So, you’ve got a date in Bristol. Congratulations! But now you might be thinking ‘what do I do to make this date the best ever?! What are the best Bristol date ideas?!’
Well, you’ve come to the right place. As you’ll probably know, Bristol is the best city in the world*. Which means that there are plenty of romantic things to do here that will make your date swoon.
We’ve got things for all tastes too. From traditional restaurant dates (with one of the best food scenes in the country), to tasting local booze, to action-packed sporty dates, to showstopping bucket-list activities like riding a hot air balloon.
I can’t guarantee that your date will fall for you, but I can guarantee that they’ll be in love with Bristol.
*in my personal opinion, I may be biased.
Best Date Ideas in Bristol
Picnic by the Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is the icon of the city. Built by Isamabard Kingdom Brunel to provide a solution to crossing the deepest part of the Avon Gorge, it stands proud above the city and can be seen from the south part and the Somerset countryside.
So, it goes without saying that taking someone here is one of the most romantic things to do in Bristol. Grab a picnic (there’s a Tesco Express and a Co-Op in Clifton Village if you forget supplies) and sit in front of the bridge, watching the world go by. You can even walk across it to the North Somerset side (free of charge) after – and if you want to extend the date Ashton Court (see next entry) is worth visiting too.
Not the picnicking type? The White Lion does plenty of drinks and great food, and has an epic view of the bridge itself. It gets busy here on a hot day, so be sure to arrive early to get a bridge-view if you want to impress your date. Also, if you’re lucky enough to look young, take ID. I was ID’d here last week because I apparently ‘look very young’. I’m 27….
If you don’t fancy hiking up to Clifton and are southside of the river, there’s another spot in Ashton that has an amazing view of the bridge. Click here to see it on Google Maps.
Go Hiking at Ashton Court
Ashton Court is an 850 acre historic park with woodland and meadow trails, a deer park, a historic house with a cafe and landscaped gardens, and foot golf and disk golf courses!
There’s plenty to do at Ashton depending on your preference. Fancy a stroll to see the deer and the wonderful gardens? No problem. Mountain biking enthusiasts? There are dedicated trails.
If you’re a festival enthusiast, head there on the first weekend of August to see the epic Bristol balloon fiesta. It’s definitely a sight to behold.
Go Cider Tasting
What’s Bristol famous for? Ciderrrrrr. The Wurzels (from Nailsea, very near Bristol) made this clear in their song ‘I am a cider drinker’ which should basically be the anthem of the city.
SO, one of the best things to do in Bristol for couples (or anyone) is drink cider. There are two great places where this is possible. The Apple is a cider boat with locally sourced drinks from Somerset orchards. It’s located at the end of King Street, on the river ofc.
The Stable is at the Harbourside and has 60 plus ciders. It also does bangin’ pizza – vegan and gluten free options available. You can book into a cider tasting, which costs 30 per person but does require a minimum of four people.
If you fancy doing a double date, then this could be a great fun Bristol date idea, but if there’s just the two of you, you could always just order as many different ciders on the menu as you can physically drink. Definitely something I’d do…
Or Visit an Orchard
If a bar in the middle of Bristol isn’t good enough for you and your cider cravings, you could go the whole hog and visit an orchard. Myrtle Farm is where the famous Thatcher’s Cider is made, and tri-weekly tours show guests around the area, offering them some samples at the end, for a princely sum of 12.
They have, of course, got an attached restaurant and bar serving… you guessed it, cider!
The only disadvantage of doing a Thatcher’s tour is that you obviously can’t drive there if you are going to enjoy their delicious cider; and according to Google maps, taking a bus would take three hours. Uber seems like the most sensible option, costing 23+ each way. It’s only a 25 minute drive from the city.
Go Rock Climbing (indoors or outdoors, depending on your abilities!)
Are you the kind of person who likes to leave dates on cliffhangers? (couldn’t resist it, sorry!) If there’s nothing more romantic to you than hanging onto the Avon Gorge for dear life while your date is somewhere in your vicinity, AND you both are adequately trained, then you’ll be delighted to know that there are lots of outdoor climbing opportunities in and around the city.
Or if you are like the 95% of us who are rather unqualified, you could still have a fun climbing date. If the two of you already have rope training and are confident with knots, belaying, and other climbing fun stuff then you could head to Redpoint Bristol and take to the walls straight away.
No prior experience? Fancy a boulder? Bouldering is climbing shorter walls with no ropes, but with big mattresses underneath should you fall. You don’t need any previous experience to do this, and if you are both as bad as each other it can make for a great bonding activity.
Stand Up Paddleboarding on the Avon
Who said SUPing wasn’t possible in cities? Bristol watersports offer the chance to take to the River Avon in taster and experienced sessions. Take in the sights of the city from alternative angle as you cruise around, and try out a fun new sport that will not only be entertaining, but also get you fit as well! After a session, the Pump House and the Grain Barge are nearby for a cool post-paddle pint.
