Autumn is here marking the end of another Great British Summer. When (and if) the clouds make way for some sunshine, England is a glorious place to be. Whether it’s dining outdoors, picnicking in the park or finding any excuse to go to the pub, Brits know how to make the most of the summer months.
And it’s not just my adopted home of London that comes alive in summer. I took a quick two-day trip to Bristol a month ago, and was impressed with its vibrant, eclectic and affordable offerings.
If I have to describe Bristol in one word, it’ll have to be cool. Bristol is just so cool. And not in the same modern, fast-paced, flashy way like London, but in a relaxed and unpretentious way. Everyone looks easy-going and acts friendly.
I made Bristol’s old town my base for an express sightseeing and culinary tour of the city. Just around the corner from my guesthouse was Playground Coffee House – great spot for caffeinated beverages and board games. Two of my favourite things! Not too far away, Full Court Press offers more polished and adventurous coffees. They have a winning cold brew; and you shouldn’t have to wait until next summer to try it.
The Christmas Steps are another iconic Bristol street. The old-fashioned street lined with quaint shops is a lovely photo stop on a Bristol tour. Don’t mind if I do.
A walk along Gloucester Road is mandatory for all visitors to Bristol. From the city centre it starts as Stokes Croft, then Chelteahagn Road and past The Arches, it becomes Gloucester Road. For me, this walk encapsulates Bristol and it’s vibe the best. And if you are thirsty by the end of it, stop at The Grace for a bevy.
If you are a tourist in Bristol, it’ll be hard to avoid Clifton – the beautiful Georgian area lined with fantastically grand houses. When I told people I was going to Bristol, usually their first reaction was that I *must* visit Clifton. Happy to report, Clifton Village lives up to the hype. Top tip: it’s uphill, so perhaps considering taking an uber there and walk back to city centre.
And then there’s the food. Bristol’s culinary scene is impressive for it’s size. I feel like I need to go back to Bristol just to eat at more restaurants, but some of the standout food experiences were The Pump House, Flour and Ash, and Sky Kong Kong. Also when in Bristol, eat a pie.
Visitors to the UK looking for a non-London destination or Londoners looking for a weekend away should consider Bristol. I, for one, can’t wait to head back to see what Christmas Steps look like during Christmas.