Whether you’ve just made the move or want to pay a visit to see what’s on offer, we’ve got plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy!
Events & Festivals
It’s well known that almost every weekend in Bristol brings another excuse to celebrate, from the music and boat parades at the Harbour Festival, to 100+ hot air balloon dotting the sky for the International Balloon Fiesta.
Other highlights include seeing the world’s best graffiti artists in action at Upfest, BBQ mayhem at Grillstock, acrobatics galore at the month-long Circus City Festival, and numerous film festivals throughout the year.
Of course the fun isn’t limited to Bristol – The Bath Festival is a multi-arts event which stretches over a week, we’ve got local beer, food & cider festivals by the bucketload, and you may have heard of another little festival on our doorstep by the name of Glastonbury…
Music & Nightlife
It’s not just the international concert halls in Cardiff, Bristol and Bath that draw in some of the world’s best performers, but there’s just as much talent to be seen in the local bars & clubs which play host to a heady mix of music styles every evening across the region.
Stop into The Old Duke in Bristol for free jazz performances from noon to dusk, Thekla to dance the night away on a boat moored on the harbourside, or Clwb Ifor Bach for some of the best up-and-coming acts in an intimate setting in central Cardiff. Or make sure you save the date for Cheltenham’s Music Festivals to celebrate classical artists, Bristol’s International Jazz and Blues Festival, or Cardiff’s Sŵn Festival.
Food & Drink
Where to start? The South West has a sterling reputation when it comes to food – whether it’s seaside restaurants serving the freshest catch of the the day, or neighbourhood bistros in Bristol creating award-winning menus from ingredients they’ve grown in their allotments a couple of miles away from your table.
Bristol in particular is getting more recognition as a hub of excellent food, with four Michelin-starred restaurants, a new community of independent food businesses based in shipping containers, and a dazzling array of food tours, street food markets and tasting events – it won’t take long before you’re a gourmet expert!
Sport & Activities
Another big part of West Country living is sport – whether you’re watching or playing. Rugby fan? Head to the Six Nations in Cardiff, or go and see league-toppers Bath Rugby in action. There’s also the Badminton Horse Trials and the Cheltenham Festival in spring, or premiership football in Bristol throughout the year if you need your sporting fix.
If you want to be more active yourself, there are plenty of cycle routes which criss-cross the region, from the popular Bristol to Bath Railway Path to the Strawberry Line Path and scenic coastal paths in Somerset and South Wales.
We’ve also got oodles of options for surfing, sailing and other water-based shenanigans, both on the coast and further inland at Cotswold Water Park, Bristol Harbour, Chew Valley Lakes and more.
Museums, Galleries & Historic Houses
In the mood for a spot of culture? Galleries such as Arnolfini and Spike Island in Bristol and The Holburne Museum in Bath showcase works by renowned artists from across the globe, while Cardiff’s National Museum is a great place to spend a day finding out about everything from dinosaurs to contemporary art.
We’re also home to some world-class historic sites, from the UNESCO site of the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms in Bath, to the neolithic site of Stonehenge. You can also marvel at the engineering skills of Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge or ss Great Britain in Bristol, or take a stroll through one of the country’s natural wonders in Cheddar Gorge.
Step back in time at some of the country’s grandest and oldest buildings – from medieval Berkeley and Cardiff Castles, to the splendour of National Trust properties such as Tyntesfield and Dyrham.