It’s not all just people drinking.

Long neglected, the Bearpit has had a serious injection of funding over the last couple of years to begin slowly rejuvenating. The Bearpit Improvement Group are attempting to turn an area which people traditionally dreaded walking through, for fear of its Frosty Jacks wielding reprobates, into a fruit consuming, morris dancing bastion of Bristolian happiness. This vision has yet to become a complete reality, but it’s not done half bad so far….

1. Ursa.

Created by local artist Jamie Gillman this majestic 12ft sculpture greets commuters and Primarni revellers after a long hard day in Bristol city center. Fantastically it’s yet to be vandalised.

The Bear Pit Bear

 2. One of Bristol’s best fruit and veg shops.

From Bear Fruit Bristol, you can actually get your 5 a day without consuming a mountain of kale or breaking the bank. £1 for 5 pieces of fruit? Beats Tesco where you’ll struggle to get an apple for less than 50p.

Bear Pit Fruit

Bear Pit Fruit Stall

3. The happiest busker in Bristol.

Playing a jovial tune on his accordion, you’ll always be greeted with a smile and a big hello from this guy.

Bear Pit Busker

4. Morris dancers.

Okay you might not see this regularly, but this occasionally happens.

Bristol Morris Dancers In The Bear Pit

5. The amazing Bearpit sign

It’s a pretty darn good sign. Now if they could just make the toilets less like a scene from a crime drama than that would be great.

Bear Pit Sign

6. Table tennis

Admittedly this is no Kongs of Kings Street, but if you want a free game of table tennis get your blades out and head to the Bearpit.

Bear Pit Table Tennis

Ideally when it’s not being used as a place to pass out on.

Bear Pit Table Sleep

Want more table tennis in Bristol? Read our guide to the 18 places to play table tennis in Bristol.

7. Lovely street art

The board’s regularly get repainted into awesome street art pictures like those below. You have to make sure you see them quickly before the next point happens though.

Bear Pit Street Art

8. Lovely street art ruined by awful graffiti tagging

Could someone explain the point of tagging? Is there a master graffiti artist going around looking to take on his next apprentice based on the ability of a track suit wearing tool to write his own name in marker pen over something that it actually took some talent to create?

Bristol Minions Graffiti

9. Lovely art installations

Created by Hand In Glove, a group of artists and curators based in Bristol, this Pavilion looks great and has been used as a space where you can make crafts and eat cake! What could go wrong?

Bear Pit Art

(c) Hannah Clark

10. Lovely art installations occupied.

As the old saying goes, ‘throw a good looking art installation into the Bearpit and watch it get slept in.’ There’s not much arts and crafts happening within the Pavilion anymore as it’s currently being occupied by some of the Bearpit’s finest residents.

Bear Pit Buskers

11. History lessons.

This amazing piece on the the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 sits around on the Beefeater side of the Bearpit. Somehow it’s escaped the fate of other pieces in the Bearpit so try and see this before it’s ruined.

Bear Pit Bus

12. All night raves.

Who said the Bearpit is intimidating?

Bear Pit Rave

13. Unusual marketing.

Like this guy…. Dressed in his own drawings attempting to sell it, unique marketing.

Bear Pit Selling

14. An old school Bristol double decker bus that sells Mexican food.

Literally hoisted into the Bearpit, Burritos won the licence for this 1970s Bristol bus and have been an incredibly tasty addition to the Bearpit.

Bearpit Crane

Bearritos Bus

15. Some of the best coffee in Bristol

Brian Wogan wielding Bearpit Social. These guys do a mean coffee for a reasonable price so they’re a much better shout than the big chains. Plus you can live the Bristol dream by kicking back and people watch the unusual residents of the Bearpit whilst sipping a Flat White, what’s better than that?

Bearpit Social

Bearpit Social

Want more like this? Head over to Best of Bristol photos.

Sam Gillies, the founder and editor of Best of Bristol. Purveyor of numerous Bristol lists, guides & videos. Most likely found attempting to find interesting street art across Bristol and other cities.

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