By Serafina Lee, Deputy Digital Arts Editor, and Tasha Nuthall, Second Year English
With so many artsy places to choose from in this famously creative city, it can be a little tough to decide where to go first. But never fear, Epigram Arts has your back, as Serafina Lee and Tasha Nuthall list off their top picks for an artsy day out in Bristol!
Arnolfini is located in the heart of the harbourside and is one of the most prominent arts venues in Bristol. Identifying more as an open public space than a conventional visual art gallery, it has a more contemporary feel and features a range of artsy events including spoken word poetry, performance art, and visual exhibitions such as ‘STILL I RISE’, an exploration of female liberation. Make sure you book on to upcoming events on their website - there is a zine making workshop on the 9th October. Tickets are mostly free, and if not, rarely exceed £15.
16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
Open 10am-6 pm daily
Housing over 70 creatives, Spike Island provides multiple gallery spaces that serve as a platform for both emerging and established artists. They pride themselves on a strong sense of community within Bristol, providing a diverse range of arts ranging from open studios, to gallery tours, workshops and artists’ talks. Events - such as the monthly novelist talk sessions - are often free or usually offer reasonable student concessions.
133 Cumberland Rd, Bristol BS1 6UX
Open 12pm-5pm Tuesday to Sunday
Royal West of England Academy
Bristol’s oldest art gallery is conveniently located just off campus on Clifton Triangle in an impressive, grade II* listed building. RWA places an emphasis on opening exhibitions by leading contemporary artists and prioritises engagement and learning through their workshops and courses, all of which are open to the public. They host free gallery tours every Tuesday and are currently exhibiting ‘The Joy of Flowers: Nature’s Living Gems’ until the 20th October.
Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1PX
Open 10am-5pm Tuesday- Sunday
An intimate exhibition space down a small street in the heart of the city, Centrespace houses contemporary works by a thriving community of craftspeople. It hosts workshops, events, and also a gallery space that is available to hire. Events are sometimes sporadic, but are nearly always free. It is a good space to have a look at it if you’re in the area.
6 Leonard Ln, Bristol BS1 1EA
Open 11am-6pm daily
Bloom & Curll
An eclectic little bookshop with a beautiful interior, Bloom & Curll is an independent store that prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere. Books are stacked almost chaotically, but there’s a certain charm to its haphazardness. Stocking a variety of works, from Brontë to The Hungry Caterpillar, the owner takes book suggestions from customers.
74 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB
Open 12pm-5pm Tuesday- Saturday
The Last Bookshop
With friendly, helpful staff and a large variety of books - from science fiction, to philosophy, to classics, to food - you’ll be able to find whatever you’re looking for in this charming little store! A major attribute of this shop is that almost everything costs £3! There are records and posters for sale for a similarly low price. Located on Park Street, this is an easy one to get to on your way to uni.
60 Park St, Bristol BS1 5JN
Open 9:30am-6:30 pm daily
St Nicholas Market
A popular and well-known destination in Bristol, St Nicholas Market is a cultural hub of independent market stalls selling artwork, food, clothes, and a vast array of other trinkets. In 2016 it was named Britain’s Best Large Indoor Market and it’s not hard to see why! Strolling through the Georgian arcade is a must for any student new to the city. Whether it’s cultural food you’re after, or homemade ornaments to decorate your new student room, St Nick’s is the place for you to visit this Freshers’ Week!
The Corn Exchange, Corn St, Bristol BS1 1JQ
Open 9:30am-5pm Monday to Saturday
Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft
At the heart of Bristol’s vibrant, alternative scene, the bustling Gloucester Road leads into Stokes Croft and hosts the longest stretch of independent shops on any street in the U.K. Brimming with charity shops, vintage shops, cafés and pubs, Stokes Croft is a colourful experience, and particularly famous for its street art. Graffiti and stencil art are even encouraged by some businesses! Keep an eye out for its impressive vintage market, located opposite Blue Mountain, which is a great place to head for clothes and furniture. If you’re looking for a bargain, be sure to head down to see what you can find - prices are usually reasonable.
The Loco Klub
Located in the tunnels underneath Bristol Temple Meads, The Loco Klub is an emerging and particularly atmospheric underground Arts venue. It functions as both a social and creative hub, hosting anything from student theatre productions, to spoken word poetry evenings, to live music, club nights, and even Circus Cabaret. Get your hands on tickets for its upcoming event ‘Hidden: The Lost City with Josh Butler’ on the 28th September.
Opposite Yurt Lush, Clock Tower Yd, Bristol BS1 6QH
Opening times dependent on events
More than your average Cineworld, Watershed is an independent cinema which focuses on innovative projects and creative workshops, and also presents a diverse programme of local films. Situated on the scenic waterfront of Bristol’s beloved harbourside, it boasts both a buzzing atmosphere and the rare find of £5 student tickets! It will be hosting the Encounters Film Festival, Bristol’s largest international film festival, from the 24th -29th September - don’t miss it!
1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX
Open 10am-11pm daily
Featured: Epigram / Serafina Lee
What is your favourite artsy place in Bristol? Comment below or on our social media!