Bristol has its drinking hot spots, King Street, Gloucester Road, Cotham but, for the traveler that fancies hunting out a drinking hole that's a little bit different and off the well worn path, you should try one of our top picks. 

The Miner's Arms (St Werburghs)

Found in The Good Beer Guide and rightly so, The Miner's Arms holds a solid place in our warm hearts. Discover it deep in the centre of St Werberghs, out towards the Ashley Vale Allotments. It's one of the few pubs in Bristol that transports you beyond the city to the nostalgic, rural public house. It's a great space, made up of several large rooms with huge tables, ideal for no-fuss family gatherings or afternoon pints with friends. The bar has all the traditional ales, a great Guinness, and a range of West Country brews from Dawkins. Chilled hip-hop and reggae are the perfect backing track to conversation - the lack of signal prevents anyone fiddling on their phones. Have a go on the Street Fighter 2 arcade game, which has probably held residence here for decades. There's also a free-to-use pool table, and extra-long benches to gather across. Come winter, the cracking smoking area out back will keep you hemmed in safely from the cold between four wooden walls. Roll on summer, and the mound out front is filled with people basking in sunshine sipping on cold pints.

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The Bell (Stokes Croft)

Stokes Croft has a mixed reputation, some deserved and some not so much. Through the turmoil and changes, The Bell has stood sturdy, providing an oasis of familiarity in a rapidly changing area. The garden gets packed out quickly so we suggest getting there early to grab a table or a wall to lean on. Inside it hasn’t changed much over the years, with traditional pub furniture and decor mingling with a set of decks in the corner, street art on the walls and a healthy mix of patrons, old, young and a bit bizarre. Pop in for a quiet afternoon beer, a plate of traditional Sunday roast or enjoy a guest DJ set on a Saturday night.

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The Golden Guinea (Redcliffe)

As self proclaimed "Bristol's best back street boozer", The Golden Guinea has to be at the top of your list to visit if hidden gems is your thing. Sitting in the shadow of the old General Hospital, the new fine dining hot spot, The Golden Guinea offers good beer, a good garden and a friendly atmosphere. After a major and much needed refurb in 2010, The Guinea offers a mix of old fashioned pub and modern bar, with their very own graffiti by Cheo in the function room garden. You can also catch regular DJ slots, spinning into the weekend or taking it down a notch for their once monthly Sunday chill out sessions. If you're very lucky you might stumble on the odd sea shanty group having a sing along in the main bar, if you don't know the words just jump in with the odd "ooh arr".

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The Orchard Inn (Wapping Wharf)

Wapping Wharf is one of the biggest food and drink destination developments to happen to the harbour in recent years, but before the crates, there was The Orchard. In a building that has been serving cider for over 150 years (until the 80's the pub was called The White Horse) The Orchard has a lot of experience when it comes to serving some of the best ciders and perrys, winning CAMRAS Best South West Cider Pub in 2016. The pub has kept its traditional, Victorian style and offers no nonsense food, such as ham sandwiches and pasties, and drink to thirsty travellers who perhaps want to avoid the bustle of the new development a stones throw away.

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The Duke of York (St Werburghs)

Managing to remain hidden amongst the back roads of St Werburgh's, despite being the most highly decorated building in the area, The Duke of York is a magnet for the creatives and artists in the area. Sporting two bars, outdoor seating, a skittle alley and a cosy atmosphere, it's easy to see why St Werbians want to keep this colourful gem a secret. With a busy Facebook page in lieu of a website, The Duke of York are community orientated and passionate about balancing keeping the neighbours happy with running a popular pub. Serving local ales and ciders it's worth a trip across St Werburghs for a visit.

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The Three Tuns (Brandon)

You’d be excused if you didn’t think there was anywhere worth stopping at when you head down Deanery Road. Leading just off College Green, past the Cathedral, the college, the tired Newsagents, you will trip over the A Board if you don’t have your wits about you. The Tuns has wide range of beers and ciders either on tap, bottle or box and a back bar stocked with some surprisingly good spirits. The garden is covered, heated and connected to speakers which is a draw in the cold, winter months whilst inside is warm and cosy with sofas, tables and a beautiful fireplace. Always good for a roast or for trying a new pop up should you start getting hungry.

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The Lime Kiln (Brandon)

Keep heading on from The Three Tuns and take a right. Eventually you’ll arrive at the door of The Lime Kiln. Hiding on other side of the College Street car park for you'll find an unassuming building with a couple of benches outside and warm glow coming through the windows. Inside, the pub is bright and airy, there is plenty of seating with a mix of tables, chairs and barrels to perch on, along with working fireplace for the colder months. The bar is stocked with great local beers and ciders and its own brand of colourful regulars.

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The Windmill (Windmill Hill)

Whilst North Street is having a bit of a boom when it comes to great places to eat and drink, there is more to BS3 than one street. The Windmill sits halfway up Windmill Hill, a stone's throw from East Street and opposite Bedminster train station, it provides a hub away from bustling streets around the area. A well stocked bar, cocktails, great food and a quaint little covered garden with a plethora of potted plants is well worth the workout climbing the hill to get there.

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The Knowle (Knowle)

Another jewel in the Zazu’s crown, The Knowle is serving up fine beers and food to the residents of BS4. Sporting the same clean lines, white walls, wooden furniture and airy feel you have some to know from the Zazu’s team, you will will feel like you’ve been here before. What secret pub isn’t complete without a secret garden? The Knowle sports just the thing with signature twinkly lights and abundance of plants, you wouldn’t be blamed for picking a quiet spot and pretending you’re in your own private garden.

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The Barley Mow (St Philip's)

Kissing the edge of a rather large industrial estate, The Barley Mow provides the perfect stop for a thirsty traveller coming in from Temple Meads, if they know where to look. Luckily, if you haven’t just got in via the train, you can head to the beginning of the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path and there it will appear. The Barley Mow is owned by Bristol Beer Factory so you are guaranteed to find good beer on the taps. Look hard when you come in and you will find the door leading to a lovely, covered garden with plenty of plants and flowers, you will forget the pubs neighbour is a timber merchant. Their Sunday Roasts have been put in the top ten in Bristol and, like all good pubs, the quiz in on a Monday.

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Quinton House (Clifton Triangle)

There is far more to the Park Place Triangle than Waitrose, posh houses and a nice green. Keep your eyes peeled and you will stumble upon Quinton House. Lovingly restored after 18 months being boarded up, you would be excused for thinking you had stumbled out of a time machine looking up at the vintage, Courage Brewery signage and red brick exterior on this tiny pub. Inside however, the small space has been made as light and tastefully modern as possible and a paint job that has brought the pub mostly into the 21st Century. Quinton House is run by Patrick and Annie Gomm, who you will remember running the infamous Artichoke Pub if you worked in or around Broadmead.

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The Hare on the Hill (Kingsdown)

Behind the imposing flats on Dove Street sits The Hare on the Hill. After scaling Nine Tree Hill to get to their front door, you will be gasping for something cold and wet to drink and luckily The Hare is full of that. Firmly beating to the sound of their own drum, The Hare runs a cracking beer selection including 6 taps, 5 hand pulls and more bottled beer than you could possibly drink in one session. When it comes to opening times, they don’t until 5pm most days and not at all on Mondays. Their kitchen is being looked after by Wriggle Friends, BEATS with rotating pop ups to keep diners on their toes. The website is updated frequently to showcase who’s cooking what and the latest beers on to wash it all down with. Look out for open mic Wednesdays, pub quiz on Thursdays and a cracking Sunday Roast.

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The Nova Scotia (Harbourside)

Previously three houses that were knocked through to create the pub, the Nova Scotia has been serving thirsty sailors since 1811. Whilst the rest of the harbourside has been slowly regenerated and the landscape changed, the Nova has stood firm, serving massive portions of traditional pub grub, real ales and cider. The Nova has some of the best outdoor seating in Bristol, overlooking the wharf with many a sunny afternoon spent watching the boats and feeding the crisps to the seagulls. Inside you will find a nautical theme, cosy pub with "tobacco stained sea charts on the wall", a snug and a lovely group of locals. Well worth a visit if you like your pub unpretentious and your beers in pints.

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The Bank Tavern (City Centre)

The Bank Tavern has arguably one of the nicest landlords in the business. Sam's infectious smile and warm greeting as you walk in through the door never gets old. In their own words, the pub is tucked away from the city center and has survived "an alarming number of riots, two world wars, Bristol City Council town planners and Thatcher". Tucked up behind The Lanes bowling alley and overlooking the beautiful Merchant Ventures Cemetery, you would be forgiven for thinking you had left Bristol completely. With live music throughout the week, some of the best pub burgers and serving The Bristol Sunday Roast Club's favourite Sunday Roast (equal only to The Green Man) you are going to leave entertained and full. The kitchen prides itself on using cuts of meat you wouldn't find in most pubs (we had our first sweetbreads here as a Sunday Roast starter) and the odd nose to tail eating events, be sure to keep a beady eye on their website.

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Eldon House (Clifton)

Scale the dizzy heights of Jacob Wells Road (or drop down from the Triangle) and stumble upon Eldon House. Sitting quietly in the shadow of the huge buildings on Whiteladies Road, it almost feels like you're stepping into another world when you duck into this cosy, Clifton pub. What started as a theater in the 1700s, which was closed after rioting theater goers made their feelings known after a no show, is now somewhere to eat great food and sup good beer. The Sunday roasts are gaining a reputation for being worth the trek up the hill.

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The Bridge Inn

The Bridge Inn is a tiny little pub on the riverside, so tiny in fact it might even be the smallest pub in Bristol. The Bridge is known, by those in the know, for a great beer selection, fab pub food and friendly staff. The bar itself is light and airy with a few tables on the ground and a few stools at the bar, complete with a rotation of locals including a very cute Jack Russell. Food is cheap, cheerful and plentiful, only served until 3pm on weekdays so perfect lunch haunt if you’re in the area, if you can find it! On Sundays after 6pm, the cheese and biscuits come out and are free for patrons.

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Published -22nd March 2018