Why should I choose Bristol for my year abroad?
A walk across the Downs, up by Stoke Bishop, will replenish the soul (and help you walk off a gigantic burger, courtesy of Park Street’s restaurants). You can admire the mansion-like houses, erected in typical Bath stone, walk down to the stunning Avon Gorge with Brunel’s biggest achievement: the Clifton Suspension bridge. A breathtaking view to say the least, which will leave you hungry for more after such a steep climb! Head to trendy Clifton for a spot of tea at the purse-friendly Boston Tea Party, or munch on some organic goodness at the Chando’s Deli branch on one of the side-streets. Take a stroll through this part of town and walk across to Victoria Square – Georgian buildings and nice place to have a sit down and relax.
In terms of museums and galleries, Bristol packs a good punch, with the renowned @Bristol – an explorer’s dream destination, for information on how things work in the world. Trust us, well worth the entry fee for a fun afternoon! From there, you can walk across the docks and visit one or two of the bars there, before heading to the Watershed for some culture. Great little venue for art-house flicks, with a cool bar to boot! Shopping here caters to even the most fashion-conscious there, with the newly opened Cabot Circus taking centre stage as one of the best shopping centres out of London. Alternative fashion can be found primarily on Park Street and around Gloucester Road.
If you’re after some history, Bristol gives you loads; from its cathedral down in the centre to the SS Great Britain – just make sure you’ve got some decent walking shoes on, as the buses are fairly expensive and fairly tardy. Eating out is a veritable treat, with so many places to choose from. One place to take the parents is Hotel du Vin – relatively expensive but probably one of the finest dining experiences to be had in this part of England. For some fancy pub grub and a pint in some of the oldest public houses, head to Gloucester Road.
Bristol is also the birthplace of Drum’n’Bass, with Clockwork and Lakota offering good gigs throughout the year. If you fancy something altogether more cheesy, head to a venue within the centre – Oceana always pulls in a pretty big crowd, as does its rival, Syndicate. All in all, Bristol pushes the right buttons, small enough to walk through, big enough to tickle every fancy, it’s certainly a place you can’t afford to miss, whether you’re working or studying...