The two years I lived in Bristol were some of the best years of my life!
I moved up to Bristol when I was 16 to live with N while he was at University. We lived in two flats during that time, both conveniently placed in the centre of town (the first was a studio flat looking over one of the biggest roundabouts in the city, the second was a one-bedroom flat sandwiched between two gay bars, just off Park Street).
I studied my A Levels there, and met loads of fabulous people who I am still great friends with now. We had the best time ever, and here’s why:
1. The Waterfront
I’ve lived my life near the water in Cornwall, but I didn’t feel out of place in Bristol. The Waterfront is stunning, and there’s plenty of places to sit and enjoy a drink or two looking out at the river.
(Photo from UKGirlThing.co.uk.)
2. Park Street
Dotted with a mixture of boutique independent shops, retail chain stores, and awesome places to eat, day visitors often miss out on the gems to be found on Park Street, as it’s a bit out of the way from Cabot Circus.
(Photo from The5thFloor.co.uk)
3. College Green in Summer
At the bottom of Park Street next to the cathedral, College Green was a regular hang out spot for us, due to living next to it and me attending said College! It’s essentially treated like a beach in Summer, with people lounged out on blankets enjoying ice creams or frozen yogurt from Angel Berry.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
4. So many places to eat!
I have so many recommendations for eateries here that I had to write a whole separate blog post on it! Being from isolated Cornwall, I was of course intrigued by the many chain restaurants we don’t get down here, but there’s plenty of great independent places to check out too!
(Photo from Grillstock.co.uk)
5. Castle Park
Another great chill out spot during the Summer. If you grab the right patch you can have beautiful views of the river too!
(Photo from Wikipedia)
6. Bars and clubs on boats
From The Apple to the infamous Thekla, you won’t run out of unique places to drink and be merry! Also get used to plenty of boat parties drifting past and waving drunkenly at you.
(Photo from BristolFerry.co.uk)
The best thing about Bristol is that it has all of the shops you could ever want, but without the crammed mayhem or huge crowds you’d get in London. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s the huge 4-floor Primark, fancy Quaker Friars or the independent shops of Gloucester Road.
(Photo from coolplaces.co.uk)
8. Beautiful Clifton
Walking around Clifton is like walking around Bath, or Chelsea in London. It’s classy and full of boutique shops and cafes, and of course there are stunning views from the suspension bridge!
(Photo from telegraph.co.uk)
9. The nightlife
Ramshackle at O2 Academy was our lifeblood (especially during my second year there, as I lived practically next door to it!), and while the other club nights were somewhat questionable (*cough* Syndicate), there are so many bars to choose from you need not worry!
(Photo from bristolnightlife.com)
10. St. Nick’s market
There’s always something going on in this street, from motorbike festivals to weekly food markets, it’s always worth an explore!
(Photo from bristol.ac.uk)
11. The art
Everyone knows Bristol for it’s famous graffiti and being the home of Banksy, but there’s so much more to it than that. Whether you’re a crafter, tattooist, musician or independent film-maker, you’ll fit right in in this city!
(Photo from HeatherOnHerTravels.com)
12. The atmosphere
As mentioned above, the ‘artsy’ culture of Bristol just makes it such a cool place to live. People are generally incredibly friendly and chilled out (and not just because no one seems to care about smoking weed in public). I feel like Bristol has all the awesome personality of Cornwall, but in a city with all the shops, restaurants and bars you could wish for!
(Photo from bristol.ac.uk)