Bristol Shopping: A Complete Guide

Looking for a city that caters to all your shopping needs? Look no further than Bristol! With a variety of high street favourites, indie boutiques, restaurants, and independent cinemas, it’s no wonder that shoppers from all over flock to Bristol for its shopping scene.

Bristol’s shopping scene is known for its unique character and strong promotion of local venues, with retailers embracing a progressive and environmentally-conscious theme. Whether you’re looking for independent shops of familiar brands and retailers, Bristol has it all.

For those planning a shopping day in Bristol, here’s what you can expect:

  • High street favourites: Bristol boasts a wide range of high street stores, including popular brands such as Zara, H&M, Urban Outfitters, River Island and more.
  • Indie boutiques: In addition to high street shops, Bristol is home to many independent boutiques that offer a unique shopping experience. From vintage clothing stores such as Loot to artisanal gift shops, you’ll find something for everyone.
  • Restaurants: After a long day of shopping, take a break and grab a bite to eat at one of Bristol’s many fantastic restaurants. From trendy vegan eateries to cosy gastro pubs, there is something to suit every taste.
  • Independent cinemas: If you’re a film buff, you won’t want to miss out on Bristol’s independent cinemas. Catch the latest arthouse releases or cult classics at cinemas such as the Watershed or Cube Microplex.

If you’re thinking about heading to Bristol for a day of shopping, here’s a rundown of what you can expect.

Cabot Circus Shopping Centre

Are you ready to get your shop on? Start your Bristol shopping adventure at Cabot Circus, located in the heart of the Broadmead shopping area. Here you’ll find a mix of high-end and high-street brands, as well as numerous excellent retailers.

Cabot Circus Shopping Centre

Cabot Circus is home to some of the biggest names in high street fashion such as Zara, H&M, Fat Face, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, including classic shopping centres staples like Claire’s, Burton Menswear, and Foot Locker.

The architectural design of Cabot Circus is not to be missed. With its spacious and airy layout and high, mostly transparent roof, it feels almost like being outdoors. Don’t worry about where to put your car – there is ample paid parking within Cabot Circus. Alternatively, it’s only a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute bus ride from Bristol Temple Meads Train Station.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the food court for a wide variety of options to suit any craving. Choose from the likes of Five Guys, Nando’s, Zizzi’s, Yo! Sushi and many more. Don’t forget to give into your sweet tooth and grab something tasty from Krispy Kreme or Ben’s Cookies.

And if you manage to tire from shopping and eating, there is also an impressive 13-screen Showcase Cinema showing all of the latest movie releases.

Cribbs Causeway Shopping Centre

Known locally as ‘The Mall’, Cribbs Causeway is located in north Bristol, just off junction 17 of the M5 motorway and is another great shopping experience that brings together some of the best names in high street fashion, all under one roof. Check out John Lewis, Joules, Kurt Geiger, New Look and much more.

Cribbs Causeway Shopping Centre

However, Cribbs Causeway is more than just a mall – it’s a sprawling retail park that includes Oak Furniture Land, B&M, a 12-screen Vue Cinema, and even a bowling alley. It is also home to one of the biggest ASDAs in the UK. With 7,000 parking spaces available, you won’t have to worry about finding a spot, and numerous bus services can take you straight from where you are staying in the city.

Gloucester Road

Discover the vibrant scene of Bristol with a visit to the bustling Gloucester Road, the ultimate destination for independent niche shopping. As one of the most independent streets in Bristol and the entire country, Gloucester Road is a must-visit for those seeking unique shopping experiences.

Gloucester Road, Bristol

Gloucester Road offers an excellent array of independent and chain stores, making it a great place to explore for all your shopping needs. One of the area’s unique features is its blend of different shops, including a large number of independent retailers, which gives the whole area a bohemian vibe, making it one of the most interesting and fun shopping areas in Bristol.

It is also home to some of the best bars and restaurants Bristol has to offer. Such as Lona Grill House and Juice Bar, Dev’s Kerala, Hobgoblin, and Pizzarova.

Bristol Markets

Experience Bristol’s vibrant market scene with a visit to St. Nicholas Market (also known as St. Nicks), the city’s oldest and most famous market. Located within the Grade I listed Exchange, as well as parts of Corn Street, Wine Street, and Broad Street. St. Nicks is a hub of independent sellers offering crafts and local produce. The covered arcade creates a unique shopping atmosphere, perfect for a special shopping experience. St. Nicks also offers a range of food vendors selling everything from falafel and curry to barbeque meats and morish dumplings.

St. Nicholas Market

In addition to the main market which is open every day, St. Nicholas Market is home to many temporary markets, including a Farmers’  and Producers’ Market, which is held every two weeks, Bristol Indies Market (formerly the Nails Market), on Friday’s and Saturday’s and an extra dose of foodie goodness at the Street Food Market, every Tuesday and Friday. 

Bristol also boasts the Harbourside Market, where you can find a variety of vendors running along the waterfront at the weekends. Favourites include names such as Big Naths BBQ, Gurt Wings, Alp Mac and Momo Bar.

Other Notable Independent Shops

Bristol is the go-to place for a vibrant and unique shopping experience. With so many shopping districts to explore, there is something for everyone. One area not to be missed is Clifton Village, just a short 10-15 minute drive from the city centre. This upscale neighbourhood is home to a variety of independent shops, trendy boutiques, and buzzing bars and restaurants.

Clifton Arcade, Clifton Village, Bristol

While you’re in Clifton Village, be sure to check out the Hidden Art Gallery for some fabulous artwork by 20th and 21st-century artists. For antique jewellery, antiques, and silverware, Grey Harris and Co is a must. It’s one of the finest antique dealers in the West Country and has an impressive collection.

Another shopping district to add to your list is North Street in Southville. This is a haven for book lovers, with the Old Bookshop being a must-visit destination. Wine connoisseurs should head to Corks of North Street, the sister store to the original Corks of Cotham, for an impressive selection of fine wines.

North Street, Bristol

In addition to shopping, there are plenty of quality restaurants and bars to enjoy on North Street. One popular spot is Souk Kitchen, with its colourful Middle Eastern tapas-style menu. Or check out COR, the latest edition to North Street, bringing a touch of Mediterranean fine dining to the suburb.

Bristol does have everything you need when it comes to shopping. From large malls filled with popular high street names to independent markets full of trinkets and handmade goods, there is something for everyone. So, make sure to add Bristol to your list of must-visit shopping destinations.