It rises relatively steeply from the river bank to a largely terraced Victorian housing area which is notable for its painted homes - often in bright colours - that can be seen from some distance.
Built in the mid to late 19th century to house workers for the nearby railway industry, in the 1970s many of the Victorian buildings were demolished in anticipation of constructing a major junction of the Outer Circuit Road, although ultimately this section of the road was never built.
Totterdown has more-recently become a popular area for the younger generation taking up work in the city centre. In 2016 it was named "fifth hippest place to live in the UK" by the Times newspaper.
Food and drink
Totterdown has several local pubs some of which attract a younger clientele with DJ nights. Pubs offering music include The Oxford, Shakespeare New Found Out and the Thunderbolt (previously known as "The Turnpike"). The Oxford has regular live music including "open mike" events and the Thunderbolt books local and national bands. There was another pub (formerly) the Cumberland which is known now as the Star and Dove. It closed in May 2017. Open again now (December 2017)
Totterdown has a growing number of popular restaurants. The Thali Cafe chain is known for its eco-friendly food and take-away scheme using tiffins, winning an Observer Food Monthly award for "Best UK Cheap Eats" in 2010. Banco Lounge, part of the Bristol-based Loungers chain, is a smart cafe bar based in the old YWCA building on Wells Road, opened in July 2006. In December 2006 the Cumberland on St Luke's Road was given a makeover and opened as a gastro pub called the Star and Dove. The Bocabar opened in the Paintworks (formerly Central Trading Estate) in 2005 and serves tapas, pizzas, cakes, cappuccinos with a licensed bar. Mrs Brown's Cafe opened in Victoria Park in 2007, serving Fairtrade coffee and cakes from a caravan. There are several popular eateries on the Wells Road. Assilah Bistro is a long-established Moroccan restaurant. "A Cappella" is a pizzeria and cafe. The Totterdown Canteen is a popular daytime cafe and Southside Bar and Kitchen is a nightspot and restaurant also serving Sunday roasts. Florence, an Italian restaurant on Oxford Street, opened in early 2016.
The area also has a Tesco Express, a garage (repairs and MOTs), a convenience store called Patco Supermarket which offers everything from groceries to key cutting, a chemist, an optician, a wine shop, a fruit and veg shop, a Gym (offering gym, aerobics, etc. plus treatment rooms), various hairdressers and beauty treatment rooms as well as a doctors surgery, and is well served by buses into town and across to Clifton. There is also the Bristol Jamia Mosque close to Victoria Park as well as thriving Methodist, CofE and Baptist churches. In 2015, an artisanal bakery opened for business opposite the Oxford Pub on Oxford Street, replacing a long since closed Chinese restaurant. A number of new independent businesses have also opened along the Wells Road in recent times, including several cafes and a bar, a craft store, a vintage shop and a florist.
Totterdown is popular with young families. There are daily toddler groups at Totterdown Baptist Church. Victoria Park has a good newish play area at the top of the park, as well as tennis courts, basketball courts, football pitches, skatepark, and more. School Road Park has undergone a transformation and contains challenging play equipment for younger children including swings, slides, mini trampolines, and a sandpit. Perrett's Park is a natural amphitheatre with benches around the top along Bayham Road and Sylvia Avenue: a place where the balloon ascent can be seen during the summer Balloon Fiesta. It also has a play area suitable for the under 10s.
The Totterdown Art trail Frontroom invites visitors into the houses of artists in this area of Bristol to view a large range of local artwork.
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