Bristol’s Harbourside quite literally takes centre stage in summer, as the annual Harbour Festival comes around in July. It’s also the ideal setting to host your own summer parties, thanks to a range of one-of-a-kind venues located right by the water.

Here is a guide to some of the best, as well as Harbourside accommodation for when the fun has finished. 

M Shed

The M Shed is known for being the museum of all things Bristol, but it doubles up as an impressive event space. Their top floor room with access to a fabulous roof terrace is hard to beat as a summer party venue. Add some Pimms and a barbeque to the stunning views over the water and you’ve got the perfect summertime do sorted.


Watershed’s grade II listed building is a flexible space for events, with the bonus of wonderful views from its position on the Harbourside’s edge. With a mix of meeting and event rooms as well as state-of-the-art cinema screens, you can really get creative with your summer party plans here. Pimms and canapés will be offered on arrival too.

Watershed Bristol and Harbourside at night

Image credit: Watershed

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Tie in your summer party with a piece of Bristol’s maritime history. As well as a multitude of space to hire on and off the ship, there’s also the chance for event attendees to enjoy the full Brunel's SS Great Britain experience. They can even ‘Go Aloft’ and climb the ship’s rigging for the best views of the Harbourside.

Top deck of Brunel's SS Great Britain

Image credit: Brunel's SS Great Britain 


Invite your guests aboard the Glassboat Brasserie, a restored boat turned restaurant on the Floating Harbour. You can choose between hiring the more intimate private dining space on the lower deck or the whole restaurant for larger events.

Grain Barge

A regular host of live music and comedy events, the Grain Barge is ideally setup for a summer bash with both inside and outside space available. The team can line up one of their delicious buffet menus and your guests can make the most of the sun-trap top deck.

Bristol Packet Boat Trips

Complete the water-themed experience by booking a boat ride to your event with Bristol Packet. It’s an experience in itself and with a bar available, the party atmosphere starts on board.

Summer parties on board Bristol Packet boat trip

Image credit: The Bristol Packet / Paul Box 

Places to stay near the Harbourside

If you want to organise somewhere for guests to rest up at once the party is over, there’s just as much Harbourside choice when it comes to hotels:

Guest room interior at Marriot Royal Hotel

Image credit: Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel 

For a helping hand planning your Harbourside party this summer, submit an enquiry form and we will match you with the very best venues based on your ideas and requirements.


M Shed Summer Parties
Conferences & Weddings Conferences Category
M Shed, Bristol (c) PhotoDabek

Summer Parties at M Shed

Brunel's SS Great Britain Summer Parties
Conferences & Weddings Conferences Category
Brunel's SS Great Britain

Join Brunel’s SS Great Britain for your summer celebration.

Watershed Summer Parties
Conferences & Weddings Conferences Category

Watershed is the perfect venue to celebrate the summer season with your colleagues, teams and clients.

The Grain Barge
The Grain Barge

Friendly bar/restaurant on historic converted barge in a beautiful Harbourside location.

Glassboat Brasserie Venue Hire
Restaurants & Bars
Glassboat Brasserie Venue Hire

This iconic venue boasts two unique spaces for celebrations, meetings and private dining. Located in the very heart of Bristol, expect fantastic hospitality and a menu with a strong focus on fresh ingredients and hearty French cooking.

Bristol Packet Boat Trips
Boat Trip
Bristol Packet Boat Trips

Enjoy harbour tours and river trips with Bristol Packet Boat Trips with public timetabled trips and private hire available.