This is potentially the fastest I have ever wrote/published a post after going on a trip. Yesterday I got back from spending New Years in Bristol with my friends Rosa, Ella, Josh and Tom. If you don’t know, Bristol is in the southwest of England and becoming a very popular place for young folk due to the artsy scene flourishing there. I am one of those dastardly creative types and therefore really wanted to check it out (and also dance, drink and countdown the year with friends). This post is very brief as I didn’t do much tourist sightseeing but it hopefully supplies a nice base for you to then mould your perfect weekend getaway!
Bristol is on the River Avon with easy access to the ocean. Years ago it was a popular port for adventurers to sail out of and was the starting point for many ‘new world’ explorations. It was also a big trading city in the fifties, with up to forty cranes on the dock in its’ heyday but now only four remain. For more information on those you can head to M Shed (a converted transhit shed) museum. Something fun to do is stand between the two 31 and 32 cranes as they occasionally talk to each other and reminisce on the old times. I reckon this area is the main hub/Big Ben equivalent.
Walking round Bristol is a great way to get your bearings. There are lots of neat areas (almost like little suburbs) that make it up. I was surprised how hilly it was with some streets opting to install stairs for easier access to the top. One of the more famous, historic streets is the Christmas Steps. It isn’t very long but more a cutesy alley with cobbled floors and unique/old-time stores including a DVD rental (what the what).
If you keep wandering you’ll probably hit a very trendy area full of organic cafes, coffee shops and stationery/graphic shops. There is a ton of street art here (also all over the city) so take your camera! Banksy is reported to be from Bristol so many people are inspired to leave their own masterpieces. As with any more urban/peaceful areas you’ll find amazing work and some more aggressive attitudes – definitely reflected in the different street art.
To follow suit with the art theme, why not check out the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery? It has a selection of ceramics, classical painting, taxidermy animals and history. Entrance is free and the building itself is very spectacular. Some of the rooms are even adorned with fabric wallpaper (which a guard told us cost fifty thousand – utterly insane). Other notable galleries to check out would be the Arnolfini and Royal West of England Academy.
A nice place to get an overview of the city is Cabot Tower. It’s in the city centre in a park on Brandon Hill. The neo-gothic tower has two different viewing platforms (obviously go the top one) and a very narrow spiral staircase to manoeuvre through. We went on a particularly blustery day and had a few moments of possibly flying away so do be careful when you’re up there!
Something I unfortunately didn’t get to check out was the Clifton Suspension Bridge but I guess that gives me a reason to go back! Frustratingly as we were on the bus leaving the sun started coming out (isn’t that always the case?). In a few days I’ll be putting up some of the places we ate at and the majority are brunch recommendations haha. Stay tuned and I hope your 2016 is starting great!