Guest Post : Arts and Culture in Bristol

| November 26, 2013 | 5 Comments

A great guest post for you today, I’ve had a fab time searching for the Banksy’s on the street Art Map.

Bristol is known for being one of the most culturally prolific cities in the UK. It has been the home of important UK music scenes including trip hop and drum and bass, and produced many influential British bands including Portishead, The Pop Group, Roni Size and Massive Attack. On the arts side, it has a thriving theatre scene and is home to the famous Bristol Old Vic (currently under the artistic direction of Kevin Spacey). It has a strong community arts scene, various museums and galleries and is known for its street artists – most famously Banksy among others.

Bristol City Scene


Credit : Mary Moss

If you’re planning a trip to Bristol any time soon there’s plenty to keep you busy. Your best bet is to stay in a hotel in central Bristol, so you can get to all the venues and hotspots easily; with your bed nearby so you can roll in for some rest at the end of each day. Hotels like the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa offer great value in a perfect location.

Once you’ve got a place to stay, you can get stuck into planning your visit. If it’s music you want, there are a whole bunch of venues to choose from. For bigger bands touring through the city, the Bristol o2 Academy is always there to offer a stellar night out. But on the smaller venue front, there are some really cool places to check out. Thekla is a well known Bristol venue, most notable for the fact that it’s also a boat. Thekla sees lots of small to medium sized bands who are touring through the UK, so it’s usually a good bet for a great night out.

Other music venues to keep your eye on include Colston Hall for a mix of rock, jazz, classical and world music, The Louisiana for a great line up of smaller touring bands, The Old Juke for the best slice of jazz in town and new venue The Tunnels which recently opened near Bristol Temple Meads train station.

While you’re in Bristol you’ll likely want to check out some highlights from the well-known street art scene. There is a lot to see and you’ll spot some great stuff as you wander around shopping or checking out other sights. But if you want to take yourself on a tour of the city to see as much street art as possible, you can use this map to plan a route through Bristol that will take you past an incredible range of street art, giving you a bit of background and information on each piece along the way.

When it comes to museums and galleries there really is something for everyone in Bristol. For a bit of Bristol history check out M Shed, a new museum which includes interactive exhibits and tells the story of Bristol using the words and recollections of Bristol’s own population from prehistoric times to now. For art galleries there is plenty to choose from but Spike Island, Arnolfini and the Royal West of England Academy of Arts are great places to start.

Bristol also has a lot of public art which can be spotted around the city. This includes a series of permanent pieces in Hengrove Park, a project called Capacity Bristol which makes temporary use of empty buildings in Bristol for creative purposes such as exhibitions and workshops, and a series of outdoor pieces at the main hospitals within the local NHS Trust which are currently being developed.

As well as the Bristol Old Vic, there are plenty of opportunities to catch some theatre while you’re in town, with venues like Colston Hall, The Tobacco Factory Theatre and The Bristol Hippodrome offering a range of independent and large scale theatre from touring groups and local performers.

And don’t forget, Bristol has tonnes of lovely pubs, great restaurants and bars and excellent nightlife at clubs like The Trinity Centre, Clockwork and Castro’s. So it’s the perfect place for a fun and culturally rich weekend away.


Category: Travel/Holidays

Comments (5)

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  1. Mel W

    I adore Bristol and I’ve stayed in the Mercure hotel too it is lovely. We always look out for the street art ( and try to spot the Banksys!) I love the Waterfront area. Thanks for the post it has made me want to visit again :)
    Mel W recently posted..Easy Christmas Tree CakesMy Profile

  2. Carolin

    I can’t agree more, it’s fabulous here ;)

  3. Carolin

    Yes, please ;) I might even get cake in!
    Carolin recently posted..Day 1 Blogger Advent Calendar: German Christmas MarketsMy Profile

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