Bristol’s a very walkable city, and Number Thirty Eight’s location on Clifton Downs makes it a great base for exploring on foot. The town centre, waterfront, Clifton Village and famed Clifton Suspension Bridge are all within strolling distance.
Fly in to Bristol Airport, 10 miles (or about 25 minutes) away, which has direct flights from a host of European destinations (such as Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Vienna and Zurich) and various spots around the UK (www.bristolairport.co.uk).
The Brunel-designed Bristol Temple Meads, four miles from the hotel, is the nearest railway station. It’s served by First Great Western trains from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham.
There’s metered parking in front of the hotel, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with a maximum three-hour time limit. The hotel have limited permits, which must be requested in advance of your stay; priority will be given to guests staying for more than one night. Free parking can be found on Stoke Road (a five-minute walk from the hotel) or Ladies Mile (a 10-minute walk from the hotel). To reach Number Thirty Eight, head to Bristol then follow signs for the zoo – the hotel's on the same street.
Worth getting out of bed for
Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge in 1831 – it’s still the posterboy of Bristolian icons more than 180 years later. Take a 700ft stroll across it over the Avon Gorge and into Somerset. Admire the city’s most gorgeous Georgian terrace, Royal York Crescent, at the end of Clifton Village; the village itself is a historic hillside neighbourhood full of upscale shopping and amazing Avon Gorge views. Explore the exhibitions, take in an independent film screening or enjoy a live dance or music performance at the Arnofolini, on Bristol’s waterfront. The centre also has one of the country’s best art bookshops. The Royal West of England Academy on Queen’s Road is full of art and design treasures, ranging from works by YBA stars like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst to drawing workshops and lectures on Banksy. Tour your way around Bristol by strolling from Banksy to Banksy; one of the most famous – and easy to find – works by the anonymous artist is the Banksy on Frogmore Street in the centre of town.
Tuck in to fresh seafood at chef Mitch Tonks’ restaurant The Spiny Lobster, on Whiteladies Road. The service is top class, the ingredients fresh and the clientele smart; it’s a short walk from Number Thirty Eight. Cowshed is a carnivore’s dream: the on-site butcher prepares juicy steaks and more at this laid-back restaurant on Whiteladies Road; the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to chat with fellow meat lovers. Have you ever enjoyed a delicious dinner while watching swimmers doing lengths in the underwater-lit pool below? Now’s your chance: Lido Restaurant, Spa & Pool, tucked away between attractive Georgian terraces, serves up some of the best dishes in Bristol, from breakfast to dinner – with afternoon tea and tapas in between. The Clifton Sausage on Portland Street serves up the best of British cuisine. Casamia is somewhat enigmatic – it's menu consists of a list of what's currently in season – but its' highly praised food is worth the leap of faith. Pasta Loco does wonderful iterations of everyone's favourite carb; it's petite and popular, so book ahead. And for tasty tapas plates on a boat before hitting the lively waterside bars, board Under the Stars.
Enjoy a local ale or glass of wine at the Kings Arms on Whiteladies Road, one of Bristol’s better pubs.