10 Things to do over the summer to get to know Bristol better

Bristol really does come alive in the summer months, and we're super lucky that there's never a shortage of things to do. If you're sticking around for the holidays, check out our top 10 things to do to get to know the city better.

1. Boat tour

Explore Bristol’s historic Harbourside in the way it was intended for, from the waterline! Bristol ferry Boats runs 364 days a year and you can hop on and off as you please. It’s a great way to explore the city, from the City Centre to Brunel SS Great Britain, Avon Gorge, under the suspension bridge and more!


2. Cycle ride

Tour the city in a sustainable way and enjoy the sunshine by hiring out a bike for the day. Yo Bikes are scattered all over the city and can be rented via the ‘YoBikeBristol’ app for just £1 an hour, or a cheaper day-rate pass. Check out the Bristol to Bath bike trail, a 13 mile long off road route, or perhaps head to Ashton Court and explore the vast estate and deer park by bike.


3. Taste some local cider

Bristol has a vast array of local West Country ciders on offer to quench your thirst over the summer. Head to the renowned Cori Tap, tucked away in Clifton Village just a short walk from the suspension bridge, and try some of the West Country’s best ciders, wisely served in half pints. Or bask in the sunshine along the Harbourside at The Apple, with over 40 ciders to choose from, set aside a sunny afternoon and hop on board the cider boat.


4. See the city from up high

Photo: www.heatheronhertravels.com/

Visit Cabot Tower for an iconic view of Bristol’s skyline. Situated on Brandon Hill, just off of Park Street, the tower dates back to the 1800’s and is the oldest park in Bristol. With beautiful paths and a nature conservation area, it’s the perfect place for a sunny picnic.


5. Hunt down the city’s best street art

Being Banksy’s hometown, Bristol is famous for its street art. You can’t walk far without seeing some decorative graffiti boldly gracing the city’s walls. Take part in one of Bristol’s many Street Art Walking Tours and learn more about the life and work of Banksy, or download the Banksy Bristol Tour app and take yourself on a guided tour. Bristol is also home to Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival, taking place at the end of July.


6. Bristol’s street food

Photo: nicksarebi/Flickr 

If you love food, then make sure you check out Bristol’s huge array of street food markets. Head on down to the historical St Nicholas Market in the heart of the Old City where you’ll find a huge range of food stalls, from Japanese to Thai, British to Indonesian and more. Why not head down there for an afternoon and sample culinary delights from a range of cultures, get some friends together and make your own street food tapas.


7. Festivals

Bristol is a hive of activity throughout the summer, with festivals happening most weekends you’ll have no shortage of fun events to go along to. From beer festivals to film festivals, music, food, comedy and more, check out what’s on this summer at VisitBristol.


8. Get outside

We’re lucky in Bristol that not only have you got the city life, but you’re only ever a short walk away from some beautiful scenery and nature. So if you’ve not done much exploring of Bristol’s green spaces, summer is the time. From Ashton Court estate just over the suspension bridge, to Durdham Downs at the top of Whiteladies Road, there are plenty of places nearby and accessible to get to. If you have a car, check out Snuff Mills and go for a walk along the River Frome.


9. Get to know Bristol’s history

For a free day out, pop along to M Shed museum on the Harbourside to explore Bristol’s history, from its people to its places, entry into M Shed is free and you’ll get to know a whole lot more about the city. With Brunel’s SS Great Britain also a main attraction as the world’s first great ocean liner and Bristol City Museum and Art gallery in Clifton, turn into a tourist for the day and go and explore Bristol’s colourful history.


10. Paddleboarding or kayaking

Bristol’s Harbour comes alive in the summer, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in a range of watersports. Hire out a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) for the afternoon and paddle past the SS Great Britain to view the city from a whole new perspective, or perhaps give Kayaking a go along the River Avon.