A Few Days in Bristol & Bath

Sunday, 8 September 2019

I remember visiting Bristol and Bath with my parents as a kid, many moons ago, and absolutely loving both places with equal measure. So, when I was deciding where to go on a little weekend break to celebrate my birthday, I knew exactly where I wanted to visit.

We travelled down early on a Friday morning and spent Friday and Saturday in Bristol, Sunday in Bath. It was the ridiculously hot Bank Holiday weekend we had a few weeks back, so both places were scorching hot and gorgeously sunny. It meant it was a bit too hot at times, but I honestly felt like I was abroad wandering along Bristol's harbour and sunning myself in a cute garden in Bath, sipping rhubarb and custard cider.

We stayed at Clifton House, a beautiful hotel in pretty Clifton, with streets lined with stunning Georgian townhouses. Breakfast was included and our room was lovely - modern with a traditional touch, perfectly matched to the Victorian building. While it was a good 20-minute walk into Bristol city centre, Clifton was only 10 minutes away and I absolutely loved it there - definitely my favourite part of Bristol.

Clifton was bursting with cute shops, Instagrammable cafes and just an all-round lovely atmosphere. We stopped off for some lunch at East Village Cafe and it was amazing - delicious food and drink, amazing interior (and exterior!) and some incredible cakes (Tom had an almond and raspberry cake and it honestly looked to-die-for). We then had a wander around some of the shops in the arcade, including an awesome crystal shop, a shop full of weird and wonderful plants and my favourite - a homeware shop packed full of so many nice things. The lady in there made our day - we were telling her about how we've just bought a house together and she went and got us a house-warming present, it was the cutest thing. Everyone there seemed so friendly and welcoming, which was lovely.

While in Clifton we took a walk up to view the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a pretty impressive piece of architecture. There's an observatory there with a Camera Obscura and the Giant's Cave - a 130-step walk down to view the bridge and the Avon Valley from the natural cave that formed in the limestone face of St Vincent's Rock. We took the trip down and it was a really impressive view, although I'm not sure it was worth the 130-step walk!

We also went to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, and I'd definitely recommend going if you like natural history or art. One of the exhibitions was all about endangered animals and honestly it struck such a chord with me I could've cried. They'd placed black sheets over the animals that were extinct or seriously under threat and it's probably the best way I've ever seen the threat of extinction illustrated so poignantly.

Obviously, as Bristol is pretty much the home of all things are you don't need to head to a museum to see it - there is street art on every corner - including lots of Banksys!

In Bath we of course had to pay a visit to the Roman Baths - it's a beautiful place steeped in so much history, but if you're not a big history buff you might find it a bit dull. I do think it's a must-visit if you're there though - just be aware it gets very busy, so get your pictures as soon as you go in! Bath itself is just a dream to wander around and a great place for shopping - one of my favourite shops has got to be Topping and Company Booksellers - an amazing bookshop full of first editions and signed copies.

When in Bristol and Bath we ate at some amazing places, some which are definitely worth making a note of are: Mrs Potts Chocolate House (a chocoholic's dream), The Bristol Stable (amazing pizza and cider), Pinkmans Bakery (they do sourdough doughnuts!) and Cafe au Lait in Bath - they do the most incredible pancakes.

We had such a lovely, chilled weekend taking in the sights and sounds of both cities and it was so nice to just wander around and take in the scenery. Bristol had such an incredible atmosphere and general vibe the whole time we were there - so laid back and chilled, and I loved how arty the place was. One of my highlights has got to be stumbling across a Banksy as we were walking towards the cathedral - the city is full of his work. Bath was truly beautiful and just a total pleasure to wander around - I wish we could've spent a bit more time there. Overall I had the best time and would totally recommend paying both places a visit if you can!