When you run a minibus hire company you not only find your way around an area, but you get to know what goes on in places; where to eat, where the entertainment venues are, what’s happening around town, and of course, the best clubs and pubs to party! So give us a ring at Bristol Travel Ltd on 01454 549 165

The 20 best things to do in Bristol

Need some sightseeing inspiration? These are the best things to do in Bristol for first-timers and old hands alike

Whatever floats your sightseeing boat, it’d be very easy to spend a good week pottering through Bristol’s vastly contrasting neighbourhoods. Locals all have their own strongly held views on the best stuff to see, hear and taste in Bristol – meaning that even if you get stuck on where your next stop should be, you can always ask whoever you end up sitting next to at the pubcoffee shop or art gallery. However, with such a wealth of options, it doesn’t hurt to go in with a primer. Here are 20 totally brilliant things to do in Bristol next time you’re in town.

Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

Best things to do in Bristol

A ferry in Bristol harbour

1. Tour the harbour by ferry

Bristol was built on the slave trade that its docks and floating harbour enabled. The waterways around which Bristol is built still remain, and offer various ways for you to hop on a boat and see the city from the water. Bristol Ferry Boats operates waterbus services 364 days a year, letting you jump on and off as you choose from Bristol Temple Meads train station to the SS Great Britain. Bristol Packet Boats also offer guided tours around the harbour and even out into the Avon Gorge. Plus, for those not afflicted by sea sickness, there’s the option to sail and dine. Drift with the accompaniment of a pub lunch or cream tea, and feel like the most accomplished seafarer in the city.


2. Marvel at the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge is much more than just a masterpiece of design and engineering. First opened in 1864, the grade I-listed structure is widely considered to be Brunel’s greatest work and is an internationally recognised icon of the city. No matter how many times you’ve climbed up to Clifton Village to take a look, the giant wrought iron structure never fails to inspire sheer vertiginous awe, whatever the weather or time of year. Starchitecture, indeed.


3. Catch some spoken word at the Greenbank

Bars and pubs

Bristol’s spoken word scene is having a moment, and there won’t be a night of the week you’ll find lacking in poetry around these parts. All kinds of poets flex their skills at nights run by local collectives like Milk PoetryTonic and Raise the Bar. Watching your pennies? Head to Satellite of Love at airy Easton pub The Greenbank – it’s free.

Vinyl, Bristol, [Duncan]

4. Get back in the vinyl-hunting groove

Back in the late ’90s, you couldn’t walk more than 50 metres without stumbling upon a record shop in Bristol. Like everywhere, though, those days have been laid to rest. While the ghosts of Replay, Rooted, Breakbeat Culture and many more have now long passed, there are, thankfully, still plenty of places to sate or rediscover a love of vinyl. Fiercely independent and run by true music obsessives, the likes of Idle HandsSpecialist Subject RecordsFriendly Recordsradio/ON and Payback keep the city up to date with their hand-picked releases, while WantedPrime CutsPK Music Exchange and Plastic Wax are packed solid with second-hand vinyl and CDs of almost every genre and are perfect places to lose an afternoon on one of Bristol’s many rainy days.

5. Track down some gorgeous graffiti

We couldn’t publish a list of the best things to do in Bristol without mentioning one of its most famous cultural exports – street art. From fiercely protected murals on shop shutters and public walls to chrome-and-black ‘throwies’ and tags on vans and windows, Bristol is covered in graffiti. While everyone knows about Stokes Croft and Nelson Street, if you’re looking for even more top-quality street art, you can head to Dean Lane skatepark in Bedminster, or take a look beneath the M32 flyover at the ‘halls of fame’. Here you’ll find huge pieces by local and visiting artists that are far more impressive than any pseudo-political stencil with a £50k price tag.

