Is Bristol the best city in the UK?

bristol best uk city
bristol best uk city

Bristol : The best city in the UK: why the surprise?

In March, Bristol was awarded first place in the Sunday Times ‘Best place to live 2017’ Guide. And now the announcement is ‘old news’, I feel safe to vocalise my surprise at, well, the surprise.

Seven years ago, before I moved to the city, I may have been among those raising an eyebrow over Bristol’s new accolade. I’ve lived in several of the country’s bustling cosmopolitan hubs, as well as some of the more rural spots, and wasn’t that impressed with either end of the spectrum.

But having spent some time getting to know Bristol and all it has to offer, it’s no wonder to me that it keeps coming up trumps. And in my humble opinion, here are the reasons why.

bristol best uk city

The history of Bristol

Bristol is steeped in history, much of which is still tangible to this day. From the 12th Century Temple Church, to the SS Great Britain and even the labyrinth of caves in Redcliffe, Bristol’s past fuses seamlessly with its modern-day vibe.

The city can even boast an array of famous former occupants, such as the notorious Edward Teach (otherwise known as Blackbeard), Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and even the elusive street artist Banksy.

bristol best uk city

Bristol's food scene

From the North to the South of the river, Bristol is home to hundreds of award-winning restaurants and cafes to sate all appetites. Every meal is more-than catered for ten times over; try a healthy breakfast of smashed avocados and poached egg at Primrose Café, or a less-healthy all-you-can-drink Prosecco brunch at Brace & Browns.

If you’ve time for lunch, you could do much worse than the Burger Joint in Bedminster, before a first-rate dinner at the Pony and Trap. (It’s a few miles out of Bristol, but the food is first-rate and the scenic views of the Somerset countryside are stunning).

Even the much-loved chains you expect to encounter in a city are situated on water fronts or in beautiful period buildings. If you can handle a cocktail or two, the covert, speak-easy themed Milk Thistle has some of the best mixes in the city – a city, by the way, famed for its love of gin.

bristol best uk city

Activities available in Bristol

There are so many Bristol activities, no audience is excluded and there’s literally something for every event. Water babies can take to the river for a cruise on the Avon, or even try their hand at paddle boarding.

Young families can spend a day at @Bristol, guaranteed to educate all and keep the kids entertained for hours. Those looking for a romantic evening can wander through the quaint, picturesque streets of Clifton before an intimate meal at one of the many restaurants (or enjoy a cocktail or two by candlelight).

Large groups can make the most of Bristol’s extensive range of bars and clubs, but it doesn’t have to end there: Groups of grown-ups (stags and hens included) wanting a west-country themed day out need look no further than West Country Games. Welly throwing, Drunk Pub Skittles and Pitchfork Duels are only a few of the crazy games that are guaranteed to bring people together and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.

bristol best uk city
Location, location, location

In short, what isn’t on Bristol’s doorstep? The city is well situated to offer some of the best of Britain. Take a short (less then two hours) drive south and you’re in Devon, home to seaside towns such as Sidmouth and Lime Regis, perfect boltholes for romantic weekends away, or a wonderful family day out.

London is easy to reach by car or train – the latter only taking about an hour and a half. If you’re looking to go further afield, Bristol airport charters flights to Edinburgh, the continent and even as the USA.

There are so many reasons why Bristol is an incredible place to live. Furthermore, future plans to improve Bristol will only fuel the love for the city, which residents – and visitors alike – find hard to contend.

Where to watch rugby in Bristol

watch rugby in bristol
watch rugby in bristol

Where to watch rugby in Bristol

It’s that time of year when we can all tuck into another fantastic feast of rugby action, with each of the home nations in action.  Welcome to our up-to-date guide on where to watch rugby in Bristol.

What better time to get out of the house and join your mates to enjoy that big match atmosphere from the comfort of the pub.

We've hand picked  the finest places where to watch rugby in Bristol, our favourite pubs that will each be showing all of the games.

8 great venues to watch rugby in Bristol

watch rugby in bristol

Racks, St Paul's Road

Ideally situated in lively North Bristol, Racks is the obvious choice for larger groups looking for some where to watch rugby in Bristol.  With 12 different screens and a range of tasty beers on tap (and served by the bottle), you’re bound to beat those winter blues as your team takes to the pitch.

And if you buy a ticket for only a tenner, they’ll guarantee a great view of the game, a steak sandwich with chips and – most essentially – a bottle of beer.  Just make sure you tip up an hour before kick off. (They also offer free venue hire, making it a must for anyone planning a Bristol stag weekend).

Alter Ego, Whiteladies Road

Cocktails and sport aren’t a combination you find in just any bar, and may not be first choice where to watch rugby in Bristol, but fear not; Alter Ego is ready and waiting to sate the tastes of any spirit-loving sport enthusiast.  Split over three levels, Alter Ego is located at the heart of the bustling, cosmopolitan area of Whiteladies Road.

The venue offers a huge selection of cocktails (and even master class lessons, for those looking to perfect their sprit mixing skills), with over 15 ultra HD screens to enjoy the match with your mates.

watch rugby in bristol

Jersey Lilly, Whiteladies Road

Known for its fantastic selection of fine ales and scrumptious ciders, The Jersey Lilly has a lovable pub atmosphere, with a modern twist.  With fresh pub grub served daily, it’s a sophisticated yet relaxed place to watch rugby in Bristol – or indeed, any day!

So named after Lily Langtry, a Victorian actress and racehorse breeder, the venue’s history is prevalent throughout the tastefully decorated interior, with black and white pictures of the lady herself.  If beer or cider isn’t your rugby-fuelled tipple, don’t worry; their ever-evolving selection of gins or indulgent cocktails will certainly wet the whistle of even the most particular drinkers.

