Street art, street parties and street food - just a few reasons to visit this vibrant corner of South Bristol. We asked local resident Claire Greville to share some of her Southville favourites...

There is some debate amongst us locals as to where Southville ends and where Bedminster begins. So although I’ve tried to stick mostly to what is ‘officially’ Southville in this guide, there will inevitably be some overlap as the two areas are inextricably linked. 

North Street

North Street is at the heart of the community and it is this lively commercial road which officially separates Southville from Ashton to the south, and slowly changes to Bedminster as you walk further east. The road is closed to cars for different events throughout the year, including both winter and summer fairs.

In December, the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade takes place, which is a spectacular procession of around 1,500 people and thousands of illuminated lanterns, accompanied by brilliant music.

Over a weekend in February, the residential streets around North Street are decorated for Window Wanderland, a window-based walking trail which lights up the entire area. 

Window Wanderland Southville
Window Wanderland - Source: Claire Greville

Views

Some of the best views of Bristol’s famous coloured houses can be found at the top of Southville’s hilly streets. You can also spot some of the city centre’s tallest buildings from here, such as the Radisson Blu Hotel and Cabot Tower.

It’s a quick and easy walk from Southville to Wapping Wharf and the Harbourside across Gaol Ferry Bridge. But before you hop back over to the other side of the river, take your time exploring the quiet streets - we have our fair share of colourful terraces here too! 

Southville North Street
North St Fair - Source: Claire Greville

Street Art

As you walk around Southville and Bedminster, you’ll notice that we have a LOT of amazing street art and that’s mainly due to the fact that Upfest, Europe’s largest street art festival, takes place here every year.

Make sure you look up and down every side street you pass by, as you never know where you might spot a fantastic mural by a world-renowned artist. And if you want to take some art home with you, pop into the Upfest shop on North Street where you can buy prints of the best pieces, as well as art supplies if you’re feeling inspired! 

Upfest street art Jody
Upfest artwork by Jody - Source: Claire Greville

Tobacco Factory

The Tobacco Factory is the main hub of the area. Saved from demolition by ex-mayor George Ferguson, the building now houses a relaxed, family-friendly bar and café, as well as a fantastic theatre which hosts shows all year round (the Christmas shows are always particularly brilliant!)

It's also worth checking out the weekly Tobacco Factory Market every Sunday, outside in the courtyard and on Raleigh Rd. It has some of the best food stalls in the city and is great for a Sunday morning browse. 

Tobacco Factory Bristol
Tobacco Factory - Source: Claire Greville

Food and Drink

Youll be spoilt for choice with the many restaurants and bars on North Street.

As well as some of the best burgers in Bristol from Burger Joint and Oowee Diner, there are plenty more options to suit all tastes, including delicious Middle Eastern tapas at the Souk Kitchen, great pizza from Pizza Workshop, and traditional British food at The Malago

Check out The Hen & Chicken which hosts great comedy nights or The Spotted Cow’s sunny beer garden which has Upfest art on display. 

Bristol Beer Factory
The exterior of Bristol Beer Factory with street art by Cheo - Source: Claire Greville

Bristol Beer Factory 

We also have our very own brewery! Walk down North Street towards Ashton Gate in the morning and you will smell the hops of Bristol Beer Factory as you go past.

There is also a lovely friendly bar inside, so next time you’re passing, pop in and try a bottle of the very tasty Southville Hop. 

About the author
Claire Greville is a long-time BS3 resident, freelance social media specialist, and family blogger. She loves sharing the best of Bristol on her Instagram page thiscitymum, and on her blog www.thiscitymum.com.

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