Bristol is a large city of approximately 500,000 people in England. However, the urban area is bigger than this, and due to it being the largest city in the south-west of England it is even more important. As such there are several large shopping areas, as well as many smaller sites located throughout the city. This article aims to give an overview of some of the major shopping areas, including how to get there, what shops can be found and the opening times.

Cabot Circus

Cabot Circus is a large development, costing approximately £500 million situated at the end of the M32 in Bristol. The M32 is a motorway which connects the centre of Bristol to the rest of the UK motorway network, and so this makes access by car to Cabot Circus from elsewhere in the country very easy, especially when using the on-site car park. Cabot Circus was opened in 2008 to much fanfare. It replaced a number of older shops, as well as offices and other buildings and even required the diversion of several major roads!

The Cabot Circus development has a series of semi-covered streets which have shops on several levels. It has been designed so that it is a fusion between the traditional shopping street and Mall, with the result that there are a series of streets which whilst covered above are open at the ends meaning protection from rain and yet there is still a degree of the feeling of being outside. As well as this main section of Cabot Circus being produced, the historic Quaker's Friars was also redeveloped into further retail space, and it is this end which has higher end outlets.

There are many shops in Cabot Circus; however the flagship store is House of Fraser. In addition to this, there are a number of other shops, including Next, Harvey Nichols, Fred Perry, Topshop/Topman, New Look, Apple, The Sony Centre, The Body Shop, Republic, JJB Sports and French Connection. However, this is just a shortened down list and there are many more shops.

In addition to shops, there are a number of other attractions in Cabot Circus. These include a large Showcase Cinema de Lux, an indoor crazy golf centre (Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf) and many restaurants including Brassiere Blanc, Frankie and Benny's, Bella Italia and La Tasca.

The opening times for most shops in Cabot Circus are from approximately 10 in the morning to 7 or 8 at night from Monday to Saturday and 11-5 on a Sunday, although around bank holidays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday etc these opening times change. Also it is worth noting that the restaurants and other entertainment facilities stay opening later than shops, and so their opening hours will be different to these stated for shops.


Connected to Cabot Circus are the shopping streets of Broadmead. This is a post World War II series of streets which are still in use as retail space today. Now Broadmead is linked to, and managed by, Cabot Circus. In the centre of Broadmead there is an open space where several different streets converge, and this is a popular meeting space, as well as serving as a location for several events.

There are a large number of shops within Broadmead, offering a wide variety of goods, and as a result there are many different opening times. There are several large shops, including BHS, Debenhams's, Marks and Spencers and the new Primark which is one of the largest such stores in the country. In addition to these stores there are a number of other shops including TK Maxx, Peacocks and Boots. Most major banks and building societies have branches in Broadmead, including Lloyds, Barclays, Nationwide and Britannia. Finally there are a number of food outlets, including Greggs and Tesco Metro. The opening times vary. However, most shops open from sometime between 8.30 and 10 in the morning and close sometime between 6pm and 8pm on an evening. Due to Sunday trading restrictions the shops generally only open for 6 hours from 11 to 5. However, there are obviously once again exceptions to this around public holidays and various stores have unique shopping hours, for example Tesco is open for longer every day than most other stores.

The Mall Bristol

The Mall Bristol is a Mall in the centre of Bristol, adjacent to both Broadmead and Cabot Circus. It is a relatively old shopping centre, but has been modernised many times over the years. It was originally known as The Galleries, before having a name change to The Mall Galleries before the name was changed once again to the present Mall Bristol. However, many Bristolians still refer to the centre as The Galleries, and in fact many of the road signs still have this name.

Within The Mall Galleries there are a number of shops, as well as a food court on the top floor. Some of these shops are national chains but several are independent, or part of companies with only a handful of outlets. Among the bigger names found within the Galleries are WH Smith, Boots, Argos, the Post Office and Waterstones. The opening times for The Mall Bristol are 9am - 6pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday The Mall Bristol opens at 11am and the closing time is 5pm.

Cribbs Causeway

Cribbs Causeway is a large area of shops and other leisure facilities in the north of Bristol. It features the UK's last major out of town mall, as well as a number of other shops surrounding it. It is located close to junction 17 of the M5 and so the majority of visitors visit by car as there is plenty of free car parking available. In addition, aside from buses there is little in the way of other forms of transport.

The major attraction at Cribbs Causeway is the Mall Cribbs Causeway. This is a large Mall which has over 100 outlets in it, over two levels. At either end of The Mall there are flagship stores - at one end the south-west's only John Lewis and at the opposite end a Marks and Spencer. At the centre of the Mall there is a WH Smith, Boots and British Home Stores. The vast majority of major UK high street clothing chains can also be found here, including Topshop, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Republic, River Island and H&M. Finally there are a number of other outlets including mobile telephone shops and eateries. The Mall opens from 9.30am-9pm Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday, although individual stores may have different times and the Mall has different opening hours for bank holidays etc.

Elsewhere in Cribbs Causeway there are a number of other retail outlets. These include several supermarkets including Asda Walmart, a large Argos, PC World, Currys, Comet and Tesco Direct. There are several car show-rooms and a cinema, bowling alley and several restaurants.

For a more in-depth review of Cribbs Causeway click here.


Yate, whilst not being part of Bristol, is a town which is very close by and so most people from Yate say that they are part of Bristol anyway. In Yate there are a number of shops, mostly concentrated around Yate Shopping Centre. In Yate Shopping Centre there are a large number of different shops. These include a large Tesco which may be redeveloped soon, a Carphone Warehouse, Greggs, Body Shop, Argos and Iceland. The shopping centre is open from 9am-5.30pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday. However, the opening times of Tesco are longer.

Hartcliffe Imperial Retail Park

Hartcliffe Imperial Retail Park is a relatively new development of shops in the Hartcliffe area in the south of Bristol. Within this development there are some of the largest names in UK retailing having a variety of stores, with some very large. The largest of these stores is probably the large B&Q Warehouse. In addition, there are a variety of other shops, including a Tesco Direct, Next, JJB and Argos Extra.

Elsewhere in Bristol

There are several others areas which are good for shopping within Bristol, but due to their size they have not been mentioned here. Areas include the centre, Park Street, Bedminster and Gloucester Road. These areas have many shops, in particular a large number of independent shops.