Biblos, Stokes Croft, Bristol

6. Grab some grub at St. Nick’s

While most of the surrounding area was totally destroyed during the Second World War, the 18th-century Exchange building at the heart of St. Nick’s market was spared. Today it’s the last remaining building of its kind in the country. While the Exchange itself is packed with independent traders selling all sorts of wares, the adjoining Glass Arcade is home to a huge variety of food stalls offering treats from across the globe. From divine Kurdish naan wraps and tantalising tagines to awesome jerk pork at Caribbean Wraps and fabulous falafels from Eat A Pitta, it’s all here. And if you fancy something from a little closer to home, Bristol’s own Pieminister does a roaring trade here, too. Gravy goodness at your fingertips.

7. You’ll never be board at Chance & Counters

Board games get a bad rep because of our ill-spent childhoods, we reckon – endless games of Monopoly with your extended family are never going to convince you they’re a worthwhile way to spend your spare time. But suspend your disbelief for a trip to Chance & Counters, a board game café where you can knock back a beer (or three) while exploring their comprehensive catalogue of games old and new. Prepare to knuckle down for hours.


8. Learn how to brew like a Bristolian

Those who run Bristol’s breweries are a friendly bunch, and they’re always keen to throw open their doors so you can get a taste of how they make such brilliant brews. From Bristol Beer Factory to Moor Beer to Wiper and True, beer-makers across Bristol offer an inside look at how those tasty pints make it to a pub near you – and they all offer a snifter of the goods once you’ve learned something new.

The Downs, Bristol, Clifton

9. Get lost on the Downs

Stretching from the top of Whiteladies Road all the way to the Suspension Bridge, the huge open green spaces known as the Downs are the lungs of the city. This massive area has been helping Bristolians feel a million miles away from the hustle and hassle of the city centre for generations. There’s more than enough room for whole teams of sporty types and Sunday leaguers to kick a ball around without bothering each other, and the area known as the Sea Wall in the south-west corner of the Downs should be top of your list for taking visiting relatives to admire the jaw-dropping views of the Avon Gorge and Suspension Bridge.

the lanes

10. Be bowled over at The Lanes

Central bowling alley The Lanes is where to head for a tipsy (and thoroughly indulgent) night of sport, live music, pizza and lots and lots of drinks. Adults and childish adults in particular will get a kick out of the ’50s diner-style décor and jazzy atmosphere. If you get bored of bowling, you can take over a karaoke room and show the locals how it’s done, or get down and funky at one of their many popular alternative club nights.

The Lido, Clifton, Bristol

11. Take the plunge at the Bristol Lido

Residents of Clifton are renowned for thinking their genteel part of the city is superior to anywhere else in Bristol, but as much as Cliftonites find it hard to believe, there are plenty of reasons a lot of people choose not to live in the city’s swankiest area – and the rising rents are just a start. That said, even us inner-city-dwellers can agree that we covet the Bristol Lido – a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with a top-notch restaurant attached, tucked away down a residential street. Built back in 1850 and re-opened in 2008 after closing for almost 20 years, the Bristol Lido has been fully restored with spa facilities and a new restaurant and café. You can lounge by the pool, have a massage, pop in the sauna, then grab some tapas at the bar or head up to the more upmarket viewing gallery restaurant. We recommend the set menu which features things like perfectly prepped wood-roasted aubergine, whole quail and moreish rosemary manchego.Bristol Old Vic 3, Theatre

12. Check out some cutting-edge theatre

Here in Bristol, we love a bit of culture – and there’s little more enlightening or intellectually invigorating than a good bit of theatre. Delving into dramatics is easy in our city, with a host of playhouses and auditoriums of all shapes and sizes putting on shows most nights of the week. From internationally acclaimed touring shows at the grandiose Hippodrome and Bristol Old Vic, to cutting-edge theatrics at the Redgrave and Tobacco Factory, to intimate performances at the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol has it all down.

13. Spend your Bristol Pounds in Strokes Croft

Bristol isn’t like other cities – we all know that. And one of the many things that makes it so special is the huge variety of independent shops here. It’s said that Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft comprise the largest strip of independent retailers in Europe – and a walk from the Bear Pit up to Horfield Common does little to suggest otherwise. Sure, there are a couple of Tescos along the way, but we all know how their arrival went down… Support the spirit of independence that thrives in our city by spending your Bristol Pounds at the many fantastic (and rather eccentric) indie shops plying their trade across town.

