Montpelier Bristol

Montpelier, Bristol UK is a trendy area just north of Bristol’s city centre that boasts a bohemian vibe. In February 2018, TravelSupermarket named Montpelier as the hippest area in the UK

The area offers a distinct atmosphere with its beautiful terraced houses, painted in pastel colours, and has become a popular choice for people seeking residential accommodation in Bristol.

Montpelier enjoys easy access to the city centre by bus, bike or car, and has its own railway station on Cromwell Road, making commuting outside of the city easy. The M32 and the A38 are also within easy reach, making it easy to get in and out of the city.

The History of Montpelier

Why Montpelier has this name is a mystery. It suggests a connection with the city of Montpellier in Southern France, but there is no known connection between the two places.

The history of Montpelier dates back to the 18th century when people used to travel from Bristol to bathe in the ponds of Montpelier. Thomas Rennison seized the opportunity and established Rennison’s Grand Pleasure Baths, consisting of baths, tea gardens, and a tavern called the Old England. This site became a popular destination where people went to escape for a while, and the unique vibe has remained until this day. 

The area was also historically important during the English Civil War. There used to be an old farmhouse on Ashley Hill that was used as the local headquarters of General Fairfax and General Cromwell during the war. They based themselves here before leading an assault on Bristol, which was at that time held by Royalists, in 1645.

Shopping in Montpelier

Shopping in Montpelier is a delightful experience, with a few excellent shops situated on Picton Street. Radford Mill Farm Shop has been operating for decades and specialises in whole foods and organic vegetables. C & T Licata & Son, an Italian deli, has also been around for many years and is a great place to purchase quality food and wine. For larger shops, central Bristol is just minutes away.

And then of course there’s Stokes Croft and Cheltenham road on the western border of Montpellier with their countless independent shops and cafes.

Montpelier Bars and Restaurants

Montpelier has numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants to choose from, most of which are independently run. The Bristolian Café is one of the most well-known cafes in the area, while the Old England is one of the most popular pubs. Café Kino, a vegan cafe, sells a range of delicious local and organic food, tea, coffee, local beers, ciders, and wines. The Playground is a popular artisanal bakery, coffee shop, and cocktail bar where you can enjoy craft beer and play board games.

Montpelier has plenty of other places to visit, including Oowee Diner, Rice and Things, and The Cadbury pub, which has a great little beer garden.

Other Montpelier Attractions and Places of Interest

Montpelier has loads to see, one of the first being The Silent Hobo mural at Montpelier Station which is one of the most well-known murals in Bristol. On one of the buildings on Ashley Road, you will see a plaque with the inscription stating that the actor Sir Henry Irving used to live there. He was apparently who Bram Stoker based the character Draculas on.

Montpelier Park is a pleasant green space, featuring the Rainbow Wall, where the bricks are painted in different colours.

The Charley Box is an interesting feature of Montpelier. Bristol did not have its own police force until 1836, and before this, a nightwatchman – a Charley – was employed. He had the power to arrest troublemakers and keep them in the Charley Box, and the box is still on Picton Street. You can see two cells inside, and one still has a manacle attached to the wall.