Hidden Gems in Bristol: Our Guide to a Weekend in the City

Our vibrant city of Bristol is absolutely teeming with history, culture, and hidden spots that offer an escape from the usual tourist paths. From secret gardens to historical railways, this guide will help you explore some of the most intriguing hidden gems in Bristol over a weekend. Whether you’re a local rediscovering your city or a visitor looking to explore beyond the well-trodden paths, these spots promise unique experiences. For plenty more inspiration, our friends over at Visit Bristol have numerous guides so you can make the most of your time in the city.

1. 'Goat Gully' on the Clifton Downs

Tucked away near the scenic area of Clifton, Goat Gully offers a slice of tranquility and a chance to connect with nature. This lesser-known spot is perfect for a morning walk or a quiet afternoon picnic. The gully, with its meandering paths and lush greenery, is a great starting point for a weekend of exploration in Bristol’s more secluded areas. If you’re up for a scramble, take one of the worn-out desire paths up the cliff face for panoramic views of the river and Clifton Suspension Bridge – but please be careful and wear appropriate footwear if you do!

Keep your eyes peeled for the resident caretakers of Goat Gully… you guessed it! It’s the goats. The four-legged residents were brought in to control invasive scrub and protect the rare wild flora in the area. 

A mere six minute drive from No.4 Clifton Village, the hidden oasis of british wildlife is an unmissable spot for your next visit to the city.

2. Avon Valley Panorama

On sunnier days, Bristol residents flock to Beese’s on the River Avon. Further afield in Brislington lies a tranquil riverside spot is perfect for summertime wild swimming and lazy picnics. Adjacent to the River Avon Trail lies Beeses, a charming riverside pub perfect for a mid-hike pick-me-up. 

Make a day of it and wander the River Avon Trail, stopping off at the ‘Avon Valley Panorama’ – a spot where you can take in the awe-inspiring bauty of the Avon Woodlands.

Your fastest route from No.4 is a twenty minute drive, though you can also get the number five bus all the way from right outside our venue!

3. Clifton Rocks Railway

Explore the fascinating history of Clifton Rocks Railway, an abandoned funicular railway built in the late 19th century. Carved into the cliffs of Clifton, the railway offers a glimpse into Victorian engineering and Bristol’s wartime history. Although it’s not regularly open to the public, special open days allow access to this historic site, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

Just a fifteen minute walk from No.4 to the railway, it’s a no-brainer really. Pick up a map from our friends on the front desk of the Rodney Hotel and get going!

4. Kingswood Heritage Museum

Located in the former Champion Brass Works, the Kingswood Heritage Museum is a testament to Bristol’s industrial past. The museum houses collections that depict the history of the local area, including its significant contributions to the aerospace industry. The displays and artifacts tell the stories of local life and industry through the ages, making it a fascinating visit for history enthusiasts.

5. Oakham Treasures

One of the largest privately-owned museums of retail and farming history in the UK, Oakham Treasures is a delightful walk down memory lane. Located just outside Bristol, the museum features extensive collections of vintage goods, packaging, and farm equipment from the last century. It’s a nostalgic experience that provides insights into everyday life in the past.

6. Our Secret Garden

Once you’re tired out from all your exploring, there’s nothing more comforting than settling down in a quiet sunny garden with a drink and some food on the way. Our Georgian Townhouse venue boasts a tranquil walled garden that’s straight from the pages of a fairytale.  Sit amongst bee-friendly wildlfowers, explore the chefs’ allotment of homegrown herbs, and indulge in our selection of vintage lawn games, from croquet to petanque

When planning your visit, consider staying at the cozy and elegant Rodney Hotel, situated above No.4 Clifton Village. This boutique hotel not only offers luxurious accommodations but also positions you perfectly to explore all these hidden gems. Start each day with a delicious breakfast with us in the restaurant, then set out to discover the unique history, beauty, and charm of Bristol.

Make sure to check the opening times and any special events for each location to enhance your experience. Whether it’s the peaceful ambience of our secret garden or the intriguing tales of a historical museum, Bristol’s hidden gems await to make your weekend unforgettable.