The great Bristolian summer: How to make the most of your summer if staying in Bristol

Come rain or come shine, it’s time to swap your baggy jaded jeans for white linens

It’s the last week of exam season, the ASS is getting quieter and the Channings queue is now down the stairs. The taste of freedom is already here for many and for all the medics, we give you our greatest sympathies. Although the weather has been more than a little temperamental, even the mud at Love Saves can’t stop us from having a great summer. So, to get you excited for summer days, here is the ultimate list for those spending their summer break in Bristol. It may be a much quieter city over July and August but it still has so much to offer. Enjoy the peace of not having to worry about leaving the house and bumping into any jumpscares.

1. The Downs

Not to state the obvious but we have to kick this list off with the most original idea – picnics on The Downs! Do not take The Downs for granted this summer; hop on the U1 with a bottle of Rose, humous and overpriced crisps from M&S if you’re feeling fancy. Take a trip to the top of Whiteladies where you will find the next best thing to a beach in Bristol. Allow The Downs to host drunken cricket matches, Instagram-worthy picnics and valiant attempts at getting a tan. On The Downs, deadlines do not exist. You can always grab an iced coffee from the Cafe on The Downs too!

2. Bristol festivals

Love Saves the Day took place this weekend and let’s just say the mud didn’t scream summer. So hopefully Forwards Festival in late August will provide better summer vibes. Sammy Virji, Rudimental and Camelphat were among some of the big names headlining Love Saves, but if DnB isn’t for you, Forwards provides a more relaxed vibe with Loyle Carner headlining this year!  We know you have been eyeing up the Instagram photo dumps from Love Saves, so why not top them with a Forwards photo dump as it would be silly to self-inflict the FOMO again.

3. Clevedon

We are prone to forget how close Bristol is to the coast – let me remind you. Clevedon is a 33-minute drive from Bristol, so beg your one friend who has a car, grab a beach ball and head west. Clevedon is also accessible from the city centre on the X6 bus. Clevedon is a classic British seaside town boasting a pier, plenty of fish and chip spots and of course brown seawater! It is also where One Direction filmed the music video for You & I – what more could one want?!

4. Warleigh (Wally) Weir

Wally Weir is located in Claverton, on the outskirts of Bath, so again you will need to beg your car-owning friend to take a trip this summer. Reassure said friend that it will be worth it. Wally Weir is the perfect spot for wild swimming on a hot day. The river Avon has never looked so glorious as it meanders through the quiet and, for most of us,  unchartered land that is the southwest countryside. When the temperature peaks it is the perfect place to leave Bristol behind. I’m sure if you’re lucky you could spend the day basking in the sun and still make it back for a La Rocca night.

5. Day drinking

Dare I recommend that this summer you branch past the comfortable gates of Steam and White Bear and enjoy your pint in some of the other pub gardens Bristol has to offer. Some of our favourites include Channings, Barrelhouse, Hope & Anchor, Racks, and of course, King Street.

6. Blaise Estate

Perhaps the best picnic spot in Bristol, located on the other side of the suspension bridge, is Blaise Estate. Featuring an 18th-century mansion, parkland and woodland it is the perfect place to spend a day out. For those interested in something more than just getting a tan, the castle, located on the estate houses a museum where one can immerse themselves in the lives of 18th-century upper-class Bristolians. For the bookworms among us, the castle is featured in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Don’t say The Tab isn’t cultural!

7. Boat trips

Use Bristol’s prime situation on the River Avon this summer by hopping on a boat. Boat trips run regularly throughout the summer from Harbourside. Bristol Ferry offers themed tours in the summer, including sunset Gin cruises and trips up the Avon to Beeses. The Avon Gorge cruise will take you under the Suspension Bridge, why see the bridge from above for the 700th time when you can see it from below? A drink at the White Lion after would be the perfect end to a quintessential Bristol summer day.

8. Paddleboarding

If boating is too relaxing, why not try paddleboarding? All-aboard is a water sports company located in the city docks that offers paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing and rowing. Paddleboarding begins at £25pp and a professional instructor will accompany you to help you navigate the Avon – why go all the way to the sea when you can paddle ten minutes away from your grotty student house?

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