This is a list of 11 things that are free to do in Bristol. These things can be as free or not free as you would like! For the museums and farms, I always leave a donation when I visit so that they can afford to run and be there for everyone to enjoy. All of these activities can be combined with eating out or going for a drink, but they could easily be combined with picnics.
The museum is situated on Park Street, it is free to enter but has donation boxes to support with the up keep. The museum is quite quirky it houses a gypsy caravan, dinosaurs and lots of taxidermy animals. Weird fact taxidermy really intrigues me. Like all good museums they have a shop and a café. There are regular ticketed exhibitions, they were one of the museums to hold the Leonardo DaVinci exhibition. You could combine your Museum trip with a trip to Cabot Tower, and of course a wander up and down Park Street.
Cabot Tower is just off of Park Street, situated on Brandon Hill. If you like heights, you can climb the tower and look out over Bristol. I have to admit I prefer to admire the view of Cabot Tower as opposed to the view from Cabot Tower! There are lots of Squirrels on Brandon Hill, so take a picnic and do some sharing with the local wildlife.
The M Shed is a free museum on Bristol’s waterfront. Here you can explore the history of Bristol and try to find your house on a giant map of Bristol. It is free to enter, they have donation boxes to support with the running costs, there is also a small shop and a café. They hold exhibitions that are ticketed, the Animal Photography Exhibition is held there and recently they have had a tattoo exhibition. Behind the M Shed is Warping Wharf which has a good selection of places to eat and drink, my favourite is the gluten free fish and chips. The M Shed is closed on a Monday.
If I’m honest I don’t go to The Downs very often because I have green space nearer to me that I can visit, but it is a big and open green space in the middle of the city which is pretty cool. They have a fair there every year which is a fee paying event and there is also a festival which again is ticketed.
I love Ashton Court for a good dog walk. You have to pay to park, but the fee is for a full day.
Now I have a small child it’s a great day out for exploring and seeing Deers, there are good paths for buggys.
Such a beautiful building inside and out, situated on College green you can’t miss it. I love photographing this building it’s beautiful both day and night. As well as religious services they also hold exhibitions, I went to an exhibition of female war photographers. I’ve just learnt that there is a small carving of a snail on a snail, see if you can find it then tag me on Twitter on Instagram @travelasorous. As with the museums the Cathedral is free to enter, but donations are welcomed.
Another beautiful church in the city of Bristol, easy to access the rest of the city after visiting the church.
The suspension bridge is beautiful at any time of the day and in any weather, well when I say any weather it does look better in the sun! It costs a pound to drive over the bridge but is free to walk over. There is a free visitor centre on the Leigh Wood side of the bridge, as with the museums donations can be made for the upkeep. I really liked the museum and found it very interesting. Make sure you go up towards the observatory and explore lots of angles of the bridge to get the best picture.
Farms I love a good farm! Generally, with a small person and not just on my own, for me my small person is my niece. When I visit, I usually buy a bag of animal feed and put a donation in the box. We particularly like Harticliffe Community Farm which reminds me of my childhood. There is also Windmill Hill, St Werburgs and Gimsbury Community Farm.
July 2021 update:
I now have my own small person! Unfortunately Hartcliffe has closed down, i am waiting for news of it reopening with new owners so will update when I have news!
Windmill has reopened after Covid restrictions have lifted, lovely day out in the heart of the city. It is free to enter, they ask for donations for the upkeep as you walk in there is a card reader where you can tap to donate £3.
There are quite a few different animals, last we went there were some huge Turkeys!
There is on street parking near by, Asda is just over the road so I usually combine my trip with farm and shopping!
They also have a cafe and farm shop and a couple of options for places to sit and have some food or a coffee.
Another good farm is Grimsby in Kingswood, parking onsite or on the street if the car park is full / flooded!
They have a cafe and a really good play park.
I always think this is a bit of an odd one as it is a cemetery! But people love it for a wander, they also hold events such as Spring and Christmas Fayres. They have yoga classes and plays! I recently went to watch Frankenstein in one of the crypts which gave the play an added level of atmosphere. It even has a café!
Balloon Fiesta and Harbour Festival and Upfest At the time of writing this, all these festivals are free to enter. The balloon fiesta I feel you could go without spending money especially if you live close enough to not need transport, you can take a picnic and your own drinks. The Harbour festival again you can wander around for free, but you are likely to want to buy some street food or to buy a drink. I’m a terrible Bristolian and haven’t been to Upfest!
Feel free to tag me if you take a trip to any of these places.