Bristol Magazines | Best of local publications

The best way to immerse yourself in the energy, the bustle and the heart of a city to is to read through curate lists, guides features and interviews with the people who spend their days trying to capture the essence of the city.

If you’re not used to magazines, they are a fantastic way to combine local news with articles on culture, fashion, storytelling and interest/optinion pieces. Local magazines are wonderful at bring together local people with businesses, and have incentive to make space to advertise community projects, clubs and opportunities. Larger, more cosmopolitan print magazines are (not only visually stunning to read, but) a fantastic way to feel the culture and experience, through story, what the city has to offer. Of course, the what’s on pages might spark inspiration for events to attend, but flicking through will give you a feel of what’s out there beyond things you might typically search for.

In a buzzing city like Bristol where street fashion is paraded with flare, restaurants and bars ozze flavour, and free outdoor events swarm the city in summer, a taste of the offerings on menu can make you feel at home.

This is a guide to the local magazines of Bristol. We’ve curated a list of the stunning, professional mags, with colour, beautiful design, great writing and curated features. We’ve also got a list of the nitty gritty local mags- what they lack in design they make up for in smiles of featured local stories or businesses. These are your choice for a true local feel, away from the cosmopolitan and cultured city of the bigger magazines. Along side these we have niche mags- for foodies, for music fans and for creatives.

This guide also presents a list of more socialially conscious publications- that value independent integral journalism or that comment on the activism scene and celebrate changemakers of the city.

Brisol also has an Indie magazine scene. There are independent lifestyle magazines published in Bristol from mostly local writers and business owners. These are real gems of the magazine world, the issues themselves are works of art in curation, design illustration and quality written word.

Quality Bristol lifestyle magazines- what’s on, theater, food, culture and fashion

Our favourite lifestyle magazine in Bristol is ‘Bristol Life’ offering gorgeous design and a mix of curated events in the city, places to go, fashion, culture, human stories, interviews and thought-pieces. The second choice is ‘The Bristol Magazine’, a more cosmopolitan publication, full of culture, luxury foods, brunch, arts and indulgence.

The best mainstream media outlet magazines in Bristol are ‘B24/7 Magazine’ and ‘The Bristol cable’. These are locally or socially owned organisations looking to showcase honest media. The Bristol cable runs investigative journalism in a member owned manner. This is your place for truthfull and critical- local news and events.

The best bristol magazine for young adults is Rife magazine, a project started by watershed youth engagement where youth issues, discussions, takes and art are celebrated and given voice in a beautifully curated seasonal magazine. This has a fresh, young voice, showcasing talent of the present and future.

The Bristol MagazinePremium Bristol Life-style magazine. Articles about brunch, hotels, quality local business and services. See the Magazines here or sign up for the weekend edition newsletter here. Free online.Beautiful photographers, classy Metropolitan vibe- think busy West end Londoner
Bristol Life
Inspiration for the best of working and living in Bristol. Gorgeous design, classic magazine vibe with good content, advert balance. Cosmopolitan and cool. Read here.Beautiful, classic magazine. Big-name interviews, some fashion and lifestyle- an indulgent monthly read!
B24/7 MagazineIndependent media outlet- with a social improvement vision for bristol. The magazine gives some local news, as well as what’s on, culture pages and food and drink. They also have student edition magazines. Read here.Proper local news, high quality magazine with a great mix of content. More ‘social’ than the other big magazines with similar offerings.
The Bristol CableNews and investigative journalism. A not-for-profit, lead my members, trying to build an alternative model to the ‘unprecedented crisis in trust and viability faced by journalism’. Includes investigations, opinions, voices and environment sections. Read here.Great paper and publications with interesting articles of all sorts. Nice read.
Rife MagazineA platform of opinions for Bristol’s young people- Watersheds youth engagement programme. Creative, arts and passion. Fresh young content- expect ‘talent’, ‘tenacity’ and ‘optimism’. Read articles online.Nice for young readers- executed with great style and interesting content with perspectives from young people.
Bristol LivingLifestyle mag- less impressive than the others here but still beautifully curated. Lots on home styling. Read here.Nicely curated. Good food pages. It’s ok but content not as great as others.

Small, local, community magazines of Bristol

These magazines are very local! We love these- see what on in your area, local stories, businesses and what the community are up to.

The top local, free magazines in Bristol are Direct local Bristol, What’s on Bristol and (for more design and artistry, less business and locally news) Circus Journal. These magazines include local interest stories, local businesses and lot of adverts for local business, services and community events.

