The Clifton Arcade: Beautiful, Quirky & Unique


If you are a regular reader and follower of Bristol Mum, you will know that I recently took my kids to explore the wonderful Clifton Arcade.

Set in the heart of Clifton Village, The Clifton Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade which originally opened in 1878 and houses nineteen independent shops.

It offers beautiful crafts, unique gifts, antiques, jewellery, vintage and hand-crafted clothes, plus, if you are interested in painting old furniture then you can often see pieces worked on as well as taster sessions from the amazing Mexican and French shops!


If you and your kids are in need of some refreshments while visiting the Clifton Arcade, the Primrose Café is a wonderful place to stop off for tea and cake, or, if you have longer, they offer amazing breakfasts, lunches and are even open in the evenings.

On Saturdays the arcade hosts various musicians from guitar players, accordionists, to banjo players! The delightful Polar Pops fresh fruit ice lollies (one of your five a day!) can be found on sale on selected Saturdays (do give The Clifton Arcade facebook page a like for updates on all weekly activities, plus special events and discounts).


And, while Bristol is in Shaun in the City season, I must also mention that there are six Shaun in the City sculptures dotted around Clifton Village waiting to be discovered!

But it is not only beautiful goods, wonderful shops and quirky personality that The Clifton Arcade offers. It also boasts some beautiful Victorian architecture; a far cry from the impersonal and often ugly shopping centres of today.


My kids love exploring the Arcade, they love the antiques, the unusual items, plus the architecture, for example, the giant dangling gorilla in the photo below!

Don’t miss out – the Clifton Arcade will be hosting a Summer Fayre on Saturday 22nd August from 12 – 4pm. The Fayre is open to all and will be especially suited to children and families as there will be face painters, musicians, a lucky dip, raffle prizes, stalls and much more!


If you fancy exploring the Clifton Arcade before then, it is open Monday to Saturday from 10am and on Sundays from 11am. And, if you want to take home a momento of your trip to the Arcade then you can purchase a wonderful Clifton Arcade printed cotton tote “bag for life” which are available to buy from most shops in the Arcade.

If you are travelling by car there is on street metered parking available at £1 per hour for up to 3 hours and the first 30 minutes are free. Buses number 8 or 9 take you to the village from Temple Meads and continue through the centre.


Maybe you might fancy trying the park and ride on the Portway service 901. Or, why not take a ferry trip along the Harbourside and hop off at Hotwells and take a leisurely walk up to the village. You can also take the tourist sight-seeing bus which stops right outside Boyces Avenue!

The Clifton Arcade offers something for everyone, whether young or old and it is well worth a visit. I promise that a visit to Clifton Arcade won’t leave you and your kids disappointed!

If you would like to find out more about The Clifton Arcade, please visit