Bristol’s oldest market is still very much alive with merchants and shoppers. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the best days to visit.
St. Nicholas Market is a vibrant area of shops and covered and uncovered stalls in Bristol’s “old city.” It’s a delightful place to grab lunch, find a bargain, or simply spend an hour or two browsing. The market started life in 1743, and today remains surrounded by handsome Georgian architecture. In 2010, it was named as one of the U.K.’s top 10 markets.
St. Nicholas Market, known locally as “St. Nicks,” is open daily Monday to Saturday. The setting is under a glass Georgian arcade. Independent traders sell anything from books or wine, to art or souvenirs. Three extra weekly markets take place; every Wednesday is the Farmers Market. On Friday, the Food Market sets up. On Friday and Saturday, the “Nails” arts and crafts market takes over.
On the first Sunday of every month, three additional markets join forces; the Book Market, Slow Food Market and the Art Market.
The Nails Market derives its name from the brass pillars on Corn Street. Traders used to conduct business between these pillars, or “nails” as they were called. The commodity of the past was sacks of corn but today the Nails Market focuses on arts, crafts, jewelry and clothing.
At the Farmers Market and Food Market, you can put together a picnic to go and eat by the river in nearby Castle Park. Cheese, bread, chicken and organic juice are just a few of the products available. Produce is sourced locally, within a 40-mile (64-kilometer) radius of Bristol. If you’d rather eat in, there are a number of pubs and eateries close by.
St. Nicholas Market is based on Corn Street in the center of the old city. The visiting markets also take place here, and on nearby streets. It’s a five-minute drive or 10-minute bus ride from Bristol Temple Meads, the main station in the city.