We have all heard of a gap year right? Planning away for a year abroad in the most amazing of places you have always dreamed of! But what about a ‘Microgap‘? Fitting in one of your favourite places in just a few days. Why would you take one? It would be nice if we could leave our lives behind for a year and explore the world but that is costly and for those of us in our late 20s and above, it can even be frowned upon (although I say we should ALWAYS ignore the frowners!). Realistically we can work with our weekends and limited holiday days, so what better than to escape for a couple of days and squeeze in as much culture as possible?
The thing I love most about the UK is that we play host to an array of cultures other than our love for tea I would say each region, city even, can be totally different. This is most definitely true for Bristol, which even boasts its own currency, the Bristol Pound.
Bristol is a beautiful, vibrant city with an excellent uni, great nightlife shopping, restaurants and parks. But it is also the street art hub of England, this is where THE Banksy came from. And thanks to Visit England, I got to see a Banksy piece with my very own eyes.
Bristol is easily accessible by train from London and many other UK cities such as Cardiff, Reading and Birmingham. The city is served by Great Western Railway, London Paddington to Bristol Temple takes just and costs around (cheaper if you book in advance.
On arrival in Bristol, it takes just minutes to walk into the city centre. We met a guide from Where the Wall who offer Bristol street art tours. Where the Wall has been consistently running now for 6 years, 52 weeks of the year over each weekend and during the school holidays. If you are interested in going on the tour, please click here to find out when the tour is running and how you can book.
The Where the Wall Bristol street art tour was set up to promote and support rising street artists as well as established ones. Most interesting to me was the history behind Bristol’s art scene, how it started as a city so against street art and has developed into one that embraces and even encourages young people to get out and paint on the walls!
This tour has even now introduced a stencil session where visitors can create their own pieces, as you can see from mine, I went for a pink and purple number! Don’t ask about the yellow… I was annoyed at myself for that!
After our street art walk, we enjoyed lunch at The Canteen which was located directly under Where The Wall which was pretty handy! The Canteen serves delicious, affordable vegan food in a welcoming community space.
After lunch came my favourite part of the day… gin tasting! I fell in love with gin during a trip to Edinburgh a few years ago. Whilst gin originated in the Netherlands, it became a huge part of the UK’s history, at one time the people of London were drinking on average half a pint of gin a day, even the kids were drinking it!
Our gin experience was hosted by The Milk Thistle, a cocktail bar spread over 4 floors hidden inside a historic building in central Bristol. If I lived in Bristol this is where I would celebrate my 30th birthday! We had our own personal bartender, Michael, who knew everything you needed to know about gin and Bristol.
The difference with this gin tasting session was that we poured our own gin, the only rule was you had to finish what you poured…. fair enough! Let’s just say I was very merry by the end of things!
Once our gin session was over it was time to go home sadly, we had a quick drink at the pub before boarding our train back to London!
Disclaimer: Please note this trip was a paid collaboration with Visit England