Sightseeing in Bristol ft. Paper Bag Co *

GIFTED | Living in The Cotswolds I have my fair share of cities to choose from for a shopping trip or a bit of sightseeing. From Bath to Oxford and Bristol to Cardiff, I really am spoilt choice. So when I heard the creators of The Selfie Bag (Cotton Bag Co / Paper Bag Co) had created a local bag range, I jumped at the chance to sample one.

The local bags range showcases towns and cities in the South West area and come in five designs, including two of my favourite cities – the beautiful city of Bath and the bustling harbourside city of Bristol – which are both a stone’s throw away from me.

Admittedly I was torn between the designs but was plesantly surprised when the Bristol bag* arrived in my letterbox; I simply love the design. The bag has an off white background with colourful artwork showcasing some of Bristol’s most famous events and landmarks.

It was designed by Overt Design, a local company, which I think adds to the charm of these bags.

Sightseeing in Bristol

I decided to head to Bristol with my new local city bag to snap some photos of the landmarks featured on it, and to see what people thought of the design. The reactions were great; I certainly didn’t feel like a tourist wearing it and one couple said it was very ‘Bristolian’. Which was lovely to hear. 😊

Bristol city is a short drive from us so we headed down there a couple of weekends ago, but with great rail connections, it is also so easy to travel there by public transport.

We parked up and started off near Bristol aquarium and ‘We are Curious’ (formally AT-Bristol) which is a science centre and home to the Planetarium.

If you’ve ever been to Bristol you may have seen the large silver orb in the square adjacent to the science centre and that is where the Planetarium is. That silver orb is also one of the landmarks featured on the Bristol city bag (middle right).

The bag itself is very sturdy and managed to take the weight of our lunch, bottles of water and the little shopping we did. The only drawback (as with the selfie bag) was the length of the straps due to my small frame, so keep this in mind if you’re also petite. Aaron on the otherhand, had no issues.

We sat near the Planetarium to eat our lunch before heading to the harbourside and, of course played a little Pokemon Go as we walked.

A couple of familiar faces sat in the window of this boat.

The harbourside is a lovely walk and if you’re able, I’d highly recommend exploring Bristol on foot. It’s a very colourful city, from the sculptures (like the giant boy shown below) to the houses that line the hillside by the harbour.

Those houses also make an appearance on the city bag.

As we walked around the harbourside we soon found ourselves at two of Bristol’s historic ships – the Matthew of Bristol and Brunel’s HMS Great Britain.

Bristol’s harbourside is surrounded by pubs and even pub boats which are great to stop at for a quick drink or a bite to eat; especially in the Summer months. We also saw a couple of party boats cruising up the River Avon as we walked by, which looked like a lot of fun.

This shark boat was hosting a stag party.

As we walked along the River Avon the weather made a turn for the worse and even worse still as we approached The Clifton Suspension Bridge, so no more blue sky’s, which made such a difference to the photos! Just look at that grey sky. πŸ™ But we still had a great day and it was lovely to see a different view of the bridge. I’ve walked along it on a previous trip which I’d highly recommend, for stunning views of the River Avon.

Photo taken in October – Unfortunately the River Avon really is that brown! πŸ˜•… Just look at that view though!

We had planned to stop at Za Za Bazaar for dinner but they were fully booked until 9pm, something to keep in mind if you’re travelling to Bristol at peak times (in this case a Saturday). For those that aren’t aware Za Za Bazaar is an all you can eat buffet restaurant showing a wide range of cuisines.

Since Za Za was out, we headed to Five Guys in Cabot’s Circus instead, which is one of the main shopping areas in Bristol – it’s worth it for their Primark store alone!

On our walk there we passed Bristol Cathedral and walked through St Nicholas Market, another couple of places I’d recommend visiting if you’re ever in Bristol.

Bristol Cathedral boasts some stunning architecture, a lovely cafe and some quaint gardens, while St Nicholas Market showcases a great range of independent retailers which vary depending on the day of the week (Saturday being the flea market).

Aaron had never been to a Five Guy’s burger bar but said the food was delicious and worth the wait. πŸ™‚ With our bellies full we took one last stroll around the harbourside before heading home.

Have you ever been to Bristol? What do you think of the city bag? Let me know in the comments. 😊

* I was sent this item for review but all opinions are my own.


  • Leola

    March 28, 2019 at 21:56

    Stunning photo of the River Avon!!

  • Megan | Ginger Mom and Company

    March 28, 2019 at 17:56

    This looks like an amazing place to visit! I’ve never been beyond the US but someday I hope to get to Bristol (among many other places LOL). So glad to have found your blog through Twitter! I am definitely going to be back for more πŸ™‚

    1. Kim

      March 30, 2019 at 10:12

      Thanks for your kind comment Megan. πŸ™‚ I’ve only been to the US once in my life, which was last year but I’m dying to see more of the country.

  • Ashley Firth

    March 26, 2019 at 22:20

    Oh my gosh! Rosie and Jim!!! Such amazing photographs of a beautiful city! I’ll be travelling down to that part of the world in the summer so I’ll be sure to check out some of your highlights – especially the harbourside – it looks beautiful xxx


    1. Kim

      March 30, 2019 at 10:05

      Thank you for your kind comment Ashley! πŸ’–

  • Lauren Elena

    March 24, 2019 at 23:59

    I loved that you used your bag as inspiration for your tour of Bristol! Reminds me of my book tours.
    I really enjoyed this post. Bristol looks like a nice spot to visit! I hope to get out there one day!

