Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


Squint a little into the sun and Bristol could be San Francisco. OK, it’s not next to the ocean, but its hills, artists, musicians and vaguely lefty, anti-corporate vibe do have something in common with America’s most radical city. Bristol’s most famous contemporary artist, Banksy, sets the tone, his renegade social commentary and graffiti decorating various bits of the city centre. But it’s above all the more chilled, relaxed approach to life here that gives it most in common with America’s West Coast. That and the fact that the natives wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.

Bristol is not on the ocean but it’s still very much a waterfront city, the various tributaries of the Avon weaving into the centre and forming the port that made its fortune. The docks have long gone – these days all the commerce is on the outskirts of the city, in and around the port of Avonmouth – but like so many old British ports they’ve been regenerated into a network of artsy warehouses, thriving retail and exhibition spaces and groovy cafés and restaurants. It’s here that Bristol’s cooler-than-thou ethos is at its most contemporary, and where the city really comes alive during the summer months, packed with walkers and cyclists, picnickers and revellers.

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There’s loads to do in one of the UK’s most chilled-out cities
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