An independent exhibition space tucked away down a city centre snicket in between the Crown Court and Corn Street. Half the fun is in finding the place. The gallery showcases the work of up and coming new artists and is an escape from the hustle of town.
6 Leonard Lane BS1 1EA
Brunel's iron clad steam ship stunned New Yorkers as she completed her maiden voyage in 1845 from Bristol to New York in just 14 days. After acting as a troop carrier during the Crimea War the ship was abandoned on the Falklands. It was salvaged in the 1980s and towed across the Atlantic and back up the River Avon to the dockyard where it had originally been built. Now fully restored, it's a museum. To stop the hull from rusting away it is kept in an impressively designed chamber where the humidity is the same as in the Arizona desert.
Great Western Dockyard,
Gas Ferry Road BS1 6TY
A vegetarian B&B with a breathtaking view and fantastic breakfasts - they use organic ingredients including their own honey. For the musically inclined, they hold regular classical concerts & recitals.
Near to Ambleside,
Nestling in the old banking district is this jewel in the crown of the Bristol clubbing scene. Native plays host to the best of local and international Djs with an increasing number of live gigs. Intimacy is the watchword. Saturdays is 'Western Soul.' With a 4am licence and Red Stripe on tap, it's a sweaty evening given over to local turntablists such as Boca45 and The Leisure Allstars.
15 Small Street BS1 1DE
Easton is a free spirited neighbourhood. Reflecting the outlook of the community is Kebele, a social centre that began life as an anarchist squat. It shows films, has a library, internet access and runs a bike workshop. Open from 6pm on Sundays, the hub is the cafe where you can engage in political and philosophical discussion to your hearts content. The food is vegan and the coffee is all from the Zapatista region of Mexico.
14 Robertson Road, Easton BS5 6JY
It provides exhibition space, contains a specialist bookshop and architects' offices and runs a series of lectures and events on design and the built environment. A place to glean ideas and to learn more about Bristol's escalating development.
Narrow Quay BS1 4QA
Excellent Bangladeshi food at this Easton restaurant serving up one of the best curries in Bristol. Its bring your own policy and relaxed atmosphere makes it a popular neighbourhood place to eat. Often a good idea to book a table beforehand.
94 St Marks Road, Easton BS5 6JH
0117 952 0718
Stapleton Road Station on the Severn Beach suburban line from Bristol Temple Meads.
Brunel never lived to see it completed but if he had he may have topped it off with faux-Egyptian sphinxes on each of the bridge's towers. It's had a recent refurb with new lighting installed to show it off by night and with its' Avon Gorge backdrop remains a potent symbol of the city and the reckless engineer who designed it.
Sion Hill, Clifton BS8
Take the Number 8 from Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton Village.
The internet, large overheads and big companies have all taken their toll on Bristol's independently run record shops but a few remain. Rooted merits a visit to its Gloucester Road premises for the selection of vinyl on offer, including a section of locally produced music, and for its informed staff.
9 Gloucester Road BS7 8AA
0117 907 4372
Number 75 bus from Bristol City Centre to The Arches.
Japanese restaurant right by Bristol Bridge serving up excellent freshly made sushi. Also on offer is teriyaki, soups, salads and three types of noodle (soba, ramen and udon). The decor is minimalist, the service courteous and the sake in good supply.
69 Baldwin Street
0117 929 7392
Adjacent to St. Nicholas Market The Rummer has recently been painstakingly restored by two brothers. It's laid-back and a complete antidote to the bland commercialism of many of the city centre chain bars. There's an amazing selection of spirits, including Nicaraguan Flor de Caña rum, a late licence on weekends and an open fire during winter.
All Saints Lane BS1 1JH
A perfect place for lunchtimes. During the day the glass arcade section of the market offers up an array of choice food. There's a cheese shop, Carribean food, Portuguese, Indian, Italian, Morrocan, a decent juice bar selling açai, two good deli counters and well sourced bangers and mash. Inside the market there's an unpretentious greasy spoon knocking out bacon sarnies. A number of independent traders operate in the market including Payback Records which has an impressive selection of reggae and jazz on vinyl.
Enter via Corn Street, High Street, All Saints Lane or Saint Nicholas Street.
I took some friends on a ghost walk in Old Portsmouth. It was a fantastic mix of history (and there is loads in Portsmouth) and some scary gruesome stories. Actors were on hand to keep us on edge. The highlight was going into the Round Tower (which is not usually open to the public) - biggest shock of the night. Which I won't tell you about in case I ruin it for anyone else that may go. Great fun!
It started at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth but what was good was that you could book your tickets in advance online. www.darkencounters.co.uk
Possibly the best park in Bristol, if just for the views. The park is set on one of Bristol's seven hills. To the south lies the floating harbour, Bedminster, Hartcliffe and the Mendip Hills. Look out over the roof tops into the centre of the city on the north and east sides of the park. Climb up the Cabot Tower for the best 360 degree views of the city and beyond. If you're bored of the views there are plenty of ravenous squirrels to feed.
Brandon Hill, up Charlotte Street or Great George Street off Park Street
Take Number 8 or 9 Bus from Bristol Temple Meads to top of Park St.
A long time mainstay of the city's Polish community. This is a no frills atmospheric live music venue where the zubrowka & apple juice and Zywiec keeps flowing. The Polish '82 World Cup team take pride of place and look down from their frame above the bar.
50 St. Pauls Road, Clifton
Online radio show that provides a taste of Bristol's strong and diverse independent music scene, a scene so loved there's a record shop in Tokyo devoted entirely to it. There's a great deal more to it than that lazy industry 'trip hop' moniker suggests.
www.dsoundz.co.uk and click on Straight Outa Bristol
As you hurtle down the inglorious M32 into Bristol you'll notice his name plastered in large letters across an old railway bridge. Brian Sewell claims to have unveiled Banksy's identity but little is known of him other than that he is Bristolian. His 'Mild Mild West' mural of a giant teddy bear lobbing a molotov cocktail at riot police looms large over Stokes Croft.
Because it's totally buzzing at this time of year (August) and a really fun place to be (and cooler with the sea breeze). But even in the winter it's great to have a 'blustery' walk along the front, certainly blows away those cobwebs!
Southsea seafront, Portsmouth
There's a DIY spirit down at the Cube. Their programme of film, art and music is left-field and reliably on the money. On sale at the bar is their own brand of homemade Cube-Cola along with 'feral' trade sweets from Iran and coffee from El Salvador. A Bristol treasure.
Dove Street South, off King Square, Stokes Croft
The matador, chicken of aragon, thai chook, the heidi. A pie revolution has sprung out of Stokes Croft. Pies so good that they're now able to boast being the sole pie supplier to Harvey Nichols. Minty mushy peas, mash and gravy are compulsory.
24 Stokes Croft
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