Cider Press, Gloucester Road

Obviously named after its vast array of apple-based beverages, Cider Press will sate the appetite of any cider lover!  The drinks menu includes 32 of the finest ciders on offer, from traditional scrumpy to fruitier blends – some more lethal than others, but all devilishly delicious.

If you’re not a cider lover, don’t let the name put you off; there’s a huge choice of cocktails and gins on offer. And of course, no match day merriment is complete without a sobering snack on the side.  Their tasty selection of tapas, pizzas, burgers and quality pub classics, as well as a lively ambiance makes it a prime location to watch rugby in Bristol – on your own, or with a crowd.

watch rugby in bristol

White Lion at The Avon Gorge Hotel

Rugby with a view you say?  That and more is covered at The White Lion, the pub attached to the iconic Avon Gorge Hotel. Fully refurbished in 2017, this is a great venue to watch big screen rugby on their long tables, which are perfect for groups of all sizes.

The pub also has one of the largest outdoor terraces in the South West, with unrivalled views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

There is a good selection of beers and ciders on tap, as well as pizzas and “Big Plates” featuring on their bar menu.

Horts

In incredible array of award-winning ales and European largers await those who choose to here to watch rugby in Bristol,  in this friendly, contemporary pub. Horts on Broad Street is a fantastic option for larger groups, with lots of space and comfy seating.

Huge projector screens bring the game to life – even more so with the lively match day atmosphere.  And with a delicious selection of pub grub at great prices, Horts is an obvious choice for an exciting afternoon out.

watch rugby in bristol

Walkabout

This well-loved Aussie sports bar which doubles up as a nightclub is a popular choice for younger, passionate crowds.  Walkabout on Corn street is centrally located and boasts two cinema-sized screens, so you’re guaranteed to catch every pass and punch.

And once the match is over, the party continues well into the night with lively music, dancing and good-old fashioned debauchery from down under!

Clifton Wine Bar

Tucked away in the heart of Clifton village, this hidden gem is an intimate and stylish venue in which to enjoy the rugby.  With seven screens, an impressive selection of draft ales and beers, this is one for the fancier rugby fanatic.

The smaller lounging areas are adorned with comfy sofas and screens, so you can grab and corner and enjoy the game with friends and family.  Their food menu is equally as comforting, with a mouthwatering selection of pies on offer – the perfect accompaniment to a pint…or two.

Bath Christmas Market – Our guide to the Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market Guide
Bath Christmas Market
Bath Christmas Market Guide

Our guide to the Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market is a truly magical event. This special, award-winning market is staying in the city for a whopping 18 days this year (2019), giving its guests tonnes of time to shop around and experience that holiday feeling.

There are going to be over 150 chalets spread across Bath’s Georgian-style streets; a far cry from many, more cramped Christmas Markets that take place in town and city squares.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Sparkling gift options...

The city of Bath knows how to treat its visitors and its residents. Giving them an array of sparkling gift options; from candles and crystals to homeware and house decorations. All ages will find something to love about this mystical market event, no matter how long they spent there. Tour the stalls during the day for some light shopping but remember to return during the darker hours to see the lights twinkling up close.

There are plenty of hot drinks stands selling delicious treats to warm you right up while you hop from stall to stall.

For those local to the market’s area, pop out during your lunch break and sneakily pick something up for someone you love.

No matter what brings you to Bath this winter, find a new reason to keep coming back each year with the Bath Christmas Market.

Bath Christmas Market Food Highlights

Bath Christmas Market Dates 2019

This year’s Bath Christmas Market takes place over the days between November 28th and December 15th. While the market is certainly the main attraction, the city of Bath has never done anything halfway – so there’s plenty more to see and do in and around the market area.

As for opening times, just so you don’t show up when things are closed and end up waiting around in the cold, check out this quick list:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10am to 7pm
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10am to 8pm
Sundays: 10am to 6pm

As you can see, that’s between eight and ten available shopping hours every day in the lead up to Christmas! With over two weeks of daily holiday shopping right at the heart of Bath.

Hen Do Bath Christmas Market

The highlights of Bath Christmas Market

One highlight of this picturesque market is Paperstarlights, who have been making paper star lanterns for over 20 years. This Christmas Market chalet can help you bring the magic of winter right into your home; without bringing the cold in, as well. Each lantern is handcrafted using traditional techniques and the materials are responsibly sourced. They use natural dyes, too.

No Bath Christmas Market is complete without sweet-smelling food stalls. So, next, let us introduce you to The Creative Crepe Co. Sweet or savoury, there’s a huge range of choices of fillings and toppings for your crepes. They’re happy for you to get creative with it, and the owners are very friendly. If you’re not here for the crepes, why not grab one of their hot chocolates, instead?

And lastly, for the vegans among our readers: The Vegan Spice. 100% of their menu is vegan-friendly, including a mouth-watering katsu curry that has a Thai flair.

Bath Christmas Market Activities

Base your hen do around a visit to the Christmas Markets

How can you make a hen do around a Christmas Market, you ask? Well, let us tell you all about the amazing Bath Christmas Market Experience. Start your holiday season off right with a trip to Thermae Bath Spa, a two-course Champagne lunch at The Ivy Bath Brasserie, and a wreath-making workshop with a fantastic package available from the Visit Bath company.

Available for just ten days in December and only during the weekdays of the first two weeks that month. It’s the perfect day-filling set of activities, and you’ll still have time to head over to the Christmas Market chalets after your wreath-making class is over.

Just £112 a person for all your gal pals to share a fantastic day with you.

Alternatively, browse the wares of the Bath Christmas Market, have a cider or two from Honey’s Midford Cider, and then spend a night on the town. There are plenty of clubs, bars, and pubs open in the centre of Bath.

