So many shops, so little time! Make the most of your precious shopping hours in bohemian Bristol with this handy introductory insider guide to some of its best areas and unique shops. The city’s creative vibe extends to its abundance of independent stores.
Owned by three sisters, Grace & Mabel is a curated mix of clothes and accessories including labels such as J Brand jeans, Paul Smith and Antik Batik, alongside local design talent. Arch House Deli in Boyce’s Avenue is a food lover’s paradise of picnic-perfect delicatessen goodies. And don’t miss Bees & Graves in Clifton Arcade, a glittering emporium of 1920s beaded dresses and vintage costume jewelery
Less than 20 minutes’ walk from Clifton Village, Park Street is home to some of the trendiest shops in the city. Weapon of Choice is a dedicated street art gallery and shop. Jewelery fans can browse bold statement pieces from designers including Alex Monroe and Kate Smith at Diana Porter Contemporary Jewellery, which offers an engraving service. Walk further up to Queen Street and flick through CDs and vinyl of every genre at Rise Music, which has an in-store bar and hosts live gigs.
St Nicholas Market, Corn Street
Around 15 minutes from Park Street is Bristol’s oldest market. St Nicholas Market dates from 1743, and is open between 9.30am and 5pm Monday-Saturday. A maze of quirky stalls, historic architecture and street food, the market is full of character and heaven for bargain hunters, with Bristol’s largest collection of independent retailers under one roof. On Fridays and Saturdays there’s the Nails Market, with original artwork, handcrafted jewelery and vintage clothing; then two Saturdays a month, Bristol Flea Market arrives with more than 100 stalls selling all sorts of items.
Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road
Slightly to the north of the city is Stokes Croft, famed for its street art, including work by legendary local graffiti artist, Banksy. The connected Gloucester Road is Europe’s longest street of independent shops, and a great place for shabby chic and artisan food and drink – relaxed wine shop Grape & Grind, for example, offers a great selection of high-end and everyday wines, craft beers and artisan spirits.
Getting there: Bristol is in south-west England, one hour and 40 minutes by train from London.
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