If you have just 24 hours in Bristol you need this guide to really make the most of it. I’ve spent the day in Bristol many times, and know exactly what you should do to get the most from your day trip to Bristol.
You don’t need to go far to have an adventure, especially not now. 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.
Here’s how I think you should spend 24 hours in Bristol.
– Post in collaboration with LateRooms.com
24 Hours in Bristol
What to see in Bristol in 24 hours
10am The Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is the obvious choice for your 24 hours in Bristol. 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?
11am Mooch round Clifton
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.
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, which is when I was last there.
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.
12:30pm Lunch in Clifton
I’d pick up some lunch in Clifton. Top recommendations include
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).
With 24 hours in Clifton you need to make the most of the foodie opportunities.
2pm Learn something at the Science Museum
Walk back into the heart of the city and head for 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.
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.
4pm shopping in Bristol
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.
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.
5pm Head to Stokes Croft
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?
Check out this post from foodfuntravel.com.
There are some great places for dinner in 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.
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.
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
LateRooms.com 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!
If you want to go out for breakfast in Bristol, check out these great Bristol brunch spots on GreatBritishBucketList.com!
I definitely recommend exploring more of the UK, it’s what I’m planning on doing for the next few months anyway!