Bristol is my home city, so I haven’t ever camped here. But yesterday was a beautiful day, and I needed an excuse to test out my new (but pre-owned) camera, so we headed down for a stroll around Bristol’s Floating Harbour. Bristol’s city-centre campsite is adjacent to the Floating Harbour, and I’m an ardent fan of all things Bristolian, so I thought I’d write about what makes Bristol such a great place to go camping.
Camping in cities can be a bit fraught, but Bristol’s Baltic Wharf campsite is actually quite a stress-free affair. It’s really centrally located and easily accessed by main roads. But whilst it’s perfectly positioned to stroll into the city centre for shops, restaurants and sights, it’s also tucked away at the quieter end of the Harbourside, and most Bristolians probably don’t even know it’s there!
It’s a Caravan Club site, so facilities should be good. I’ve only ever peeped in from the Harbourside, but it always looks immaculately kept, as you’d expect of a club site. It always looks really busy too, so it’s definitely one to book ahead. From the site, you’re just a minute or two from two good pubs, both serving hot food, and you can walk around the Harbour to the city centre (perhaps 15-20 minutes walk) or take one of the frequent ferries all or part of the way.
Even if you stayed around the Harbourside for a long weekend, there’s plenty to do – Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the newly-opened M-Shed Museum of Bristol, the Arnolfini Gallery, Spike Island Artists’ Workspace…or just meander along the waterside taking in the atmosphere…and a bacon butty from the legendary Brunel’s Buttery.
If you want to go further afield, then some more suggestions would be:
- the Suspension Bridge, obviously…
- Bristol Zoo, small but perfectly formed, and adjacent to Bristol Downs for some bracing walks with great views
- Bristol Museum and also the West of England Academy – they’re on the same street, so you can top up on culture all in one go!
Bristol is home to a bewildering array of festivals throughout the year, so there’s usually something happening. From the enormous Harbourside Festival, to the Food Festival to the famous Balloon Fiesta, if you’re lucky you’ll get a bonus festival when you visit!