Things to do in Bath after you have been to the market

Bath On Ice

Bath on Ice

Bath on Ice, the infamous outdoor ice rink, is also returning to the city for its 15th year. Over 1000 square metres of rink are waiting for you and your friends, all you need is the opening hours and days below:

Monday to Friday: 10:45am to 10pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:30am to 10pm
Not open Christmas Day

The ice rink prices vary, but an hour for an adult is just £11.50, while it’s £10 for an hour for a child. Skate aids are available at £5 per session, and the rink is open from November 15th, 2019 to January 5th, 2020. Located just five minutes away (on foot) from Milsom Street’s Bath Christmas Market chalets. You’ll find the rink, and some other attractions, in Royal Victoria Park.

Glow in the dark mini-golf

Right next to the ice rink, you’ll find some great glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, too! This brightly coloured game has fluorescent gold balls and a botanical course with 18 holes. Prices start from £6 for kids, and £7 for adults. Days and times below:

Everyday: 4pm to 9:30pm
Not open Christmas Day

Bath Glow Mini Golf

Just like the ice rink of Bath on Ice, the golf course is open until January 5th, 2020. To book, head over to the Bath on Ice website. Embrace the true winter wonderland of bath by starting with the Christmas Market and then heading straight over to Royal Victoria Park for more fun.

Stool Bath Christmas Market

Something different...

If you’re looking for something a little less Christmas-themed, try roaming the streets for some of the quirky and unique cafés and restaurants of Bath. Colonna & Small’s is just a stone’s throw away from Royal Victoria Park, and has been named as one of the best coffee shops in the UK.

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Bristol firework displays – Our pick of the best Bristol firework displays

Bristol Firework Display
Bristol Firework Display
Bristol Firework Display

Our best pick of the best Bristol firework displays

It’s that time of year when we huddle around a fire and watch as the skies are lit with fireworks to celebrate Bonfire Night, watching some of the best Bristol firework displays.

This of course is a celebration of the famous foiled Gun Power Plot, following Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.  And as we enter one of the most worrying political climates of recent times, perhaps you too will find yourself wondering whether we just might have been better off letting our mate Guy finish the job!

But put that to one side for the time being and get yourselves out to one of the organised Bristol fireworks displays or bonfires in your area of.  After all, with BBQ’s, mulled cider and hog roasts accompanying various other live entertainment for the whole family, you’ll be missing out otherwise!

Here’s a round-up of all the best of what’s happening in Bristol.  Local schools and communities may have even more shows lined up.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Here is our Bristol firework display guide for 2019

Bristol Firework Displays

Downend Round Table Fireworks – Friday 1st November 2019

Bristol’s biggest firework display, Downend Round Table never fail to deliver a spectacular show!

Head over to King George V playing fields early as not only is there a super long musically coordinated pyrotechnic masterpiece but are also fairground rides, a stage with live music and performances and, perhaps most importantly, a bar.. I mean hotdog stand!

The children’s display starts at 6:30pm and the main display at 8:00pm. This is a very popular event so make sure to pre-order your tickets to avoid disappointment and try to arrive by public transport to avoid the nightmare parking situation.

  • Friday 1st November 2019

  • 17:30pm - 21:00pm

  • King George V playing fields, Downend, BS16 6QW

  • £7 adults, £5 children (under 16), under 3 free

DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House – Friday 1st November 2019

Cadbury House always put on a great firework display and it’s open to everyone whether you are a member or not .

It’s worth driving out of town for this one, there’s plenty of parking, food and drink stalls and fairground rides as well as the epic display! Fireworks start at 18:30.

  • Friday 1st November 2019

  • 17:00pm - 19:30pm

  • DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House, Congresbury, BS49 5AD

  • £8 adults, £6 children, £25.00 family, under 2 free

bristol fireworks 2016

Canford Park Charity Fireworks Fiesta – Saturday 2nd November 2019

One of the best Bristol fireworks displays, we definitely recommend a visit to Canford Park! This is our top tip for the Saturday night. This is a simple but great affair, with no fairground rides, just some food and drink stalls and a band to entertain everyone before the display begins. It’s

perfect for those who just want to go and watch a spectacular fireworks display and then go home! Run by the Bristol Round Table and Rotary Club, the money goes to some amazing local causes too so make sure you snap up a ticket and get involved! Fireworks display begins at 19:00

  • Saturday 2nd November 2019

  • 17:30pm - 19:30pm

  • Canford Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, BS9 3NX

  • £5 in advance £6 on the gate, under 3 free

bristol fireworks 2016

Bishop Road Fireworks Extravaganza – Saturday 9th November 2019

For a proper family fun evening, this display, hosted by Bishop Road Primary School, ticks all the boxes.

Featuring fire performers, a samba band, bars and food stalls, it’s worth coming along early to enjoy yourselves before the fireworks begin. You must purchase your tickets in advance as none will be available to buy on the door

  • Saturday 2nd November 2019

  • 17:00pm - 20:00pm

  • School Field, Off Bishop Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8LQ

  • TBC

Fireworks to Music at Avon Valley – Sunday 3rd November 2019

Fireworks are always brilliant when timed to music especially when done well like they are at Avon Valley!

A firm favourite on the calendar, this is another large display complete with funfair, sparkler zone and plenty of food and drink! Fear not, the furry residents of the park are kept well away from the loud bangs!

This is another event that sells out fast so pre-book tickets to avoid disappointment. Fireworks start at 19:15 with the bonfire being lit after the display.

  • Sunday 3rd November 2019

  • 17:30pm - 21:00pm

  • Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Pixash Lane, Keynsham, BS31 1TP

  • From £4.50

Puxton Park Bonfire Night Fireworks Display – Saturday 2rd November 2019

This is a proper professional affair with fireworks display team Fire Magic returning to put on an absolute corker of a night!

This award-winning company will blow your socks off with their pyrotechnical wizardry! Not only that but you can also go on many of the park attractions along with children’s rides and the giant soft-play barn.

