Nick is our lovely new General Manager for Artist Residence Bristol. Having just moved to Bristol from London, Nick has become an avid explorer of his new hometown and can make a decent case for Bristol being the best city to live in! Read on for his findings…
For fun evenings out and an exciting atmosphere, Stokes Croft is the perfect foil to Clifton. Full of great bars & restaurants with a playful and vibrant energy you can find lots of choice where ever you look. With a genuinely passionate community spirit many people feel that Stokes Croft is the heart and soul of Bristol. Most of the bars will have live music and there is art literally crawling out of the cracks of the pavement. A wonderfully creative part of the city and not to be missed.
Crossing the river and heading down to Southville is well worth the walk. Wandering down North Street, jumping in and out of the wonderfully diverse and independent shops, cafes, bakeries and bars is a lovely way to lose a few hours. What you lose in time you gain in so many other ways as the welcoming and conversational owners tell you all about their produce and the story of their premises and business. You can find anything and everything here, including some amazing graffiti as Europe’s largest street art festival, Upfest, regularly takes place in Southville. Be sure to pop in to the Tobacco Factory where there is a great Sunday market as well as a fantastic theatre and performance space.
There’s nothing better to do in Bristol on a nice sunny day than head down to the waterfront. The glistening light and bobbing boats with the backdrop of the colourful Bristol houses brings a smile to even the hardest face. With some great bars and restaurants at Cargo and the always interesting M-Shed hosting loads of exhibitions across the year, there is lots to do. My personal favourite is a beer at The Cottage pub watching the sky fill up with lazy hot air balloons and drift away with them on their meandering journey. You can get a ferry from one side of the wharf to the other for just £1 so it’s easy to fit lots in!
For the best views in town head up to the Clifton. The suspension bridge has an outrageously good vista across Bristol and the Avon gorge, and for a great view of the iconic bridge itself you could do no better than heading to the White Lion for a drink on its terrace. Clifton also has a fantastic observatory, only one of a handful in the UK to have a camera obscura – it uses mirrors to reflect a panorama of the surrounding area so great on a sunny day. From the tower a passage leads down to the Giants Cave and to a viewing platform perched 250ft above the Avon. If you like a good spending spree there are some great antique shops in Clifton village as well as some lovely restaurants.
When I first came to Bristol I asked my friend where I could go for a nice walk and she told me to go to Ashton Court. I got the car and my little 2 year-old daughter ready and was all set for a day trip out…. however when I turned the sat nav on I was amazed to read I only had to drive for 8 minutes! With 850 acres of grasslands and woods containing cedars, sequoias and full of deer and it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to wind down in Bristol. With a bike path going through it and being home to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in August as well as several other events spread across the year, Ashton Court is a wonderful addition to such a vibrant city.
So, that brings me to the end of my guide for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and I can’t wait to welcome you all to Artist Residence Bristol in the not too distant future! If you’d like to sign up to be the first to hear more news you can do so here.
See you soon!
Photo credit: Destination Bristol