Never trust a Mason
Bristol is a hotbed of this dubious cult.
The pleasant but by no means architecturally outstanding Masonic 'temple' at the foot of Park Street bears totally specious notices reading 'This is a listed building. Cycles must not be chained or otherwise fixed (love the pedantry, THAT puts the kybosh on the pedantic LongTone securing the trusty steed here with a D-lock) to the railings.
It's interior may justify it's being listed, but unless you're a Mason you ain't never gonna see it., unless you are around on the annual Open Doors day and have exhausted the other offerings, which are mostly a great deal more enticing.
No pies here (Mrs Lovett's)
The hasty pie lover should take a second look at this place before rushing in and demanding a pie. The lack of an adjacent barber's shop should alert you: this is no anthropophagous eatery, it is a very clever bit of trompe-l'oeil painting. Gorgeous paint but no gorgeous gravy.
On Stoke's Croft, about halfway up on the left as you head towards Gloucester.
A more thorough recce revealed that although there isn't a barbers next door (I would have noticed the red and white striped totem) there is a ladies hairdressers.......
STAYING SAFE IN BRISTOL
As with everywhere the entire world over, Bristol is no different with risks of becoming a victim of crime. The crime rate in the south west is NOT as high as outsiders deem it to be, infact statistics show a large decrease in serious crime in the City compared to other UK major towns & cities. However, unsolved crime is still a problem in the entire Avon and Somerset area. In general, Bristol is a beautiful & interesting city with many features and attractions. The people are very friendly & the dialect warming if not a tad difficult to understand if you aren't familiar with it. Areas to avoid aren't simply inner city areas such as Easton, St Werburghs & St Pauls. On the contrary. Southmead, Hartcliffe & Knowle West may not be ideal areas where one might want to live, this is due to the burglaries & run down appearances of some of the areas but it can't be said that these areas pose a danger to the general public as some have claimed on here!! These are simply areas where a lot of the poor & disadvantaged are placed by the local housing authority, Bristol City Council! Easton has become a 'no go' over the years if you are not of Somali ethnicity. It houses a diverse community of many cultures however, Somali residents appear to dominate & as such this has become a 'no go' zone after dark. Be vigilant during the day also but the risks are very low during the day. St Pauls is a quiet area and victim of bad press due to riots & drug dealing during the 80's. This has decreased over the last 10 yrs & no longer a problematic area. Infact areas such as Clifton which are deemed to be where the more 'affluent' people reside, is extremely dangerous at night & many rapes have occurred here! Bristol is NO MORE dangerous than anywhere else in the world.
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
Go off the rails
I dont't know about taking care because it's a working docks area- in my opinion pedestrians run little risk of being mown down by a speeding supertanker mounting the quayside or whatever-but anybody cycling along the quayside near the Gert Biggun should be very very wary of the rails sunk into the road surface. Get a wheel caught in these and you are off the bike before you can say 'aaaaargh'.
(Touristwise, although bikes can be hired you'd need to be a fit person to propel such heavy dogs around this town. The government have given the city £25m or so to encourage cycling, but it ain't going to flatten out many of those hills.)
And don't fall in the water
This is a docks working area with potentially dangerous installations. There is no public right of way.
Fragile surface. No vehicles on steel plates.
I'm a sucker for warning signs. This is the area between the new and Brunel locks, where you could try and get caught up in the slew ring of the Brunel Way swing bridge, the checkpoint-charlie style observation tower of which can be seen in this picture
Keep hold of your bits!
To be honest the sign says it all. Wander around Bristol Zoo and you will find it within - adjacent I think to the seal enclosure. Frankly this is good advice for us all. Particularly when going on a first date...
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
Aaaarrrggh!! Children for Sale??!!
While wandering the suburbs of Bristol you will be horrified to see vibrant orange signs outside houses advertising small children for sale. Bristol has historical links to slave trading but, hey, wasn't slavery made illegal more than 170 years ago?! Evidently not.
That is, unless I am completely mistaken and it is an estate agent using the image of angelic toddlers to sell houses ;-)
- Family Travel
- School Holidays
Bristol is a nice city but be careful where you go (usual advice for any city visitor) City centre is safe during daylight hours but can get a little crazy during late evening. Bristolians love drinking (lots) eating kebabs, vomiting, urinating in shop doorways and fighting! (and thats just the gals!) Fridays and Saturday nights are to be avoided if you are of a sensitive nature or over 35! Avoid St Pauls (nearest to City Centre), Hartcliffe, Knowle West and Lawrence Weston. Lots of homeless people in area-many can be quite agressive and abusive at times. Street robbery is common to fund the increasing drug problems (no surprises there) and there have been several shootings in St Pauls area.
