Brooks Rooftop Retro Rockets
Despite the name of these shiny, bubble caravans, they did not rocket their way onto the rooftop of Brooks House in central Bristol. The impressive feat actually required a 100ft crane, the closure of a road and a day’s precarious winching, as the glinting aluminium shells ascended into the sky. Eventually the four bespoke bubbles touched down in their new home – a compact rooftop garden, specially designed by local landscape gardener, Steve Kelvin. The astro-turf lawns, potted plants and painted walls are peripheral features, compared to the spires and tower tops of ‘downtown’ Bristol, though. The cityscape is the real backdrop here. You could hardly be more central.
The replica Airstreams were actually made 60 miles away in Worcester and, while outside they’re the spitting, shining image of their American counterparts, inside they’ve been designed to more modern specifications. There’s a flat screen television, iPod compatible radio and an en suite bathroom with a blissfully powerful shower. The modern décor echoes the teal interiors of the guesthouse bedrooms and bar downstairs. This is an upmarket B&B after all, so expect fresh towels, Geneva Guild toiletries and hospitality trays with fresh organic juices.
If the views of Christ Church spire, St Nicholas Market and ruined St Peter’s Church draw you out, then it’s a quick tumble down the stairs and out onto St Nicholas Street, renowned as the hot spot for the city’s independent shops, cafés and boutiques. Head off to explore the top attractions – the SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Cathedral – or indulge in Bristol’s famously stylish bars and restaurants. Brooks Guesthouse has its own, cosy honesty bar too, with local ales and ciders, wines and snacks. The perk, of course, is that you need only step into the lift at the end of the night and rocket your way back to your rooftop hideout.
The Owner Says
Our favourite spot
Couples and families looking for a quirky glamping stay in the heart of Bristol. Pets not permitted.
The local area
You're right in the heart of the city, so finding things to do should never be a struggle. Stroll down nearby Nelson Street to enjoy one of the world’s largest outdoor art exhibitions – an astonishing public art display by some of the biggest names in international street art and graffiti. Or wander through famous St Nicholas Market (01179 224014) to pick up some local goods. Ruined St Peter's Church is close by, though walk a little further in the opposite direction and the city's main cathedral (01179 264879) is more impressive. Then continue on to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (01179 223571) or further still to Clifton Suspension Bridge stopping along the way at the SS Great Britain (01179 260680). After that, Clifton village itself is worth an explore. Likened by some to a West Country version of Hampstead, this upmarket spot has beautiful Georgian architecture, boutiques and green spaces as well as lots of delis and great cafés. It's perfect for an aimless stroll.
Best local places to eat and drink
Downstairs, inside the guesthouse there is an open kitchen, with a continental breakfast laid out from 7am – think homemade granola and muesli, fruit compote, organic juices and West Country yoghurts – while a chef whips up cooked options by request. Take-away breakfast baps, bagels and sarnies are also available for the earliest risers or those thinking ahead to lunch. Elsewhere, The Ox (01179 221001) is just one stand out steakhouse in among the plethora of city centre options – it's housed inside a subterranean former safe deposit room – while the Wallfish Bistro (01179 735435) on Princess Victoria Street serves excellently refined modern dishes. Don’t miss the lobster and rabbit pie. For something lighter, try the Bulrush restaurant/café (01173 290990) by day or the The Milk Thistle (01179 294429) cocktail bar – Gothic-style, gentlemen's club décor in the style of a prohibition bar – by night.
Why stay with us?
Caravans include a compact bathroom, with Hans Grohe power showers, heated towel rails, illuminated mirrors, electric shaver points, a flushing loo, toiletries and towels. Comfortable 5ft beds with pocket-sprung mattresses, bedding and linen (extra beds for children in the 18ft and 19ft caravans). Small seating area, hanging space, chest of drawers, flat screen TV with DVD, iPod dock, clock radio, eco heating and lighting and tea and coffee making facilities. Downstairs there is an honesty bar, a lounge and dining area and a spacious courtyard garden. Free Wi-Fi.
Four rooftop, vintage-style, aluminium caravans in different sizes (16ft, 18ft and 20ft) sleeping 2 adults and 1–2 children.
16ft Retro Rocket
18ft Retro Rocket
There is an online PDF available with directions from within Bristol city centre. Parking permits are available for £16 per 24h stay which allow you to park in the NCP Queen Charlotte Street (post code: BS1 4ES). It's less than a minute walk from the Guesthouse. Alternatively Brooks Guesthouse have permits for The Mall Bristol (£12 per 24h; postcode: BS1 3XD) which is a 5-minute walk.
Brooks House is a 15-minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads train station (0871 781 8181) and, in the centre of the city, connected to all major and local bus routes. It's a 10 minute walk to the central coach and bus station but the nearest city bus stop is on Colston Avenue just 2 minute's walk away. Look for the number 8 or 9 bus – these are the best buses for exploring the city. The nearest hop-on-hop-off sight seeing bus stop is on Rupert Street or Colston Ave.
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