Heading eastwards in Bristol? We asked St George local Helen Applin for her top tips on what to see and do while you're visiting... 

Bristol City Centre seems to have it all: shopping, restaurants, bars. Then there’s the tourist meccas The SS Great Britain and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Venture out just a little however, and you’ll see that each of the Bristol neighbourhoods are establishing their own identity, making them an equal draw to visitors and Bristol residents alike.

I have lived in the St George area for just over five years and am biased when I say that I think this is a great area. But visit for yourself and you'll see the number of people walking up and down Church Road and popping into the independent shops and cafes, be it for food supplies for the week or for a quick coffee with friends. What ties any community together is their access to green spaces, and we’ve got a couple of corkers.

Troopers Hill

A registered local nature reserve, the hill was quarried for years and is recognisable by its crooked chimney that sits on top. If you want a true feeling of escapism Troopers Hill is a fantastic place to climb and look out across Bristol city and the River Avon. It’s also an excellent spot to watch the balloons flying over from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

A view of Troopers Hill park in East Bristol - credit Visit Bristol
Image: Troopers Hill, credit Visit Bristol

St George Park

A beautiful Victorian Park - this is the hub of BS5. With great investment and consultation with locals the park has a children’s playground, tennis courts, man-made lake, snack kiosk, plenty of mature trees for you to picnic next to and even a skate park. The park is especially beautiful in Autumn when the paths are lined with trees displaying all shades of red, yellow and gold.

The pond at St George Park in East Bristol
Image: St George Park 

Conham River Park

If follow the paths to the bottom of Troopers Hill and through a small housing complex you will find yourself on the River Path of Conham River Park. A beautiful and relaxing walk at any time of the year. There are public loos at the entrance to the park and also a coffee hut. If you fancy a longer walk you can follow the river along to some lovely pubs and even further on to Keynsham.

A view of the Beeses riverside pub on the banks of Conham River Park in East Bristol - credit Paul Box
Image - Conham River Park

After all that running around, climbing and playing you’re bound to be hungry, and it wouldn’t be Bristol if there wasn’t some great food in the area. Here are a couple of highlights.

The Lock Up

This stylish bar and restaurant opened on Church Road back in 2016 and has done a roaring trade since. A carefully selected range of wines and premium beers are paired with their inventive menu. The Lock Up is one to book in advance if you want to sit down to dinner, especially if it’s Sunday. If you’re just after a relaxing drink you can make yourself comfortable on their terrace, complete with blankets and outdoor heaters for those chillier nights.

Bristol Loaf

The Bristol Loaf is an artisan bakery operating across three sites in Redfield, Bedminster, and now Bristol Beacon. They are an independent company who handcraft delicious, certified organic breads as well as savouries, pastries and cakes using only the highest quality, organic ingredients sourced as locally and ethically as possible. A particular favourite of mine is the cinnamon bun! The adjoining café serves an outstanding brunch so that you can eat in or take away a picnic to enjoy in the park. 

Various cakes on a counter at The Bristol Loaf bakery in St George, East Bristol - credit The Bristol Loaf
Image: The Bristol Loaf

The Red Church

The Red Church serves contemporary Italian Pizza (both gluten free and vegan options are available) and an extensive range of drinks including local craft beers & ciders, cocktails, and a great wine list.
Their weekend DJs play vinyl on their Pinewood Studios sound system and they also host the occasional weekend party!

Native Vine Wine Bar & Bottle Shop

The wine bar and bottle shop is stocked with over 250 natural wines, ciders and craft beers. At the bar there is an ever-changing list of diverse and lesser known wines by the glass and well as a showcase of more unusual drinks. In the evening the cosy dining space hosts generous cheese and charcuterie plates along with a menu of seasonal small dishes, cheese and wine pairings and small bites all sourced from local producers. 

The Orchard Coffee Co.

Located a little further up Church Road (towards Kingswood and Hanham) is The Orchard Bakery & Coffee House. A great spot for a fab brunch including Freckled Hash which is a house made potato rosti with pan fried greens, poached egg, pink gochujang hollandaise and a choice of toppings. Located close to the Eastern entrance of St George’s Park this is a great spot to grab one of their outstanding cakes and coffees before visiting the park. 

Various cakes and mugs of hot drinks on a table at Orchard Coffee Co in St George, East Bristol - credit Orchard Coffee Co
Image: Orchard Coffee Co.

Being in the South West, we’re famous for our beers and ciders so it would be remiss of me not to include the two best pubs on Church Road. 

The Dark Horse

The Dark Horse has a rustic feel with a twist as it also has a roof top terrace, disco lounge and 35ft event space available for gigs and private hire. The fully stocked bar is backed with an extensive collection of traditional local farmhouse cider and a rotating line of local craft beer alongside some speciality gins. The pub is dog friendly (handy as it is located next St George’s Park!), has a great weekly pub quiz, roaring open fire in the winter, upright piano, free book exchange, displays local art, has baskets full of board games and cards and a secret dancefloor with huge glitter ball available to hire!

One of the pies on a plate at The Dark Horse pub in St George, East Bristol - credit The Dark Horse
Image: The Dark Horse

The Old Stillage

A proper community pub, graffiti on the outside as well as even more vibrant and inventive street art in the back garden. They offer a strong selection of local ales and beers, Sunday roasts and at the weekends you’ll have to squeeze in to catch one of the live bands or DJs playing in the evenings, but it’s certainly worth it.

Independent Shopping

In recent years alongside existing long-standing shops such as Southville Deli, Church Road has welcomed many new independent shops creating a great shopping hub for the area. Key shops to mention include Two Six Four, L’mour Living, Born In Bristol, The Small City Bookshop, Cherry Waves Vinyl and Preserve. 

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