If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either thinking of studying in Bristol or already have your place reserved for September, and want to know more about student life in the city. Well, ask and you shall receive! This ‘Bristol’ section of the blog should soon be brimming with all the reviews, vouchers, tips and tricks you’ll need to find your way around the city.
I do, however, have one small confession to get out of the way… I don’t and didn’t study in Bristol. However, whilst I might not have three years’ experience of Bristol University or UWE, I do have 18 years experience of the city, both as a local and a student (even if I studied elsewhere), which should make me pretty well-equipped to tell you about all the nights out, cheap eats and local goings on that Bristol has to offer.
I’m about to graduate from Sussex University in Brighton, which is very much like Bristol only without the effortless cool. Other cities have a similar feel, but the thing that makes Bristol special is that it doesn’t even need to try. It’s characterised by graffiti, cider, good music and warm people (Bristol is the most smiley city in the UK), so with the right attitude you’ll settle in quickly. And there really is something for everyone – the city is big enough to host some big events, but is also home to smaller, niche interests.
There is a wealth of clubs, pubs and bars to suit every taste. If commercial, mainstream clubbing is your thing, the town centre boasts plenty of big, popular venues such as Oceana, Syndicate and Mbargo. It’s to here that the majority of students seem to flock, taking advantage of the student nights and drinks deals.
Alternatively, if chart music doesn’t appeal, Bristol is home to a thriving underground music scene. Smaller but well-established clubs Lakota, The Black Swan and Blue Mountain will satisfy all your dubstep, jungle and drum and bass needs.
Casual drinking here caters for all tastes and budgets: for the fashionable drinker Park Street is peppered with trendy bars, whilst those seeking something a little more laid-back can find homely pubs on Gloucester Road or The Apple, Bristol’s popular cider boat, in the harbour. Options for eating out are just as diverse, whether you’re looking for a cheap takeaway pizza at 3am or somewhere to take your parents after graduation.
So if you’ve just accepted an offer to come and study here, congratulations! You’ve got all this to look forward to. And whilst I can’t guarantee you’ll get on with your flatmates or get firsts in your essays, hopefully some pointers on what to do when you get here will alleviate some stress…
Written by Lucy, Bristol