You might be wondering what to do in Bristol during a lockdown, but fortunately, there are plenty of activities to fill the time. These include the independent music scene, city farms, breweries, and the Clifton Observatory. Whether in Bristol for the day or just passing through, these are all worthwhile options.
Bristol’s independent music scene
Bristol’s independent music scene has never been more alive than it is now. It has become a vital part of the local community and is thriving in a city where live music is an integral part of the culture. Independent venues have played a massive role in bringing communities together, supporting up-and-coming artists, and fostering underground culture.
Several independent venues have sprung up in the city center over the past few years, often packed with local talent. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. One local band that has recently gained popularity is Kontrast, which has been making music for several years. He spent years perfecting his craft in his self-built studio and has recently released his first EP with Bristol’s Lockdown.
Despite the lockdown, there was still a thriving independent music scene. Many artists from this scene have created artworks based on their experiences. Big Jeff is a familiar face around Bristol, having been to up to five gigs a week for the past 15 years. The six foot-four-inch man’s eager face is full of energy and is an excellent example of someone who has dedicated their life to supporting live music. Big Jeff has even received a shout-out from Flying Lotus and has appeared in a video by Augustines.
Louisiana is a legendary venue in Bristol, hosting bands such as The Scissor Sisters and the Chemical Brothers. A family-run venue, it’s known for its student and independent music scene. Louisiana opened after the fire at The Fleece in 1996. It was here that Placebo first played a stage. The Scissor Sisters became a household name in three appearances at the venue. Then, Muse took up a six-month residency at the venue, and the venue’s capacity was increased.
Bristol’s city farms
You’re not alone if you’re wondering what to do in Bristol during the lockdown. The city has many ways to pass the time, from walks through the town to indoor activities like games. But if you’re looking for something fun and unique, Bristol has plenty of options. There are several museums to visit, and if you don’t have time to explore them all, there are plenty of activities and events to participate in outside the city center.
Bristol’s Blaise Castle Estate has 650 acres of Grade II registered parkland. There is a cafe, which is only open to visitors so that you can enjoy a meal there. You can also visit the Westonbirt Arboretum, a fantastic tree garden. However, it would help if you pre-booked to attend the nursery. During the lockdown, it is advised that you avoid visiting the museum. However, you can check out its website for open exhibitions.
After the lockdown was lifted, Bristol police found the suspected perpetrator, who had been causing panic. The incident occurred in a busy area, and the police were forced to close schools and restrict access. The man has since been arrested and faces various charges, including second-degree breach of the peace, interfering with an officer, and first-degree threatening.
If you have time during the lockdown, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied. First, you can visit the Wapping Wharf, a cultural and historic district. Here, you can find independent shops, such as Plastic Wax, which stocks plenty of second-hand vinyl and CDs. And if you’re feeling a bit hungry, you can eat a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants in the city. Alternatively, you can also order your food delivered to your home.
If you want to get away from the city and enjoy some outdoor space, visit Clifton Observatory in Bristol. The observatory is a former snuff mill and a great place to enjoy the city’s natural beauty. The site includes a working camera obscura and an underground passage to Ghyston’s Cave. You can take in the city’s iconic bridge and the Avon Gorge. It’s also less than four miles from the city center.
The Clifton Observatory was built in 1766 and had an impressive history. The observatory is home to one of the last remaining camera obscures in the UK. It was initially used to grind corn and later for snuff. Still, it fell into disrepair for 52 years until local entrepreneur William West restored the observatory and installed a camera obscura. He also built a tunnel to the nearby St Vincent’s Cave, which is 90 feet below ground level. The Clifton Observatory is now Grade II* listed, and you can visit the museum and the observatory.
You can also visit Clifton Downs, a vast open space in the center of Clifton. Aside from a beautiful green space, you can also glimpse the Avon Gorge. And if you’re looking for something a little more romantic, a stroll through Clifton Village is a great option.
The Bristol Zoo was closed after its second national lockdown. Because of the lack of visitors in the spring and summer, the zoo lost a large amount of money. However, the Bristol Zoo Society is planning events leading up to its closure and encouraging people to share their memories of the site. When the zoo closes, the land will be converted into 200 homes and a public park.
New safety measures have been implemented at the zoo, including a timed ticketing system, one-way routes, and extra hand-washing facilities. These measures aim to create a staggered visitor entry time and help manage queues. There will also be a new Volunteer Navigator service that will be on-site to guide visitors through the zoo safely.
The zoo is also planning events to commemorate the closure. People can share memories of their visits and their time at the zoo. The 12-acre site will be turned into a public park, and the iconic “Monkey Temple” building will remain. The theatre on the main lawn will also stay in place and be used for cultural events. In the meantime, the zoo entrance will become a public cafe and exhibition space.
The Bristol Zoo has a long and illustrious history. It is one of the first places in Europe to give birth to a black rhino, and it was home to Alfred the gorilla, the oldest gorilla in captivity in the world. It is a conservation organization that aims to educate and support the general public.
Bristol’s historic cranes
Two benches in front of the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery were vandalized beyond repair and now stand as a stark reminder of the city’s industrial history. However, the four large electric cranes – the most extensive collection in the country – have been untouched by the recent lockdown. Built during the 1950s, these cranes represent a tangible link to the city’s industrial past. Before the Industrial Revolution, Bristolians relied on tidal rivers for the ebb and flow of the river. The sewage from the town was disposed of in underground channels.
Dave Sparrows was an apprentice on a Coles Centurion in the company’s early days. He then moved on to a sales representative job and became the youngest depot manager in Didcot. He also worked in London and Plymouth before joining the heavy crane division. He later moved to Manchester to become the general manager.
The Fairbairn Steam Crane was a dismal failure for most of its life. However, during WW2, it was used extensively at the Bristol Docks. It was used to unload the Landing Craft Flotilla Unit’s lorries and launch completed landing craft. The crane made over 2,000 lifts in three years. The Fairbairn Steam Crane was eventually restored to complete working order.
During the lockdown, a pub called the Steam Crane was closed, and the pub did not reopen until the summer. It is unknown why, but it’s possible that it was a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. The pub is located at 4-6 North St, Southville, Bristol BS3 1HT. For further information, visit the Steam Crane pub’s website.