The Bristol Bucket List

In a new feature, we run through everything you have to do before you graduate.

Depending on how far into university life you are, graduation will either seem years away or disgustingly close. 

Until that fateful moment of entering the real world, there’s plenty to see and do in Bristol which you might never get the chance to do again. If you’re the type of person whose world  is no larger than the route between home, the ASS and the Triangle, it might be time to try something new.

Luckily for you, The Tab‘s Bucket List is here to help. Each week, we’ll run through a vital Bristol experience everyone needs to have at least once. First up:

1) Get Drunk On The Water

Hopefully you’ve noticed by now Bristol is on a river. The Avon is home to several boat/pubs, the most notorious being The Apple.

The Apple, as it’s name suggests, is best-known for serving a range of ciders, some of which are only suitable for the most rugged and elderly Somerset gentlemen.

Those fond of the Cori Tap’s Exhibition will be in familiar surroundings but The Apple’s wide range means those who prefer the milder strength of Strongbow won’t be left wanting.

As for surroundings, there are few other places like The Apple. The novelty of seeing shadows of birds’ feet through the tarpaulin roof of the boat is nice after a couple of drinks, though the tarpaulin roof does make it very cold in winter. It might be worth waiting until the weather is warmer before you cross this one off the list.

If cider isn’t your tipple of choice, the river has plenty of other options. The Grain Barge, benefits from a more familiar range of drinks (as well as being warmer) and can be found towards Hotwells, within sight of the S. S. Great Britain.


Perhaps the most famous boat amongst students though is Thekla, the nightclub everyone visits during Freshers dressed as a pirate. More than a mere novelty, Thekla is definitely worth a return visit if you’ve never been back.

Established club nights include Pressure and Pop Confessional and attract both students and locals with their generous drink prices. The novelty of being drunk on a boat is surpassed only by the rapturous reception ‘I’m On A Boat’ gets every time they play it.

Typical scenes at Pop Confessional
Photo: Pop Confessional

As well as night-life  the venue is a fantastically intimate concert venue and a great place to catch the next big thing. This term’s highlights include Tom Odell and Everything Everything.

If you’re lucky enough to be offered a free meal by a visiting family member be adventurous and shy away from the normal choice of The Cowshed or Browns. While not strictly on the river, The Riverstation is a restaurant/bar/kitchen on Bristol’s Harbourside with a three course Sunday lunch for sub £20.

As well as being reasonably priced, their food is highly rated (as are the cocktails) making the place a lifesaver for boyfriends struggling for Valentine’s Day ideas.

Whether it’s alcohol, live music or lovely food that floats your boat (sorry), there’s no reason not to experience life by the riverside.

Got an idea for a future Bucket List item? Let us know in the comments below.

Cover Photo: