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Bristol or Bath? This is why we think our city is so much better

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Despite being only 13 miles apart, Bristol and Bath are two very different cities.

You can love them both, but not in equal measure. One is vibrant and edgy while the other is arguably more peaceful and refined.

Bath’s Georgian buildings are stunning in a more traditional manner, but we don’t think they’re a patch on Bristol’s streets, covered with incredible murals and graffiti art.

READ MORE: How much salary first-time buyers in Bristol are spending on a mortgage

Sure, the Crescent is nice, but is it better than our world-famous landmark Clifton Suspension Bridge?

We might be (more than) a little biased, but there are a host of reasons we think our great city outshines its neighbour – here are just a few of them:

Nightlife



Bristol club Motion

There’s a reason people travel to Bristol from Bath for a night out. Without Nest, there is now mainly Moles, Zero Zero and Second Bridge representing the Bath clubbing scene, alongside newcomer Labyrinth, which replaced Po Na Na.

Meanwhile Bristol boasts one of the best music scenes in the country, whatever day of the week you want to rave on.

Whether it’s dance, electronic or pop music you’re into, you’re bound to have your tastes catered to at either Motion, Lakota, Turbo Island, Gravity, Thekla or Pryzm. Not to mention one of Bristol’s many bars, pubs and speakeasies.

History



Admittedly Bath was given a second UNESCO World Heritage status earlier this year, but Bristol is also a city steeped in history.

Its strong links with the sea, and its key role in the profitable (and shameful) trade of slavery and tobacco, inevitably lead to the city’s involvement with piracy. Bristol’s most famous pirate, Blackbeard, was allegedly born in the city, near the old harbour.

Walking along the ancient waterfront today, it’s easy to imagine the bustling port, the imposing tall ships and the cries of sailors preparing to head out to sea.

There is still the Matthew ship, which is a reconstruction of the one upon which John Cabot set sail from Bristol in 1497.

If that wasn’t enough, Bristol is also the birthplace of inventions including the first chocolate bar production line.

Famous faces



Actor Cary Grant at Clifton Suspension Bridge. Nov 25, 1987

Yes legends like Bill Bailey and Mary Berry hail from Bath but when it comes to producing actors, musicians, writers, singers and sportspeople, Bristol has it nailed.

Cary Grant, Russell Howard, David Prowse, JK Rowling and Maya Jama are just a few big names to have grown up in Bristol before hitting the big time.

Landmarks



Bristol Suspension Bridge, Clifton

The Royal Crescent is pretty stunning, we’ll admit, and the Roman Baths are alright too.

But Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge is the most iconic landmark in the South West, in our opinion, if not the whole of the UK. Not to mention the Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Cathedral, the Victoria Rooms and St Mary Redcliffe church.

Don’t forget Bristol’s harbourside, Temple Meads and the SS Great Britain. The list goes on…

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TV shows



Stephen Merchant filming The Offenders in Bristol

Producers across the world are choosing to shoot in Bristol, and it’s easy to see why.

In this year alone more than 20 productions have filmed in the city including Stephen Merchant’s The Offenders, Before We Die, Alex Rider, Extinction and The Last Bus.

Stumbling upon a film crew and famous actors is not unusual during a stroll around the city centre these days.

Yeah Bridgerton (filmed in Bath) is pretty good, but we’d argue Christopher Walken is better.

Street art




If you wander through the streets of Bristol you’ll struggle not to find a piece of vibrant graffiti art.

Elusive street artist Banksy is from Bristol and some of his work can be found dotted around the city.

Meanwhile Bristol’s annual urban street festival Upfest has seen artists bring Bristol’s walls to life with their incredible displays.

Most recently street artists Hazardone, Inkie, Zed in the Cloud & KOSC collaborated on a mural to remember legendary Bristol DJ Derek in Eastville.

Food



Some of the burgers on offer at Three Brothers
Some of the burgers on offer at Three Brothers

Bristol has a raft of takeaways, restaurants and delis serving cuisines from across the world.

Be it pizza, tapas, barbecue or Korean fried chicken, at chain restaurants or independent eateries, there’s something for everyone here.

Bristol is also dubbed the vegan capital of the world, and it’s easy to see why.

The options for non-meat eaters are plentiful. From burger joints like Oowee Vegan to plant based Chinese takeaways like Marlings, it’s an easy feat to give up meat in this city.

Shopping



Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol
Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol

With many shops for glassware, jewellery and antiques, perusing the shelves in Bath can make for a sophisticated day out, although Southgate offers some options for everyday shopping.

It’s not a touch on the choice we have in Bristol, though. From the Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser flagship stores at Cabot Circus to the quirky stalls at St Nick’s Market, or the gorgeous Clifton Village with its high-end shops and the glorious Arcade, or Gloucester Road – the longest road of independent shops in the UK – we’re spoilt.

Festivals




Although there is the annual Bath Festival, the festival calendar in Bristol is jam-packed in comparison to its neighbour’s.

It is home to one of the biggest festivals in the UK, Love Saves The Day, which is set to go ahead this year with a stellar lineup.

Dance fans can party at Tokyo World in September at Eastville Park, too.

Bristol also holds an annual Balloon Fiesta and Harbour festival, not to mention smaller events at Lloyds Amphitheatre and gigs throughout the year.

Theatre



Inside Bristol Old Vic
Inside Bristol Old Vic

We have to admit that the Theatre Royal Bath is nice enough. But we can claim to be home to the oldest continuously running theatre in the UK – Bristol Old Vic.

We also have The Bristol Hippodrome, often featuring West End hits and world premieres of high-profile shows.

Bristol also boasts Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – one of the most prestigious theatre schools in the country, where the likes of Gene Wilder, Daniel Day Lewis and Jeremy Irons honed their craft.

But even so… we love you really, Bath!



Roman Baths with Bath Abbey reflection in Bath, England

As much as we enjoy a bit of light-hearted rivalry with our neighbours, we have to admit there is a lot to love about Bath as well, as our colleagues over at BathLive will confirm.

Whenever we fancy a luxurious dip in the Thermae Spa pool, or a trip to a Primark slightly more civilised than ours, it’s just a short train ride away or a ride along the pretty cycle path.

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