There will be stalls, a hog roast and a BBQ to top it all off! Make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time as there will be no tickets available on the door. Fireworks display begins at 19:00pm.

  • Saturday 2rd November 2019

  • 17:00pm - 21:00pm

  • Puxton Park, Cowslip Lane, Weston Super Mare, BS24 6AH

  • £10 adults/children, £36 family of four, under 2 free

bristol fireworks 2016

Fireworks at Sea at The Grand Pier – Saturday 9th November 2019

You can’t beat watching fireworks over water so where better to catch a display than on the pier at Weston-Super-Mare looking out to sea (okay, Severn Estuary!).

Grab the best spot by booking tickets on the pier itself so truly appreciate the beautiful reflections cast into the water below.

This is definitely a display with a bit of a difference and one to remember forever! Tickets include unlimited rides Fireworks will start at approximately 8pm.

  • Saturday 9th November 2019

  • 18:30pm

  • The Grand Pier, Marine Parade, Weston-Super-Mare, BS23 1AL

  • From £9.50

Victoria Park Bonfire Night – Tuesday 5th November 2019

No fireworks.  Enter the build a  guy competition, bring your own contributions for the bonfire (wood only!) and enjoy a proper family friendly affair.

Guy competition at 18:00, fire lighting at 18:30

  • Tuesday 5th November 2019

  • 18:00pm - 21:00pm

  • Victoria Park, Totterdown, Bristol, BS3 4DP23 1AL

  • Free!

bristol fireworks 2016

Bonfire Night at Boiling Wells, St Werburghs City Farm – Saturday 9th November 2019

Come along to a bang-free evening, perfect for the younger members of the family and an event with a truly community feel.

Although there are no fireworks to keep the animals happy, there is plenty going on with live music, mulled wine, kids crafts, hot food, UV face paint, fire eating and juggling and a silent disco so there is plenty to keep you busy!

If you do fancy seeing a few rockets after, pop next door to the Farm Pub afterwards (see below for further information)

  • Saturday 9th November 2019

  • 16:00pm - 20:00pm

  • Boiling Wells Woodland, St Werburghs City Farm, Watercress Road, BS2 9XY

  • £8, under 12’s free.

Fireworks at the Farm- Farm Pub – Saturday 9th November 2019

Go along to the Farm for a proper knees up to celebrate this Guy Fawkes.

This is one to leave the kids at home for – with doors opening at 20:00, enjoy a few mulled ciders at the outdoor bar in the garden, enjoy a mega firework display then stay on for the live music including FFTP, who tout themselves as anarchic traditional folk music! They’ll get you up and dancing for the rest of the evening.

  • Saturday 9th November 2019

  • 20:00pm - 01:00am

  • The Farm, Hopetoun Rd, St Werburghs, BS2 9YL

  • Donations on the door

Portishead Town Football Club – Friday 1st November 2019

A fab event for those who live in beautiful Portishead, with plenty of stalls, fairground rides for the kids Display starts at 19:30.

Only disabled parking is available.

  • Friday 1st November 2019

  • 18:00pm

  • Portishead Town Football Club, Bristol Rd, Portishead, BS20 6QG

  • £5 adults in advance, £7 on the gate, £1.50 children in advance, £2.50 on the gate, under 5’s free

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Bristol Halloween Party Guide – Where to go in Bristol this Halloween

Bristol Halloween Party Guide
Jungle Horror Story Bristol Halloween
Bristol Halloween Party Guide

Bristol Halloween Events: Our Guide to Halloween in Bristol

If you’re heading out in to the frightening darkness of Bristol this Weekend on a stag dohen weekend, or just for fun, then make sure you make the most of it!  There is so much in the way of spooky shenanigans up for grabs on this Bristol Halloween, we want to let you know the good bits on offer.  Read on, if you dare!

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Our guide to the best bristol halloween events of 2019

Halloween is no longer just an American holiday; us Brits have embraced the spooky splendour and have started indulging in fancy dress, trick or treating and pumpkin decorating to boot. And hey, us Bristolians love an occasion… so we really do go all out!

If you’re looking for more info on what Halloween in Bristol could be like for you this Autumn, read on. There really is plenty to see that’s spine-chilling and do that’s devilish.

Lakota Pulp Fiction Halloween Bristol

You can always count on Lakota to put on a great party and this Halloween in Bristol is no different! Head down to this legendary venue in Stoke’s Croft for another whacky night!

This year, Lakota have conjured up a night combining cult films Pulp Fiction and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For the dress code think Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats and coloured glasses a la Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro, or channel John, Samuel L or Uma in your best suit and wig.

The music, of course, will be up to the usual mind-bending par, with top DJs pounding out Acid House, Disco, House and Jungle.

Lakota

Thursday 31st October 2019 – 22:00pm - 4:00am

Walking Tour Halloween Bristol

Get in the mood for Halloween a week early with this hair-raising spook fest put on by Bristol Film Festival! Head deep down underground beneath the city to the Redcliffe Caves.

Once home to wily smugglers and dastardly pirates and later, used as shelter from the perilous bombs of the Second World War, these cave walls certainly hold a lot of mysteries!

A double bill by award winnng director Jordan Peele kicks off the run with films Get Out and Us. Watch out this one will haunt your nightmares for weeks after!

You can then choose from a wide array of macabre movies, from classics such as Bride of Frankenstein and The Exorcist to spine chillers Insidious and The Descent… Was that noise behind you from the surround sound or from the depths of the dark tunnels…?

Redcliffe Caves

Friday 25th October– Sunday 27th October 2019

Bristol Zombie Walk Bristol Halloween

Meet at College Green, at the bottom of Park Street in your most terrifying zombie attire to take part in this epic zombie walk. Now in its twelfth year, the organisers are ever keen to make their events bigger and better!

