Bristol has been collecting accolades like it was its job over the last few years, being frequently voted one of the best cities to live in the UK. But with its pleasing climate, hospitable locals and the near endless list of things to do from sunrise to sundown, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Whether you’re moving to Bristol just in time for New Year’s Eve, or you’re simply having a trip with your special someone, family or friends, the city will always welcome you with open arms.
2017 has been one hell of a year, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see it off with a bang. We’ve searched from Stokes Croft to Stoke Gifford to bring you a list of the best places to ring in the New Year.
Where to Play
Launched in 1845 and docking for the final time in 1854, the SS Great Britain was once the longest passenger ship in the world. Now restored to its former glory, the ship has become one of Bristol’s most important cultural landmarks. If you’re wondering what to do in the day before the festivities begin, exploring the Dockyard Museum, Dry Dock and the long history of one of Britain’s most used docks is a great way to take stock of the past, before jumping into the future.
Plus, you can also see a breathtaking view of the city as you climb up the rigging to a viewing platform.
After stopping by the docks, why not make your way over to the Showcase Cinema at Cabot Circus. Broadcasting live from Berlin, the Philharmoniker will be performing their annual gala event, alongside exclusive interviews and insights from the musicians themselves. With appearances from veteran conductor Sir Simon Rattle and celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, this is a must for any classical music fan. Beginning at 4pm, it’s one of the most beautiful ways you can while away an afternoon in Bristol.
If shopping is more your game, head here for one of Bristol’s largest indoor retail centres. With some shops running exclusive NYE offers, this could be your last chance to score an epic NYE party outfit and enter 2018 with style.
But that’s not all, home to entertainment centres like Hollywood Bowl and the South West’s largest outdoor ice rink – measuring in at a thousand square-meters wide – there’s something here for the whole family.
In the Longleat Grounds, a set of light installations, depicting famous scenes from Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as a 30-meter long galleon, make for magical photo-ops. The magnificent show starts at 4 pm, but it is best to visit later at night to see the illuminated installations at their brightest. And with a winter safari and a lit hedge maze, you can easily spend a whole evening here.
This city square has completely been transformed by an ice skating rink and the We The Curious’ Festive Fair. Stalls, a carousel, and bungee trampolines can all be found here, alongside the SkyView Wheel. Fitting up to six, the wheel will lift you up for a spectacular scene of the city lights and harbourside. If you get too chilly, you can always warm up with a cup of mulled wine from one of the German Market stalls nearby.
Where to Dine
Bristol is a haven for foodies, with family-friendly restaurants, craft beers, and assorted cuisines awaiting diners. Take your pick from our suggestions or explore the streets to grab a taste of the best artisanal and local food.
The homegrown pie shop is known for its classic pies with quirky names like Mexicow and Moodog. They also offer gluten-free pies made in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen.
This place serves authentic gelato with handmade treats such as Stecchi or gelato sticks dipped in chocolate, heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth.
What’s more romantic than a meal overlooking the dock? With a brasserie, wine bar, deli and bakery in one, Bordeaux Quay has something for everyone. The breakfast menu is available until 11:30 am, but their extensive menu will keep you full all day.
This is fine dining at its best. You can enjoy a royal experience in a castle, while being served food prepared by an award-winning team of chefs. They have an impressive menu of contemporary food, and offer an indulgent afternoon tea selection.
Head to this restaurant for their heaviest burger yet, the Triple Burger. Stacked with triple patties and covered in bacon and cheese, this burger is not for the faint-hearted. If you’ve got a Veggie in your party, Three Brothers also serve an excellent range of non-carnivorous options.
Before you head to a night of partying, why not have a taste of one of the best beers in the UK? The owner Justin Hawke has just been named brewer of the year for 2017. The place specializes in natural, unfined beers that come straight from the tap.
Where to Party
Are you staying up all night with your friends for a countdown? If yes, Bristol is the right place to be. With festive parties and events, you’ll be sure to welcome the New Year in style – with booze in hand. Make sure you book your tickets in advance and get your party outfit ready.
This private members club in Clifton is known to throw the best NYE party in Bristol. While The Square is an exclusive member-only venue, non-members are welcome to join their most glamorous celebration. A ticket will entitle you to unlimited food and drinks as well as a night-long entertainment and acts by select performers, DJs, and a live band. Make sure you pull out your black tie, feathers, and masks from your closet!
New Year’s Eve Black & White Party at the Cuban Bristol
If you want to party the Cuban way, you’re in for a treat. Aside from Cuban dancers and a live Latino band, guests will be enthralled by fire breathers, stilt walkers, and magicians. The ticket worth £49.95 includes a three-course meal plus a £10 off food voucher to use in 2018!
For a memorable NYE, celebrate it with truffled quail egg hearts, Alice’s sandwich, and desserts that even the Queen of Hearts will love. Expect fireworks at midnight and plenty of surprises in this one-of-a-kind event.
Once you have decided where to head to this NYE, book your tables and tickets ASAP before they run out. It is one of the busiest days in famous attractions and restaurants, so be an early bird and plan a fuss-free day out.
If you’ll soon be calling Bristol your new home and need a hand with moving your things, contact the friendliest removals team in the South West. Start the New Year the right way – in Bristol!