First published 27/03/20; Last updated 08/01/21

These are uncertain times for the tourism and hospitality industry. Attractions, museums, restaurants, hotels and many other businesses are closing for the second UK-wide lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  

Purchasing vouchers and gift cards to use at a later date or making a donation are ways to support the Bristol businesses you know and love, had planned to visit during this time or hope to visit in the future. Inspired by our friends at Visit Manchester, here are some of those with options to Pay It Forward.


Bristol Zoo Gardens 

Gift membership and vouchers are all valid for one year and can be purchased here. There’s also the option to donate to the Bristol Zoological Society. 

Wild Place Project 

As with the Zoo, you can purchase vouchers for gift membership and experiences, plus sponsor a plank in Bear Wood or even adopt one of its inhabitants. Vouchers are valid for up to one year from date of purchase. 

European brown bear at Bear Wood exhibit, Wild Place Project

Image - Wild Place Project

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Treat someone (or yourself) to the gift of discovery with a voucher for Brunel’s SS Great Britain, which includes a free visit on a date of their choice and free day return visits for a year from when their tickets are first used. You can also contribute to the conservation of this iconic ship by making a donation

We The Curious

You can buy a Gift membership for hands-on science centre We The Curious, which starts from the date you redeem the voucher.

Aerospace Bristol 

Help Aerospace Bristol, the museum charting the city’s illustrious aeronautical history, return to flight by donating the value of a visit

Kids in front of Concorde at Aerospace Bristol

Image - Aerospace Bristol

Bristol Aquarium

Tickets for the Aquarium are available from their online shop and are valid for 6 months from time of purchase, so you can buy now and visit later.


You can support this cross-artform venue by buying a gift voucher (valid for 12 months), making a donation or sponsoring a cinema seat and having your name, message or favourite quote become a permanent piece of Watershed. 

Bristol Museums

Show your support for Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, M Shed, The Georgian House Museum, Red Lodge Museum and Blaise Museum by donating to Bristol Museums Development Trust. Find Bristol-themed Christmas gifts in the online shop.  

The New Room, John Wesley’s Chapel

Visit the online shop, make a donation or ‘become a friend’ of The New Room and support the museum, dedicated to telling the stories of Bristol's heritage and the city's ties to Methodism.

Spike Island 

Make a one-off or monthly donation to help support Spike Island, which is a charity.  


Support the gallery by donating or shopping from their online bookshop, which has a renowned collection of arts and culture books and now offers a click and collect service.

The Royal Photographic Society  

Become an RPS member and join an active community of over 11,000 photographers worldwide. 

Smoke and Mirrors Boutique Pub & Magic Theatre

Learn magic with your children - live and online. Mark Bennett, a member of the Magic Circle and owner of Smoke and Mirrors, is offering a One-to-One Online Magic School for children and parents. The length of each session is 1 hour and all the props will be sent to you, prior to the lesson. The course is fully interactive and your sessions will be available to play back online. So you will be able to rewatch the lessons again and again.

Windmill Hill City Farm

You can still head to the farm for a lovely nature walk in their community gardens, which are open all week during the lockdown period. Whilst you're there, grab some delicious food-to-go at the café or even take some farm shop goodies home including fresh eggs, veg and meat. Alternatively, a click and collect service is available. 

The Matthew

Ahoy! Set sail on The Matthew with their gift vouchers, valid for two years, or simply donate to their fundraising page. All money raised goes directly to maintaining the ship so that people can continue to visit her and learn about her rich history, old and new.

Wookey Hole Caves

Explore these magnificent caverns with a gift voucher for one of their special events, or a day ticket to explore the attractions.

Royal West of England Academy

Gift vouchers for the RWA can be spent on exhibition entry, the gallery shop, friends memberships and artworks (view and purchase those from the 168 Annual Open Exhibition). They can also be spent on an Art Pass, which are another a great way to support the gallery. 

Theatre, music and live events 

Bristol Old Vic Theatre 

Donate to the theatre’s reopening fund and ‘keep a seat warm’ by paying for tickets they cannot currently sell. Alternatively, take a look at their gift vouchers & gift memberships. The perfect gift for the theatre-lovers in your life; covering a range of shows that cater to a range of different audiences and ages. It's a gift that fits all! 

You can also support the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School with a donation.  

