The Ultimate Bristol Suburb Guide: Redland
Stretching between Clifton village and the vibrant bustle of Gloucester Road, Redland is one of the most sought after suburbs in North Bristol.
To the west, Redland is bordered by Whiteladies Road, which is lined with cafés, restaurants, and shops, and runs from the edge of the Clifton Triangle all the way up to the vast expanse of grassland at Durdham Down. This provides a route out of Redland towards Avonmouth and the M5, and a quick connection to the city centre.
To the south, Redland runs into neighbouring Cotham, with the distinction marked by the Severn Beach Railway Line, which provides a five minute link to Temple Meads from Redland Railway Station, with trains leaving every 40 minutes. This complements a network of bus routes and cycle paths that keep the suburb quickly accessible from most other Bristol neighbourhoods.
This accessibility, along with close proximity to the University of Bristol, makes the broad leafy avenues of Redland popular with students, families and working professionals.
Drinking and Dining
Alongside shops and cafés, Whiteladies Road is home to a range of independent restaurants, classy bars, and historic pubs, creating a steady hum of activity from early morning to late evening.
Serving some of best steak in Bristol, The Cowshed occupies a patch of prime real estate halfway up Whiteladies Road, just next to the newly converted Everyman Cinema, with locally sourced products with meat served from neighbouring bespoke butcher Ruby & White. A more recent arrival, the Ox is lauded amongst lovers of steak and can be found just a short walk up Whiteladies Road from the Cowshed.
Further down the road, creative burger enthusiasts can build their own dinner at The Burger Joint, mixing meat options of lamb, beef, venison, wild boar, or kangaroo with toppings like chilli con carne, or black pudding, and adventurous sauces like peanut butter or horseradish.
Vegans and vegetarians are also accommodated. Koocha, one of the most recent additions to Whiteladies Road, offers plant-powered Persian cuisine packed with flavour. Here you can feast on veggie fritters and falafels, share smaller dishes with friends tapas-style, or take on one of the monster all-vegan kebabs. For fans of Middle Eastern cuisine, Falafel King on Cotham Hill is another great option, offering hummus, haloumi, and sweet peppermint tea in a Moroccan ambience.
At the upper end of the culinary spectrum, Redland is also home to several Michelin-starred eateries — Wilks, which offers upmarket European cuisine in elegant surrounds on Chandos Road, No Man’s Grace, which focuses on premium desserts, and the unassuming Bulrush, which serves modern British food in Cotham.
For those wanting to enjoy the evening on Whiteladies road, there are many establishments to choose from, including traditional real ale pub The Penny, and the pre-war Berlin themed Hausbar, which makes an atmospheric spot for a date.
Families and dog owners, on the other hand, will find a warm welcome at The Cambridge Arms, which has a beer garden tucked away in the heart of residential Redland that is perfect for whiling away summer’s afternoons.
Georgian and Victorian Townscape
Wide spacious avenues, with well-looked-after gardens next to Victorian terraces and Georgian townhouses, Redland’s architecture has a distinctly affluent feel.
The further you get towards Cotham, the grander the houses get, and many have been granted listed status to preserve their historic appeal.
Unsurprisingly, many of the larger villas have been converted into flats, which today sell for an average price of £350,563. Those that remain as large family homes, command prices of around £1,000,000.
Alongside the grand homes, Redland has several standout buildings and structures which lend character to the whole suburb, and form landmark features for navigation.
On the Eastern edge, marking the separation of Gloucester Road from Montpelier, Cotham and Stokes Croft, are The Arches, which suspend the Severn Beach Railway Line above the Gloucester Road. Though not architecturally significant, this cultural landmark is a useful meeting place and point of orientation within the city.
More traditionally, there are several fabulous examples of Georgian architecture in Redland, including the imposing Redland Chapel, and Redland High School.
Parks, Gardens, and Pleasure Grounds
Marking the Northwestern edge of Redland, Durdham down provides a dramatic entrance to the suburb. This expanse of open grassland, once used for purposes as diverse as horse racing, wrestling, and cockfighting, is now mostly used for football matches (played by the local Bristol Downs Football League), kite flying, dog-walking, and the occasional sheep farming as the university exercises its ancient grazing rights by sending sheep out on to the downs.
Since 1861, when the Clifton and Durdham Downs act was passed, the Downs has been an open place of recreation for Cliftonites and Redlanders. But Redland is also home to numerous other historic green spaces, parks and gardens that also have associated communities and clubs.
Cotham Gardens, a small Victorian park just south of Redland railway station, is popular with dog walkers and children using the local play area, and is also home to various sporting associations, including Cotham Park Tennis Club.
Redland Green, which represents a small portion of the once expansive grounds of Redland Manor, is popular with both locals, and wildlife. Grassland, scrub, and managed woodland provide varied habitats, and manicured lawns provide facilities for local clubs like
Redland Green Bowling Club, Redland Green Club for Racquet Sports, and communities like that formed by the local gardeners with patches on the allotments at Redland Green.
Keen gardeners might also be interested in visiting the local five acre Botanic Garden at the University of Bristol, which includes Amazonian and South Africa-themed glass houses, an Aztec chocolate tree, and the biggest collection of Sacred Lotus in Britain. During the summer months, the Botanic Garden is opened up to visitors through a number of events, including jazz concerts and art exhibitions.