The best ways to relax in Bristol

Christmas is just around the corner and many students across the UK may well be feeling the effects of an arduous academic campaign. As such, they will no doubt be looking forward to a well-earned break.

For those students who live in the Bristol area or decide to stay in the region during the festive period, there will be all sorts of activities awaiting you when term ends, and you will get a thoroughly deserved break from lectures and seminars. Despite the fact that Bristol has some of the most impressive restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars in the south west of England, three months of studying and socialising you could be looking to relax during your Christmas break instead of party all night. Indeed, all of our suggestions regarding the best ways to relax in Bristol apply all year round so you can refer back to this guide whenever you are looking for ways to enjoy the city whilst achieving some much-needed relaxation.

Bristol Aquarium


Bristol Aquarium has long been one of the city’s premier locations for a relaxing day out due to the fact that it is family friendly and provides a fascinating array of attractions for visitors. A ticket allows you unlimited free entry throughout the day and the aquarium receives fantastic reviews from its visitors. The aquarium is actually undergoing renovation work at present in order to upgrade its facilities and new attractions are promised after their Giant Pacific Octopus, Elsa sadly passed away during 2016. These creatures live for a maximum of four years and rarely survive long after breeding, but her babies will be fully grown in no time and will be available for all visitors to see during 2017. The Bristol Aquarium always has a fascinating selection of conservation and educational attractions available and their breeding programmes have made them one of the finest in the country. From their breeding programmes and husbandry research to the talks and tours they run every single day apart from Christmas. We are never too old for a trip to the local aquarium, making Bristol Aquarium one of our top picks for activities in Bristol this Christmas and throughout 2017.

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Google Reviews Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Spa Bristol


If being on your feet all day isn’t really your idea of relaxation, then perhaps a day of pampering at the ever so popular Spa Bristol is more your cup of tea. Nothing really says relaxation like being treated like a king or a queen for the day and the Spa at Cadbury House is perhaps the best way to do that in the city of Bristol. You can visit Spa Bristol for a session, a full day, or even a weekend of sumptuous luxury and will be the ideal way for you to unwind and get away from the rigours of university. The spa specialises in individual sessions or you could even take your friends with you for a diving group session of sensory relaxation which will make you feel simply fantastic. This is one of the more sophisticated activities in Bristol and due to the fact the Spa Bristol is at Cadbury House which is effectively a hotel, you can visit this venue all year round. The Spa Bristol is very exclusive so we would strongly recommend booking ahead if you are planning a visit.

Watershed Cinema

Our final choice when it comes to ways to relax in Bristol is undoubtedly the Watershed Cinema. A registered charity, this cinema is worlds away from your local Odeon or AMC as it specialises in cultural and educational movies and provides a very different experience indeed. The curators at the cinema are always laying on exhibitions, events and festivals which will satisfy even the most curious of minds making the Watershed the ideal attraction for academic visitors looking for a relaxing but intellectually stimulating activity in Bristol. The cinema was built in the 1970’s as an arts centre in the city’s King Square and has gone from strength to strength ever since. It has been regenerated over the years culminating in the incredible facility which exists today and has brought together some of the greatest minds who have put on some of the most diverse and fascinating activities in the city of Bristol.

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Google Reviews Rating: 4.5 out of 5

These are our top three picks for the most relaxing activities you can find in Bristol and we urge you to check them out either alone or with your friends when you get a well-earned break from University.