14. Bask in the ‘Bristol Sound’

As much as it stirs a wide-eyed, slightly disbelieving smirk in those who’ve lived in Bristol all their lives, it’s a cold hard fact that our sleepy little city is world-famous for its contribution to modern music. The likes of Smith & Mighty, Massive Attack, Portishead, Full Cycle, Pinch and Julio Bashmore call this city home, and it’s now held up alongside the likes of Berlin and Detroit as one of the most influential and significant musical cities on the planet. What was once labelled the ‘Bristol Sound’ is still very much alive and evolving, and can be found shaking the walls at clubs and bars such as CosiesLakotaMotion, and across the city almost every night of the week.

15. Enjoy some movie magic at an arthouse cinema

Forget stale buckets of popcorn at your local multiplex. At Bristol’s clutch of fab arthouse cinemas you can catch rare prints on screen and all the latest independent releases. Each picturehouse offers something a little different: the Cube ‘microplex’ is a resolutely DIY and volunteer-run affair that even brews its own cola, the plush Everyman offers delicious cocktails delivered to your seat, and the Watershed is a culture and arts hub dedicated to showing the best international cinema you can’t catch anywhere else.

16. Get your caffeine fix at a Small Street coffee shop

Tea or coffee? In Bristol, it seems the answer is invariably the latter, with dozens of incredible independent coffee shops springing up all over town in recent years. From cold-pressed filter coffee to Italian-style espressos and flat whites, you’re never too far from a great spot to satisfy your caffeine cravings – much of it freshly blackened in the city by one of the many roasters that call Bristol home. And while there’s great coffee to be had almost any side of town, if you’re a real aficionado, pay a visit to one of the many independents around the Small Street area in the city centre – Full Court Press and Small Street Espresso deserve particular praise for their complex blends, broad roster and distinctly charming surroundings. 

17. Knock back (half) a pint at the Coronation Tap

Tucked down a nondescript side street near the Suspension Bridge, you’ll find one of Bristol’s most notorious drinking establishments. We’re not talking about a spit-and-sawdust pub packed with pissheads vying for a fight – this is Clifton, remember. Nope, the reason the tiny Coronation Tap is infamous across Bristol and beyond comes in half-pint glasses and is made of apples. Heading up to the ‘Cori Tap’ for a glass or four of their deadly Exhibition cider has been a rite of passage for students in the city for decades. We reckon you should add it to your bucket list, too.

18. Tick off the city’s coolest art galleries

There are few better cities for art than this, and we’re not just talking graffiti. Centrespace is dinky and hosts work by some of Bristol’s best up-and-coming artists. The RWA is slightly fustier, though brims with striking sculpture and floor-to-ceiling art. Arnolfini, on the Harbourside, often showcases boundary-pushing installations that are keen to start conversations. Even better? They’re all pretty close to each other, so you could probably tick them off in one afternoon.

19. Cycle up, down and around the city

With more sharply rising inclines than a ski resort, cycling around Bristol can be hard work. But with some of the worst gridlock of any UK city and public transport that’s far from perfect, it’s a necessary evil. Plus, in the UK’s first ‘cycling city’, there are plenty of great things to do on two wheels. Head to the huge open spaces and wooded trails of Ashton Court, cycle out to the beautiful Snuff Mills or set off on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path that follows the route of an old train line through the serene countryside for a manageable 13 miles – you can always drag your bike on to the train if you don’t fancy the return leg. There are plenty of resources online to illustrate possible cycling routes – so there’s really no excuse not to get wheelie (sorry) into it.

