We finally got around to visiting Bristol on a weekend trip this year. Bristol has been high on my to-visit list in the UK for awhile now as so many friends have recommended we visit. I didn’t really know much about Bristol until a couple of weeks before we set off but it far surpassed any expectations I had for the city.
We spent just over 24 hours in Bristol and the weather was pretty terrible for most of the first day but even so, we still managed to find plenty of things to fill our time in (and out) of the rain.
1. Grab a burger at Three Brothers Burgers.
We’d not long arrived and was wondering around the city trying to find our hotel (turns out we actually went to the wrong hotel but that’s a story for another time!) and stumbled on a boat selling food. Now when I see a bar on a boat i’m reminded of booze cruises and novelty drinks boats abroad, but after seeing how popular it was we decided to head in, we were also starving so that played a big part. It was pretty busy inside and we we told we’d probably have to wait in the bar area for 20 minutes for a seat but after sitting for 5 minutes we were shown to a table. The first thing that impressed me was the menu choices, they had 3 menus, a meat, a veggie and a vegan one, which is very inclusive. It was also seemingly easy to customise your burgers because of this.
I ended up picking a chicken burger and a vegan oreo milkshake. The chicken burger was probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten, it didn’t have any cheese on it but somehow the combination of spices they used gave it a cheesy taste. Then the vegan milkshake we didn’t have high hopes for as dairy free options tend to just be average but never before have I drank something so fast and was 99% tempted to order another immediately after despite being stuffed to the gills. We loved the food so much we were very tempted to head back again for dinner, but decided to explore the other options….
2. Clifton Suspension Bridge.
An absolute must for a visit to Bristol as it’s such an important part of the city’s history. Built in 1864, taking 33! years to build, this bridge is well worth a visit. We took a bus up there as the walk is quite a way from the city centre and stopped first at the visitor centre next to it to learn a little bit about it. The visitor centre is free but donations are welcome. We grabbed a coffee from the independant seller out front and went to admire the view. I have to admit we did actually plan on walking across the bridge but my fear of heights took over and meant we didn’t, much to my partners dismay. This was mostly due to the fact it was somewhat see through materials on the walking platform, so be warned if you’re affected by this. We did however decide to walk down to look at the bridge from the bottom of the hill instead and enjoyed a lovely walk through parks, met lots of doggy friends and got a good view of the bridge from below, so not all was lost!
3. Banksy hunting and street art appreciation.
Bristol is the birth place of Banksy the famous graffiti artist and some of his most famous pieces are dotted around the city. Of course this means Bristol has a more positive culture surrounding street art and it can be seen (for better or worse) around most parts of the city. We spent a lot of time just wandering around admiring the art and trying to hunt down the more well known peices. If you’re into street art this place is great for Instagram snaps!
4. Brunel’s S.S Great Britain Museum.
If you hadn’t had enough history with the suspension bridge, then a second dose of Brunel is encouraged at the S.S Great Britian museum. A little pricey at £18 each per adult but we spent a good few hours here exploring the ship. You get a really unique view of the ship from underneath at the dry dock whilst also getting to see inside all of the travelling cabins and of course on the ship’s deck itself. And if that wasn’t enough for you, you can enjoy the giant Brunel head in the ‘Being Brunel’ section. Although a little on the pricey side, this was the first attraction we’d paid for and was defo worth the money and a great educational day for kids!
5. CARGO @ Wapping Wharf.
CARGO is an area of Wapping Wharf that has lots of independant shops and resturants that are housed in old shipping containers, pretty cool right?. We ended up grabbing lunch here on our second day and Chris discovered a beer he absolutely loved from a local brewery. It’s a great place to just enjoy browsing and seeing all the cool little places. It’s also right next to the M-Shed, another of Bristols museums. We didn’t have time to explore M-Shed unfortunately but it’s one on the list for next time! The docks also have some really impressive structures to admire.
With only having 24 hours to spend in Bristol we definitely crammed in as much as possible! Even walking back to the station from Wapping Wharf we discovered a whole different part of the city we didn’t get to explore and it’s certainly going on the list for the next time we visit!
I hope this gives you some ideas of what to do with only 24 hours or a weekend visit to Bristol! If i’ve missed any ‘must do’s’ from the list please let me know in the comments!