Bristol city guide

Discover where to eat, sleep and hang out in this hip and happening city with a strong arts heritage.

A vibrant university town with a firm foothold in the creative industries, Bristol has exactly the kind of vibe you want from a city break destination.

It has been a wealthy trading port since the Roman era, and was once a leading light in Britain’s maritime trade in tobacco, wine and cotton.

Great Western Railway’s chief engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel made maritime history when he turned from railroad building to transatlantic shipping, designing the ss Great Britain, which you can visit at a cool, specially designed dry dock at the Great Western Dockyard.

Bristol also has excellent arts and music credentials, with Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky hailing from the city, as does graffiti artist Banksy. Today it is home to BBC Bristol, responsible for hit programmes Sherlock and Antiques Roadshow.

What to see

Take a ride with Bristol Ferry Boats, which transports passengers as far as Temple Quay and is a convenient and novel way to visit some of the city’s best attractions, such as M Shed, At-Bristol and the ss Great Britain.

Where to hang out

Clifton is a thriving suburb full of independent shops, cafés and restaurants. It feels hip without being pretentious, making it a great spot to while away a quiet afternoon.

Where to eat

If you’re on the move, grab a falafel wrap at St Nicholas Market. The food here is nothing fancy but it’s consistently tasty, and served in a lovely setting.

Where to stay

The luxury Hotel du Vin group must have had winter in mind when designing the cosy,
wood-panelled interiors of its Bristol hotel, housed in a collection of Grade II listed former sugar warehouses. A great place to hang out and enjoy a meal, The Sugar House is perfect for a romantic break for two.

Hotel du Vin, Bristol
St Nicholas Market