Make sure you pull out all the stops with your outfits and make up! Drag your heels around the city centre on a carefully planned route (no steps!) and scare the crap out of the tourists!

Once they have their fill of brains, the whole pack will be heading to for a drink or several to party like only the living dead can so make sure to stay on until dawn!

College Green

Saturday 2nd November 2019 – 15:00pm

Bristol Halloween Party Guide

If you really want to freak yourselves out, head over to the Hatchet Inn for the authentic Halloween experience. The pub dates from 1606, is reportedly haunted and it is also rumoured that underneath all the paint, the front door is made from human skin.. need we say more!?

This year The Hatchet are putting on a Halloween Quiz on 31st October with the big party the day after, on Friday 1st November. Free Festivities kick off at 10pm when there will be prizes for the best fancy dress and DJ Durs (Danger Zone) will be on the decks all night with bass loud enough to wake any undead in the building!

The Hatchet Inn

Friday 1st November – From 22:00pm

Jungle Horror Story Bristol Halloween

One of the coolest venues in town, The Old Crown Courts set the stage for this belter of a halloween party.  Journey down to the Bridewell complex and party the night away at all six of the venues to some serious jungle beats.

With over 50 artists, 25 headline Jungle DJs and MCs and some huge DnB crews, this is going to be the party of the century! Book your tickets as soon as you can to avoid disappointment!

The Old Crown Courts

Saturday 26th October 2019 – 23:00pm – 05:00am

Horror In The Caves Halloween Bristol

Ever wanted to learn more about your Bristol’s creepy past? Join this award winning 75 minute walk to discover the dark histories and grim secrets lurking around every corner!

Find out which city centre pubs are haunted, (not what you expect!), visit film and tv locations and hear spine chilling tales that will make you look at the city in a whole different way next time you’re stumbling home from the pub in the dark!

Make sure you book in advance for this spooky night time walk, after all, where else are you going to hear the story about Clifton’s ghostly Dwarf Highwayman?

Bristol Cathedral, College Green

Friday 1st November 2019 – 20:00pm

Bristol Halloween Party Guide

For something a bit more intellectual.. (well about as intellectual as we get!) check out The Old Bookshop’s special Halloween Pub Quiz! Test out your knowledge of all things spooky for the chance to win the top prize!

Brush up on your scary movies, lyrics to Thriller and names of serial killers and make sure to come up with a great, Halloween themed team name too!

Just don’t forget that using a Ouija board is just as much of a cheating offence as using your smart phone!

The Old Bookshop - Bedminster

Monday 28th October 2019 – 19:30pm – 22:30pm

Bristol Halloween Party Guide

Halloween Traditions in Bristol

Halloween is becoming a bigger and bigger deal across Bristol and it’s a great excuse to dress up and get out. West Country Halloween traditions are still being set and are similar to those celebrated in the US of A, so help shape the spooky season and head off to one of the eerie events on offer to support local businesses and venues. Plan out your wicked weekend and make your own annual tradition to honour the hair-raising holiday!

Halloween events in Bristol include family-friendly parties and activities as well as adults-only nights, so there’s something for everyone… from cartoon cobwebs to phantasmal performers!

Top 3 Bristol Halloween Events

The city has a whole host of events on for All Hallows Eve, so we’ve picked three Bristol Halloween events that are all a little different. Don’t limit yourself to just one – there’s lots on!

Bristol Halloween Zombie Walk
Don your best zombie costume and get grey, ghoulish and bloody within this year’s theme.  Join the mass walk (well, amble, given that zombies aren’t best known for their speed) around the city centre route to scare tourists and enjoy lots of photo opportunities. This is the eleventh year of the Zombie Walk for Halloween in Bristol and it always draws a good crowd. Once you’ve eaten your fill of brains and guts, it’s time to head to the Winchester and wait for it all to blow over… or whatever nearest pub is easiest for you!

Necropolis City of the Dead Halloween Circus
One of the most prestigious Bristol Halloween events, you won’t see a show like this anywhere else. With a dress code of Dead Divas and Gaudy Ghosts, The Loco Club will be illuminated with all things supernatural, startling and spooky. Entry is from 8pm on Friday 26th October, and you can expect live music, a frightful photo booth, cocktails cooked up in a cauldron and petrifying performances.

Bristol Film Festival: Horror in the Caves
Deep beneath the streets in the Radcliffe Caves, the local Film Festival presents one of the most unique Bristol Halloween events: films in the crypts! The Lost Boys and The Witch kick off the scary screenings with an impressive line-up of monstrous movies across the whole of the Halloween weekend. Even visiting in the day can be daunting as the darkness never leaves the caves… and those stone walls have a lot of ghost stories to tell.

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Best Man speech guide, tips & ideas – How to write a Best Man’s speech

Best Man's Speech
Best Man Speech
Best Man's Speech

Best Man Speech

Being given the job as best man is one of the highest honours you would likely to achieve in your life time! Your friend fully trusts you to be there on the day with the ring and the best man speech of the century... not to mention organising the best stag do ever!

Here is our guide to writing the best speech possible with a little help from our freinds at Speechy...

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Create that perfect Best Man's speech

You sit down at your computer, with a blank piece of paper by your side, and you do the common mistake most men commit by searching “best jokes for a best man speech”. Chances are, even if you go to the depths of your Google search, the ‘jokes’ will illicit groans rather than genuine laughter.

The truth is, you’re not alone as most best man speeches have become a clichéd mess, often leaving the best man feeling embarrassed (rather than the groom!).

In order to achieve a speech that is both witty and heart-felt, the writing experts at Speechy have told us their tips for writing a best man speech.

Best Man Speech Guide

Create that perfect Best Man's speech

You sit down at your computer, with a blank piece of paper by your side, and you do the common mistake most men commit by searching “best jokes for a best man speech”. Chances are, even if you go to the depths of your Google search, the ‘jokes’ will illicit groans rather than genuine laughter.

