Surprise, it’s me again. I’m currently in my third week of classes here in Bristol, and the studying experience here is drastically different compared to SUTD. I’m not going to make a list on this because it’s not sufficiently clickbait worthy, but I found that one of the most jarring difference is the assessment system here.
SUTD’s assessment systems for most modules generally include projects, weekly homework, a few tests, and finals. Here we have finals. That’s all. I’m still not sure how to feel about this system – it’s a bit of a relief to have a break from constantly desperately trying to fix and debug my projects, but having your entire grade depend on your performance in one assessment is pretty unnerving.
Okay, let’s get back to the main point of this post: the most beautiful spots in Bristol. These aren’t places that you’ll see on TripAdvisor or any travel site; these are simply some of my favorite places that I’ve stumbled across in the past few weeks.
1. Queen’s Building Library
A/N: I intended to insert a picture of the library here, but it’s so awkward to even attempt to take a photo in the library so here’s a picture from Google Images instead. It definitely doesn’t do justice to the coziness of the study spaces though. )-:
Queen’s Building is one of the engineering buildings on campus, so naturally, I’ve spent a fair amount of time wandering around the building trying to find labs and lecture halls. While the actual building is a terribly designed maze – I spent 20 minutes trying to find the exit last Tuesday – the library is undeniably warm and cozy. The studying spaces are surrounded by shelves of old engineering and computing books, and because Queen’s Building is situated on top of a hill, the windows overlook the rest of the campus. You might find it hard to believe this, but studying actually becomes somewhat enjoyable in a space like this.
2. Ashton Court Estate
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is iconic to Bristol’s skyline, but what really caught my eye was the park situated just after the bridge: Ashton Court Estate. We were immensely lucky, and got there on a day with blue skies. The rolling meadows and blue skies bore an uncanny resemblance to the Windows XP default wallpaper, arguably the most iconic wallpaper in the history of OSes. Here’s a photo for reference:
3. The Trap
I’ve been to this place 3 times, and I still get lost on the way there. The Trap is an underground bar near the city center – literally, not figuratively, underground. You have to enter through a sketchy side door in the upstairs pub and take the stairs down to the basement to get to The Trap. It’s so underground that there’s no reception in the bar itself – shocking, I know, but it’s possible to survive without internet reception for a couple of hours.
The Trap isn’t particularly fancy or elaborately decorated like many of the other pubs lining the streets of Bristol, and that’s what I love about it. It gives the place a grungy industrial vibe, but it’s still massively cozy – they even have a fireplace. So it’s not a conventionally beautiful pub, but it’s a place you go to just to chill out and have a drink with friends just like you’d do at home.
4. Christmas Steps
I know, fairy lights are so basic. But they’re undeniably very lovely, and make the cobblestone steps look like they’re straight out of a fairytale. I stumbled across this while finding my way back from the city center one day, and now I take this route every time I walk to the city just to take a moment to marvel at how beautiful this little alley is.
5. Clifton Village
This isn’t a specific location like the others, but I love the general Clifton area. The pastel-colored buildings, the Victorian architecture, Clifton Hill House itself – I didn’t expect this when I chose to stay in Clifton Hill House, but hey, I definitely got lucky here. Clifton Village actually does feel like a sleepy little village, and it’s so very quaint and charming. It’s only week 3, but I know I’ll miss this place to bits when I move back to the hubbub and bustle of Singapore.
So that’s all – my favorite spots in Bristol. There are a number of other beautiful places in Bristol such as Wills Memorial Building, Victoria Rooms, the SS Great Britain, and so on, but these are places you wouldn’t see on blogs and websites. They aren’t classically beautiful or iconic, but I suppose I found them beautiful not because of how they looked, but because of the way they made me feel.
Of course, there are a ton of places I still haven’t explored yet in Bristol, so I’ll update this list as I go along! I’ll also be touring other cities in the UK too – right now I have Bath, Glasgow, and London on my list – so watch this space for more clickbait headings and lists. (-: