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The Ostrich

Bars and pubs, Pubs Harbourside
3 out of 5 stars
The Ostrich

Historic pub with a coveted quayside location and an excellent outdoor seating area. Visit in the summer and watch the sun go down over the water

Bristol’s harbourside area has long been a popular drinking destination, particularly in the summer months, but it’s hardly renowned for the quality of its pubs and bars. Most are glitzy, soulless chain affairs, catering to the kind of Friday and Saturday night drinkers who are more interested in cheap booze and popular music than ambience or quality beer.

The Ostrich, then, is something of a haven among the madness. Situated a little further around the Floating Harbour in Redcliffe, it’s an old inn – built in 1745 – that revels in centuries-old links to Bristol’s maritime heritage.

With wooden panelling, stripped wooden floors, maritime memorabilia and fading black and white pictures of the harbour adorning the walls, it feels like the sort of pub you’d find in Whitby or Great Yarmouth rather than Bristol. This feeling is enhanced by the entrance to a smugglers’ cave – part of a network that runs beneath the hill behind the pub – located in the corner of one of the lounges.

The food and drinks on offer are hardly staggering, but you’ll find a range of hand-pulled ales from owners Brains and popular West Country breweries.

Really, though, the attraction of the Ostrich has more to do with its history and quayside location than what it serves. The outside seating area, in particular, is legendary. The owners claim it’s the biggest in the city, and it’s hard to argue. With benches and tables stretching for several hundred yards from the pub to the water, this is a popular place to watch the sun go down in summer.

By: Matt Anniss


Venue name: The Ostrich
Address: Lower Guinea Street
Opening hours: Daily noon-11pm (till 10.30pm on Sun)
Static map showing venue location