The truth is, you’re not alone as most best man speeches have become a clichéd mess, often leaving the best man feeling embarrassed (rather than the groom!).

In order to achieve a speech that is both witty and heart-felt, the writing experts at Speechy have told us their tips for writing a best man speech.

Avoid 'Wedding Jokes'

Nobody wants to hear overused jokes about how the newlywed couple are off to Bangor, or how the wedding cake is already in tiers from your speech. Ditch those sort of jokes immediately.

Instead, focus on the groom.  What is it about him that makes him unusual? His out of proportion Tex-Rex arms, his obsession with avocadoes or his reluctance to give up his Adidas Tree Stripes? Spot the quirks that are truly ‘him’ and you’re onto a winner.

Wedding Speeches

Get the evidence

Instead of wasting your time on PowerPoint creating a collage of all of his worst haircuts, spend your time researching everything you can about the groom. This isn’t to say you don’t know him, but make sure you’re taping into every resource available.

Get his other mates involved and utilize his folks – they’ll definitely be able to tell some tales.

If the bride isn’t giving a speech, she might also like to supply some damning evidence of his poor hygiene habits or questionable quirks.

Less is more

The rule of thumb is to aim for around 8 to 10 minutes – hopefully with a bit of added time for laughter and ad-libs. Nobody ever said they ‘wished it were longer’ – at least, not when referring to a best man speech.

Be strict with yourself and make sure your material is punchy and snappy. You can mention certain memories, but TMI is never good. For example: you can mention the stag do, but it might be best to leave the trip to the strip club and his private lap dance out. We don’t want to give Granny any ailments.

Best Man Speech Jokes

Make it a proper tribute

Above all else, the speech is a heartfelt tribute to a true friend. Don’t resort to clichés about him being a ‘world-class mate’ without providing the evidence to back it up.

What’s with his fascination with Sex and The City? How did it take him 9 times to pass his driving test? How is he the only one of your mates to know what’s going on with Brexit? You get the gist, just remember to keep it NUT – Nice, Unique, and True(ish)

Don't forget the bride

You have to remember that two people have gotten married, so make sure you spend a minute or two focused on the bride, maybe mention some antics on the hen weekend and how they complement each other’s personalities perfectly.

Definately don’t do the clichéd line saying the groom promised to let you be best man at his next wedding if you did well this time round.

If you don’t know the bride well, do some research so you can say more than the typical platitudes. How has she turned the groom into a better person? Has she converted him to a chai latte fan?

Best Man Speech Ideas

Confidence is key

Believe it or not, most best men get nervous prior to addressing the guests. Nobody wants to be remembered as the boring one when it comes the speeches, but try to relax. A lot of confidence comes from simply faking it, so fake it!

Body language has a lot to do with how others perceive confidence so don’t look down and try to keep the shaking to a minimum. Make eye contact and remember to smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious, and those scientists seem to know stuff. So much of the humour for a speech relies on the delivery so make sure you talk slower than feels natural and pause where you expect laughter. It will come!

Enjoy it!

Overall, it’s important to have fun and remember that you’ve been chosen to give this speech because of how much you mean to the groom.

Avoid alcohol prior to delivering the speech – disappointingly, Dutch courage is a myth.

Make sure your speech is something both you and the groom can look back on in your later years, and laugh at – rather than grimace!

Get more advice

Check out more of Speechy’s Tips for Writing A Best Man Speech. They offer Best Man Speech Templates, a Speech Edit Service and their team of TV comedy speechwriters can even write the whole speech for you!

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Bath’s Best Sunday Roasts – Our guide to the best Bath Roasts

Bath Sunday Roast
Bath Sunday Roast

Bath's Best Sunday Roasts - Our guide to the best Bath Sunday Roasts

If you’re looking for somewhere special to go with family and friends, feeling a bit fragile after a heavy night on the tiles or just want to have an easy day at the weekend, a Bath Sunday roast is always a winner.

A Bath Sunday roast is also the perfect activity if you are organising a Bath stag weekend or Bath hen weekend to perk everyone up before they  head home.

The Sunday roast is held in such high esteem and seems to be the one meal that people are very particular about so an average one just won’t cut it.

From debates of whose Nan makes the best Yorkshire puddings to the politics of accompaniments and how well done meat should be, everyone seems to have an opinion.

Why not take the pressure off and leave the work to some of Bath’s finest. With a range of different pubs and restaurants I think we might have something here for everyone, whether you like a traditional Bath roast with all the trimmings or are in the market for a more contemporary twist on your meat and three veg

Here is our guide to Bath's best Sunday roasts

Bath Sunday Dinners

The Chequers, 50 Rivers St, Bath BA1 2QA

The Chequers is no newcomer to the scene, with its proud history dating back to 1776.

As the 2015 and 2017 winner of the Bath Good Food Award for Sunday lunch, this cosy, welcoming restaurant has the perfect balance of fine dining and relaxed atmosphere.

With a gastropub and fine dining restaurant sourcing local seasonal produce and a good range local bevvies, The Chequers has it all. If sharing is your thing, they also do an amazing looking sharing roast for two.

Bath Best Roast Dinner

The King William, 36 Thomas Street Bath BA1 5NN

This grade 2 listed Georgian building, like The Chequers, has a relaxed pub downstairs and upstairs dining rooms for a more formal and intimate setting.

Seasonal and local food and drink make up the daily changing menu with a selection of real ales from small local microbreweries. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a Bath Sunday roast.

Bath Roast Dinner

Marlborough Tavern, 35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath BA1 2LY

Do you take the dog for a walk or relax in front of an open fire or in a sunny garden and enjoy a top class Sunday roast in Bath? Why not do both?

The Marlborough Tavern not only produces fine food but is dog and family friendly and being located near Victoria Park everyone is in for a great day.

