If unique shopping, tasty meals, and fun and laid back bars are your cup of tea, then Bristol, UK is the place for you. Independent shops and cool cafes and bars are trademarks of this trendy and artsy city. Located north of the city centre, Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road, and Gloucester Road are the perfect streets to take in this local side of Bristol.
It’s really easy to explore these three streets on a day trip. If you’re coming from the city centre, The Bearpit, an outdoor gallery with colorful graffiti located in St James Barton Roundabout, is a great place to start. Walking through the roundabout, you’ll head along Stokes Croft (A38), which will then turn into Cheltenham Road. Then, farther along you’ll keep right for Gloucester Road. I explored one side of the streets at a time, walking fully along them on one side and then all the way back down on the opposite.
Along Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road, and Gloucester Road, you’ll come across second-hand stores with a variety of vintage items and artsy boutiques selling handmade jewelry, stylish clothing, colorful kitchenware, and local artists’ paintings and prints. Gloucester Road is even known as the longest street of independent shops in Europe. You’ll also pass vibrant street art and feel the area oozing with creative vibes. There’s so much to love about this area, but here are a few highlights from a day exploring Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road, and Gloucester Road.
Elemental Cafe (Stokes Croft) is a bakery selling baked treats, fresh bread, roasted coffee, tea, fruit, vegetables, and preserves. I enjoyed a black tea and delicious £1 pastry. With large windows looking out onto a bustling street, I found a table by the window the perfect spot for people watching. It’s easy to watch the world go by here with a steaming cuppa.
Cox & Baloney’s Tearoom & Bar (Cheltenham Road) features a vintage tearoom and Prosecco cocktail and gin bar serving afternoon tea, teapot cocktails, gin and cheese tastings, and loose leaf teas. Cox and Baloney is beautifully decorated on the inside with hand painted walls and is a cozy spot for a drink and light meal or snack. With so many great options, it’s hard to choose what to order here, but I can highly recommend the Chai Wallah Rumble, a teapot cocktail with spicy Chai tea, rum, and ginger beer.
Replay (Cheltenham Road) is “Your Gaming Destination.” It’s a new gaming cafe that opened in the summer of 2017 with board and social games. It costs £5 for a table, and you can play an endless array of games. You can even bring your own board games to play. Replay also has a basement with table tennis free to play and comfy couches and bean bag chairs. Additionally, vegan biscuits, homemade teas, beer, wine, and cocktails are on offer. Replay is a fun spot to enjoy a couple drinks and play some unique games. So let the games begin!
Bakers & Co. (Gloucester Rd) serves brunch, lunch, and dinner paired with coffee, juices, and wine. It’s a vibrant farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on delicious health-conscious meals. Bakers & Co. also makes fresh sourdough bread and has a changing menu depending on the season and new creations. I’m pretty positive there’s nothing but absolutely tasty dishes on this menu.
Walking Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road, and Gloucester Road is a great way to see the local side to Bristol, UK. Shop local, eat local, and drink local. Cheers!