in the shopping area of Cabot Circus. You can read all about our stay there in this review post.

I was personally blown away by the sheer size of the city and the variety of activities, restaurants and sights on offer. There was an endless list of things we wanted to see and explore that we found it impossible to fit it all into one short trip. On that note, I’ve decided to write about the 5 reasons why I fell for this special city as well as list a few of the things we missed out on but would love to do on our next visit, because we will most definitely be back!

1. Clifton and Clifton Village

Clifton has been on top of my to-do list for as long as I can remember. I’ve stalked those pastel houses on Instagram for years, so I felt like a kid in a sweet shop when we jumped off the number 9 bus at Ambra Vale, the perfect spot to start a little tour of Clifton.

Pastel Houses Clifton Bristol

We strolled though Ambrose Road, Argyle Place, Church Lane and Cliftonwood Crescent taking in all the beautiful colours and quirky houses before heading into Clifton Village, a wonderfully quaint area of independent shops and cafes. I would say Clifton is Bristol’s equivalent of Primrose Hill, bursting with colour and charm.


Clifton Village

Where to eat: East Village Café or The Albion (which offers prosecco for just £2.50 a glass!)

2. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Photographs do not do this bridge justice, it really is such a spectacular sight up close and viewed from the Observatory.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

We visited the bridge during the Balloon Fiesta which takes place during August every year, but unfortunately, due to particularly strong winds the balloons weren’t able to fly, much to our disappointment, but the bridge still looked incredible, even without balloons!

Tip: If you are visiting with little ones, be sure to pop along to the children’s park just down the hill from the observatory, Lilah was a big fan!

3. Harbourside and Wapping Wharf

This lively, buzzing area is lined with bars and restaurants aplenty and makes for the perfect setting for an evening out with friends or family.

Harbourside Bristol

Take a stroll at sunset along the city’s historic Harbourside down to Wapping Wharf. The golden light is so beautiful reflecting off the water creating a wonderfully relaxed vibe amongst the crowds that are casually sat drinking by the waterside. If we were visiting as a couple, we most certainly would have joined these jolly drinkers as they chatted the night away amidst the pretty views.

Calypso Kitchen - Caribbean Restaurant
Calypso Kitchen – Caribbean Restaurant

Where to eat: Cargo for a variety of independent traders based in re-purposed shipping containers.

4. Millennium Square

We the curious

If you have little ones, Millennium Square should most definitely be at the top of your list when visiting Bristol. It is home to the Bristol Aquarium, We The Curious science museum as well as fairground rides, water features and restaurants. We had so much fun here and found it rather difficult to drag Lilah away!

Bristol Aquariam

5. Shopping

Bristol is such a fantastic city for shopaholics! Explore the area of Park Street for a variety of independent, vintage, high-end and high-street shops, cafes and bars. Fashion lovers should head to Cabot Circus to splash their cash in all my favourite shops including Urban Outfitters, Topshop, Zara and so many more! St Nicholas Market located in the old city is also a must named Britain’s Best Large Indoor Market in 2016.

On the list for next time…

A street art tour in the area of Stokes Croft.

Cabot Tower on Brandon Hill – Climb to the top for inspiring city views and colourful sights of Clifton.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain – The world’s first luxury cruise-liner, fully-restored to its Victorian glory.

A ferry boat tour sailing under Clifton Suspension bridge with stunning views of the Avon Gorge

For more tips on what to do in Bristol, head to Visit Bristol

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