20. Wander the shipping containers of Wapping Wharf

You could idle away a whole day exploring the shipping containers of Wapping Wharf – for each one holds its own kind of treasure. Little Victories serves some of city’s best coffee, Loop Massage will pound out your worries on the massage table, and there’s so much amazing food here we don’t even know where to start. From high-end dining to independent shops selling plants, pastries and proper Bristol cider, it’s all here. Gert lush, as the locals say.

Feeling peckish? Here’s where to stock up…



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risk Assessment

Bristol Travel Ltd has always put safety as its number one priority and right now, this is more important than ever.

Things may be a little different but ensuring safety and well-being always comes first and we want customers to be confident to travel with Bristol Travel Ltd and colleagues to have peace of mind when at work.

This article provides a summary assessment of our approach to reducing the risk to our customers, colleagues and others affected by our operations of contracting Covid-19 when travelling or working with Bristol Travel Ltd.

In determining appropriate control measures, we have followed relevant Government guidance and will continue to review these measures as this develops. 


We have consulted and taken feedback from:

• Government bodies including the Department for Transport, Public Health England.

• Trade and industry bodies including CPT (Confederation for Passenger Transport UK)

• Our partner operators

• Suppliers and contractors

This has assisted us in designing and implementing the controls which are summarised below.

Risk controls

We have implemented a number of key risk controls across our vehicle fleet as follows…

Social distancing

• Signage, posters to control social distancing

• Limiting the maximum capacity of all Minibuses. Passengers travelling alone will be asked to sit in window seats. People travelling together as part of the same household or in a social bubble (as defined by the Government) may, on certain selected routes and at our discretion, be able to sit together. This means the aisle seat may be occupied but on one side of the vehicle only.

Cleaning and personal hygiene

• Enhanced cleaning regimes and increased frequency of cleaning of touch points

• The introduction of regular aerosol based disinfection with a high performance antiviral solution –  sometimes called ‘fogging’ – on our vehicles

• Mandatory requirement for customers to wear a face covering when in our vehicles

• Hand sanitiser available for customers at entrance to vehicles

• Disposable face masks available to all customers. 

Managing customers, colleagues and partners

• Management structures allow oversight and regular supervision of these control measures

• Management teams who are briefed and or trained on the relevant guidelines

• Monitoring programme to ensure compliance with risk controls

• Communication via briefings, posters.

• Guidance to only use Designated pickup points if travelling and limiting arrival time to manage capacity at pickup points.

• Staggered work patterns, including meal and break times

Risk evaluation and results

Based on our evaluation of the current controls, the risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) are reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable within our vehicles.

Terms & Conditions

These are the conditions of hire of Bristol Travel Ltd, (hereinafter called “the company”). They form the basis of the contract under which the company agrees to hire its vehicles to the customer (hereinafter called “the hirer”).

1. Breakdown and Delays

The company gives its advice on journey time in good faith. However, as a result of breakdown or traffic congestion, or other events beyond the reasonable control of the company, journeys may take longer than predicted and in those circumstances, the company will not be liable for any loss or inconvenience suffered by the hirer as a result.

2. Liability for Injury

The company will not accept any liability for damage, injury or loss for any passenger standing up or walking around the vehicle whilst in motion.

3. Use of the Vehicle

The hirer cannot assume the use of the vehicle between outward and return journeys, nor that will it remain at the destination of the hirer’s use unless this has been agreed with the company in advance.

4. The Use of Other Operators Vehicles

The company reserves the right to substitute other operators’ vehicles in place of its own for any journey or part thereof.

5. Payment Terms

A one third deposit is payable at the time of booking. The balance of the hire charge is payable by seven days prior to the date of hire, unless other payment terms are agreed as stated overleaf. (The company reserves the right to decline to execute any work when the foregoing condition has not been adhered to, in which case the deposit becomes forfeitable by the hirer to the company).

6. Passenger Capacity and Seat Belts

No passenger may be carried in excess of the seating capacity of the vehicle and passengers must wear the seat belts provided at all times.