The Pulteney Arms, 37 Daniel Street, Bath, BA2 6ND

Whether you’re in front of the log burner on a cold Winters day or sat in the courtyard in the Summer, The family run Pulteney Arms is in a beautiful setting and a great location to walk the Bath Skyline.

They are ale drinker friendly featuring in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and are dog friendly too. Who sees the making of a perfect Sunday?!

Bath Best Roast

Victoria Pub and Kitchen, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, BA1 3AT

A pub with plenty of outdoor space for those sunny Sunday roasts in Bath but a bright, airy spacious inside area too for those colder days. The Victoria Pub as the name suggests overlooks Victoria Park for a bit of a post lunch wander.

GPT Smokehouse, 44-45 Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3BD

If you like your meat cooked low and slow at an award winning restaurant, check out the GPT Smokehouse.

With high quality locally sourced ingredients cooked over a hickory wood fire smoker these two brothers have been awarded the Bath Good Food Award Best Sunday Lunch 2014 and were highly commended in 2015.

Whatever floats your boat when it comes to a Bath Sunday roast, as long as you’re looking for high quality grub, these pubs and restaurants will not disappoint.

With great fresh, local produce being the order of the day, you can enjoy a top notch Sunday roast in Bath and explore what the city has to offer with family, friends and dogs too.

Rated 4.8/5 out of 420 reviews.

Bristol Street Art – Bristol street art graffiti scene guide

Bristol Street Art
Bristol Street Art

Bristol Street Art

Bristol is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a vibrant past. It’s a place where old-world charm harmoniously meets urbanism – a concoction that continues to lure people from all over the world.

As well as its historic past, part of what makes Bristol’s iconic landscape so familiar (and yet ever changing) is the street art.

Evident throughout the city, Bristol’s graffiti and street art scene is one of the largest in the UK.  It’s a mesmerising medley of colours, ideas, styles and cultures – a visual simile of the city itself.

If you want to experience the Bristol street art graffiti scene for yourself you can just take a walk, paint the town red (excuse the pun) and keep your eyes peeled.

But if you fancy something with a little more focus, there are several events and organisations that will help you find the best street art Bristol has to offer.

The Bristol Street Art Graffiti Scene

Street Art Bristol

Where the wall

Inspired by the lively Bristol street art scene, Where the wall offers a cultural, artistic experience for kids and adults alike.

The award-winning company provides street art tours throughout the city, one of which is the longest running in Bristol.

For two glorious hours, Where the wall will guide you through the city streets every Saturday and Sunday, to ogle at 30 years of fantastic and visually mesmerising Bristol street art, which you may have otherwise missed.

Their intimate knowledge of the graffiti – and the artists – steams from a passion of the art form, as well as their personal expertise (some members of the team have even grown up with Banksy).

Where the wall also offers unique team-building events (either at their HQ or at your chosen location), giving your team or party the chance to make their very own street art stencils, or work together to create a giant masterpiece.

It’s a great option for any stag do or hen weekend, who are looking for a completely unique activity for their stay in Bristol.

Bristol Art

Graft workshop

Another great activity option for Bristol stag and hen weekends is Graft. Their customised packages will undoubtedly get all of your party involved; start with a walking tour of the best Bristol street art before you get your hands dirty and give street art a whirl!

As well as pre-nuptial parties, Graft offer workshops for all ages, for all the budding Banksy’s out there!

Banksy Bristol

Banksy; Bristol’s father of street art

Recognised around the world as the master of street art, Banksy was born and bred on the streets of Bristol.  He wealds a spray can like no other, and has sold his works all over the world for thousands of pounds.

Banksy’s politically fuelled art appears across the city, where he’s chosen to bless his hometown with some of his most iconic Bristol street art pieces.

Take the Banksy tour through Bristol and keep your eyes peeled for much-loved work, such as the Well Hung lover, The Mild, Mild West and the Grim Reaper.

Banksy’s hidden identity undoubtedly adds to his allure, but his popularity and success is rooted in his unquestionable talent.

Street Art Bristol

Upfest

Upfest, Europe’s largest free street art and graffiti festival has called Bristol home for a number of years, and only gets more popular with the passing of time.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in July, gifted graffiti artists from 50 countries will pile into the city to paint 60,000 square feet of surfaces for the Bristol street art weekend.

Spread over 50 locations south of the river, the event welcomes 50,000 visitors, who flock to the streets and enjoy live music, workshops, art sales and delicious street food.

From independent food and drink retailers, to hair graffiti, homemade produce and high quality clothing, the streets are filled stalls that offer something for everyone.

Many of the bars and pubs along Bristol’s North street in Bedminster take part in the festival-esque spirit, and welcome street artists to spruce up their walls inside and out with live spray painting (outside) and framed pictures donning the interiors.

Tour of Britain – Top 6 places to see the cycling in Bristol

Tour Of Britain Bristol 2018
Tour Of Britain Bristol 2018

Our top 6 places to see the Tour of Britain in Bristol & North Somerset

Fasten your helmets and hold on to your handle bars, Britain’s premier road cycling event “The Tour of Britain” is returning to Bristol after a year’s absence to host the third stage.  The world’s top riders will this time start and end the tour in Bristol and take in some of the most scenic areas of North Somerset.

It all kicks off at The Downs on Tuesday 4th September 2018, taking the route through Leigh Woods to Long Ashton, through Nailsea, Cheddar Gorge, before skirting the surrounds of Bath and back through Chew Stoke.

With such a mouth-watering day of cycling in store, you’ll want to find a good spot to take in the action. So West Country Games have put together our very own Top 6 Guide:

tour-of-britain-bristol-01

1. The Downs

You may have only just about recovered from Downsfest, but with the Start/Finish Line on The Down and acres of space available, this is the perfect spot to bring a picnic and Frisbee to make a day of it. The race starts and finishes here.

