The clocks have changed and sadly the nights are getting shorter (hello, darkness from 4pm- we’ve missed you!) but as tempting as it is to retreat inside from the cold and curl up under a blanket, there is plenty of things to do in Bristol this November. This month will see old and new events arrive in the city like the long-awaited Christmas markets and festivals to the latest outdoor activities such as fireworks displays and autumnal walks. So, it’s time to wrap up, explore the city and beyond, as well as tuck in to some comforting food and drink- it’s the only way to do November in Bristol. And to give you plenty of inspiration, check out our guide to the best things to do in Bristol to make for an unbelievably fab November.
1. Head to Birdcage Walk or St Paul’s Church for a beautiful light display
Light the Night, a unique event allowing people to remember their loved ones as part of a beautiful light display, will invite visitors to light one of hundreds of candles in two of Bristol’s most picturesque locations this November. On November 6, hundreds of candles will be lit at Birdcage Walk in Clifton, followed by the beautiful grounds of St. Paul’s Church in Southville on November 13 between 4-8pm. Everyone is invited to take a moment of contemplation and light a candle.
2. Sip on mulled wine in an igloo at Bristol’s Christmas Market
Nestled in the heart of Bristol ‘s city centre, this year’s Christmas market is heading to Broadmead from November 5 until December 23. The shopping area will become home to over 40 unique stalls where you’ll find an array of traders selling seasonal delights, crafts and unique items which are perfect for those hunting for that special Christmas gift. There will also be a wide range of delicious food available, from traditional Bratwurst to crepes, churros and plenty of sweet treats. Visitors can also enjoy heated seating and delicious drinks in the popular Jäger Barn Bar or book exclusive use of one of the private, cosy igloo pods – which are brand new to the market this year.
The breath-taking beauty of anime doesn’t just lie in the engaging storylines or unforgettable characters. In fact, you’ll find a crucial part of anime films and shows to be the soundtracks: music which helps to set the scene, convey tone, and power the story forwards. This autumn, Bristolians will get a chance to truly immerse themselves in the music of anime with a new concert – Candlelight: The Best of Anime, set to take place on November 9. You can find your tickets here.
4. Enjoy a staycation close to home at this new Bristol hotel
Known for their rustic and artistic flair across their hotels, luxury hospitality group Artist Residence is set to inject a dose of creativity to bring “an eccentric home from home” to Bristol. Located in a Georgian townhouse and old boot factory in St Paul’s, the hotel is finally opening its doors this November to guests. From beautiful arched windows to pitched ceilings, intricate Georgian cornicing to remnants of old graffiti, each individual bedroom at the hotel is unique and full of character.
5. Watch scary films in some of Bristol’s spookiest venues
Returning this year is the much-loved Bristol Film Festival with top titles screened in the most unique – and apt – spaces. If you’re feeling brave enough you can watch scary films in possibly some of the spookiest places in the city including Redcliffe Caves and Arnos Vale Cemetery, or Bristol Museum & Art Gallery if those spaces give you the creeps. Running until November 5, Bristol Film Festival will be screening dark and spooky favourites at multiple Bristol venues. Plus, from November 6 there are a number of screenings taking place at Bristol Aerospace and the Planetarium including a vintage screenings of Casablanca. To find out which Bristol venues are showing which films head here.
6. Witness a spectacular firework display this Bonfire Night
Bristol and the surrounding area are hosting a number of firework displays in green spaces and will see magical, glowing eruptions take to the sky. For Disney fans, head to Almondsbury to see your favourite characters and wicked fireworks, there’s Thornbury Roundtable fireworks where all proceeds going to charitable causes or why not venture to Weston-Super-Mare to see a fantastic display at The Grand Pier. Plus there are plnety of sports grounds hosting their own fireworks displays such as Chew Valley Rugby Club, Knowle Cricket Club and Lockleaze Sports Centre.
7. Celebrate the talents of local artists on this enchanting arts trail
Pay a visit to the rainbow of houses in Totterdown on November 20th and 21st and you’ll get a front row seat to the artistry of the area’s residents. Bristol’s longest running art trail is back this November after missing last year because of, well, we all know what. Since its inception in 2001, Totterdown Arts Trail has attracted flocks of art lovers to the colourful streets and provided artists with an opportunity to show and sell their work.
8. Discover a range of cheese and wine at this tasting event at Cave
Take a trip to Cave on Gloucester Road where you can sample a selection of European cheeses and wines at one of their tasting events taking place on November 9 and 23. Guests will get to taste six different wines along with six different cheeses, finding out how they compliment one another. Plus, Cave will also be celebrating this year’s release of Beaujolais Nouveau by pouring it by the glass all evening on November 18, as well as serving some delicious French cheese and charcuterie alongside the wine.
9. Listen to the leaves crunch as you wander through these local areas
In need of a change of scenery? Why not take a trip out and switch off from the world with a walk across a blanket of leaves? There are a ton of beautiful routes right on our doorsteps and you’ll be surprised where you can go to in less than an hour’s drive. Watch the leaves turn and fall across Somerset, whether it be in the woods near Weston-Super-Mare or from the top of Cheddar Gorge, it’ll definitely give you all the autumn feels and you’ll be glad to have got some fresh air. Check out the best autumn walks near Bristol here.
10. Support independent businesses at Bristol Local Christmas Market
Bristol Local Christmas Market is back from November 29 with some of our city’s best loved independent traders setting up shop in Broadmead. You’ll find an exciting and eclectic mix of local artists and makers, selling everything from gorgeous gifts and seasonal treats to the finest food and drink – all from 22 wooden chalets decked out in traditional festive style. The theme for this year’s market is ‘Made in Bristol’, so go and support the people that make this city great and grab yourself some unique and handmade gifts this festive season.
11. Tuck into a gorgeously gooey cheese toastie from this Bristol street food stall
Bristol is quite the food haven and blessed with plenty of spots to cure our hunger pains, but sometimes we crave good ol’ comfort food, especially during the colder months. Luckily, one street food stall in Bristol can rustle up quite the remedy in the form of cheese toasties. For Mice And Men, who pop-up at multiple markets across the city, can fulfil all your cheesy carb dreams with their oozy cheese toasties. Each of their toasties is served on toasted, organic sourdough bread, plus it features local cheese and butter handmade by For Mice And Men.
12. Take a weekend trip to Manchester to discover this twinkling winter island
We know it’s not quite the same as Bristol, but this winter wonderland might just be enough to convince you to leave the city and head north. Winter Island, presented by Escape to Freight Island at Manchester’s Depot Mayfield, is set to kick off from November 5 until the end of the year. The winter wonderland will have no shortage of festive entertainment to keep you busy over the next two months and best of all, it’s only a train ride away. There will be firework displays, delicious food and drink, a bottomless champagne brunch, Christmas tree forest, comedy nights, DJ sets, live karaoke and more.