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Upfest Bristol ©Giles Turnbull/Flickr
Upfest Bristol ©Giles Turnbull/Flickr

The Coolest Creative Spaces in Bristol, UK

Picture of Colette Earley
Updated: 11 April 2017

Bristol in the south west of England is a hub of creativity and art. Pretty much everywhere you look, the city is filled with art — so we’ve compiled a list of the most amazing creative spaces that Bristol has to offer.


Bristol is known for its street art, and Upfest is the street art festival of the year in the whole of the UK. Wander down North Street in Bedminster and you’ll see why. Every building is adorned with paintings by some of the world’s best graffiti artists. The actual event happens annually (dates vary) but the works of art are free to see all year round. Simply stroll down the street and let your eyes be amazed.

Want to own a little piece of the attraction? At the Upfest Gallery, also located on North Street, you can do just that. With works of art and prints available to purchase, you can display some of the best spray-paint art in your own home.

Upfest |©Burrough2011/Flickr

Upfest |©Burrough2011/Flickr


Spike Island

Located on the Floating Harbour, one of the prettiest areas in Bristol, you’ll find Spike Island — a gallery, café and artists’ work space. With regular exhibitions on display from various different forms of media, this is a brilliant space to be inspired.

Arnolfini Gallery

Arnolfini Gallery is a notorious art space in Bristol. Even the outside of the building is a prime spot for locals to sit in the summer months, enjoying the views of the harbourside. But indoors is where the space really comes to life. Comprising of multiple floors of exhibition space, this is where some of the best works of art are displayed in the city. There are also numerous events hosted here that members of the public can get involved in, from talks to workshops. On the ground floor, there is a bookshop selling everything from the great classics to cool, independent magazines and, if that weren’t enough, there’s even an adjoined café that has some of the best food the city has to offer.

Arnolfini | ©Daniel Thornton/Flickr

Arnolfini | ©Daniel Thornton/Flickr

The Cube

The Cube is an urban art and cinema space near the Stokes Croft area of the city. This not-for-profit venue epitomises what the city is all about: giving artists a space to create and display their work. Hosting everything from skateboard video premieres to short films, this space is a hub for creatives.

The Watershed

Located across the water from Arnolfini Gallery is the Watershed, a dedicated media centre with a café-bar, three cinema screens, and an events’ space. Since its opening in 1982, this cinema and art space has become increasingly popular and is the go-to place to catch an independent flick with friends before enjoying a craft beer. Offering plenty of creative opportunities, especially for the younger generation, this is a venue that gives back to the city in which it was born.

Watershed | ©David McKelvey/Flickr

Watershed | ©David McKelvey/Flickr

Bristol Folk House

Want to learn a new skill? Well, there’s plenty to choose from at the Folk House. With courses offered on everything from creative writing to calligraphy, film photography to herbology, you name it, they do it. There are also regular exhibitions and music events hosted here, making it one of the best and most creative exhibition spaces in the city.