View of Bristol Old Vic seating from the stage

Image - Bristol Old Vic, credit Philip Vile

Bristol Beacon  

You can support Bristol Beacon through the #SaveOurVenues campaign. 

Redgrave Theatre  

Buy a ticket for their 2021 season of comedy, theatre and talks or a gift voucher for Christmas. 

1532 Performing Arts Centre  

Book a ticket to one of this year’s shows, which include performances by comedians like Rhys James and Jen Brister.  


Buy a voucher for any of their future classes and shows or help fund their youth circus work with a donation

Tobacco Factory Theatres 

Visit their website to Become a Member and discover other ways to support them. 

Theatre Bristol  

Donate to Theatre Bristol so they can continue their vital sector support work at this challenging time. 

acta Community Theatre 

Donate to help acta Community Theatre keep running.  

Asian Arts Agency 

Make a donation to help them through these challenging times.

Travelling Light Theatre Company  

Support their fundraising campaign to give children a special storybook gift this Christmas. Or become a Travelling Light Friend to help them continue to provide creative opportunities for children and young people. 

Bristol Improv Theatre

Book a place for you and a friend on one of their Winter Online Workshops or sign up for one of their January courses.

Unique Voice

Donate £5 a month to help raise enough funds to provide 100 hours of free out of school creative provision for 100 of Bristol’s most disadvantaged young people. In return, you will be entered into a monthly draw where one lucky winner will win a prize!


The Bristol Hotel

Gift cards for The Bristol Hotel are valid for five years from date of purchase and can be put towards a stay at the hotel or a meal in its restaurant, The River Grille

Hilton Hotels

Purchase a Hilton gift card and it’s valid for 12 months at any of the following hotels: DoubleTree by Hilton (Bristol City Centre and Bristol North), Hampton by Hilton (Bristol Airport and Bristol City Centre), and Hilton Garden Inn Bristol

Double room at DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre

Image - DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre

Brooks Guesthouse

A Brooks gift voucher is valid for 12 months at their Bristol guesthouse, with special vouchers for romantic packages and Christmas visits also available. 

Food and drink

Order a takeaway

While we can't visit our favourite restaurants for a sit-down meal, many are still offering takeaway and delivery services. 

Bristol Food Union

There are several other ways to support the city's farms, food producers and restaurants, several of which have been rounded up on this website for the Bristol Food Union, including local food deliveries, donating to the Bristol Food Fund or buying a meal for a frontline worker in the NHS.

The Coconut Tree

The Sri Lanka restaurant is now offering gift vouchers. Choose from £25, £50 or £75 vouchers and they’ll be delivered immediately to your chosen inbox!


Elite Air

Balloon flight vouchers are available to buy online. Celebrate a birthday or anniversary with a 'balloon in a box' - a helium balloon delivered to the recipient with a flight voucher for them to book when it suits them and it is safe to fly again.

Bailey Balloons 

Any balloon flight vouchers purchased from Bailey Balloons will be valid for one year from when they restart flights. You can ‘buy now, pay later’ on their Gold Anytime voucher, where you pay £40 per person deposit now and the rest in March. They’re also offering balloon flight vouchers for the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (12-15 August).  

Bristol Balloons

Give yourself a balloon ride from Bristol Balloons to look forward to with a deposit voucher

Hot air balloons flying over Bristol

Image - Balloons over Bristol, credit Angharad Paull

Bristol Ferry Boats

Help keep not-for-profit, community-owned company Bristol Ferry Boats afloat by making a donation, becoming a member or buying a gift voucher

Bristol Packet Boat Trips 

Gift friends and family a voucher for a harbour tour or river cruise with Bristol Packet, the city's longest running boat trip company.  

Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre

A newly launched online shop provides a variety of gifts and memorabilia including vouchers for future hard hat tours into the vaults of the Leigh Woods abutment. Each Monday during lockdown, they'll be announcing an offer for the online shop over social media - so be sure to follow them! You can also donate to the upkeep of the bridge


If you’re looking for a fun, creative and truly Bristol experience, how about a graffiti workshop? Graft are selling workshop vouchers, giclée prints, graffiti starter kit boxes, greeting cards, original canvases and more on their online shop



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How to 'Pay It Forward' in Bristol: Vouchers, gift cards & donations