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5 Great Little Places in Bristol: Grace Fox

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5 things to do in Bristol

5 Amazing Little Places in Bristol

Since her school days, Grace has been an avid writer. In August 2013, she began her first blog “Tales of a Fox,” a personal blog where she confided her innermost thoughts and feelings to her readers. Then she moved into Bristol food and events reviewing, starting up a new project “Girl in Bristol” where she could combine her love of writing, good food and Bristol!

Nowadays, you will find Grace working as a social media executive by day (jiving silently to old school R&B at her desk) and attending various art, writing and food events in Bristol by night. Grace still clings to her dream of releasing a novel one day, but until inspiration strikes, she intends to continue sharing her love of great “little places” in Bristol.

1. St Andrews Park

st andrews park

Via. Flickr

I absolutely adore this park. In the summer, it’s usually populated by families or groups of friends firing up BBQs and cranking up the music but I prefer to go when it’s quiet. There’s just something really satisfying about lying back in the grass with a book, or simply having some time to reflect whilst everyone else is rushing about. On occasion I’ve even gone there at night after a long shift for a paddle in the pool!

2. Books for Amnesty

books for amnsety

If you’re a sucker for a good novel like me, you’ll probably already know about this second-hand book shop on Gloucester Road. Frequently there is a sale on where you can get any book for a pound which I love to take advantage of, perusing through the titles and discussing authors with the staff in the hopes of discovering a new favourite.

3. The Canteen

The canteen terrace bristol

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think the Canteen is awesome. It’s quirky, it serves delicious (and very reasonably priced) food and there’s live music there every night. On Sunday mornings I like to go there to write up my latest posts with a massive coffee but I love a good boogie there too on the odd Saturday night.

4. Arnos Vale Cemetery

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Is it strange for someone to enjoy walking through a cemetery? Probably. However walking through Arnos Vale is like stepping into the setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; it’s just breathtaking. I love going there in autumn when the colours of the leaves start to change but all year around it’s beautiful. The Tobacco Factory Theatre occasionally perform their plays there too, so keep an eye on their upcoming shows.

5. The Olive Shed

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Call me a soppy romantic but I adore the whole al-fresco dining at sunset scenario. Strolling about the harbourside on a late summer’s evening then sitting beside the still water and tucking into a selection of exquisite Bristol tapas dishes, does life get much better? Admittedly I’m very food-orientated but who would pass up on that? Fellas, take note!

Like this? You probably should also read 11 Bristol eateries to nurse your soul and also find out other things to do in Bristol.

Want to find something a little different? Try our alternative Bristol tourist information.

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Bars

Why The Bag of Nails Pub Is Amazing

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bag of nails

Bag of Nails is one our favourite pubs in Bristol

Affordable ales, cats, board games, a fantastic atmosphere and did we say cats? You more than likely knew about Bristol’s cat cafe, but did you know Bristol has its very own cat pub?

Located on 141, St Georges Road in Hotwells. You may end up missing Bag of Nails if you’re not looking out for it.

bag of nails pub

From the sign on the window you quickly get a feel of the kind of establishment legendary barkeep Luke runs here.

bag of nails pub crawls

You should not be entering this place if you’re on your way to the Bunker.

This is further emphasised with no children being allowed in. It’s no place to bring the kids, and it’s soon apparent why.

bag of nails signs

Because it’s filled with kittens! Beautiful kittens and cats are everywhere.

kittens in pubs

Here’s the mother.

cat on bar

And her friend…. sitting on a microwave.

cat on microwave

You won’t find lager in this pub. It’s ale all the way and it’s damn tasty.

bag of nailes ale

There’s also some brilliant music here. You can use Bag of Nails’ vinyl player to select from an array of quality records.

bag of nails vinyl

But… there are many rules, each one better than the last.

bag of nails rules

Such as ‘if you don’t like Johnny Cash, shut up or go away’.

So many rules it needs two sides…

bag of nails rules other side

There’s also hundreds of different games you can play. Most of them we have never heard of…

bag of nails games

But above all it’s just a really, really, really nice place for a pint.

bag of nails customers

We couldn’t recommend Bag of Nails more, it’s an amazing bar to drink in Bristol. The staff & locals are great characters, the cats are unbelievably cute and the music is superb.

Give this pub a visit… as long as you’re not on a stag do, on the way to the Bunker, with kids, or just a general piss kidney because the owner will throw you straight out.

While you’re at it why don’t you give them a like on their Facebook page?

Watch more Bristol video’s from Sam Gillies.

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14 Abandoned & Derelict Places In Bristol

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derelict bristol

The beauty of forgotten Bristol places

1. Bristol Baths Building

And inside

2. Bristol General Hospital

bristol general hospital

BGH opened in 1832, and closed back in 2012

The corridor inside Bristol General Hospital

Bristol general hospital corrider

Credit Karen Skeats

The old chapel

the chapel

Credit Karen Skeats

Further inside

bristol general hospital inside

Credit Karen Skeats

3. Barrow Gurney Mental Hospital

Inside

With all sorts of graffiti..

4. Redcatch petrol station

redcatch filing station

Credit samuir 

5. The Bell @ Redcliffe

the bell redcliffe

Credit Samuir

And inside…

inside the bell

Credit Samuir 

6. The old Royal Mail sorting office behind Temple Meads

parcel force temple meads

Credit Colin Moody

7. The old trains next to the M Shed

8. These old shop fronts by the Bearpit

9. Bristol city gate NHS walk-in cetnre

10. An abandoned car park by the Avon Gorge

11. The White Lion in Easton

12. This old B&Q

b & q

Credit Colin Moody

13.  Bristol children’s hospital

Inside…

14. Bristol Albion Dock – McArthurs Warehouse

And what it looks like inside

To see more Bristol photos, see more Sam Gillies Bristol posts. Or follow Sam Gillies on Flickr.

