Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Top Tips for an Alternative Day Out in Bristol

If you’ve not been to Bristol, it really is time you did. A place with much on offer, it’s won best UK city to live in multiple times. Surrounded by rural Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it offers a thriving and vibrant city hub, reputed for its creative and liberal spirit. It’s steeped in rich history with its harbourside docks at the cultural centre. And to make your life easy, it’s well connected to the rest of the UK with strong road and rail links.

With an alternative air, Bristol is definitely the place to go for something a bit different. Sure it’s got all the usual suspects and a great nightlife, but it goes beyond the ordinary, with plenty of unique venues and twists and surprises. There’s a board game cafe, a pub full of cats, a cocktail bar in an old bank, a theatre in an old brewery, a rainbow of coloured houses, a major hot-air balloon festival, a great independent shopping scene and of course it’s home to Banksy and strong street art and music scenes. Whatever you are in too, it’s likely that Bristol can show you a good time. Here’s a list of our 5 alternative activities that bring could your time in this city to life.

Escape Rooms

If there’s a group of you looking for a memorable experience, one you’ll reminisce and laugh about at future nights out, then an escape room could be a fun call. And to spice this up for those who are really brave, Bristol also has a horror version of this experience where you and your friends will be locked in a cell at the old Crown Court trying to avoid the pursuing danger. For the uninitiated, escape rooms involve being locked in a themed room, and having to solve clues and puzzles against the clock to secure your release. Bristol also offers non-horror versions of this team exploit, with drama and challenges nonetheless. If a great escape sounds up your street, check out  for some options.

Surf the City

Ok surfing isn’t the first thing most people connect with a city break - especially for an inland experience - but that’s part of what makes this so great. Freshly opened in November 2019, Bristol is now home to a 300m surfing lake. The state-of-the art ‘Wavegarden Cove technology’ delivers 1000 safe waves consistently every hour, The founders say you’ll get as many waves in one hour here as you would with 8 hours in the sea. Not that we are knocking the sea. There is nothing like the deep blue beyond. But total novices through to surfing aficionados will be happy to have somewhere to practice where the waves are guaranteed. The Wave has the full experience with lessons and equipment available to buy and hire and it’s all set in great surroundings.

Be Curious at the Planetarium

We The Curious is a science centre set in the scenic harbourside of Bristol. It houses numerous interactive exhibits and is a family favourite. But a key part of the centre is the UK’s ‘most advanced’ planetarium with a full 360ยบ silver dome and top-notch sound system. This venue hosts well-reviewed 2D & 3D star-gazing and space exploration shows and events. Basically you can enjoy the marvels of the night sky and even go beyond our solar system in the warm and dry - there’s even a bar available. For music fans looking for a unique take, they hold weekly evening events with rock or classical soundtracks played to accompanying visual projections. Currently Pink Floyd and the Dark Side on the Moon is on the psychedelic playlist.

Eating Options at Cargo

At some point you are going to get hungry. Bristol has a great culinary scene and some inventive options, but Cargo at Wapping Wharf offers a wide range of independent eateries of all kinds in one space for you to mooch and take your pick. It’s a bustling part of town where venues are set in a series of converted shipping containers and include restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries and specialist produce shops. From cider, craft beers, seafood, cheesemongers, ethical butchers and bakers, a dedicated salt beef bar, juice bars to artisan ice-cream parlours; it is still expanding. To check out the current offerings see After lunch and a bit of shopping, you can even get a massage or take a yoga class.

Street Art

We can’t fail to mention the street art when discussing the UK graffiti capital. Banksy is pretty much a household name now and you can see his famous artworks just wondering the streets. Apparently the walls of this city change regularly as over 200 street artists are at work here. If you are interesting in this famous aspect of Bristol life, you can take a tour and learn about where it all started and the stories behind some of the paintings. Some of the tours put the profits back into creative projects in the city, such as Where the Wall Or if you want to be more active in the street art, without getting arrested, then you can even go on a graffiti workshop and take the spray can in hand yourself.

It’s easy to have a quirky and memorable time in Bristol, so enjoy and see for yourself why it has also been named one of the best cities in the world.

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