My ‘Impromptu’ Night in Bristol

You don’t need to go far to have an adventure. Obviously if you’ve got the time, means and will to jet off to Papua New Guinea or Vietnam, go for it. I’ll help you. But if your idea of adventure, or your budget for adventure, are a little more UK than universal then our beautiful land of Great Britain has a lot to explore.

Last week I went on an impromptu night in Bristol with They wanted me to experience the thrill of just going somewhere in the UK with no plans, no knowledge, but a definite curiosity to explore.

weekend in bristol

I found out 30 minutes before the train was about to leave that I was going to Bristol – I’d only ever been once for a hen party and had really liked it then, so I was looking forward to exploring more.

Literally had no idea what to do though, BUT NOW I DO. If you fancy going on a cheeky little impromptu night to Bristol, then here’s a few ideas of what you can get up to.

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My ‘Impromptu’ Night in Bristol

What to see in Bristol

weekend in bristol

Well, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is the obvious choice. This 75m high bridge is the icon of Bristol, and on the beautifully sunny day I was there it was easy to see why. I walked across, and back again, and admired the view from being up that high. You can go to the Observatory for the best views, but I was an early bird that day and it didn’t open till 10. Let me know what it’s like?

Clifton is such a pretty place to look round – all colourful houses, wonky streets, beautiful vistas and green spaces. Check out the Clifton Lido if you want an outdoor swim, or Birdcage Walk for a quick photo. I swear, I was crouching down taking a picture and a squirrel came over and offered me a nut, I’m not even joking – snapped him with my Instax camera, see photo below.

Weekend in Bristol






If you’re visiting Bristol on the weekend, as would be normal, then check out some of the tours. Cycling is big here, as is street art (Banksys galore!), see the Harbourside by boat, or go up in a hot air balloon – sadly for me none of these run on Mondays,

Learn something

Weekend in Bristol

One of the highlights of my impromptu night in Bristol was visiting the We The Curious Science Museum. I love a good science museum – playing on the exhibits and learning things I totally should’ve learnt at school. The Planetarium here was just the piece de resistance. I mean, the chance for a sit down and a look up at the stars was obviously a pleasure, but she pointed out the Autumn constellations and told us more about the Greek history of the skies. So interesting.

Where to shop

I always claim I don’t really like shopping, but somehow I manage to find myself in the changing rooms when I go on these little UK jaunts. Cabot Circus is a huge shopping centre dedicated to all the usual high street stores, I went a bit nuts in Primark there, and bought myself a necklace from Oliver Bonas.

Weekend in Bristol






If you like your shops a little boutiquey, a bit different and more unique then check out Boyce’s Avenue in Clifton (you could also pop into the Primrose Cafe here – so nice). Gloucester Road has Europe’s longest street of independent shops, while the year-round St Nicholas Market (or St Nick’s as it’s known locally) is just somewhere a little different to peruse.

And Stokes Croft has some interesting little places to check out too, you need to visit for the street art anyways. Check out that unicorn house!

READ MORE: Looking for more fun things to do in Bristol?
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Where to eat

Weekend in Bristol

I wanted an amazing dinner, so decided to go to Trip Advisor’s best sushi restaurant in the city – I ended up at Obento. Have to say I’ve never been more disappointed with sushi. It was kinda wet and gross, and £28. I still ate it, obviously, but just so you know where not to go.

Weekend in Bristol

Instead I’d recommend heading to Stokes Croft – this is the arty, cool part of the city. I had an incredible lunch at Jamaica Street Stores. It’d only opened two weeks previously, serving up kind of healthy dishes in a cool bar which I kind of just want my house to look like. For lunch you can order three small dishes for £10, which I did. Definite 5 out of 5.

Weekend in Bristol

The first day I had lunch at Broken Dock. The fish broth I ordered was absolutely delicious – they’d made the boiled egg go pink, and it was amazing, I don’t know how places do these things. The guy next to me ordered a cheese toasty, and by the looks of the oozing cheese over the sourdough, that was a good shout too. This is in a really good location for the Science Museum, and the SS ship, which I didn’t actually make it to. Service was pretty slow here, just so you know, but I had a Bloody Mary to keep me company.

Where to coffee

Weekend in Bristol

Of course there are coffee bars all over, this is a city after all. Avoid the big chains, if you want a Bristol chain try Cafe Gusto, or head to Wainright’s Coffee in Clifton. I had a really nice cold brew there just a few minutes walk from the suspension bridge. I’d also recommend The Crafty Egg in Stokes Croft, although there were quite a few good looking places up there. Turn around, touch the ground, just pick one.

Evening entertainment

Weekend in Bristol

Monday is obviously the slowest night in any city for entertainment. There’s plenty going on in Bristol… all the other nights of the week. I could’ve gone to see the big show at the hippodrome: Legally Blonde. But A) I’ve already seen it. B) I wanted something more ‘Bristol’. I ended up at the Wardrobe Theatre watching Closer Each Day – a fortnightly improvised soap opera that’s been running for over five years. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was actually really funny, and I enjoyed going by myself. Even lolled at a few times and everything.

Where to stay in Bristol

weekend in bristol booked me into the Double Tree by Hilton in Bristol City Centre. Cool place, great location. My room looked over the St Mary Redcliffe Church and was in easy walking distance of all the sights. I had breakfast included, from a huge buffet, and the hotel is located inside a former 17th Century glass kiln. It was also just a few minutes walk from the train station so I could leave all my Primark purchases there while I went to explore on the second day.

If you’re just going for the one night instead of two you might as well splash out!

Bit more about’s Impromptu Nights

weekend in bristol

So basically, have ranked all the cities in England to see which ones offer the best option for an impromptu night out based on hotels, travel and experience. Bristol came in at number 5. But which city is’s number one? I wonder.

I definitely recommend exploring more of the UK, it’s what I’m planning on doing for the next few months anyway!

More on UK weekends away

How to Have the Best Weekend in Brighton

48 Hours in Southsea, Like a Local

The Coolest Things to Do in Hamburg, From 13 Travel Bloggers
How to Have the Best Weekend in Brighton


  1. by Nikki @ Notes of Life on October 15, 2017  7:11 pm Reply

    Sounds like fun! It's been a few years since I last went to Bristol (although I did pass through on the train recently!).

    • by VickyFlipFlop on November 1, 2017  9:39 am Reply

      It actually surprised me how much I loved it there. So much to see and do, and such a cool city. Doesn't surprise me that it's becoming one of the most expensive places to live outside of London. I'd love to go back for 48 hours next time :).

  2. by Rachel on December 29, 2017  8:47 pm Reply

    That's such an exciting idea - to know youre going away but not where to! I wish this would happen to me! Looks like you had a good time and did lots of exploring whilst you were there :)

    • by VickyFlipFlop on January 1, 2018  10:59 pm Reply

      Loved Bristol! Such a cool city I really enjoyed my weekend there. I'll definitely be going back soon to see more :). I'd like to just eat my way around.

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