This content is funded by the Bristol City Centre BID, as part of the #BristolTogether campaign.

This summer, three of Bristol city centre’s best-loved green spaces have been turned into ‘parks with hearts’, as part of the #BristolTogether campaign to encourage people to safely enjoy the heart of the city.

An incredible 374 giant, white, socially distanced hearts have been painted across Queen Square, Castle Park and College Green, reaching over 61 million people and featuring in over 127 news channels across the globe.

They make the perfect place to reunite with friends and family for a socially-distanced picnic, takeaway lunch or coffee. And with more city centre businesses safely reopening, there’s plenty of delicious choices for food and drink nearby. 

Here’s our guide to each of the ‘parks with hearts’ and just some of the local businesses you can visit while you’re there. 

Queen Square 

Couple in socially-distanced heart, Queen Square Bristol

Image - Bristol City Centre BID

Lined with trees, historic buildings and cobbled streets, this picturesque Georgian square connects the Harbourside to the Old Cty. The central but peaceful location and its pretty surroundings have always made it a favourite picnic spot. Instead of packing one from home, you can now pick up an epic Queen Square picnic box from indie cafe Spicer and Cole. These boxes are stuffed full of savoury items like sausage rolls and veggie tarts, salads, brownies and crisps. 

Flat lay of Spicer and Cole Queen's Square picnic items

Image - Spicer and Cole

The Mud Dock Cycleworks and Cafe, just round the corner from Queen Square, should be on the radar of every cyclist. Cycle into town, drop your bike in for a service and relax in a heart over in the park until it’s sorted! They’re also one of the many businesses taking part in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, offering up to £10 off food and non-alcoholic drinks from Monday to Wednesday, making it the perfect place to have a relaxed lunch.

If you’re looking to grab a refreshing pint nearby, wander over to iconic King Street, where you’ll find an amazing selection of venues serving cask and keg beers, some even brewed on the street. 

College Green

Socially distanced hearts in front of Bristol Cathedral

Image - Bristol City Centre BID

Take a heart-shaped seat on the sweeping green lawns of College Green, surrounded by the seriously impressive Bristol Cathedral and City Hall buildings. The green lies at the foot of Park Street, where you’ll find all manner of takeaway treats to tuck into al fresco. 

Watching the world go by with an ice cream on College Green is a Bristol summer pastime, which we can go back to enjoying now both Swoon and Cowbee have reopened. Swoon’s gelato counter stars flavours like pistachio, chocolate brownie and amarena cherry cheesecake, plus sorbettis. Equally hard to resist are the waffles, milkshakes and ice creams up the road at Cowbee, made using local organic milk and honey from the owner’s own bees.

Ice cream counter at Cowbee

Image - Cowbee

For your savoury fix, Pizzarova’s handmade pizzas are a must-try, with their signature bases made using a 71-year-old sourdough starter. They’ve introduced pre-orders through their website, in case you want to plan ahead.

Castle Park

Find hearts by the harbour in Castle Park, which overlooks the water and backs on to Bristol Shopping Quarter. The park surrounds the ruins of St Peter’s Church, which was damaged in the Bristol Blitz and preserved as a war memorial. 

Aerial view of hearts in Bristol's Castle Park

Image - Bristol City Centre BID

Across the street is another historic building, St Nicholas Market, which has been trading since 1743. Today, it’s home to a famously diverse food offering - pick up takeaway dishes like pie and mashJapanese street food and Persian wraps. 

Glass Arcade in St Nicholas Market

Image - St Nicholas Market, credit Visit England

On Corn Street, Vietnamese street food chain Pho has the option to ‘get your pho to go’. Click and collect your favourite soups, curries, noodles and sides on the way to Castle Park, which is just a short walk away. They’re open every evening until 10pm as well as lunchtimes Friday to Sunday. 

Over at real ale pub The Birkett Tap on nearby Baldwin Street, you can tuck into food at half the price when you eat in, thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out discount. The offer is running Mondays to Wednesdays in August on their menu of pizzas, burgers and other classic pub mains. 

In partnership with Visit Bristol, Business West, Broadmead BID, the One City Economy Board and Bristol City Council. The project is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund through HM Government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Supported by:

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