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10 Top Street Artists to Catch At Upfest 2016 

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upfest artists

Upfest 2016

Billed as Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, Upfest is a celebration of Bristol’s diverse and eclectic urban art scene. It takes place in and around Bedminster over three days from this Saturday 23rd July, with some of the finest and most talented artists from Bristol, the UK and further afield in attendance.

The festival has grown year on year from its inception eight years ago. 500 visitors came to see 50 skilled street artists at work at the first outing in 2008. By 2015, those figures had swollen to 30,000 visitors and 300 artists — turning our city into one enormous canvas of colour. Even today, almost a year later, you can still see artworks from previous years’ festivals on the walls of Bristol.

Upfest 2016 is just around the corner and the stage is set for a fresh new paint-job, so here’s a little insight into a few of the artists to look out for. You’ll find big names from Bristol alongside others you may not have heard of. Look out for these guys and gals at work on their walls, or simply stroll among the various venues and soak up the festival atmosphere. Cheers then!

Gemma Compton 

gemma compton ufest

A Bristol-based artist and fashion designer, Gemma works with a broad range of materials from cloth to concrete. With a love of nature, a fondness for the countryside and a keen eye for detail, she’s one to watch out for. If you’d like a taster of her work in advance of the festival, check out the Upfest flyer or visit the shop on North St — she decorated both.

Daniel Doebner

daniel doebner upfest

Daniel is a German-born artist from Aachen, who began his artistic career as an illustrator before falling for the thrill of the spray-can. He’s presented his work in exhibitions and projects across Europe, published books and started a career as a digital visualizer in the Netherlands. Daniel is a bold experimenter who has worked on surfaces of all kinds, but for him, Upfest represents a return to his roots.  

Sepr 

sepre upfest

Sepr has painted and exhibited across the globe, from the U.S. and Mexico all the way to Australia. A member of the KTF & ASK crews, Sepr is a Bristol painter known for his character-based art and unique style.

GOIN

goin upfest

GOIN is a French artist associated with the Abode of Chaos, a contemporary art museum and ‘replica war zone’ nestled in an otherwise peaceful village outside Lyon. With advanced stencil skills and an anarchic outlook, GOIN is a talented artist who paints to get you thinking.

Daniela Reed 

daniela reed upfest

Daniela employs spray paint, acrylic, pen and ink to create striking images around diverse themes including politics and feminism. Inspired by the street art she sees around her right here in Bristol, Daniela depicts the human body in all its power and fragility.

ATM 

atm upfest

With diverse bird and animal life in sharp decline, ATM is a street artist on a mission. He paints images of species whose numbers are falling fastest, highlighting their plight and reminding us all of their natural beauty. The goal is to encourage people to help protect birds and other wildlife from further decline.

Cheo

cheo upfest

Cheo is a Brizzle lad, and one of the city’s best-known artists-in-residence. His colourful palette and comic-book approach mark him out as an artist of distinction, and his work is among Bristol’s most recognisable and enjoyable. He’s painted everything from refuse skips to skateboards, with his trade-mark bumble bee never far behind.

Cheo collaborated with Upfest this year to mark the Mr Men Little Miss’ 45th anniversary celebrations. He created Mr Graff — the newest and coolest of all the Mr Men characters — who you’ll spot in his signature red cap on the streets of Bedminster soon!

Cosmo Sarson

cosmo upfest

Cosmo Sarson is the man behind Bristol’s own ‘Breakdancing Jesus’ — a talented and experienced artist with a strong portfolio of eye-catching work. He last painted at Upfest in 2011 and created the world’s first ‘interactive mural’ for the Olympic Arts Trail in 2012.

Zina 

zina upfest

Zina is a freelance artist and illustrator, born in Norway and based in London. With varied themes including mythology, ancient history and the mystic world to fuel her lively imagination, Zina draws on diverse ethnic cultures in her work.

Zase

zase upfestBorn in Trencin, Slovakia, Zase has been part of his local art and graffiti scene since the mid-nineties. In a place where the street art scene was low-key and lacking, Zase felt inspired to push himself and develop his skills. Now a well-established artist in his own right, Zase travels the world collaborating with diverse talents in a broad range of formats.

NACOA + Upfest

Aside from showcasing amazing street art, Upfest has a second key aim; to shine a light on the important work of NACOA — the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. Obviously a worthy cause, and one many people perhaps feel doesn’t get the attention it should.

The festival brings together a whole host of talented Djs and bands, beatboxers, dancers, and workshops where budding artists of all ages can learn new skills. You’ll find affordable artwork for sale, and plenty to eat and drink as you explore the bars, galleries and walls of Bedminster.

Roll on Saturday… Enjoy!

Like this? Check out more of cjcallaghan’s thoughts on Bristol’s beautiful street art.

You can give Chris a follow on Twitter here.

Produced with help from @Upfest.

Further reading;

An in-depth look at the artists attending this year’s Upfest. http://www.upfest.co.uk/artist

A full map of the festival site. http://www.upfest.co.uk/uploads/upfest_2016_map.pdf

Details on NACOA — the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. http://www.upfest.co.uk/page/charity and http://www.nacoa.org.uk/

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