    1. Kim

      March 25, 2019 at 12:10

      It’s one of my favourite cities. πŸ™‚
      I do love how your books lead you to explore new and interesting places. Thanks for your comment. x

  • Beka

    March 23, 2019 at 19:04

    I love that bag! I wish they had done an Edinburgh one, I would’ve snatched that up in a second ☺️ I’ve never been to Bristol, but it looks like you had such a lovely time! I almost squealed when I saw Rosie and Jim in the window of that boat πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

    1. Kim

      March 24, 2019 at 11:18

      I 100% agree, it would be great if they did them for more cities. Lol I got a little too excited when I saw then sat there too. πŸ˜…

  • Laura

    March 23, 2019 at 14:08

    Those colorful houses alone make Bristol worth the trip to me!

    Laura //

    1. Kim

      March 23, 2019 at 14:37

      They’re great aren’t they? I love how they stand out on the harbourside. Thanks for your comment Laura. x

  • Liberty on the Lighter Side

    March 21, 2019 at 18:44

    I wouldn’t have picked Bristol as a day out destination but it sounds and looks interesting. And I love the illustration on the bag, I can see why you found it hard to choose!

    1. Kim

      March 21, 2019 at 19:11

      I didn’t either until I went to the aquarium a few years ago and did some exploring. Now it’s one of my favourite cities. Thanks for your comment. x

  • Gem

    March 21, 2019 at 18:13

    Being a Northern girl I’ve never been to Bristol but I adore the bag and all the features on it especially the coloured cliff houses they’re so cute, it looks a beautiful place to explore

    1. Kim

      March 21, 2019 at 19:09

      I’m the opposite and haven’t explored much of the North but I’d love to. Thanks for your kind words about the bag and Bristol city. πŸ™‚ x

  • Jenny in Neverland

    March 21, 2019 at 17:30

    I’ve never been to Bristol but I SERIOUSLY want to now! It looks right like my kinda place. The boats? The colourful houses? What’s not to love! I’d have to pay Rosie and Jim a visit too!

    Jenny in Neverland

    1. Kim

      March 21, 2019 at 19:08

      Thanks for your comment Jenny. Bristol is definitely one of my favourite cities! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley

    March 20, 2019 at 05:50

    Looks so beautiful bristol is on my list of places to see 😍😍

    1. Kim

      March 20, 2019 at 08:31

      Thanks for your comment Ashley. It really is a lovely city, especially along the harbourside.

  • Tiffany

    March 19, 2019 at 22:22

    I absolutely love how this bag inspired a day out in Bristol.

    A few things: First off, I need to visit Bristol! One thing the US is lacking is rail systems…and when I visited Switzerland and France last year, I was amazed at how efficient the rail systems are in Europe.

    Secondly, I had to google “stag party” to verify it was what we call a “bachelor party.” I love that and learned something new, which makes my day!

    Lastly, Five Guys is one of my favorite burger joints….hands down!


    1. Kim

      March 19, 2019 at 22:58

      Thanks for your comment Tiffany. πŸ™‚ I’d highly recommend a trip to Bristol at somepoint – I’m in the Cotswolds so there are so many day trips you could take from Bristol as well.

      lol, I’m not too sure why we call it a “stag party” to be honest. We always have “hen nights” or “hen do’s” instead of “bachelorette parties”.

  • Ruth

    March 19, 2019 at 15:30

    I love that the bag gave you inspiration for a day out! The bag looks great and I really like how colourful it is. I’ve never been to Bristol but it looks like such a lovely place with plenty to do!

    1. Kim

      March 19, 2019 at 22:53

      Thanks for your comment Ruth. When I got the bag I just knew I had to hunt down some of the landmarks – some I’d seen before a couple were new to me. It was great to explore the city like a tourist, although they thought the bag was very ‘Bristolian’. x

  • Chloe Osborn

    March 19, 2019 at 13:09

    Really informative post for those who are looking to visit Bristol! I went to uni in Bath so I’d been to Bristol a couple of times too though I wish I’d been more. My favourite place is the aquarium! Love the design of the bag, the art style is so cute!

    1. Kim

      March 19, 2019 at 22:52

      Thanks for your comment Chloe. Bath is such a lovely city but I haven’t explored as much of it, yet. The Bristol aquarium is great. πŸ™‚ x

  • Amie Cadwallader

    March 18, 2019 at 19:26

    I’ve never been to Bristol, but it is absolutely beautiful! I’ve added to my to visit list!

    Love, Amie ❀
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Kim

      March 19, 2019 at 22:39

      Thanks Amie. I’m glad my post has inspired you to go. πŸ™‚ x

  • Lisa

    March 18, 2019 at 18:39

    We go to Bristol quite frequently because of We The Curious, the Aquarium, the Art Gallery and the Harbourside. You’ve snapped some fabulous pictures here, Kim, I particularly love the bridge shots (yes, I agree about the river colour, haha). And thank you for the buffet tip, that’s one to bear in mind for our next trip. Love the look of those bags too, cotton bags are definitely the way forward, I always have a couple in my handbag for shopping πŸ™‚

    Lisa xx

    1. Kim

      March 19, 2019 at 22:38

      I’ve never been to the Art Gallery. I’ll have to make a note of it the next time I’m in Bristol. Thank for your comment Lisa. I highly recommend Za Za’s – although trying to get through a meal in each section wasn’t our best idea. πŸ˜…

  • Marie

    March 18, 2019 at 18:29

    Looks like the sort of place I would like to visit. Lovely photos and a great article.

    1. Kim

      March 18, 2019 at 20:23

      Thank you Marie. 😊

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