Love nothing more than geeking out over vinyl at a good record store? In keeping with the city's musical reputation, Bristol is home to stacks of friendly record shops, run by staff with encyclopaedic music knowledge.  

Here are nine of Bristol's best record stores where you can get rummaging for rare albums, new releases and everything in between. 

Longwell Records

After starting life as a car boot stall, Longwell Records opened its first Bristol store in Keynsham in 2016, followed by a second in Wapping Wharf in 2021. Dig into a collection of more than 10,000 albums and look out for gigs at the shops, organised by owner Iain Aitchison who you might recognise from a cameo in The Outlaws

A band performing inside the Longwell Records shop in Bristol - credit Longwell Records

Image: Longwell Records

Idle Hands

Run by local DJ Chris Farrell, Idle Hands started out as a house and dubstep record label and originally opened its own record store in Stokes Croft back in 2011. They've since moved to a bigger home on City Road in St Pauls and are known for an excellent catalogue of 12-inch records spanning techno, house, garage, jungle and much more. 

Rough Trade

Bristol's Rough Trade shop is the fifth outside London, where the iconic indie label sprang to life during the seventies punk movement. Shop for records, books and merch, hang out in the bar and cafe or catch a show in the performance area. It's one of the best places in the city for cosy, intimate gigs with class acts. 

Interior of the Rough Trade record shop in central Bristol - credit Rough Trade
Image: Rough Trade

Planet Caravan at Strange Brew

Just around the corner from Rough Trade is Strange Brew, one of Bristol's newest indie music and arts venues. As well as a cafe and bar, small record shop Planet Caravan takes up one corner of the venue, where you can get new and used vinyl, books and merch. 

Special Subject Records

You have to go through another of Bristol's best-loved music venues to reach Special Subject Records. It sits above the Exchange on Old Market and, like much of the venue's programming, specialises in the heavier, underground side of rock and alternative. If you know your hardcore from your drone metal, this is the Bristol record shop for you. 

Friendly Records

Genre isn't all that important at Friendly Records – if the staff think it's good, it will make the shelves. The result is a broad and eclectic collection of new and used vinyl. Pop into their North Street store in Bedminster and see what you find!

Interior of the Friendly Records record shop in South Bristol - credit Friendly Records
Image: Friendly Records

Plastic Wax Records

Bristol’s longest established and biggest record dealer. Located just by The Arches on Cheltenham Road, Plastic Wax Records has been around since 1978 and has the biggest collection of records in the South West, offering many types of genres and handily organised A to Z. They're also the leading stockist for Bristol Archive Records, if you fancy picking up rare finds from Bristol’s diverse local music scene.

Wanted Records

Located inside St Nicholas Market, Wanted Records is a favourite for committed collectors and lovers of niche genres. Sift through an impressive collection of jazz, reggae, folk and other global genres and sub-genres, which includes many rare and obscure records. Explore the rest of Bristol's oldest market while you're there and refuel for more record shopping at the street food outlets. 

Shall Not Fade

On nearby St Nicholas Street you can find Shall Not Fade, the first bricks and mortar store from the Bristol label of the same name. The team is known for their discerning taste, so pop in to see what house, techno and breaks they're loving. Add to your houseplant selection at the same time – their building is also the home of Plant Works. 

Read more about Bristol's music scene: