Discover the vibrant and community-driven neighbourhoods of Totterdown and Windmill hill, two of Bristol’s most popular destinations for both residents and visitors. These areas have undergone significant gentrification in recent years, making them an exciting hub for local businesses.
While Totterdown is technically an inner suburb of Bristol, Windmill Hill is a council ward that includes parts of Bedminster and Totterdown itself. Totterdown’s Victorian terraced housing dominates the residential area, with a steep gradient rising from the riverbank. You can’t miss the bright colours adorning many of the houses visible from a distance.
The northern part of Totterdown boasts the title of England’s steepest residential road, with Vale Street providing an exciting challenge for even the most adventurous. This street was also home to the mural ‘Aachoo!’ by famous street artist Banksy, however, this has now been removed from the side of the semi-detached house.
Windmill Hill is sometimes referred to as being part of Bedminster and is a predominantly residential location. Since around the 1990s, the rented accommodation available here has been a popular location for students, artists and environmentalists, which has produced a very friendly and creative community.
Totterdown and Windmill Hill Location in Bristol
Located just south of the River Avon and near the heart of Bristol city, Totterdown and Windmill Hill offer convenient access to the rest of the city, as well as Temple Meads and Bedminster train stations. You can easily walk to the city centre from these neighbourhoods by crossing the River Avon at one of the many bridges/roads.
Bath Road runs along the northern edge of Totterdown, providing easy access to Bath and beyond. In Totterdown, Bath Road splits off into Wells Road (A37), which leads directly south towards Yeovil.
Windmill Hill primarily consists of small, charming residential streets, however, the larger St. John’s Lane runs along its southern end, connecting the neighbourhood to nearby areas.
The History of Totterdown and Windmill Hill
Totterdown and Windmill Hill have a rich history dating back over 150 years. The area was initially developed in the late 19th century to provide housing for workers in the local railway industry, and most of the original buildings reflect this Victorian heritage.
However, the 1970s saw many of these original buildings demolished in anticipation of a major junction that never came to fruition. Despite this setback, the neighbourhoods have remained popular and have continued to thrive.
In fact, Totterdown was even voted the ‘fifth hippest place to live in the UK’ by The Times newspaper in 2016. The area has seen an influx of students and artists over the last couple of decades, contributing to its diverse and vibrant community.
Shopping in Totterdown and Windmill Hill
While Windmill Hill is a primarily residential neighbourhood with limited shopping options, Totterdown offers a wealth of excellent shopping opportunities. From unique antique and odd finds to fresh produce and high-end furniture, there’s something for everyone.
Piglets Vintage on St.John’s Lane is a must-visit store for antique and oddity enthusiasts. With friendly staff and an ever-changing selection of interesting items, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
For fresh produce and health food options, head to Fox and West, a popular neighbourhood food shop. They also offer a range of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as craft beer, wine, coffee and cakes.
Floriography on Wells Road is an artisanal florist that offers beautiful bouquets of classic flowers at affordable prices. And if you’re looking for high-end, traditionally upholstered chairs or a bespoke re-upholstery service, Bristol Upholstery Collective has got you covered. They even offer courses for those interested in learning the art of upholstery.
In addition to these unique shops, the area also boasts a pet shop, a computer software shop, and a domestic appliance shop, as well as general convenience stores. The nearby Broadwalk Shopping Centre offers budget stores, food outlets, a pharmacy, and a children’s soft play facility, making it a great destination for families.
Totterdown and Windmill Hill Bars and Restaurants
Both Totterdown and Windmill Hill have a vibrant food and drink scene that’s worth checking out. Head to The Rising Sun on Windmill Hill for tasty pub grub, craft beer and entertainment or enjoy a drink in the garden during the warmer months. If you’re craving a Chinese, head over to Shang Hai, just a few streets down.
In Totterdown, The Shakespeare and The New Found Out are popular traditional pubs that each offer delicious food and drinks. The former has received rave reviews for its menu, while the latter is known for its great atmosphere. You’ve also got The Oxford, which is known for its live music and themed event nights. Check out BANK, an independent neighbourhood restaurant serving food that is cooked over a live wood fire, or head to The Star and Dove, a gastro pub known for its fab Sunday roast.
Other Totterdown and Windmill Hill Places of Interest
Right next to Totterdown and at the very heart of Windmill Hill is Victoria Park, which is a rolling Victorian-era neighbourhood park with city views, a children’s play areas, tennis courts, bowls and a café to relax at. The park is popular with families, dog walkers and joggers, and there is always a general sense of fun and friendliness around the place.
Come and see for yourself what makes Totterdown and Windmill Hill such special places to live and visit.