AboutBritain.com Logo

Romantic Things To Do In Bristol

Bristol is a popular destination with tourists and families, many attracted by the re-developed waterfront area, and lovely victorian architecture.

But Bristol is also popular with couples, and makes an ideal destination for a short break or weekend away together. Here are just a few ideas for romantic things to do in Bristol:

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge Illuminations at Night
Clifton Suspension Bridge by Night © Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust

Bristol's most iconic attraction is Brunel's wonderful Clifton Suspension Bridge, which has spanned the Avon Gorge for 150 years.

You can simply marvel at the spectacular views of, and from, this famous structure, or if you want to find out more, there's a Visitor Centre open daily, or free guided tours at weekends and bank holidays.

Clifton Suspension Bridge in Snow
Clifton Suspension Bridge in Snow © Byrion Smith via Flickr

You'll get great views of the bridge from Clifton village, and a great view from below at Cumberland Basin.

Why not walk across the bridge for a fantastic view of the river - and you might bump into one of the bridge's "explainers" who will be happy to answer any questions you have.

The Bridge is also spectacular at night, thanks to the illuminations, switched on from half an hour before sunset until midnight.

Fireworks over the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
Clifton Suspension Bridge Fireworks © Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust

On special occasions, such as the bridge's 150th anniversary in 2014 it's also one of the country's most amazing venues for a firework display!


Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoo Gardens

If your loved one likes cute animals - (and who doesn't?) then a stroll around Bristol Zoo gardens is sure to be well received.

Look out for the Meerkats which score highly for cuteness - but there's plenty of traditional zoo favourites to enjoy, including lions, gorillas, penguins, seals, flamingos and lots more.

But there's more to the zoo than just animals - there's 12 acres of award-winning gardens to enjoy too - the perfect place for a romantic stroll.


Brunel's ss Great Britain

What could be more romantic than a return to the golden age when steam ships were the fastest way to travel the world?

ss Great Britain
ss Great Britain © ss Great Britain / David Noton

ss Great Britain
ss Great Britain

A visit to Brunel's ss Great Britain, can take you back to those heady days. Hear the story of Captain Gray, and re-live the epic salvage operation known as the "Incredible Journey".

There's a cafe bar alongside with great views of the ship, for those in need of refreshment.

If you've a head for heights (or simply want to show off), you can even go aloft, and climb 30 metres into the rigging! (Re-opens spring 2015).

ss Great Britain is displayed in an innovative dry dock with a glass sea - which allows you explore beneath the waterline and see a view of the ship that would normally be hidden from view.


The Matthew

For your very own voyage of discovery, while you're in the harbour area, check out The Matthew - a faithful reproduction of the ship John Cabot used when he discovered Newfoundland in 1497.

The Matthew
The Matthew © The Matthew of Bristol / Nick Barnfield

Today it provides harbour tours - and it's the best way to see Bristol from the water. For details, contact The Matthew on 0117 927 6868.


If you're mobile and don't mind leaving the city for a few hours - there are a couple of romantic attractions nearby:

Berkeley Castle

A castle must be one of the most romantic places - especially a genuine Norman castle, with battlements and a keep, where the same family have lived since the 12th century?

Berkeley Castle
Berkeley Castle © Berkeley Castle

In fact Berkeley Castle is so steeped in romance that it does a booming trade as a wedding venue - but you don't have to be getting married to enjoy a visit.

With all the features you'd expect from a historic castle including huge fireplaces, a grand staircase, vaulted cellars, a tower room as well as terraced gardens and beautiful views of Berkeley Vale, it's perfect for a memorable visit.


Westonbirt Arboretum

Sometimes the most romantic thing of all is a gentle walk in a beautiful place - and there are few places more suitable than the National Arboretum at Westonbirt.

Westonbirt Arboretum
Romantic Woodland Walks at Westonbirt Arboretum © Forestry Commission Westonbirt Arboretum photo by Isobel Cameron

Home to more than 15,000 trees, and 17 miles of paths, it's the perfect place to spend time together.

Especially spectacular as the leaves turn in autumn, Westonbirt also offers superb displays of Rhododendrons and Azaleas in spring - but is a great place to visit at any time of year.


Romantic Activities

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Of all the things for couples to do in Bristol, one of the most romantic must be a tranquil flight above the city suspended below a hot air balloon!

Bristol is well known for hosting Europe's biggest hot air balloon event - but even if your visit doesn't coincide with the Balloon Fiesta - you can still enjoy the romance of the Hot Air Balloon with your very own flight - surely the most romantic way to travel - even if you're never quite certain where you'll end up!

