I went to university and fell in love; with a collection of buildings, graffiti, bars, cafes, a massive river and impressive bridge, and thousands of quirky people. Bristol you wonderful, unique, unforgettable place. I’ve fallen for you.
It is easy to understand why people feel so strongly about the South West’s largest city; It’s near impossible to think of another place where you can walk from an elegant area such as Clifton, to hippy Stokes Croft and its street art, to a postcard perfect harbourside in just half an hour.
Bristol has large green spaces (Clifton Downs, Eastville Park and Castle Park to name a few), and an urbanised centre. The city hosts amazing events like Love Saves the Day, Brisfest and Rave on Avon and an incredible range of live music (band with some guys you know from uni at Mr Wolfs? Sure. Boy Better Know at the O2 the next day? Yep, no problem).
Bristol has fantastic restaurants, and is the foodie’s heaven, with any kind of cuisine and style of eating being catered for; whether you fancy five star gourmet dining or mouthwatering street food, you’re sure to find it in the South West’s biggest metropolis.
Bristol can be whatever you want it to be. During your university years you’ll be constantly evolving and developing, and Bristol evolves with you.
If you want to put red lipstick and heels on and drink vodka at the Clifton triangle, you can. If you’d rather to go to the rave venue ‘Motion’ and skank until 6am to drum and bass, then that’s fine. If you fancy sitting on a massive balcony overlooking the River Avon and taking in the view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge while enjoying a few West Country ciders, that’s an option too.
And you know those days when you just have a massive urge to slide down a main street of a city on a giant waterslide? This was even possible in Bristol a few years ago.
And I haven’t even started on the millions of hot air balloons that fill the sky every August; the massive singing reindeer at the German Christmas Market and the weird but wonderful bear pit adorned with graffiti about social reform. Anything goes in Bristol, and everything has its home somewhere in this unique city. If there’s one place to make your voice heard – whatever the voice may be – it’s Bristol.
Bristol loves to love. Whether that be in the form of charming street art, social campaigns, or just the friendly residents who smile at everyone walking past, you’ll always find yourself completely welcomed in this city. The city is so full up with compassion and pride that there’s no room for negativity.
Bristol is the UK’s capital of local businesses and shops – Gloucester Road is known as ‘The Last British High Street’ – it’s the longest row of independent shops in the country. Bristol has its own currency – the Bristol Pound (don’t worry, you can still use the British Pound!) and it was the green capital of Europe in 2015. Bristol’s constantly moving forward into the future, and it will more than happily take you with it!
That being said, Bristol holds onto its past fantastically. A historical city, the centre still retains its medieval street layout, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge remains one of the South West’s most famous structures.
There’s enough things to see and do in Bristol to last a lifetime, but it’s so fantastically connected to the rest of the South West and London, meaning that it’s easily reached and can be used as a base to explore the rest of the region. There are so many wonderful day trips from Bristol – it’s close to the famous city of Bath, it’s right by the most stunning Somerset countryside which contains some lovely old towns and it is very near to the Cotswold hills. It’s just over the bridge from Wales and less than a two hour train ride from London. Getting to Bristol is absolutely no problem; the issue is pulling yourself away!
Visit Bristol for a weekend, a week, a month, or uproot and move there like I did. Embrace the togetherness and liberalness of the charming city. Laugh at its quirky characteristics and marvel at the extraordinary talent of the graffiti artists and local singers. Learn about the charming history and get involved with the environmentally conscious citizens who are bringing Bristol forward into an eco-friendly future.
Despite my time in Bristol, for now at least, drawing to a close, the city will remain forever in my heart. I don’t think I’ll be able to stay away from this astounding enlightening and beautiful place for too long.
Disclaimer: only a handful of people who applied for the waterslide got to do it. But it did happen.
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