Young, trendy, and increasingly attractive to tourists, Bristol is already the undoubted jewel of the South West.
Now, to the complete lack of surprise of Bristol natives, a new study by GalaBingo.com has named the city the nation’s ‘kindest’, with a higher annual rate of ‘good deeds’ than anywhere else in the UK.
Here are a few other things to look out for while everyone is being super nice to you…
If there is one thing Bristol is famous for – alongside its historic shipyard and ramshackle football teams – it is nightlife.
There’s practically no end to the pubs and bars that could spice up your Saturday night. The Bag O’ Nails pub serves its pints with an adorably fluffy twist – it houses so many cats you’d barely have room to swing one. Or drop in at The Apple, a converted, two-storey barge moored near the town centre.
Bristolian boozers stock a king’s ransom of craft beers, but the city is also filled with local Somerset cider. The Coronation Tap serves a cider so strong you’re only allowed to buy it in halves.
With Banksy’s Grim Reaper and a set of decks used by Massive Attack at the forefront of its collection, M Shed is exactly the kind of museum you might expect Bristol to have.
Housed in a riverside lot that looks more converted warehouse than museum, M Shed takes an unpretentious stroll through the history of its city with a diverse array of films and exhibits. Highly interactive, younger visitors can enjoy rides in tug boats, cranes and steam trains.
Genuine fun for all the family, this free-to-visit space communicates its history without a single shard of pottery in sight.
Whatever your opinions on public vandalism, anyone that says graffiti isn’t art has clearly never been to Bristol. The birthplace of Banksy and host of graffiti festival Upstart, Bristol is, without exaggeration, a global street art hub.
Book onto a street art walking tour, or have a quick Google and conduct one yourself. Whet your appetite with a wander down Nelson Street – an otherwise ordinary road crammed with murals several storeys high.
If Banksy is your goal, several of his artworks still remain in their intended locations. Check out Masked Gorilla, the wonderfully witty Girl With A Pierced Eardrum, and Well-Hung Lover, a stencil on the wall of a former sexual health clinic now defaced with a paintball gun.
Before there was Banksy, there was Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Though Portsmouth-born and London-bred, this legendary engineer remains almost synonymous with the city that still hosts his most enduring work. Drive across the Clifton Suspension Bridge – a Grade I listed monolith hovering above the river Avon – or take a turn round the harbour and see the SS Great Britain, Brunel’s 322 ft steamship-turned-museum that spent 33 years beneath the sea.
If you’re travelling from London, you can do so aboard the Bristolian – a nostalgic steam train that tracks Brunel’s famous Great Western Railway all the way from Paddington to Temple Meads.
You may or may not have heard, but Bristol has something of an indie reputation. The garms are widely vegan, the coffee shops fiercely independent, and the music scene has moved through vintage vinyl records into 1990s cassettes.
The Cube fits right in. A not-for-profit worker’s collective and self-described “adult creche and progressive social wellbeing enterprise”, it’s run by volunteers and hosts performance events and screenings of all kinds. You should buy a lifetime subscription – it only costs £1.
- Press Association