The Countryside Version Of London

Bristol may not be the number one destination for most people but seeing as I know enough people there I thought I should pay a visit to the place people call “Little London”. Bristol is most famous for the infamous graffiti artist who has been stencilling his way around the globe and in to the hearts of any lover of street art. I can’t say I am a great following of Banksy; I don’t tour the globe hoping to catch a glimpse of his latest masterpiece and I certainly don’t sign myself up to all the many appreciation societies or the like. I do however enjoy oohing and aahing at his latest and greatest. And what better place to ooh and aah than Bristol?

Banksy isn’t the only street artist to plaster the walls and doors of this city, if you walk down Gloucester Road alone you will get dizzy crisscrossing the road to try to absorb it all. Wonder down all the little alleyways too and pay attention to the shutters of all the shops. There is art and talent to be seen absolutely everywhere. It takes a while to walk down the road so I would strongly suggest a good breakfast and even a boosting smoothie from the two Boston Tea Party shops that can be found in that area. If BTP doesn’t take your fancy there are heaps of other independent shops and cafes for everyone’s taste buds. Plug in the tunes and have the camera ready, this road alone is enough to entertain you for a whole morning! Keep an eye out for the Banksy that can be seen on one of the walls there too, it’s a goody! I hear there are a couple of others not to far away either so if he is your thing then download the map or join a walking tour and get seeing!

If you are starting to feel peckish pick up a map and head down to St. Nicolas market for a bite to eat. From Moroccan to pies and even biltong (South African delicacy) you really can’t go wrong. The smell alone is enough to get your mouth-watering. Pick a place and dine in or take out. Pretty cheap too and students wave your cards about, there are many discounts to be had! Be warned it does get busy but don’t let that put you off. When bellies are full and the feet have recovered from the walking, head further down to Queens Square and sit for a while, watch the world go by and soak up the sun (if it’s a summers day). If you don’t fancy just sitting then keep walking and head towards the Marina, here you will find yet another Banksy (my personal favourite) and maybe even a pirate ship or two. The M Shed Museum will also give you the run down on the history of Bristol if you fancy something a little more history based. Pretty exciting stuff for a city in England!

I think that’s about all you would want to do in a day, it’s quite a lot of walking and sightseeing so head back up towards the market and find the Milk Thistle speakeasy bar or any restaurant that happens to waft your way. Another brilliant feature of Bristol is the food, I would love to go back and feed myself silly on a restaurant tour. From breakfast to brunch, dinner and even just tapas there is so much on offer. Make sure you book, it’s a busy place so don’t get disappointed. I only managed a trip to The Ox on Corn Street but it was the best steak I have had and the atmosphere made it all the more so. It’s down in a basement somewhere but ask and someone will point you in the right direction. I am only going to touch on this subject as I ran out of time but find some locals and ask them where and what it is that you should be eating and drinking. There is so much happening you will be spoilt for choice!

When you have eaten and drunk yourself in to a coma jump on a canal boat tour or venture up to Clifton. There are some really cute knick-knack type shops and more cafes to savour and enjoy! The view to the suspension bridge and across the city is also something to marvel at and just the coloured houses alone are enough to keep the eyes well entertained. Don’t forget Bristol is also a massive student town so keep and eye out for the wild parties if you want to throw some shapes and if you find yourself around the area from the 6th to the 9th August live a little and join in with the annual balloon fiesta, it’s not to be missed!

I will be going back to Bristol soon and will of course update you on more of the ‘must dos’ but with so much to see, do and eat you would be silly not to stop by if you are around. Keep in mind that Bath is just down the road too so why not make the most of what the South West of England has to offer. Check out http://visitbristol.co.uk for a more up to date version of the what’s what and who’s who and get planning. Who needs the bright lights of the big city London when you can get all this and more in the smaller countryside version?

Head over to http://olivingthedreamphotography.com for a little insight in to the wonders of Bristol.

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