Bristol's very own cathedral of consumption, breathing fresh life into what was once a depressingly shabby central shopping area
Sweeping away the discount stores and carpet shops that previously occupied the site where the M32 ends and Broadmead begins, Cabot Circus has brought decent shopping, restaurants, designer stores and a cinema fit for the 21st century to the middle of town.
Split into two distinct areas, the main covered Circus area boasts all the usual shopping centre keystones – from American Apparel to Zara – with the ubiquitous chain cafés and mobile phone shops punctuating the three streets and three levels within.
Unusually for a city-centre shopping centre, its all very tastefully done, with the domed glass roof of the main circus keeping you dry, and the open design and inclined levels making the whole thing feel more like a bundle of streets rather than a hermitically sealed retail space.
Just across the road is the Quakers Friars area; anchored around a Harvey Nichols, things are noticeably a little classier here. This open-air piazza boasts high-end stores such as Hugo Boss and Guess as well as a Brasserie Blanc and Carluccio’s, and is fiercely watched over by prowling security guards who bark at any transient cyclists or smokers that catch their eye.
If the famed spirit of independence found elsewhere in Bristol does nothing for you, and the idea of strolling through the soul-sucking homogeny of Broadmead or The Mall makes you shudder, Cabot Circus will help you spend your money without even a whiff of a discount sports retailer.
|Venue name:||Cabot Circus|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 11am-5pm|