Sessions cost 25 per person – you are likely to be in a group for this activity, and if you haven’t done it before there’s about a 40% (based on my group’s statistics the first time I did it) chance that you’ll fall in.
Bar Hop Around the City Centre
Do you fancy a more traditional date, filled with what Brits do best – drinking? Whether you need some Dutch courage, or just fancy a date night in Bristol, there are plenty of bars.
There’s a high concentration of bars in lots of areas, including Stokes Croft (for a more hipster vibe) or Clifton (keeping it classy). But the City Centre has a bit of everything, and is a great place to try some different drinks and settings.
There’s the Left Handed Giant which is a Brewpub and pizzeria (again, with bangin’ pizzas), the Apple which is the cider boat I mentioned before, King Street brewhouse – another brewhouse on Kings Street, Turtle Bay for 2 for 1 cocktails (outside the hours of 7pm-10pm), or The Lanes bowling alley and bar. If you are more into saving some pounds than impressing your date, you could always go to Whetherspoons too.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is probably more one of the best things for couples to do in Bristol, but even if you’re on a first date, you might want to pull out all the stops and really impress the lucky person who you’re dating!
Along with the Suspension Bridge, Bristol is synonymous with hot air balloons. Bristol Balloons launches several flights a week from Ashton Court. These must be booked in advance, and the price ranges from 135.00 per person for a shared basket, to 325.00 per person for an exclusive basket.
It ain’t a cheap date, but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the city of Bristol, the countryside of Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, and the coastline of the Bristol channel unfolding beneath you.
Check out Bristol Balloons for more information. Flights are also available from Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Westonbirt.
Eat at an independent restaurant
Again, a more traditional date – but with a Bristolian twist! There are so many amazing eateries in Bristol that it would be a shame to frequent the same old chains on your date.
Here are some of my favourite Bristol independents:
- Left Handed Giant, which I mentioned in the bar section – but it also needs recognition for its amazing pizzas. There are a variety of delicious (all vegetarian) pizzas – try the Proper Job or the Kale Rider. Vegan cheese is available on request, sadly no gluten free bases as of yet! Left Handed Giant is located across the water from Castle Park – you can reach it from the park by a purpose-built bridge.
- The Malago is a brunch, lunch, bar and dinner place, serving English dishes and tapas in a trendy setting. There are plenty of options for all tastebuds, and it is located on North Street in Southville.
- The Burger Joint, which serves up huge burgers and sides. The customer gets a menu of all of the different patties, toppings, and sauces and can make their own burger up. The portion sizes are amazing, and its incredible value for money. Just a word of warning as a first date though; it might be a bit messy! Gluten free and vegan diets can be easily catered to. There are two branches of The Burger Joint, one on Whiteladies Road in Clifton and one on North Street in Southville.
Drive to the coast
From Bristol city, you’re only a few miles from the coast – Clevedon and Portishead are considered to be Bristol’s outer suburbs. Check these out or head to Weston-Super-Mare. These aren’t the best beaches in the area – you’ll need to go down to Devon, Cornwall, or Dorset for them – but it is nice to have an escape to the seaside.
It only takes half an hour by car, or you can take the X6/ X7 bus to Clevedon, the X3/ X3x/ X4 bus to Portishead, or the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Weston Super Mare. Here you can enjoy a date of coastal walks, fish and chips and lazing on the sand before heading back to Bristol in the evening!
Cycle to Bath
If you both have bikes, you could cycle the 13 miles to Bath along the Avon cycle trail. There are plenty of things to do in Bath, from touring around the Roman Baths to admiring the architecture to chilling out in Bath Thermae Spa. If you don’t want to cycle back, trains only take about ten minutes.
If you are looking for fun things to do on a date in Bristol, then think about going stargazing.
This is possible in the countryside around Bristol, but if you don’t want to leave the city, check out Bristol Planetarium. The nation’s only 3D planetarium lets visitors stargaze and watch the planets go past, with an interesting commentary about what they are seeing.
It’s much more creative than going to the movies, and it’s also a great Bristol date idea for the winter months. Nights for people aged 16+ are held throughout most of the year. Read here for more information.
The Most Romantic Things to do in Bristol…
As you can see, there are some amazing date ideas in Bristol that are perfect for all sorts of couples – whether it’s a first date or for a fun night out after being together for years. Bristol is a great option for a romantic weekend away, or if you’re up for travelling for your date, it is day trip-able from Bath, Exeter, Birmingham, Reading, and London.
If you want even more inspiration, check out this list of the best things to do in Bristol. And if you are spending the weekend, my where to stay in Bristol guide should help!