River Avon at Hotwells by Anthony O'Neil © geograph.org.uk/p/1861336

Christmas StepsBristol
Linking Colston Street & Quay Street
Somerset BS1 5BS
 
 

Christmas Steps is one of Bristol’s hidden gems.

Once a medieval thoroughfare, the Steps are now a lovely place to stroll and shop and with a Dickensian atmosphere thrown in. Visitors will enjoy the specialty shops (including a clock and bow maker), coffee shops and cafés.

A Ghost?
There are rumours of ghosts being sighted – ask the locals for their tales.
 
Fish & Chips
At number 17 Christmas steps - the bottom of the steps, there is a fish and chip shop, reputed to be one of England’s oldest. It looks like it too, judging from the way the 13th century building leans. Don’t worry; this is the place for a visitor to enjoy that quintessential English culinary experience -‘Fish and Chips’.
 
A ‘blog’ says it all: “As a kid in the early 70’s, I loved eating fish and chips in the chip shop and washing it down with a can of Tizer [cider]…wow it seems so long ago – Christmas Steps a great part of Bristol!’
 
The Steps date from 1669
Bristol’s Christmas Steps date from 1669 when they were just a steep, narrow, muddy street that connected the Frome River Bridge outside the city walls of medieval Bristol to the start of the road that led to the village of Aust on the Bristol Channel where there was a ferry connection from Bristol to Wales.
 
The steps’ medieval name was Queene Street. It then became known as Knyfesmyth Street. This name may have been corrupted over time to the present ‘Christmas’ street. However a more likely theory is that the ‘Christmas’ name may refer to the nativity scene on a stained glass window of the Chapel of the Three Kings of Cologne situated at the top of the steps.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:
 
Disabled Access
A great place to explore but please remember, these are steps and are not suitable for the disabled or the frail.
 
19th Century Almshouse
Just around the corner, at the top of the steps, in Colston Street adjacent to the Chapel of the Three Kings of Cologne is Foster’s Almshouses. The historic Almshouse was originally founded by a bequest from John Foster in 1482. The current building dates from the 19th century. It now houses private residences.
 
Getting There
The Christmas Steps are within walking distance of the city centre, Castle Park and Victoria Bridge. They connect Quay Street at the bottom with Colston Street at the top.
 
Google Map - Christmas Steps