Baltic Wharf Review

This site review is based on two visits – in February 2017 and 2018 when we stayed for a week each time.

Both times we followed the directions provided by the club which was to approach via the M5, turning off on to the A4. This may seem a long way around for those travelling from the east but experienced caravanning friends tell me that is is definitely the best route and worth the extra few miles.

The site is not big and extremely popular so you are unlikely to have much choice of pitches. If you get one by the fence overlooking the harbour you are allowed to pitch nose first and enjoy the view. There are just 55 pitches, all hard standing, both awning and non.

Facilities are the usual club offering – clean and tidy though not bang up to date. The site does have an uncertain future thanks to the plans of the local council who own the site so it’s not surprising that the club are reluctant to invest. On both our visit’s though, they’ve been kept immaculate. An information hut to the left of the entrance is well stocked and in addition notice boards by the facilities advise on such things as bus times and the weather.

Public transport options make it easy to leave your vehicle put for the duration of the your stay. There is a bus stop right outside the site entrance and the 500 bus runs up to every 20 minutes or so and does an anti clockwise loop, heading first along to Temple Meads railway station, past the hospital then around to the Broadmead shopping centre, coming back through the city, along the northern side of the harbour and then back past the site. It’s also free, yes free but make sure you flag it down or you may be subject to a lecture in bus hailing etiquette! Check out the timetable HERE

We used it to get to Temple Meads station for a day out to Gloucester Docks and it only took about twelve minutes.

Another option is via the water and Bristol Ferry Boats have a stop just a minutes walk from the back gate of the site by the Cottage pub. There are sixteen further stops around the harbour including the SS Great Britain, the station and the City Centre. We used this a lot on both our stays here and is a great more leisurely way to get about. Single, return and day tickets are available but if you are here for more than a couple of days I would recommend the weekly tickets. At twelve quid (at the time of writing) they are excellent value and allow unlimited travel.

So, that’s how to get about but what’s there to do? In a word, Loads! The SS Great Britain of the biggest draws and a fantastic experience. Check out our short video HERE . The M Shed  is a museum all about Bristol and is free.

Have a walk across the suspension bridge, smell the money in Clifton and enjoy the wide open spaces of the Downs and great views of the Avon gorge below. The Clifton Observatory offers more views and a look at the Camera Obscura as well as the chance to get another perspective by descending into the giants cave. Be warned though it’s steep and narrow and I would strongly recommend sensible footwear.

A short walk from the site is Underfall Yard. A visitors centre tells you all about the history and workings of Bristol’s floating harbour and you get to see the pump room – once supplying water under pressure via pipes all around the harbour to power hydraulics that opened bridges, sluices, operated cranes and so on. We were just in time to see one of the pumps operating – and they’re pretty impressive, particularly given their age.

Brandon Hill is a pleasant place for a stroll and a climb up Cabot Tower will reward you with great views of the city. Here’s another short video.

The Bristol Hippodrome is only a few minutes walk from the City Centre ferry stop and. There is the theatre bar to the left as you face but the pub to the right is much better value if you can manage without a bloke playing a piano!

Further afield I’ve already mentioned Gloucester – we spent most of the time around the regenerated Gloucester Docks having travelled by train from Temple Meads. Journey time was around fifty minutes. The docks are a ten to fifteen minute walk from the station.

Another great find was Oakham Treasures about a fifteen minute drive from the site and, being all indoors a great destination on a wet day such as we had. A wonderful collection of farming and retail memorabilia from times past with carefully recreated shops from an age where everything was behind the counter. A truly fascinating collection and while we certainly spent longer there than we thought we would you could easily make a day of it. The spacious and sensibly priced café is a great place to refuel before, during or after your visit.

On the coast we visited Portishead and it’s marina area and the lovely promenade and pier at Clevedon.

It’s worth mentioning that the gorgeous city of Bath is not far away – less than an hour by road and well worth some of your time. We’d been before so gave it a miss but it’s due a return visit soon.

So, all this sightseeing has worked up an appetite – and a thirst – but where to go? Well dining options in the city are numerous but bear in mind the ferry stops around six pm, however a taxi back from our trip to the theatre was less than a tenner.

Closer to home The Cottage is just a couple of minutes walk from the site. It had undergone a makeover at some point between our two visits, not least to the menu prices and wasn’t as good value on our second stay. A bit further around is the Nova Scotia – a real local’s boozer that welcomes visitors and serves some excellent value food too. It was our eatery of choice but does get busy.

Check HERE for site details

Site Arrival Video

This follows the directions provided by the club.

Site Slideshow