5 FREE things to do in Bristol this summer

Posted on May 30 2018 - 9:00am by Claire Herbaux

The good weather over the past week made you want to spend more time out and about?


Not everything has to cost a fortune and you can easily spend a few days or weekends exploring the city – even if you think you know it, there is always more to explore.

Let’s start with something which isn’t free but will only cost you the price of a pubic transport ticket: On a sunny day, the best thing about the city is that you can hop on a ferry to shuttle you around. I have to admit, when I worked in Bristol, my favourite part was taking the ferry home, because what feels more like holiday than being on a boat?

The ferry takes you from Temple Meads to the city centre and back, stopping at lots of places on the way including the ss Great Britain, Millenium Square, and The Pump House (you need a pub-stop if you are going to be enjoying sunny Bristol!).

And if this isn’t enough, you could book one of their public tours. You can take a trip along the Gorge or – our favourite because it involves cream tea and it would be included if it was free – a trip to Beese’s. If you haven’t been to Beese’s, this is your chance, you won’t regret it.

But we said we were looking for free things, so let’s talk about the Floating Harbour. You may have passed it or walked along in the past, but did you know it’s an entire treasure trail?

Long John Silver Trust openened the trail back in 2015. The Treasure Trail will take you from the surroundings of Queen’s Square, around the Floating Harbour and Welsh Back to the back of the Arnolfini. You can find detailed information about each stop on the trust’s page as well as an interactive map of the self-guided walking (or cycling!) tour.

No what’s on list for Bristol would be complete without the Gromits. For four years now all you could do was track down the ones which have remained in the city, but from next month there will be a new set of statues coming to the city. Sculptures of Wallace, Gromit and Feathers McGraw will be dotting the city and its surroundings – all the way to the Weston Grand Pier.

While the city centre offers a number of green spaces, one of the lesser known places for a great walk is Arnos Vale. The cemetery is much more than just a place full of tombstones.

You can walk through the woodland, explore the site and its wild flowers and plants and discover interesting history along the way. The further you go up into the old part of the cemeter, the more intriguing it gets.

There are self-guided tours and explanations for the old, Victorian headstones, but you can also simply come for a stroll or see what activities are on. There are regular guided tours but also classes and workshops for the entire family.

Afterwards, grab some food at the Painworks just a little further along the road and explore all the workshops around.

Finally, take a look at a little-kown art exhibition located at the Royal Fort Gardens called Hollow.

It is a miniature forest of all the forests of the world and well worth a visit!

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