Direct Local BristolLocal events, articles about local issues like environmental and planning, local business services, a few bits of lifestyle such as recipes. Magazines have a weekly online version and a monthly issue available online and by post. Visit the site here. Free online.Factual, ok local stories and nice round-up of events. DIY design job with average writing but quite a charming ‘local’ feel.
Bristol Community MagazinesBS6, BS8 & BS9, A north-west bristol local magazine matching local people and local businesses. Lovely what’s on and community news. Read here. Free A5 Full colour.Nicely produced for a very local mag- mostly advertising for local services and community events and clubs.
What’s on Bristol Magazine What’s on pages, a very simple design and simple magazine. Some details about local affairs. Lots of advertising. See page here.A DIY design job. It’s ok- fairly good what’s on pages- simple read though unremarkable
Circus JournalDesign, editorial and production philosophy they hope challenges the typical local magazine vibe. Content- local businesses, creativity and independent journalism. Read here.Beautifully curated. Really nice take on the local magazine, high-quality paper, lovely ready for this type of content.
The PigeonSouth Bristol’s Community Magazine. Read here. Family pages, TV, Community events.Quite nicely produces, lots of content features make it one of the better local mags.
Eastside Community TrustCommunity magazine in East Bristol area. Read here.Fun and colourful- community style.

Bristol Niche Magazines (Food, Music and Arts)

If you know what you and that is food, then Crumbs is the best foodie mag for Bath and Bristol. Check out our other Niche Bristol mags here.

Niche Bristol Magazines (Food, music, arts and more)
Food- CrumbsBath and Bristol Foodie Mag. Best of the newest and most wonderful food offerings, inspiring interviews, recipes and all things food culture. Free from distributors all over the area. See site and read here.
Music- LoudBristols dedicated music magazine- also no new releases since the pandemic- see their website.
Music- Bristol in StereoA music mag- paused since the pandemic. Website here.
Arts-creativity- Circus JournalWe’ve listed circus Journal here as well as in the local publications sections because it doesn’t focus on artsy creative events and culture in Bristol. A nice curation of local happenings. Read here.
…there were a lot of changes to art mags during the pandemic. Bear with us while we scout out anything exciting and new (or please get in touch if you spot anything we’ve missed).

Bristol for the Better- Socially conscious magazines in Bristol

Bristol has a thriving scene of politically active, socially conscious citizens fighting for justice, equality, pride in local services and quality, independent media and journalism. These magazines tell the story of resistance in Bristol- what’s going on and how you can join the movement to a better society.

Bristol for the Better- More politically or socially conscious magazines
The Bristol CableNews and investigative journalism. A not-for-profit, lead my members, trying to build an alternative model to the ‘unprecedented crisis in trust and viability faced by journalism’. Includes investigations, opinion, voices and environment sections. Read here.Great paper and publications with interesting articles of all sorts. Nice read.
Better BristolImagining a better bristol in future- comments on local projects, campaigns, major developments and future great visions of bristol. Twice per year. Great place to learn about social issues and be in touch with city developments….though be aware of the doom and gloom trap of bad changes. Read here.Nicely, professionally put together. Hopefully on the positive side of doom and gloom on city developments.
The Bristol ActivitistThe Bristol Activist is a news site covering progressive protest, activism and resistance in RBistol. It covers local protest/banner drops and equivalent that other sites would not deem newsworthy. Features, interviews and analysis and looks to build banks of shared activist knowledge and experience for inspiration. Link here.Simple but good

Independent magazines published in Bristol

Bristol has an awesome independent magazine scene. These publications are all born and published in, or around the city. These indie publications are stunning reads- these are a luxury combination of writing, poetry, colour, art, story-telling and more.

The top indie magazines in Bristol are Lionheart, Ernest Journal and Another Escape. The best local Bristol children’s magazine is Leopard Mag.

Independent magazines published in Bristol
LionheartAn independent lifestyle mag with features to make you feel good; packed with style, culture, stories, interviews with artists, travel, craft and illustration. Read here. £10
LeopardA magazine for kids- goodness, crafts and fun stuff. No advertising, no plastic, just hobbies, illustrations and fun stuff! Read here. £6
Ernest JournalSlow journalism, for people with inquisitive minds, valuing down-to-earth storytelling and a good, long read. Read here. £10
Another escapeShowcases stories inspired by nature, outdoor lifestyle, environmental stewardship and regenerative living. A beautiful, independent media organisation. Read here. £12.
CerealPublished from Bristol, Travel, Art, Desing and Style. Around 2 per year. £12. Moody neutrals. Read here. £12
Hop and barleyA Beer and Brewing culture magazine. Read here.

If there are other, new magazines out there- please let us know!

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