THIS WEEK TRAVEL TUESDAYS FINDS ITSELF A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME, WHERE IMI BYERS EXPLORES THE BEAUTIFULLY BUSTLING TOWN OF BRISTOL TO FIND OUT WHAT THE UK TRULY HAS TO OFFER.
Edited by Natalie Whitmore
Bristol is a beautiful city in South-West England where the creativity and quirkiness of its residents is a pleasantly loud statement at first glance. Home to the notorious graffiti artist Banksy- as well as singers George Erza, James Bay and Massive Attack- there is no denying that the inspiring talent that lurks in Bristol is sky high.
The city has pretty much everything to offer: shops, parks, picturesque scenery, museums, galleries… you name it. The place is buzzing with students due to housing the University of Bristol, the Bristol Institution of Music, the Bristol Metropolitan University as well as the University of West England. Without a doubt, the young crowd that are in abundance in this city which gives Bristol its arty and expressive vibe- breathing life and energy into the city.
Only 2 and a half hours on the train from Bournemouth, and under £30 for a student return ticket, Bristol is not too far out of reach to justify a long weekend of site-seeing and exploring. I will not guarantee however, that you will be able to see the many attributes that the city has to offer in just a short trip. From my short insightful time there, I will give the eager traveller a few places that I definitely recommend visiting if the chance occurs:
Colab is a quirky gallery/café just off Broadmead high-street near to Bristols centre, hidden amongst the array of chain shops, unique eateries and stalls. It holds an impressive collection of art and prints created by independent and upcoming artists. Intricately detailed images and textiles make this place an extremely talented but modest space of work. To further compliment your experience in the corner holds a delicately well-stocked counter filled with succulent sandwiches and oozingly gorgeous pastries. The espresso machine fills the air with a sweet scent of coffee beans, finishing off your visit with a memorable taste. To make this place even more amazing, they hold free workshops up in the PAPER gallery such as life drawing, industry talks and networking. For any hopeful artist/designer, this is definitely a pie to dip your fingers into.
When your used to the limited array of shops in Bournemouth, the sheer quality and quantity of shops in Cabot Circus is enough to make one’s mouth drool. Varying from the major high-street brands such as Urban Outfitters and Superdr, to the slightly more select and luxury Hotel Chocolat and Victoria’s Secret, it is certain that your shopping needs will be fulfilled. The grand and modern hall is where the most central shops are located is not dissimilar to a royal venue, making the simple act of going shopping a pure luxury. Maybe not so great for all of us students trying to save their pennies…
Park Street in Bristol has been shortlisted for the Great British High-street of the Year Award in 2014. Vintage clothes, art and music hangs seductively in shop windows and delicate cafes; while wine bars enrich your vision as you stagger curiously in awe up the characteristic road. Be sure to note the unique quality of the shops such as ‘Cass Art’, the art student’s dream with on-site workshops and lessons- as well as every paint and artistic tool under the sun. On the other end of the spectrum is ‘Superfoods’, a futuristic-style health café pushing buckets of peanut butter and curly kale chips out on display. There’s no question that you won’t able to find such a wild variety of merchandise anywhere else in Britain.
Obviously, there are so many more places in Bristol yet to be explored that I haven’t mentioned; it’s definitely is one of those places where there seems unexpected and amazing experiences are hidden around every corner. A few other sites of interest may be the Bristol Zoo, Cabot Tower, the Suspension Bridge, Bristol Harbour, the Museum and Gallery… the list could go on for days. I see this as a good excuse to go back again, so no doubt I will be exploring more of what the beautiful city has to offer at a later date.