In the run up to leaving the UK to begin my nomadic lifestyle, I decided to visit a couple of places I had wanted to see but hadn’t quite yet ventured to.
But where is Bristol and what did I want to visit?
From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, Bristol was a massive slave shipping industry and on another note, the infamous pirate Captain Blackbeard’s original birthplace and childhood home still stands on Bristol's harbour side.
But enough of pirates and slavery, Bristol today is known as a bustling multicultural City and is the only UK city to have won the title European Green Capital for 2015.
However it wasn’t this history I wanted to see before I left.
Lunch in an old bank
I read an article about a former bank now re-opened as a restaurant – The Cosy Club at 31 Corn Street. Corn Street “back in the day” was the banking district of Bristol so a lot of the pubs and establishments have high ceilings and beautiful artwork, so the Cosy Club intrigued me.
We hadn’t booked a table, but there was no problem rocking up Saturday lunchtime and finding a seat in a cosy corner, at the back of this stunning restaurant.
The interior didn’t disappoint. The Grade II listed building boasts a domed ceiling as high as a cathedral, a big open space with elaborate chandeliers, decorated plaster cornicing and a brass bar that looked more like a counter at a millionaire’s private bank than one to serve alcohol!
If you are looking for something a little bit different then you should check this place out!
Enjoying a few Bristolian sights
A 10 minute walk from Corn Street, past the infamous Bristol Hippodrome is College Green, a relaxed open space where you can find Bristol Cathedral, founded in 1140. This Grade I listed building has tall Gothic windows and it was here in 1994 that the first 32 women were ordained as Church of England priests – history was made here!
Take a left at the Triangle down Jacobs Wells Road and it will take you to Hotwells… the next stop on my quirky adventure.
Enjoying a drink in a cat pub
I had read about a pub where cats live and are happy to sleep amongst the supping punters – I needed to drink there! The Bag O’Nails in Hotwells is a small establishment and as soon as we walked in we saw two sleeping moggies minding their own business on the bar – Puuuuurfect!!
To read more about this awesome place, check out my blog Cat Cafe Comparison (although please note, this isn’t anything like a cat cafe, it’s a classic old-school pub where cats happen to live).
Swing by the suspension Bridge
One of Bristol’s most famous landmarks is the Clifton Suspension Bridge and at night, it is spectacular. Spanning the picturesque Avon Gorge, you can walk or drive across the 150 year old Grade 1 listed structure and head towards the Ashton Court estate where the grounds are turned into a festival every year to launch balloons…
Nightglow at the Balloon Fiesta
... As mentioned above, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held on the first weekend in August every year and entry is FREE (if you are arriving by car, parking charges do apply). Bristol is host to one of the world’s biggest displays of mass balloon ascent with around 150 participants and ½ a million spectators! Oh yes, arrive early to avoid crowds but it is totally worth it.
I love returning to Bristol, there are always new and unusual places to visit and something is always going on whether it be food festivals or St Paul’s African Caribbean carnival in summer or German Christmas markets in winter – brilliant!
Have you been to anywhere quirky or unusual in Bristol that you would like to share? Let us know, we would love to hear about it!
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