BristolGetty: Images

Have you ever been to Bristol?

Located in the Southeast of England, Bristol is a burgeoning paradise for British holidaymakers.

As we know, the coronavirus has curtailed all international travel hugely, so many Britons are looking inwards and hoping to holiday closer to home this year.

Here are the best things to see in Bristol.

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

Things to do

There are several Bristol attractions that are reopening in April for locals and visitors to enjoy once again, many with outdoor, COVID safe café facilities. Spend some time watching the surf (or book a session) at The Wave inland surfing lake just north of Bristol, or get closer to nature again with a trip to Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm or WWT Slimbridge Wetlands Centre in Gloucestershire. The world’s fifth oldest zoo, Bristol Zoo Gardens and its sister attraction Wild Place Project with the recently opened Bear Wood, also plan to reopen in April.  

Just a few miles south of the city, you can take a stroll in the vast gardens at Tyntesfield National Trust or stay by the water in the city and marvel at Brunel’s masterpiece SS Great Britain - Bristol’s number one visitor attraction. While the ship and museum at SS Great Britain are still closed, their Dockyard and Harbourside Kitchen is open for takeaway and you can browse the outdoor gallery while taking in the views.

Visitors can also enjoy views of the ship from the water itself, and take a stand-up paddleboard session with SUP Bristol, which is also re-opening this spring, or take a Bristol Packet Boat trip to learn about the maritime history of the city with tours restarting late April. Yuup – a curated online marketplace for local experiences - also have several outdoor activities open for bookings including a wildcrafting and foraging walk, a haunted and hidden walk in the Old City, and even a sheep herding workshop!

Where to drink

The full list of over 50 restaurants, cafés, and bars re-opening in Bristol this spring can be found on Visit Bristol website, which is being constantly updated as more businesses announce re-opening plans.  

From the iconic, lively terrace of Bambalan overlooking the city centre, to the renowned ‘Beermuda Triangle’ and King Street Brew House near Welsh Back, and the quirky local pubs like The Gallimaufry on the UK’s longest independent high street, Gloucester Road, there are plenty of options for outdoor pubs and bars. The pop-up success story of 2020 – Breaking Bread – is also returning to The Downs in Clifton with their pub Pipe and Lovers on 15 April, before their restaurants re-open in May with an added event space this year.  

For coffee-lovers, there are many cafés planning to re-open with outdoor seating, including Arnolfini Café Bar, where you can while away the hours by the harbourside, the Courtyard Café at Ashton Court set in the historic Estate just over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, or take a walk along the River Avon Trail to Beese’s Riverside Bar in Conham, east of the city which is set to re-open in May. 

Where to eat

In 2019, Bristol was crowned the world’s best culinary destination at the Food Trekking awards, thanks to high-quality, independent restaurants and eateries available in the city. Among the many restaurants re-opening this spring, there are Bristol stalwarts such as The Lido restaurant with its stunning poolside views and Mediterranean food to give you the ultimate ‘holiday at home’ experience, and new establishments like German-inspired Klosterhaus in Quakers Friars for a picture-perfect meal and environment. 

Bristol’s restaurants, bars, and attractions have faced a monumental task this past year to innovate to survive these times, and many have introduced booking systems and policies to ensure they can re-open safely. It is always advisable to check their websites and social media for up-to-date information.  

Where to stay

Beech House self-catering serviced apartments are re-opening this spring. Set in a stunning Victorian Villa just off Whiteladies Road, Beech House is only a five-minute walk to the shops and restaurants of Clifton Triangle, Park Street, and the famous Clifton Lido and Spa is just around the corner. Clifton Village, with its elegant Georgian terraces and the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, is only a fifteen-minute walk away, making Beech House a perfect spot to explore from. The apartments ooze period charm and are combined with a bright, modern finish. Prices start from £70 per night for a standard studio, £115 per night for a one-bedroom apartment, and £145 for a two-bedroom mews house.

Situated near to The Downs in Clifton is Alison Court serviced apartments which boasts of 16 newly-refurbished studio apartments, featuring open plan living with contemporary styling. Similar to Beech House, Alison Court is within walking distance to Clifton Village and Whiteladies Road, priced from £75 per night for a studio that sleeps two people.