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Bristol Life

Don't Drink? Don't worry!

By FrenchayRAs 09 Sep 2021

Bristol boasts amazing nightlife and bars, but you don't have to drink alcohol to have a good time. Don't ever feel pressured into drinking if you don't feel like it's the right choice for you,  check out the Students' Union article - How to Have a Sober Night Out Without People Making a Big Deal about It.

If you'd rather stay away from the clubs, pubs and bars, here are our 10 suggestions for a booze free day out .... 

1. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Marvel at Clifton Suspension Bridge. This bridge is much more than just a masterpiece of design and engineering, it opened in 1864. The structure is widely considered to be Brunel’s greatest work and is an internationally recognised icon of the city. 

Clifton Suspension Bridge over a body of water

2. Cabot Tower

A brief stroll away from busy Park Street will transport you to the tranquillity of Brandon Hill Park. This is definitely one of my favourite landmarks of the city. For more extensive panoramas it is well worth the climb up the spiral stone stairs of Cabot Tower with elegant arched lookout balconies about two-thirds up and the top level giving the most commanding positions for a 360 degree outlook. 

cabot tower

3. Bristol Harbour

Bristol Harbour, what once was a busy dock where sailors and merchants would trade goods and set sail for voyages of discovery, it is now an attractive, modern development filled with restaurants, and shops.

The area is alive with the buzz of Sunday markets, waterside restaurants and a whole host of sports and activities including yachting, paddle boarding, cycling and rowing. Stroll around the water’s edge and you will find Millennium Square - a fantastic central hub.

bristol harbour

4. Escape Room

There are a few companies in Bristol that host a variety of different Escape rooms. Grab your friends and choose a room to escape. A fun way of working together to solve clues and beat the record time! 

The HallsLife team also held an escape room event on campus, be sure to look out for our next one!

escape room

5. We the Curious

If the weather is not very good, then 'We The Curious' is the best option! Located near the harbour, inside the big building is a host of interactive activities for you to get involved with. Learning a variety of information from science, technology, nature and more.

There is a lovely cafe but there is also the option to bring your own food and eat in the picnic area.

If you arrive 1.5 hours before closing you get to go in for half price. Watch the Stargazing show in the Planetarium and have an amazing time! 

a man standing in front of a building

6. Shopping

Bristol is filled with a variety of shops from high street to local.  The shopping centres, Cabot Circus and Cribbs Causeway, are perfect to shop at on rainy days because both are indoors. There are also many restaurants at both centres, and you may need a little food break from all that shopping!  

7. Nature walks

  • Snuff Mills: This is a nature reserve that leads onto endless trails and beautiful sceneries. The reason why I love it here is because when I first moved to Bristol it was definitely an environmental change from where I’m from. At home, I am a 20 minute drive away from the beach and mountains so coming to a fast pace city like Bristol was amazing but I missed the long walks that my home town offered! When I discovered Snuff Mills I couldn’t get enough, especially during summer it is the perfect place to take a disposable BBQ. Half way through the trail you can walk up to the massive park and devour an ice cream from the van that you earned after all of that walking!
  • Stoke Park: You must have seen that massive Yellow Mansion in the distance on the motorway before?! Well, this is Stoke Park. Last year, my housemate and I took a picnic and revised all day here, it was so peaceful and revising in a different setting can be so beneficial! Trust me!
  • Eastville Park - You may recognise this park if you have attended one of Bristol's festivals, AKA Love Saves the Day or Toyko World? This open, wide park is the perfect escape from the city. To take a run, do a workout outside for a change, or even just to relax on the grass.



8. Chance and Counters – board game café

Just tucked at the bottom of the historic Christmas Steps, you’ll find Chance and Counters.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the cafe is a cosy and welcoming spot to indulge in many board games. There are more than 850 games to choose from, varied selection of new and popular board games available to buy.

In addition, a seasonal food menu is provided which includes specific vegan and gluten-free foods.

9. The lanes – bowling

Central bowling alley The Lanes is where to head for a vintage and atmospheric night. With live music and pizzas you can enjoy the ’50s diner-style décor and jazzy vibe. 

If you get bored of bowling, you can take over a karaoke room and show the locals how it’s done, or get down and funky at one of their many popular alternative club nights.

10. Stokes Croft

One of the many things that makes Bristol so special is the huge variety of independent shops here. It’s said that Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft have the largest strip of independent retailers in Europe – and a walk from the Bear Pit up to Horfield Common proves this. Support independent shops that thrives in our city by shopping at the many fantastic (and rather eccentric) indie shops across town.