We asked family travel blogger Angharad Paull to tell us her favourite places to go in her patch of Bristol, Horfield.

I’ve been a Bristolian for over 20 years now, and spent many of them living in Horfield, North Bristol. The area includes part of Gloucester Road, which means there are a good variety of restaurants, independent shops, the odd pub, some green spaces, family-friendly hang-outs and it's even spawned a Hollywood legend! 

Shop fronts on the Pigsty Hill section of Gloucester Road in North Bristol

Where to eat

If you’re a fan of pizza, the handmade sourdough creations coming out of this pizza place are going to blow your mind, and if you’re not that bothered, then go, because you’ll be converted! The Gloucester Road branch is their flagship restaurant (they also have restaurants in Wapping Wharf, Bedminster and Park Street). Choose your own toppings or go with one of their suggestions, then watch them work their pizza magic in the kitchen. There are gluten free dough options as well as children’s pizzas available and the staff are always friendly and accommodating (and do nice things like cut up pizzas into tiny portions for rushed-off-their-feet mamas who need to resort to feeding their kids ‘car pizza picnics’...)

Tinto Lounge
One of five child-friendly Lounges in Bristol (the others are in Totterdown, Cotham, Fishponds and Bedminster), this laid back bar/cafe/restaurant is great for all things breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. They offer vegan and gluten free menus and have colouring on hand for kiddos. Go for a window seat to watch the Gloucester Road world go by.

Per & Kor 
This Persian Korean eatery is my latest discovery! It’s twinkly and cosy inside, the staff are smiley and helpful and I love the fact you can choose from entirely different cuisines on the menu - be sure to try the prawn tempura, it’s utterly delightful! Perfect for a date night or intimate dinner with friends. 

Boston Tea Party
We were very excited when independent cafe chain opened a branch on Gloucester Road in 2013. A favourite with local parents thanks to its gigantic back room (once a skittle alley) and toy selection, you’ll find lots of caffeine-hungry mamas here on weekdays and families at weekends. They also get my vote for leading the way on eco-friendly goodness - last year they banned single use coffee cups, asking customers to bring their own, buy one onsite, or borrow from their ‘loan scheme’, (there's an excellent selection of neon colours to choose from). You’ll also find lots of healthy options on the menu, including a kefir smoothie, to keep your gut happy.

Boston Tea Party - Gloucester Road - credit Angharad Paull
Image - Boston Tea Party, credit Angharad Paull

Where to drink

There are some great pubs in quite a small vicinity and luckily for me as a gin-loving parent, they also tick a lot of family-friendly boxes. The Royal Oak is great in summer with its outdoor pizza oven and children’s play area, The Lazy Dog has a large artificial turfed garden area with plenty of tables and chairs plus a Wendy House for kiddos, The Crafty Cow has got the best of both worlds with an enclosed area filled with toys for children to play in and The Wellington (part of local brewery Bath Ales' pub estate) also has outside space.

If you’re after an evening drink sans les enfants The Drapers Arms independent micropub, doesn’t look like much from the outside, but always seems busy and serves up lovely craft beers and local gin on the inside. Or for something a bit different, try Bottles and Books serving craft beer, real cider, hot sauces and comics!

The Wellington on Gloucester Road - credit Bath Ales
Image - The Wellington, credit Bath Ales

Where to shop

Gloucester Road snakes its way up from the centre of Bristol through Horfield, before making its way as part of the A38 all the way to Gloucester. The road is famous for being the longest street of independent shops in Europe, so you can justify a shopping trip here by supporting local small businesses - good for the soul!

My favourite haunts along the Horfield strip are Craft Works for all kinds of arty stuff, Room 212 and Paper Plane for cards, gifts and neon trinkets and Preserve - a zero waste shop where you can fill up your empty containers with shampoo, eco-friendly washing liquid, conditioner, soap and vinegars as well as things like organic rice, cous cous and flour. You can also make your own nut milks and pick up a range of plastic free toiletries.

Room 212 on Gloucester Road - credit Visit West
Image - Room 212

Kid-friendly places to run around

We’re lucky to have some great big green spaces in this area. Horfield Common has a fantastic children’s playground, cafe (with inside and outside seating) and a good dollop of grass to run around in. Muller Road Recreation Ground is tucked away behind Muller Road - so well hidden in fact, that I hadn’t realised this gigantic expanse of green grass was two-minutes from my house for a good couple of years. A popular dog-walking area, there are several football pitches here and enough of a slope to sledge on!

Figures of note from Horfield

Cary Grant
Cary Grant - or Archibald Alexander Leach as he was originally known - was born on 18 January 1904 at 15 Hughenden Road, Horfield, Bristol. He carried on using his birth name even after he moved to the States and became a Broadway actor, but adopted ‘Cary Grant’ when he was signed by Paramount Pictures in 1931. It wasn’t lost entirely though – Archie Leach appears on a gravestone in Arsenic and Old Lace and also crops up in the dialogue of His Girl Friday. Keep your eyes peeled for a street art stencil of him above Room 212!

A black and white image of Cary Grant pointing at the Clifton Suspension Bridge from the Avon Gorge Hotel in West Bristol - credit Bristol Post
Image - Cary Grant in front of Clifton Suspension Bridge, credit Bristol Evening Post

George Müller 
In the 1800s, George Müller cared for 10,000 orphans in Bristol, founding Ashley Down Orphan Homes and later ‘Scattered Homes’ for destitute children. By faith, he never fundraised or told anyone about his financial needs and received £1.5 million to fund his work. You can find out more about the man, see photographs and artefacts and find out what life would have been like at the Victorian Orphan Houses at the George Müller Museum in Ashley Down.

Sports fans

On certain days, the chanting (and lack of parking!) signals that League One team Bristol Rovers are playing at home at The Memorial Ground, just off Gloucester Road. Or just around the corner you'll find the county ground for Gloucestershire Cricket Club.

Bristol Rovers players at Memorial Stadium in North Bristol - credit JMP Photography
Image - Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium

About the author:
Angharad Paull is writes a family travel blog featuring all things Bristol and beyond over at thisbristolbrood.com.

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