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The Bell

Bars and pubs, Pubs Stokes Croft
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
The Bell pub, Bristol

One of Bristols’ best-kept secrets, this low-key pub is right next to Stokes Croft – but feels a million miles away

Long before Stokes Croft became the city’s most bohemian locale, The Bell was widely regarded as something of a Bristol institution. Tucked away on Hillgrove Street, just off the main Stokes Croft drag of bars, independent stores and kooky cafés, it has long served a multitude of purposes: a laid-back meeting place for local artists, DJs and musicians; a low-key community pub, and a popular weekend pre-club boozer all rolled into one.

In many ways, The Bell manages to be all things to all people. Its clientele has always been mixed, and you’re just as likely to be standing at the bar next to Bristol Mayor George Ferguson or a gaggle of middle-aged real ale buffs, as 19-year-old students, popular local DJs and renowned Stokes Croft artists.

It boasts a busy patio for the smokers, a quieter second room for those who want to avoid the crowds, and a bustling main bar area. Here, you’ll find a roaring fire and, tucked away in the corner, a DJ booth, where seated local selectors – and occasionally surprise big name guests (Ben UFO and DJ Sotofett have both taken to the decks over the last few years) – play a great mix of styles most nights of the week.

It’s a credit to long-serving manager Marion Cross that the Butcombe Brewery-owned pub – whose real ales dominate the drinks list – has managed to retain its unique atmosphere during Stokes Croft’s recent period of gentrification. Happily, The Bell remains a haven for drinkers of all ages.

By: Matt Anniss


Venue name: The Bell
Address: 18 Hillgrove Street
Stokes Croft
Opening hours: Mon-Thu noon-midnight; Fri noon-1am; Sat 4.30pm-1am; Sun 1pm-midnight
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
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1 person listening
moderatorStaff Writer

I've been coming here, on & off for almost 20 years now and I can happily say - I can't remember it having changed a bit, and I hope it never does. As the review points out - Stokes Croft has gone through some huge changes in recent years, and yet The Bell and its drinkers always seem to remain the same - it's a small, but friendly and inclusive pub that has always attracted a diverse crowd