7. Drivers hours regulations

The hours of operation for the driver are regulated by law and the hirer accepts the responsibility of ensuring the hire keeps to the hours and times agreed by the Company. Neither the hirer nor any passenger shall delay or otherwise interrupt the journey in such a way that the driver is at risk of breaching regulations relating to driving hours and duty time. If any breach is likely to occur, the hirer will be responsible for any additional costs incurred unless it is outside the control of the hirer.

8. Conduct of Passengers

a) The driver is responsible for the safety of the vehicle at all times and as such may remove any passenger whose behaviour prejudices safety or is in breach of the Public Service Vehicle (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990. These regulations set out certain rights and responsibilities on all parties and full details of these can be obtained from the company on request. The hirer is responsible for any damage caused to the vehicle by any passenger for the duration of the hire.

b) Where the hire is to a sporting event, the hirer should be aware of the legal requirements relating to alcohol, contained in the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985, (as amended) and the conditions of entry to racecourses as laid down by the Race Course Association Ltd. The company will provide details of these restrictions on request.

9. Cancellations

Cancellation by The Hirer

a) For Cancellation more than 5 working days prior to the first day of the hire – the cancellation charge to the hirer is £50 per vehicle per day of hire.

b) For Cancellation less than 5 working days prior to the first day of the hire – the cancellation charge to the hirer is 50% of the total hire charge.

c) For Cancellation on the day prior to, the charge to the hirer is 75% of the total hire charge.

d) For Cancellation on the day the cancellation charge to the hirer is 100% of the total hire charge.

e) Upon cancellation, the hirer will also be liable to pay for any additional items or services that have been bought and paid for on behalf of the hirer in advance of the hire. For example, ferry services, theatre tickets, meals, parking permits, accommodation andguide services etc. Every effort will be made by the company to reduce this liability however all non-retrievable charges will be the responsibility of the hirer.

Cancellation by the Operator

Once a booking is confirmed by the hirer, the Operator will never cancel a hire (as long as payment terms have been adhered to). In cases of extreme weather conditions or exceptional circumstances out of the Operators control, Bristol Travel will liaise with the hirer and make every reasonable effort to make sure the hire is completed.

10. Consumption of Alcohol

The consumption and or carrying of alcohol in the passenger compartment of company vehicles is strictly forbidden unless permission has been obtained from the company.

11. Returnable Additional Deposits

The company reserves the right to insist upon a returnable additional deposit being provided by the hirer in addition to the hire charge. This deposit will be returned to the hirer following completion of the hire provided that non-additional expenses were incurred by the company which were a direct result of the hirers, or his passengers actions.

12. No smoking policy

Hirers should note that this company operates a policy of no smoking on all company vehicles. This policy will be strictly enforced. Would hirers please bring this condition to the attention of all passengers
intending to travel on the coach. 

13. Airport or Ferry Transfers

On collecting passengers from airports, ferry ports, etc., the coach will wait for one hour after the prearranged collection time free of charge. After that additional waiting time will be charged at the discretion of the company. 

14. Acceptance of Our Quotation

Implies acceptance of the above conditions.

15. Complaints

In the event of a complaint about the company’s services, the hirer should endeavour to seek a solution at the time by seeking assistance from the driver, or from the company by calling our support staff on 01454 549 165. If this has not provided a remedy, complaints should be submitted in writing and within 14 days of the termination of the hire. The company shall reply to any complaints within 48 hours of receipt of the same. Please contact our Private Hire Manager by email at info@bristoltravel.co.uk 

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how Bristol Travel Ltd. uses and protects any information that you give Bristol Travel Ltd. when you use this website.

Bristol Travel Ltd. is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

We also use cookies with Google Analytics, although your identity remains anonymous.

Bristol Travel Ltd. may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 1st December 2019.

What we collect

We may collect the following information:

Name, telephone number and e-mail address

Journey details, which may include your home address

What we do with the information we gather

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

To provide you with a quote for our services

To send booking confirmations and payment receipts

To contact you in relation to a booking that you currently have with us


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual.

The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs.

We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website.

Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

Whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us by selecting here.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so.

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable.

If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect