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How To Spend One Day in Bristol (Itinerary & Tips From A Local)

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My husband and I have lived in Bristol for nearly a decade now. But I promise we’re only a little bit biased when we say: there’s so much to love about spending one day in Bristol.

It’s a fairly small city so it’s very 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 we’ve got for you (including some lesser-known spots that hardly anyone else mentions!)

Morning

Harbourside

SS Great Britain

For your fabulous one day in Bristol, we recommend that you start at the Harbourside.

Whether you’ve arrived in Bristol by coach, car or train, the Harbourside is easy to find and is fairly 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 sailors, rowers, paddle boarders and 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

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.

READ NEXT: 30 Free Things To Do in Bristol (Written By A Local!)

Afternoon

Gloucester Road

Take the Money and Run

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.

READ NEXT: Banksy in Bristol – 3 Walking Tours (With Printable Maps!)

Lunch at a Cafe

There are lots of places to eat along Gloucester Road. Unfortunately, one of our favourite places for afternoon tea recently closed down.

That said, Boston Tea Party comes a close second. Here, you can enjoy tea, cake, burgers, all-day breakfasts and brunches – and much more!

Lunch at a cafe

Evening

Sunset at Cabot Tower

Admire the views from the top of 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 a romantic sunset. You’ll find it 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.

Cabot Tower itself is open until 6pm every day, so in the winter, you can enjoy watching the sunset from the top of the tower.

In the summer months, you’ll need to wait longer and catch the sunset from either Brandon Hill Park itself, or near the Harbourside, which is where we’re going next.

READ NEXT: 16 Epic Date Ideas & Romantic Things To Do in Bristol

Harbourside (again)

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

Under the Stars

To finish off this perfect one day in Bristol, you should end with a delicious dinner and maybe a few drinks.

We recommend you stay along the Harbourside so that you can keep admiring those pretty nighttime views.

With that in mind, here are some of our 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

Discover more top Bristol restaurants in our local’s guide to Bristol! >>>


Well, there you have it… our recommendations for how to spend the perfect one day in Bristol. What are you most excited to see and do first? Let us know…

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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