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Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Record Shops

Beat the online giants and pick up something at one of Bristol’s bustling record shops!

A Culture Vulture’s Guide to Coventry

With Coventry being the next City of Culture in 2021 we thought it was high time we rounded up some of the city’s cultural hot-spots.

Valhalla Indoor Axe Throwing: An Interview with Luke Ireland

Looking for an alternative to bowling for your birthday? How about giving a spot of axe throwing a go? We caught up with Luke from Valhalla Axe Throwing Range in Sheffield to “axe” him about where his “Viking” for the sport came from.

Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Green Spaces

Bristol’s eco-friendly credentials are well-documented, but the city is also green in the more-traditional sense, with plenty of open public spaces in which to relax and enjoy the unusually-glorious weather. Check out our list and don’t forget sun cream!

Top 5: Independent Bookshops in Bath

Countless authors have flocked to this Somerset city in order to seek inspiration and pen some of the world’s most beloved books. It’s therefore unsurprising that Bath has a wealth of fantastic independent bookshops.

A Day at the Races: Royal Windsor Racecourse

We headed to Royal Windsor Racecourse on their Irish night to see if a day at the races is all it’s (whip)cracked up to be.

Spark:York's Shipping Container Shopping Experience

Embrace (new)York with this shipping container shopping experience at Spark:York!

Bristol's Hidden Gems: Antiques

Bristol has a well-established line in antique furniture and furnishings, and there are plenty of stunning places to sniff out a bargain.

Spotlight On: Kielder Observatory

Get starry eyed at Northumberland's Kielder Observatory!

A Guide to Vintage Shopping in York

After a bargain? Something quirky to impress your pals? York is where you'll want to be for some of the best vintage shops around.

Nottingham on a Budget

The best (and cheapest!) way to see all that the historic city of Nottingham has to offer.

Top 5 Places to Eat with a View in Devon

You deserve good food in front of you and a good view beyond it.

24 Hours in the New Forest

The best places to explore in The New Forest, from walks to breweries!

A Guide to Outdoor Cinemas

The best outdoor spots to watch films, whether it's under the stars, lounging in the sun or floating in a pool...

Top 5 Escape Rooms

You've got one hour to escape, and only your team mates and your intuition to help you. Ready, set... escape.

Bristol's Hidden Gems: Feasts of Meat

Where to go to get your meat fix in the beautiful city of Bristol...

Top 5 Independent Cafes in York

Whether you're catching up with a pal or relaxing with a book, here's our selection of the best spots to unwind some of that sweet sweet caffeine.

A Weekend on the Isle of Wight

Our tips of what to do and what to see during a weekend on the sunny Isle of Wight.

Top 5 Mindfulness Retreats in the UK

The best places to get away from it all and get back in touch with your thoughts.

Top 5 Places to get Vegan Food in Leeds

There are more vegans in Britain than ever before, so we've chosen our favourite places in Leeds to get some vegan munch!

Belfast On A Budget

The best way to spend a day in beautiful Belfast but without breaking the bank.

Edinburgh: A City of Literature

For the book worms amongst you, here's the best places to go in Edinburgh to soak up the city's literary history.

Top 5 Historical Buildings in York

Explore the rich history of York's architecture!

Top 5 BYOB Restaurants in Edinburgh

For when you don't want to break the bank, but still want to treat yourself, why not bring your own booze?

An Alternative Guide to Valentine's Day 2018

If the thought of Valentine's Day fills you with dread, here are some alternative ways to spend the day of romance.

Top 5 Bars and Pubs in Margate

The best places to kick back with a drink after a stroll along the beautiful Margate coast? Yes please.

Brighton on a Budget

Just because payday seems years away, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the sights and sunshine of the seaside.

Top 5 Comedy Venues in the UK

Our pick of the best places to get your giggle on, any night of the week, wherever you are.

Bristol's Hidden Gems: Second Hand and Charity Shops

We love a good second hand bargain, and we're a firm believer in the power of the vintage shop - these are our favourites in Bristol.

Inside Dog and Scone - Newcastle's First Dog Café

You've heard of cat cafe's, now try Newcastle's very first dog cafe - the perfect opportunity to cuddle over a coffee.

Half-Term Activities in the West Midlands

Let's make this half-term a fun one.

Top 5 Music Cafes and Bars in England

Check out some of these music venues with a twist.

Best Kept Secrets

With its history of alternative culture and a very creative student population, few British cities have as many hidden nooks to explore as Bristol. Whole neighbourhoods are crammed with tiny doors and crooked alleys, and there’s always a delicious meal or a funky music spot waiting where you least expect it. Join us on a trip through Bristol’s best secrets, some so closely-guarded that they’ll be news even to locals.
First, some of our favourite secrets spaces. Many will arrive in Bristol at Temple Meads station, but before you take the normal route towards the town centre, try heading out the back door – that’s where you’ll find The Goods Yard, a venue made of shipping containers. This pop-up venue is used for all different events and parties throughout the year, and sits next to our firm favourite bar and restaurant Yurt Lush, which offers fine delicacies from the comfort of three Mongolian yurts. If you feel up to some shopping after you’ve had your fill, a cornucopia of quirky objects await at Clifton Arcade, where 17 eclectic shops are set in a splendid Victorian shopping centre. There you’ll find everything from vintage clothes to kitsch décor to luxury soap.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out the amazing street art at Dean Lane Skatepark – this is the home of Banksy, after all! If you’d like to learn more about the world’s most famous street artist, check out the tours via Visit Bristol. Banksy’s anonymity and style earn him some street cred, but you can’t get more underground than Redcliffe Caves. This is the eerie network of caves under Bristol that host regular events from horror movie screenings to plays and raves. Wrap up warm and go check them out, if you dare.
When you’re hungry, you could check out The Ox, a subterranean cocktails and steak joint where your meat is locally sourced and grilled over a charcoal flame. But not all the city’s foodie secrets are tucked away – check out staple cafes Maximillions or Café Amore to find quality, well-priced grub with friendly staff and an utter lack of pretension.
Bristol wouldn’t be one of the country’s coolest cities without plenty of trendy watering holes, and you’re genuinely spoiled for choice in this department. If you’re feeling upmarket, try Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a cocktail bar marked out only by a single white flag. Inside you’ll find creative cocktails and sleek Bond-style décor. You could also give The Horts pub a try. Unknown to most, they recently installed a 26-seat cinema at the back of the bar, and often show films for free. For a truly secret experience, there’s Haus bar, a speakeasy tucked underneath an Indian restaurant at the top of Black Boy Hill. Their mojitos can’t be beat.
It’s amazing how some of these spots have remained hidden gems for so long. Take 20th Century Flicks, surely one of the only video stores to have survived the digital revolution. They’ve just moved to a larger venue off Christmas Steps, and will be happy to furnish you with their unbeatable cinematic knowledge. You can even hire out their amazing private cinema which is decorated like Twin Peaks’ notorious Red Room. And if your idea of the perfect afternoon, whiled away in secrecy, is buried in an enormous pile of old books, there’s nowhere for you but Beware of the Leopard Books. This central institution has everything you could ever read (and lots besides that you probably couldn’t), and yet still doesn’t flash up on the average Bristolian’s radar. Maybe that’s about to change – these spots can’t stay secret forever! 

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