What will studying in Bristol be like this August/September?

Pero's Bridge - Paul Box

We are so excited to welcome students back to our school from Monday 3rd August and have been busy preparing to do so as safely as possible. Of course, there is so much more to your language course in England outside of classes and we want you to feel as reassured and supported as possible during your stay, so we've gathered some helpful information to help you make the most of it. 

In the most terrible of circumstances we are all somewhat united by the fact we are all living in a ‘new normal’ - but what does that look like in Bristol?

COVID-19 Guidance in the UK 

Guidance varies by country, so it’s important to know that for England, this means: 

  • Social distancing is practised in all public places (2m where possible, or at least 1m where masks can be worn) 
  • Masks are mandatory on all public transport and in all shops 
  • Increased hand-washing and hand-sanitising 

You may already be accustomed to these measures in your own country.  

Cafes, restaurants and bars/pubs 

Bristol has a vibrant (and delicious!) food scene full of small, friendly independent businesses - in fact, many of them worked together (with generous donations from the people of Bristol) to feed frontline workers and vulnerable adults during the crisis: Bristol’s strong community spirit at its best. 

On Saturday 4th July, many hospitality businesses reopened to the public - with others reopening over the coming weeks - and each one will have their own safety policy. For example, some businesses may now only take card payments, some might require you to book in advance - or others might not take bookings at all. If you have a specific place in mind you would like to visit, we recommend checking in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Some restaurants remain closed for sit-in dining but are instead offering takeaway or delivery - why not pick up a picnic from Pinkmans Bakery to enjoy on Brandon Hill, or sample Catch 22’s fish & chips, while sitting in the College Green hearts?

Tourist Attractions 

Visit England has launched the “Good to Go” scheme - a new industry standard that tells you which businesses have made necessary changes to their day-to-day workings, including social distancing measures and staff training. IH Bristol was awarded this earlier this month, and you can look out for businesses displaying the logo in their windows when you are out and about in the city.  

At the time of writing, the following Bristol attractions will be open in August: 

  • S.S. Great Britain - reopening 18th July 
  • Bristol Aerospace - reopening 1st August 
  • Bristol Zoo (though some enclosures where social distancing isn’t possible remain closed) 
  • Bristol Aquarium 
  • Wild Place Project 
  • Tyntesfield National Trust Gardens 
  • Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park 
  • Westonbirt, The National Arboretum 

For an up-to-date list check Visit Bristol’s page here 


IH Social Programme 

Our social programme is back! We will be running excursions to Bath, Oxford, Cardiff and London with walking tours of each city, and free time to explore the attractions of your choosing. Social events both in school and in the local area will give you plenty of opportunity to explore and practise your English with other students. We'll also continue to run 2 online social events per week - so you'll also have the opportunity to meet our online students from IH Bristol and other schools in the IH network. See what we have planned for you here 

Other activities 

Outdoor sports are permitted and indoor gyms are allowed to open from 24th July. Why not try your hand at FootGolf at Ashton Court?  


Hotels and Airbnbs are now open, or you can choose one of IH Bristol’s own accommodation options

  • Liberty Park residence (available 2nd August - 5th September) 
  • St John’s House residence 
  • Homestay accommodation 


Transport in Bristol 

Bristol is the UK's first Cycling City, with cycle routes on almost all major roads and plenty of places to lock up your bike. See more information on Visit Bristol’s guide here.  

The majority of buses in Bristol are running as normal. However, bus capacity is reduced in line with social distancing, so we advise planning extra time for your journey. For shorter journeys, you might also consider Uber. Face masks are mandatory on all public transport 

Getting to Bristol 

For advice on the best way to travel to Bristol from wherever you may be, click here to see our helpful guide. 


More useful links:



We hope to see you (safely) soon!