First Flight and Bailey Balloons are both local firms with a good reputation:

First Flight: http://hotair-balloonrides.co.uk/

Bailey Balloons: http://www.baileyballoons.co.uk/index.html

Walking Tours

Why not find out more about Bristol and its history by taking a walking tour of the city?

Walking Bristol tours are popular and highly-rated. The tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 11am at the Cascade Steps by the harbourside. You'll find out all about Bristol's amazing past including Brunel, exciting tales of pirates and the story of John Cabot.


For something a bit more contemporary, there's an excellent Street Art Tour where you can see around 50 of the best street artworks Bristol has to offer - including some of Banksy's most famous artworks:


Luxury Spa Break

Relax and allow yourselves to be pampered at the luxurious Spa Naturel located in the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Spa.

Offering a host of treatments, and catering for men as well as women, it's the perfect way to leave the stresses and strains of everyday life behind and focus on just being together.

From single treatments to the fabulous "Spa Escape Together" package which includes an overnight stay, you're certain to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


Balloon Festival

If you can time your visit to Bristol to coincide with the International Balloon Fiesta in August, then you're guaranteed to see some amazing sights.

It's hard to imagine a more romantic spectacle than a host of hot air ballons of all different colours and shapes drifting serenely through the sky. You'll have to be ok with early starts though - the "Mass Ascents" start at 6am.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at night
Nightglow at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta © Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Night Owls might prefer the famous "Night Glow" which is a wonderful spectacle - and there's even a funfair to keep them entertained.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta from the air
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta © Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Of course the most memorable way to see the fiesta is from the air - you could book a Hot Air Balloon flight - or if you're feeling flush, there are helicopter flights available too.

For the more down-to-earth, the Balloon Fiesta is also a great place for a picnic.



Music and Shows

Bristol Hippodrome

Fancy taking in a show? The Bristol Hippodrome has a varied calendar of events, including ballets, operas, musicals, comedians and West End shows.


St George's Bristol

St George's Bristol
St George's Bristol © St George's Bristol

For live music fans, St George's Bristol is a great venue - and hosts an eclectic programme including Classical, Jazz, world music and more.



Dining Out

Bristol has a great variety of restaurants and cafes, so there's plenty of choice - here are just a few of the highlights:

Harveys Cellars

Harveys Cellars
Harveys Cellars © Harveys Cellars

A great place to discover the drink synonymous with Bristol. Harveys Cellars is a wine, sherry and cocktail lounge housed in a 13th century building. They serve a range of tapas dishes.


Glassboat Restaurant

There aren't many more romantic places to eat than a floating restaurant. If you visit the Glassboat Restaurant, you can enjoy excellent food, with a great view of the river too - definitely an evening to remember.


The Grain Barge

The Grain Barge
The Grain Barge © Grain Barge

Sticking with the nautical theme, The Grain Barge is another converted boat, with an interesting mix of food, beer and, on a Friday night, live music.

With two bars, and a panoramic harbour view from the upper deck, it's a great place for a night out.


The Lido Restaurant

Another restaurant with an interesting view is the Bristol Lido Restaurant - which as you'd expect overlooks the Lido so you can watch energetic people swimming while you enjoy the culinary delights on offer.

Why not try their "Birdfood" tasting menu and try some of everything?



Romantic Places to Stay

Bristol is understandably popular with tourists - so there's a wide choice of places to stay, to suit any budget. Here are a few of the most interesting:

The Coach House

For Bed and Breakfast accommodation with a bit of style, try The Coach House, which offers chic accommodation in a beautifully converted former coach house which was built in 1750. Situated in the Hambrook conservation area it's a great base for exploring the city.


Ferndale Mews

Alternatively Ferndale Mews offers compact but well appointed rooms in a family home in a quiet area, which nevertheless offers a good variety of cafes, restaurants and pubs.


Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin, Bristol
Romantic Room at the Hotel du Vin © Hotel du Vin

For a livelier atmosphere, the Bristol Hotel du Vin & Bistro is situated in beautifully restored sugar warehouses, offering an interesting blend of 18th century architecture and contemporary loft style rooms.



Bristol is a fascinating and beautiful city with a rich history, and many things to see and do.

Hopefully we've given you some interesting ideas for romantic things to do in Bristol, but there's lots more to discover when you visit.

If you’d like to know more about Bristol, check out our other articles:

13 Best Free Things to do in Bristol

Things to do in Bristol

12 Fun Things to do in Bristol

Share this article


Copyright © 1999-2024 Excelsior Information Systems Ltd. All rights reserved.
About Us  Press Room  Terms of Use  Privacy  Link to Us  Index  Site Map  Contact Us

Made with Responsive Grid System by Graham Miller