I’ve lived in Bristol for over six years now, but I promise I’m only a little bit biased when I say: there’s so much to love about spending one day in Bristol.
It’s a fairly small city so is really walkable, and offers so much beauty, intrigue, colour and fun along the way.
If you’re looking for an epic one day in Bristol itinerary, then look no further… here’s what I’ve got for you (including some lesser known spots that hardly anyone else mentions!)
For your fabulous one day in Bristol, I’m going to recommend you start at the Harbourside.
Whether you’ve arrived into Bristol by coach, car or train, the Harbourside is really easy to find and is actually quite central to the city’s various transport networks.
Early in the morning, (on a nice day), you’re likely to come across dog walkers, joggers and cyclists along the water’s edge, while on the water, you’ll spot sailers, rowers, paddle boarders at a glimpse of the SS Great Britain.
On a nice day, the houses looking down on the Harbourside glow like a rainbow, the water shines bright blue and everything looks that much more colourful and fun.
Following the Harbourside and up to Clifton is a beautiful 45 minute walk and is such a great way to start your day.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Designed by Brunel, and used as a toll bridge since 1864, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a hugely iconic landmark in Bristol.
It’s free to visit and offers superb views of the city skyline and Avon Gorge.
Although Clifton is quite far out of town, it’s a must to walk this far to see the bridge… especially if this is your first visit to Bristol.
Taking roughly an hour to walk from the bridge to the top of Gloucester Road, you’re bound to see lots of cool sights on your way.
From super cool street art, to stunning Georgian buildings and pretty parks, a walk through Clifton and beyond is great fun.
And at the end of it… you’ll find one of the longest roads of independent shops in the country!
You’ll easily want to spend a couple of hours roaming from shop to shop in search of unique souvenirs, old books, beautiful artwork and pretty gifts.
Don’t forget to scout out some awesome street art on your way. Bristol was home to Banksy for many years so you’ll find some originals from him, as well as other unknown graffiti superstars.
Afternoon Tea at Cox and Baloney’s
Towards the lower end of Gloucester Road and going into Cheltenham Road is Cox and Baloney’s Tea Room.
It’s a fabulous little find along the roadside with vintage-inspired decor, homemade cakes and over a dozen different flavours of tea!
If you’re after a quintessential English experience while in Bristol, it’s a must to visit this lovely little tea shop, which is also excellently priced.
Sunset at Cabot Tower
Once you’ve had your fill of tea and cake, it’s time to make your way back towards the Harbourside for some evening fun.
Up first is a quick visit to Cabot Tower for sunset (it’s open until 9.15pm every evening).
It can be found in Brandon Hill Park, and after the 109 steps to the top, you’ll be met with the most incredible 360-degree views of the city.
Even though you started your morning at the Harbourside, it pays to take another walk back along the water’s edge at night.
You’ll see the lights of bars and pubs reflected in the water, as well as lights from boats (both moored and sailing past).
It’s really very pretty… and incredibly romantic!
Dinner & Drinks
To finish off this perfect one day in Bristol, you should end with a delicious dinner and maybe a few drinks.
Personally, I’d recommend you stay along the harbourside so that you can keep admiring those pretty nighttime views.
With that in mind, here are some of my favourite places in that area for dinner and drinks:
- ZaZa Bazaar – an all-you-can eat buffet with food from around the world
- Pitcher and Piano – great for simple bar food and even better for cocktails
- Under the Stars – offering tapas dishes and pizzas on an open-top boat, this is a really pretty date night
- The Hole in the Wall – a stunning little gastropub, which has great food and a really funky atmosphere!
- The Apple – for drinks only (particularly cider), you can choose to either sit on The Apple’s moored boat or sit on benches drinking next to it
Well, there you have it… my recommendations for how to spend the perfect one day in Bristol. What are you most excited to see and do first? Let me know…
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