Bristol is fast becoming one of my favourite destinations in the UK. I have been there three times in the past six months, and each time I discover something else to do. If you are looking to spend some time there, I recommend basing yourself in Clifton. Full of Georgian houses from the 18th century, Clifton was and remains a well to do area. This is also evident by the wider streets, myriad of trees and how often there is only one door bell on the home. Very few are carved into flats! You can easily spend a relaxing 48 hours in Clifton, whether it be for a family weekend away, girls catch up or a more romantic itinerary.
Getting To Clifton.
Bristol is on one of the most expensive train lines in the UK so heads up, book your ticket as early as possible. Waiting until the last minute can see the fare become £80+ return with Great Western Rail! I have found booking my fares separately and not as a return ticket helps to reduce the price. The quickest train journey is an hour and thirty-five minutes from London.
An easy city to navigate with a car there are residents parking restrictions to navigate. The bus system is simple to use and the schedule is reflected accurately on google maps. Locals use an app to pay but you can also use apple pay and your bank card with the tap function. From the main station, Temple Meads, it’s just thirty minutes by bus.
Staying In Clifton.
With plenty of large, Georgian houses there are many Airbnbs available for your stay. I have found Bristol to be quite popular and would encourage you to book early. Once or twice a month there are festivals and conferences filling up the accommodation options. Looking to splurge and make it a luxury 48 hours? Stay in The Berkeley Square Hotel or upgrade to their self-contained suites. Technically just out of Clifton it is only a few minutes extra walk.
Shopping In Clifton.
Clifton Village is the main shopping area filled with independent traders of flowers, art and homewares. Start in Clifton Arcade where a mix on antique stores, homewares and jewellery can be browsed and purchased. Within the same block on the adjoining corner is Papersmiths. The well-known, Bristol stationary supplier selects their products based on their design led appeal. Annie’s is a popular cake shop rounding out the stores of interest in this street.
Cross the road to Princess Victoria Street and head to Waterloo Street. Here you can purchase flowers at Lisa Elliot Floral Design or a punnet of daffodils. Peruse art and books at Sky, where everything that is colourful resides. If you are looking for a birthday or special occasion card this is the place! Round the block to The Mall where all the high end stores are. Handbags, clothing and bespoke jewellery can be found here.
Things To Do In Clifton.
The Clifton Lido was restored in 2008 having originally been built in the 1840’s. A secret place of sanctuary for locals the heated pool and hot tubs are in frequent use. Weekends are restricted to members however you can jump the queue with a food package or massage bookings. A lovely way to spend half a day unwinding and stretching out your muscles. The food is absolutely delicious!
The Grade 1 listed, Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the Avon Gorge and is a masterpiece of British engineering. Take a walk and visit the lookout points at Observatory Hill, or join locals for a tour of the bridge every weekend. Excitedly in the past couple of years vaults were found underneath the bridge and tours now operate to explore this space. Venture across the bridge is you dare! Suspension bridges are made to move and this one is known to swing in the winds!
Venturing Outside The Clifton Bubble.
Looking to do a little more in your 48 hours? Head north to the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens where there is a magnificent Arts and Crafts style house called ‘The Holmes’. Open all year round the glass houses are large and the tropical plants helped warm our bones.
Go south of Clifton to Pinkmans for delicious donuts and sourdough pizzas! On the same road are many high street stores for you to browse in. Stokes Croft is a bus ride away and has plenty of graffiti artworks, vintage stores and artist cafes. If you really want to stretch the legs get a train to Bath and add another location to your itinerary.
I’d love to head about your trip to Clifton. Let me know about it in the comments. PF xo