2. The Mall, Clifton

Roll up Clifton-based race fans, the Mall is likely to be a very popular spot as you cheer the Yellow Jersey onto the Suspension Bridge and riders whizz past the beer garden.

tour-of-britain-bristol-02
tour-of-britain-bristol-03

3 . Clifton Suspension Bridge

Get here early for the money-shot photo opportunity of the day as the riders make their way over Brunel’s most celebrated bridge.  Blink and you’ll miss it!

4. Ashton Court

If you are feeling particularly energetic, why not time your viewing of the race to fit with a quick blast around Leigh Woods & Ashton Court’s enthralling MTB trail.  After all, it is the UK’s closest city centre MTB route.

tour-of-britain-bristol-08
Tour Of Britain Bristol 11

5. Cheddar Gorge

What better place to watch the action than one of the region’s most picturesque landscapes. Make a day of it and visit Cheddar Caves while you’re there.

6. Gatcombe Farm

For the first time ever, the Tour of Britain will head past West Country Games activity site! Have a bite to eat at The Greedy Goose before settling down to watch the action from Gatcombe Farm.

Tour Of Britain Bristol 12

Bottomless Brunches in Bristol – Bristol Boozy Bottomless Brunch Guide

Bottomless Brunches Bristol Hero
Bottomless Brunches Bristol Hero

Bottomless Brunches in Bristol

Bottomless brunches in Bristol have become quite the thing of late.  Our resident foodie Katie has been trying out some of the best.

You’ve had a great night out and even thought you prepped with a pint of water by your bed, you’re still feeling a little fuzzy headed.

You’ve got two options; spend the day catching some z’s and re-hydrating or hitting up a Bottomless Brunches in Bristol, for a good ol’ dose of hair of the dog.

If option two is more your thing you’ve come to the right place for a guide to some of Bristol’s finest bottomless brunches on offer.  If you’re looking for a post just about traditional English breakfast based Bristol brunch, you’ve come to the wrong place, this will give you a taste of, as you’d expect of Bristol, a wide range of different tasty treats.

Bottomless Brunches Bristol Brace Browns

Brace and Browns

The award-winning Brace and Browns doesn’t need any real introduction and neither does their bottomless brunch. Although the menu might have changed, the original bottomless brunch in Bristol is still made with locally sourced fresh ingredients and sounds irresistible!

A selection of tasters, a trip to the Bloody Mary station to make your own, followed by your choice of top notch sounding mains and sweet treats and of course, plenty of fizz for £32.50, what’s not to like.

Bottomless Brunches Bristol Pata Negra

Pata Negra

For a total change of pace and country, you can head over to Pata Negra once a month for a Spanish tapas style bottomless cava brunch, one of our favorite bottomless brunches in Bristol.

For £25 from 11.00 – 13.00 you can imagine yourself soaking up the sun in Barcelona as you have a leisurely couple of hours eating Spanish hams and tortilla all washed down with all the cava.

Bottomless Brunches Bristol Steam

Steam Bristol

Now it’s time to get on another plane, this time we’re heading to America. Well, actually we’re heading to Steam Bristol but with this California inspired bottomless brunches in Bristol with bottomless mimosas or prosecco for two hours, you’d be forgiven for forgetting where you really are.

Starting with a selection of pastries and muffins, followed by a main, including; steak and eggs, shakshuka and several delicious pancake-based options, for £28.50 you could have your ~Saturday brunch needs taken care of.

Just to complicate things a little further or to give you the opportunity for more good food and bottomless drinking (responsibly of course) Steam Bristol have a bottomless barbeque every Sunday through the Summer.

There are meat and veggie options, an unlimited salad bar and unlimited sangria, prosecco and cider for two hours and live music. Sounds like the perfect afternoon to us.

The Clifton Sausage

It’s the first Saturday of the month and you’re debating where to meet everyone to catch up on the shenanigans of the night before. If you’re looking for a classic bottomless brunches in Bristol done well and a few more glasses to take you back a few hours, The Clifton Sausage could be the place for you.

Full English, smoked haddock or eggs benedict are just some of the temptations on offer with unlimited prosecco, bucks fizz, and bloody marys at £19.95 per person for one and a half hours.

Bottomless Brunches Bristol Pieminister

Pieminister

Today’s the day to wake up to a morning glory or a munch brunch. Pieminister is the place to be with these brunch pie offerings, or if pie is not taking your fancy, do not fear as there is more than just pie to accompany your bottomless prosecco, bloody marys, mimosas and aperol spritz.  The bottomless brunch last for one and a half hours for £20 and is served every two weeks.

Prince Street Social

You’re going out with a group and not everyone is a fan of the fizz, what do you do?! Option 1, lose a few of the crew, option 2, check out Prince Street Social where unlimited Amstel is included in the bottomless brunch.

For £28 per person, every Saturday, Prince Street Social have pastries, fresh fruit and yoghurt, unlimited prosecco and Amstel and one item from their brunch menu, including; various shakshoukas on sourdough, buttermilk pancakes and all the eggs.

Harvey Nichols

If you’ve got some cash to flash and want to take your bottomless brunches in Bristol up a notch, Harvey Nichols might just be the place for you. There’s no prosecco here, champagne is the order of the day and with a menu scattered with chia seeds, monkfish scampi and avocado mousse, the food is definitely no greasy spoon offerings.

If you struggle to choose between smoked salmon and halloumi, you’ve come to the right place as you can have three dishes from the menu. Between 11 and 2 on a Sunday, the champagne will be flowing and can be yours for £65.

You might be in Bristol for a bottomless brunch but with this lot you can take yourself around the world. By the time you’ve made the most of the bottomless drinks there’s a fair chance you might not be quite sure where you are. Now you just need to work out a schedule so you can sample some of Bristol’s finest boozy offerings.