Stepping Out in... Bristol
PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 20 February 2013
Neville Stanikk rekindles his love of the vibrant city of Bristol with its cosmopolitan and super stylish suburb of Clifton
Bristol is unique in the South West in that its a BIG city; a real one with steel and glass, things being built and the feeling that its modern. The more I visit Bristol, the more I like it.
The sheer amount of it, the variety, and the wonderful mix of new, old, green, water, high and low, quiet
and noisy. Cosmopolitan is the word Id use and
the word that the residents seem happy with and proud of.
Get off to a good start
An excellent start to Bristol is to park in the car park beneath Millennium Square because firstly, its an ideal point to radiate from, and secondly you emerge up into Millennium Square itself with its wonderful water features and plaza that leads on to: @Bristol, a family science and technology exploration centre; many colourful restaurants; the Watershed cinema; the Arnolfini art gallery, and the waterside. Exploring this, the old docks, can take half a day in itself as its so rich in detail and history, especially as the SS Great Britain is moored here and the water is always high as lock gates keep it that way thats why its called the Floating Harbour.
Living in Clifton, this is one of my favourite spots (overlooking the Suspension Bridge) as it catches the evening sunshine. My favourite pub is The Albion in Boyces Avenue and my favourite restaurant is the Aqua Italian restaurant in Whiteladies Road.
Chris Millicent (builder) with Matey
Why visit now
Unlike most towns, where it is possible to pick out a few things to see, Bristol has far too many attractions to list fully and indeed its main attraction is that very fact that its big enough to keep coming back to again and again, finding something new every time, but the Clifton Suspension Bridge has to be the one unmissable thing to see. Park somewhere around Clifton Downs and walk to the bridge. Stroll across it and visit the excellent Visitor Centre with its displays, then walk back on the other side and contemplate if youd survive if you hit the soft mud below, as one Victorian lady is supposed to have done her crinoline acting as a parachute and then sit on one of the benches on the Clifton Downs overlooking it, and simply admire it.
And then, as youre in Clifton, have a walk round the beautiful area and see a genuine city village working to perfection, with its shops, its downs and leafy squares such as Victoria Square, and its fascinating mix of architecture. One architectural delight is the renowned Clifton Club, located in a fine Georgian building in the heart of Bristols historic Clifton
Village. Established in 1818 and with a beautiful refurbishment completed in 2008, the club
Bristol is a nice place to be. The docks are quite an asset to the city now theyve improved them and made them somewhere people want to be. Theyre quite vibrant all the time.
Derek Mann (Retired
combines a classic interior and traditional feel with contemporary dining and modern facilities. Although primarily a private members club open to both men and women, the Clifton Club offers various rooms for private events such as weddings, receptions and meetings and the stylish and elegant restaurant
offers fine dining.
If youve got the time, walk back down into the centre via Bristols excellent museum and art gallery at the top of Park Street, look at the eclectic mix of shops on your way down, pass by College Green and Bristols cathedral and impressive civic offices, and emerge onto the Central Promenade with its fountains so beloved of children in the summer. From there, you and your hardy feet can keep going into the heart of old Bristol along Corn Street, with a quick detour down Broad Street to see buildings that cover a period from medieval times until the present day.
If I have visitors with children, I take them to @Bristol because theres so much there, including free stuff for children to do. What Bristol could really do with is a fresh food market, especially a fishmonger.
Lindsey (nursery school manager)
Shop till you drop
Were heading for the new Cabot Circus shopping centre because even I, who have no interest in shopping whatsoever, consider it a sight worth seeing with its spectacular geodesic roof. I suppose you might also like to look in some of the shops.
Oh, go on then. And if you feel like giving yourself a treat, why not book in with the personal stylist there and take the stress out of finding an outfit for that special occasion.
Ive lived in Bristol all my life and this (Castle Park) is probably my favourite spot as its such a lovely green open area
by the river.
Kathy (works in financial services)
Thatll do for your first visit. Go up to the lawns at Castle Park, the city centres breathing space, and see if you agree that Bristol is everything a city should be. Some cities are grinding, toughening places but Bristol is enlightening, uplifting and when you depart, it leaves you wanting to come back for more.
Let us know what you love most about Bristol during the festive season: firstname.lastname@example.org