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    Gloucester Road

    Bristol BS7 8

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    • Photo of Rachel W.
      Rachel W.
      16 May 2010

      Gloucester Road is my favourite street in Bristol, particularly because I include Stokes Croft and Cheltenham Road in with it as well - one road leads into the next, so I figure what the hell. Reputed to be the home of the longest stretch of independent shops in Europe, this two mile plus road offers an awful lot to so very many. It's cosmopolitan and it's cool, riddled with graffiti and just a little bit decadent. It harbours the vast majority of Bristol's most creatively active individuals and groups.
      It's not as grand as some of the more famous shopping streets in Bristol, but what it lacks in notoriety it makes up for in liveliness and heart. This is where the passionate people and free-thinkers like to hang out.

      There's plenty of cafes to visit during the day and some great pubs and music venues to frequent at night. The quality of what is on offer is usually pretty high. I'd trade ten Whiteladies Roads for one Gloucester Road, and if they attempt to gentrify Stokes Croft, I might just have to leave town.

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    • Photo of Maddie Y.
      Maddie Y.
      29 May 2010

      This very long, wiggly, busy street in North Bristol is one of the most interesting and most useful shopping districts in the city. If you're visiting Bristol and wondering where the best shops are, it's worth setting aside a day or afternoon to tackle this whole street, because it's a seemingly endless stretch of great clothes shops, cafes, charity shops, bars, organic foodshops, and everything else in between. Of course, if you're lucky enough to be a local, you'll gradually use each and every shop along Gloucester Road just by virtue of having it on your doorstep.

      That's what I mean by it being a useful shopping district: it's not just market-style shopping that you can do here; it's also "ordinary" high street shopping, because there's a Post Office, a Boots, a Somerfield, a Tesco, and several pound shops. It's not stuck up, Gloucester Road, and manages to accommodate the more arty, vintage and organic shops as well as providing the basics.

      Shop highlights for me from Gloucester Road are The Breadstore (and you can probably guess what they sell there), the large second hand bookshop Books For Amnesty, Shanti Fabrics, which sells all sorts of lovely ethnic throws and cushion covers, and Scoopaway, where you can happily lose an hour just deciding which of the lovely dried fruits, seeds and nuts you want to scoop up and take home.

      As for somewhere to relax, drink or eat, you have umpteen options on this road. My recommendations are, for Spanish roadside bar-style refreshments, Cafe Delight, and for upmarket stylish gastro-pub fare, Robin Hood's Retreat. Good for drinking: the Price of Wales pub.

      One niggle about Gloucester Road: trying to get across it is infuriating, and quite dangerous, as there just aren't enough pedestrian crossings and the road is wiggly so cars tend to fly around corners just as you start crossing. Best avoid crossing altogether by going all the way up one side of the road seeing all the shops there, then going all the way back down the other!

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    • Photo of Rowena R.
      Rowena R.
      8 May 2010
      First to Review

      I love Gloucester Road.

      It was one of the first streets I really discovered when I moved to Bristol, I have been told that Gloucester Road has one of the largest numbers of independent shops on one street in the UK. Now, I'm not sure how reliable that is, but I can partly believe it purely because it's so long! Starting at The Archers and going well beyond Bristol Rovers football ground there are certainly a lot of shops, and the large majority of them are independent ones.

      I can't recommend Gloucester Road enough, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner and everything in between. The vibe is very different from Park Street or Clifton, a little bit of rough charm seeps into you here. There are plenty of nice pubs and bars too, too many to really recommend one or two above the rest.

      If you haven't explored here - go! now!

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    • Photo of Laura W.
      Laura W.
      28 May 2010

      The most common advice for younger folk moving to Bristol for the first time, about where to live, will undoubtedly include the words "Whiteladies Road". It is the obvious choice if you want a vibrant area full or shops, bars and restaurants with easy links to town and decent green spaces. However, having spent my first couple of years living there I can categorically say that Gloucester Road trumps it tenfold. Gloucester Road's pubs are much less 'booze Britain' and more of a laid back affair. You won't have to step over piles of chunder to get into the bars here. And you won't find any big chain restaurants here but a whole host of enticing world food places. There are so many independent shops it makes you wonder why you ever need to go to a shopping centre again. Gloucester Road is an amazing place for people spotting. Where Whiteladies Road will merely throw up a load of Pixie Lott wannabes, Gloucester Road is home to the coolest and most interesting styles I've seen in this fair city.

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