Its a safe place overall-one of the UKs better cities just be streetwise, dont act like a lost tourist and dont stray into the wrong part of town. Enjoy :)
- Women's Travel
- Road Trip
Be careful but not paranoid
Bristol is one of the more dangerous cities in Britain, but it's not like you are going to be mugged in broad daylight. Be careful where you walk and don't go wandering into the back streets away from the city center and you should be find. Particular areas to avoid are the Gloucester Road and the streets going off it: these are pretty safe if you are a local but then you know where not to go. Where Gloucester Road exits into the city center is "the bear pit": a subway filled with some of the most aggressive beggars in Britain. Do not walk through there at night!
City centre revellry!
Just been announced that the city centre is to be policed under a new law where police officers can remove anyone being drunkenly anti-social - which I guess can range from being abusive or violent to wee-ing or throwing up in a shop doorway! This is to try and reduce the incidents of extreme drunkeness which can be quite intimidating if you're walking in central Bristol at night. And also to help curb the excessive/binge drinking which is going to damage so many young people.
So be careful if you know you've had a lot more than 'one too many' and behave in bristol city centre!
Dispelling the violence and drugs myth
Bristol has had a terrible reputation in the past - for years it suffered internal strife, particularly in the neighbourhoods of St Pauls, Stokes Croft, Knowle West and Easton. A major cause of this is the fact that Bristol acts as a gateway for the drugs trade and as a result, some parts of the city suffer the consequences of slight gang war fare. But this is in a British context, and we are not talking South Central LA.
I have been to these parts of the city, and whilst a little rough around the edges, the dangers are minimal - as long as you are wise and careful. This includes not wandering around these parts at night. I have never been in a dangerous position in the city, and I think that the reputation is now (thankfully) not relevant to day to day life. In fact, the community identity of St Pauls is very strong, culminating in the St Paul's Carnival - a smaller scale Notting Hill Carnival, which has been a successful occassion for a number of years now.
Bristol does suffer a homeless problem on a scale with London, which is unusual for a small city, and again, it is the drugs trade that is responsible.
- Budget Travel
Taxis are extremely expensive in Bristol. beware of the "smart" taxi drivers that they will try to charge you more than it is supposed to be. A standard fare from the city center to an area that is 3-5 miles away can cost you 6-8 pounds. Don't give more than that!!!
Always prefer to hire the black "london taxis", because you will always know the exact amount from the meter. Beware of the mini-cabs!
- Road Trip
It won't take you long to discover that Bristol is a very hilly city. Sometimes you could believe that the hills go up in both directions.
Vale Street, in the aptly-named district of Totterdown to the south of Temple Meads station, is said to be the steepest residential street in Europe.
Climbing from the Centre to the University area can be pretty challenging too. If you want some exercise, try starting from the bottom of the Christmas Steps, cross Park Row at the top and then go through the churchyard and on up to the top of St Michaels Hill. It's a great way to lose weight! Devotees of the early days of the BBC hospital drama Casualty will recognise the hill from the opening titles - the one where the ambulance appears be being launched into orbit!
Read the Home Office statistics and you'll discover that Bristol ranks second only to Manchester in terms of violent crime. Cheer up though, Detroit it ain't, and like all UK cities Bristol is perfectly safe provided you keep your wits about you, as you would anywhere. There are no no-go areas.
Some parts of the city - Hartcliffe, Withywood and the Filwood Broadway south of the Avon, Southmead to the north - have serious drug problems and are probably best avoided if you are on your own after dark. These are not areas you would normally be visiting however. The inner-city St Pauls district is somewhere you might visit and has a bad reputation for muggings - probably worse than it deserves, but it can feel threatening. Bristol has large numbers of homeless people and beggars who can be a nuisance but who are mostly harmless.
In general - be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking directly past the kind of buildings that give a mugger a quick getaway through stairs and passageways. Know who is around you. Don't flash valuables. Don't act like a dumb tourist.
You'll be fine here, it's a great city!
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Be very cautious when driving...
Be very cautious when driving on the tiny roads... on most there is just room for one car at a time, so be careful around corners... in this tiny fishing village in cornwall, the main road is about the size of a foot path (and is one), so be careful to not run any of the locals over. the only place to park is on the sand, so be sure to get roll up your windows and get out of there before the tide comes up.