We had a lovely weekend recently wandering around Bristol’s many Christmas markets and exploring Clifton to celebrate Anthony’s birthday.
We wandered into the town on the Saturday morning and stumbled across the Harbourside Christmas Market. I love markets anyway but a Christmas themed market is even better! There was Christmas music playing and I could smell the spices of hot mulled wine and the sweetness from the countless cake stalls lining the passageway.
I saw so many amazing vintage jackets and scarves in the market but somehow resisted them all as I genuinely don’t think I could fit another coat in my wardrobe.
There’s nothing like rummaging through a second hand book stall, I always prefer crumpled well-used books over brand new books and so try and buy second hand books wherever possible.
As the name suggests, the Harbourside Christmas Market runs alongside the water so we could peer down at all of the boats moored up for the colder months.
Over the Christmas period, an ice skating rink is set up in Millennium Square along with a mini Christmas market.
We walked towards Bristol Cathedral from College Square and saw the beautiful old building belonging to Bristol Cathedral Choir School.
We went through the arch towards the back of Bristol Cathedral.
By this point, we were extremely hungry and so popped into Jamie’s Italian for lunch, I had a mini carbonara for starter (I was so excited to see a restaurant doing mini versions of their pasta dishes for starters), followed by a fish selection for my main meal.
I’m not generally a fan of graffiti but Bristol does have some impressive artwork on its walls created by some very clever graffiti artists.
Banksy was born in Bristol in the 1970s and you can still see a few of his famous pieces around the city, including ‘The Well Hung Lover’ on Park Street. Banksy posed as a builder so that he could paint this piece in secrecy, having already obtained permission from the building owners. When the Council later bought the building, they consulted Bristol residents as to whether the art should stay and as you can see, the people of Bristol wanted it to be kept as it was. It was sadly vandalised with blue paint in 2009, you can see where they have cleared the paint off the wall but they obviously can’t touch the paint on the artwork. If you are a fan of Banksy’s work or are just curious to find out more, you can take part in a Banksy Tour.
There are always interesting things to discover in a city when you take your time and look around.
We walked down Christmas Steps, one of my favourite places in Bristol.
We went back to Anthony’s flat for a sit down and a much needed cup of tea before heading back out to do a bit of shopping in Cabot Circus Shopping Centre. The shopping trip itself wasn’t particularly successful but we did get to look at all of the Christmas lights and bought roasted chestnuts to eat while we walked around the German Christmas market (our third Christmas market of the day!).
Anthony and I went out for celebratory drinks in the evening with a few of his friends.
We had such a lovely evening and after a few too many drinks, it ended in a takeaway pizza in bed while watching Netflix, it was so good and so worth the calories.
The next day, Anthony’s Dad drove us to Clifton and we started the day with brunch at Côte Brasserie.
The food was so good and exactly what we needed.
Clifton did not disappoint – is so beautiful, especially at this time of year with all of the leaves on the ground.
After taking lots of photos around Christ Church building, we wandered around the streets and gave ourselves serious house envy. The houses in Clifton are huge and have so much character.
We couldn’t go to Clifton and not see the Clifton Suspension Bridge so after a look around Clifton village, we got back in the car and headed in that direction. The bridge was started in 1831 but was abandoned in 1843 following a series of political and financial problems. The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel who sadly died in 1859 and so was never able to see the bridge fully constructed. It was eventually completed in 1864 as a memorial to Brunel.
You can drive across the bridge for a toll fee of £1. The bridge is still widely used, with up to 12,000 vehicles crossing it every day!
We stopped the car along Circular Road and walked to the edge to see the views over the Avon Gorge.
I had such a great weekend in Bristol with Anthony and his Dad to celebrate Anthony’s birthday. We fitted so much in and I was so glad to finally see Clifton as I’ve been wanting to see if ever since Anthony moved to Bristol.