I recently embarked on a little weekend trip to Bristol for Valentine’s Day. I had visited Bristol many a time before, but all I’d really ever seen of the city was Cabot Circus, Cribbs Causeway and the inside of gig venues. Whilst shopping and
getting beaten up to music dancing is all well and good, I thought it was finally time to play tourist for the weekend and visit all the places I’d never been before.
And what is the most touristy place in Bristol? Clifton, of course! Say what you want but this beautiful little suburb is certainly touristy for a reason. Known for its independent boutique shops, stunning Georgian architecture, and a whole host of lovely little eateries, there are so many awesome things to do in Clifton Bristol.
1. Eat some delicious brunch
What better way to start your day in Clifton Bristol than with a nice spot of brunch? There are so many great brunch spots in Bristol! And Clifton might just be one of the best places to go if brunch is your best friend. We personally went to Saffron Medittaranean for brunch which was mainly because it was the only cafe with seating available that morning. But trust me, it was uh-may-zing.
However, there are plenty of other options too, such as independent eateries Primrose Cafe, The Clifton, Spicer+Cole and Wellbourne, and some of the nation’s favourites, Côte Brasserie, Boston Tea Party and The Ivy Clifton Brasserie! On a Sunday morning in February everywhere was heaving so I can’t imagine how busy Clifton gets in the summer. Therefore it may be worth booking a table in advance, especially if there’s a big group of you.
2. Shop at the Clifton Arcade
If independent, quirky shops are totally your thing, you’ll fall head over heels for Clifton Arcade. Having originally opened back in 1878, Clifton Arcade is home to some of the quirkiest shops Bristol has to offer. From quality gifts, antiques and jewellery to vintage and hand-crafted clothing, there’s bound to be something here that floats your boat.
3. Wander down the Royal York Crescent
When you think of Clifton Village, Royal York Crescent is probably what comes to mind. It may just be a crescent of houses but boy are they aesthetically pleasing houses. Once reputed to be the longest terrace in Europe, Royal York Crescent is definitely worth a wander down. Not only can you eye up some incredible architecture but the views this elevated terrace affords are also pretty great.
4. Marvel at Clifton Suspension Bridge
As you can tell by my photos, we visited Clifton Bristol on quite a miserable day. But that definitely didn’t stop us from enjoying the spectacular views of Clifton Suspension Bridge. This architectural masterpiece was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1864. Marvel at the views from Clifton Observatory or get up close and personal by walking or cycling across the bridge for magnificent views of the Avon Gorge.
5. Visit Bristol Zoo Gardens
A fun afternoon out for all the family, Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the city’s best attractions and the fifth oldest zoo in the world. Home to 12-acres of gardens housing more than 400 different species and nine under-cover animal enclosures, there is plenty to see there.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is run by Bristol Zoological Society, a conservation and education charity, which protects species and habitats through conservation science research. So not only will you have a great day out, but you can also rest assured that you are making a difference too!
6. Devour a Sunday roast at Racks Bar and Kitchen
Again, like brunch, there are so many amazing great places to grab dinner in Clifton! But Racks is certainly up there as being one of the best. I had without a doubt one of the best Sunday dinners of my life there. But if you’re not visiting Clifton Bristol on a Sunday, Racks also serves everything from burgers and sandwiches to pizza and pies.
One of my favourite things about this restaurant is that it is home to the £5 lunch menu where you can get hearty, delicious main meals for just a fiver until 5 pm Monday to Saturday. You can’t go wrong!
So have you ever visited Clifton Bristol? What did you think? Is there anywhere else that should have been on this list of things to do in Clifton Bristol? Please let me know in the comments below!