It’s likely that you need to quench your thirst if you’ve been losing yourself on the Downs, being frugal on Gloucester Road, or taking a dip in Bristol Lido. The fact that one of the numerous popular pubs in Bristol is always nearby is thus a piece of excellent news. Any pleasant night out in Bristol will involve visiting a few of the city’s brilliant boozers, including the so-called Beermuda Triangle on King Street and the chic establishments in Cotham and Clifton.
If you prefer a sweeter libation, Bristolians are known to enjoy cider and do it very well – this is the West Country, after all. So, without further ado, here are our picks for the best pubs in Bristol.
#1 – The Bell
The Bell was well-known as a Bristol landmark long before Stokes Croft rose to prominence as the city’s most artistically inclined district. It is tucked away on Hillgrove Street, just off the main strip of bars, independent shops, and cafés, and it has long served a number of functions: it’s a relaxed gathering place for local musicians and artists, a low-key neighbourhood pub, and a well-liked weekend pre-club hangout all rolled into one.
#2 – The Cadbury
This pub has legendary status among the diverse group of students, young professionals, partygoers, and liberal locals that make up The Cadbury’s clientele. For many people, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a sober-eyed, hungover trip to the local bar for a traditional Sunday roast. It recently underwent a renovation, which had locals concerned about the preservation of its infamously chill vibes. However, there was no need to be concerned. The vibe is optimistic.
#3 – The Bag Of Nails
The Bag of Nails has long been regarded as one of the best real ale establishments in Bristol. It is, without a doubt, one of the city’s most bizarre. Much of this eccentricity can be attributed to landlord Luke Daniels, a self-described “opinionite [sic], nonconformist, and cat-fancier” known for his devotion to real ale. It’s small, friendly, and full of cats and beer – what’s not to love?
#4 – The Duke Of York
On weekends, the Duke of York, one of the best pubs in Bristol is packed, and for good reason: its beer selection, unique interior decor, and lively clientele make it a fantastic night out – and there’s a huge garden to boot. Another advantage? When you’re sick of your friends’ drunken banter, challenge them to a game of skittles at the in-house mini-alley. The loser advances to the next round…
#5 – The Rose Of Denmark
The Rose of Denmark is hardly a ‘hidden gem’ in a beautiful location (you drive up and down it on the way into Bristol when you exit the Portway). Though it’s only a short walk from Clifton, Bedminster, and the city centre, it’s not a spot you’d find by chance. Nonetheless, it’s a popular pub with a growing reputation. The pub has a sleepy, old-world charm that stems from its centuries-old history, as well as a dining area with a roaring fire.
#6 – The Cornubia
This is a pub that understands its real ale. Phil and Jakki, CAMRA award-winning landlords, took over this tiny spot in 2010, and it has no less than ten hand-pulls behind the bar and you won’t find it anywhere else in Bristol. This is a proper pub lover’s pub, decked out in funky flags and vintage pump clips.
#7 – The Coronation Tap
Few Bristol pubs can boast a more illustrious history than The Coronation Tap. Since the eighteenth century, there has been a pub on the Sion Place site, so ‘The Cori’ predates the nearby Clifton Suspension Bridge. There’s a homely, old-fashioned feel to the place, as you’d expect from something steeped in Bristol folklore. You’re arguably not a true Bristolian until you’ve sampled the venue’s super-strength cider, Exhibition. While there is a good selection of real ales, lagers, and wines, it is the pub’s constantly changing cider selection that stands out.
#8 – The Ostrich
Bristol’s harbourside area has long been a popular drinking destination, particularly during the summer months. Most are glitzy, soulless chain establishments that cater to the kind of Friday and Saturday night drinkers who are more engaged in cheap booze and pop music than ambience or quality beer. The Ostrich, then, is a haven for these people! It’s an old inn in Redcliffe, built in 1745, that revels in its centuries-old links to Bristol’s maritime heritage.
#9 – The White Bear
When climbing the excruciatingly steep St Michael’s Hill, you won’t miss The White Bear at the top: a life-size replica of the creature that inspired the pub’s name dominates the front wall on the first floor. It’s a good metaphor because The White Bear can be as lively as its towering mascot, which is no surprise given that it’s owned by legendary club promoter-turned-venue owner Julian Smith. The pool table and the tequila flows have made it a popular party destination.
#10 – The Sportsman
Even if you ignore The Annexe, a smaller, real ale-focused outlet a few steps across the smoking yard, The Sportsman remains one of the largest pubs in Bristol. The size of the building becomes apparent as you approach it from Gloucester Road. It has a Tardis-like appearance, feeling much larger on the inside than it appears on the outside. It’s easy to lose track of all the interconnected rooms and seating areas, and it will take a few visits to realize there is a converted loft space.
As the cold, dark nights draw in and the rain becomes more frequent, it is time to round up some of the best places to stay warm until the sun returns! When the weather turns chilly, these are the best pubs in Bristol to curl up with a mulled beverage.
1. Are there student-friendly pubs in Bristol?
Yes, there are many student-friendly pubs in Bristol. Students can get discounts on drinks, food, pub games, and also on live sports.
2. Which are the best pubs in Bristol for Students?
There are many pubs in Bristol which are ideal for students. Some of which are the Bell, the Cadbury, the Rose of Denmark, and the White Bear.
3. Are there good pubs in Bristol?
Bristol’s Old City is filled with historic buildings and quaint narrow lanes, as well as a charming nightlife that reflects the city’s traditional vibe. Some of the city’s best speakeasies and jazz pubs and clubs can be found in Bristol, along with exceptional restaurants and street food options on every corner.
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