Are you thinking about Christmas in Bristol? Here is my festive guide on how you can make the most out of your day trip. Let’s get into the festive spirit, soak up the holiday vibes and #MerryBristmas!
The ever-present smell of cinnamon coated churros and mulled wine, twinkling lights scattered everywhere and Michael Bublé’s version of ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’…
This is how Christmas speaks to our senses!
Experience Christmas in Bristol with National Express
Getting from London to Bristol in the South West of England couldn’t be easier. Naz and I decided to travel with National Express this time – the UK’s largest coach operator. The fastest coach will get you there in only 2 hours and 30 minutes. Coaches run up to 23 times a day from London to Bristol and you can get there from £4.90 one-way. We hopped on a direct coach from London Victoria Coach Station at 09:30 am and made it to Bristol in time for lunch.
We normally travel around the UK by train and haven’t considered coach travel as an option before, but it is quite an affordable and comfortable option: National Express’ modern coaches offer plenty of legroom (big plus for me since my legs are pretty long and my knees generally hurt on long journeys) and free USB charging points and Wi-Fi (really helpful when you’re on the move yet glued to your phone).
Did you know? National Express is committed to making their coach fleet zero emission by 2035 – ahead of the net zero target of 2050.
Warm your cockles this winter with mulled wine from the Jäger Barn Bar and get cosy in one of their private igloo pods
Follow the smell of the holiday marking mulled wine to Bristol Christmas Market in Broadmead in the heart of Bristol City Centre, a quick 8 minute walk from Bristol Coach Station. Not having to drive there ourselves meant we could enjoy as many festive tipples as our gluttonous hearts desired! We managed three a piece.
We sipped mugs of Glühwein (mulled wine, £5), Hot Love (Glühwein with Amaretto, £6.50) and Snowman Punch (Glühwein with Amaretto, Punch and Cream, £7.50) with the last packing quite a punch (sorry I just couldn’t resist).
Feast your way through Bristol’s Christmas Market
One big thing I’ve noticed living in the UK as a German national is that all things German seem to play a very important role in the weeks leading up to Christmas. At the German Christmas Market in Broadmead you can find German Beer, Glühwein (mulled wine), Bratwurst (sausage) and Lebkuchen (gingerbread). Although I would argue that they don’t taste as authentic as back home, I’m always happy to find German food here in the UK.
Try roasted Bratwurst (a typical German sausage)
Naz seems to be happy about his Krakauer. Also check out this guy’s festive outfit in the background – definitely not a Grinch despite the green!
Treat yourself to a Proper Yorkshire Pudding Wrap
We came across Yorkshire Pudding Wraps for the first time at London’s Southbank Centre Winter Market in 2019 and loved them right away! We knew that when the time came, we would have to try them again to see if our appreciation for it was not a fluke. We are pleased to report that it was not. We tried them in Bristol this year and we positively devoured them! Choose between pork, beef, ham and turkey and watch your roast dinner get wrapped up in a Yorkshire Pudding blanket. What’s not to like except for the mess you’ll likely make as you attempt to lick the cranberry and apple sauce off your lap. It’s probably best to enjoy this sitting down.
Christmas in Bristol will awaken your sweet tooth with churros, crèpes & fudge
No Christmas Market visit is complete without a sugary, warming dessert to cap things off. Churros with Nutella, delicious crèpes, sticky fudge or pick ‘n’ mix sweet treats – you name it.
Sample the alpine winter vibes in Bristol’s pop up Après Bar
For the ultimate winter feeling, visit Bristol’s pop up Après Bar at Millenium Square. Traditional alpine-style chalets, ski equipment, wooden benches with furry loungers and cosy log fires catapult you straight to the Bavarian mountains!
Take care of your last minute Christmas shopping at St Nicholas Indoor Market
Time to get your last-minute Christmas shopping sorted! St Nicholas Indoor Market is the perfect spot for gifts. The vibrant market has been around since 1743 and is housing over 60 independent retailers selling fashion, hand-crafted items and unique gifts.
St Nicks is divided into three sections:
- Exchange Hall (open plan trading area with indie stalls selling everything from hot sauce to jewellery and Bristol souvenirs)
- Glass Arcade (street food market offering delicious food from all over the world) We really enjoyed a lunch at a Moroccan restaurant where the food was both tasty and affordable. Falafels for the win. This also gave us a trip down memory lane. Our first encounter together was in Morocco. It was nice to get a sense of how it all began.
- Covered Market (quirky alleyways housing individual shops selling books, records, clothing, etc.)
Get lost in The Enchanted Snow Maze – the snowiest place in Bristol
After a festive day out in Bristol and carrying our bellies filled with binding goodness, we called time on our wonderful visit. We made our way back to London at 7:30pm and arrived at London Victoria Coach Station at 10pm. We should point out that the coach ran on time for both legs of the journey and this meant no time was unexpectedly lost.
On the coach ride home which began peacefully and ended frantically, we received bad news. Germany had just imposed another strict 14-day quarantine rule on travellers arriving from the UK as of 11pm the next day. Our trip to Germany to spend Christmas there was on the brink of being scuppered. Thankfully, we found a last minute flight into Germany the next morning before the restrictions were to take affect and had the coach home been delayed, we’d have been in quite a pickle. Christmas was to be saved!
This blog post was kindly sponsored by the National Express. As always, all views, opinions and photos are my own.
Did this blog post get you into a festive mood? Bristol has many Christmas highlights, which are you most excited about? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!
PIN this for your festive day trip to Bristol!