Bristol has got pretty much the best places to explore out of any city in the country.
But it’s not just its well-known parks and attractions which make it the best place to live in Britain, it’s also Bristol’s hidden gems which ensure it’s a city that leaves students desperate to move back after they graduate.
To help you get the most out of the city, we’ve put together this list of the eight best secret places to explore in Bristol.
Temple Quay, Valentine Bridge
Where: Temple Quay, 1 Friary, BS1 6EA
Nestled away behind the iconic Temple Meads train station, Temple Quay and Valentine Bridge offer some gorgeous sights tucked right around the corner from one of Bristol’s most-visited spots. While not quite as mind-blowing a piece of architecture as Brunel’s suspension bridge, Valentine Bridge and the whole Temple Quay area are a lovely, calm and quiet space to explore.
Where: Christmas Steps, BS1 5BS
This steep road is located in Bristol’s city centre and features, apart from some amazing panoramic views of the city, a whole host of little shops and oddities to discover. The quaint buildings that line the road are quintessentially Bristolian, and the view from the top is worthy of any Instagram feed.
Full Court Press
Credit: Full Court Press/Facebook
Where: 59 Broad Street, BS1 2EJ
Don’t let its quite standard-looking appearance fool you; this place does the best damn coffee in all of Bristol. Located en route to Cabot Circus and just past St Nicholas Market, they rotate their blends each week so you can be sure to get a delicious new type of bean every time you pop in. The knowledgeable staff are super-friendly, and its cult status among Bristolian caffeine-heads make it a wonderful place to enjoy a cuppa.
Credit: Chance and Counters/Facebook
Where: 20 Christmas Steps, BS1 5BS
Started from a Kickstarter, Chance and Counters has a ridiculously large stock of board games, brain busters and activities to keep anyone happy. Hidden away in its cosy location on the aforementioned Christmas Steps, Chance and Counters would be worth a visit for the genius of its name alone, even if it weren’t one of the most fun cafes and pubs to head down to anyway.
Bag O’ Nails
Credit: Bag of Nails Bristol/Facebook
Where: 141 St Georges Road, Hotwells, BS1 5UW
Pretty much universally known as the ‘cat cafe’, Bag O’ Nails has an incredibly strong gimmick going for it. And yep, the gimmick is cats. Felines are everywhere in this quaint little Hotwells pub, and who could resist the charms of a drinking spot where you can cuddle a kitten while you nurse your pint? No one, that’s who.
Credit: Parsons Bakery/Facebook
Where: 134 St Michael’s Hill, BS2 8HD
What might look like a relatively unassuming bakery within walking distance of the ASS and Woodland Road is actually probably the single greatest place in the world during exams. With exceptionally good coffees being served at the ludicrous price of £1, Parsons doubles as a cosy little getaway with a lovely upstairs interior and the sole source of your energy during frantic cramming sessions. What more could you want?
The Crypt off Nelson Street
Where: Broad St, BS1 2EZ
You’ve probably seen the Church of St John The Baptist pretty much constantly during your time at Bristol, but you might not have cast an eye over its fun subterranean annex. This little crypt is a spooky window into the world of the dead, with a couple of sarcophagi nestled within. It’s no haunted house, but it’s still seriously cool and 100% worth checking out.
Credit: Lido Spa and Restaurant/Facebook
Where: Oakfield Place, Clifton, BS8 2BJ
As far as calming revision spaces go, we’re not sure it gets much better than the Lido. It’s a well-known institution for swimmers, but it’s actually a fantastic place to grab a coffee and plow through some work. A short walk from the Victoria Rooms, the sound of the water and general lovely, Instagrammable ambience make The Lido one of the best places to get down to some work. Or, y’know, just relax for a bit.