Tucked away between two major streets are Bristol's Christmas Steps. Funded by Jonathan Blackwell, a wine merchant, the Christmas Steps were constructed in 1669 on top of an already established steep mud path. The steps are lined with some of Bristol's most quaint shops, including one of England's first fish and chip shops, a clock store, and a stamp collector.
The meaning behind the name "Christmas Steps" has been lost in time. The medieval name for the path was "Knyfesmyth", which could have easily evolved into the pronunciation "Christmas". A nativity scene can also be found depicted in a stained glass church window at the top of the steps. However, it is unknown if the stained glass came before or after the name. Despite its name, the Christmas Steps are beautiful to visit year round.
On my visit I was expecting to see tourists snapping away, just like I was. However, I found the steps to be extremely quiet, practically deserted in fact. Upon doing a little research after arriving back home, I discovered the Christmas Steps have become a forgotten attraction in Bristol, despite their location in the city centre. The upkeep and promotion of the steps have declined in recent years, making it difficult for tourists to discover.
One of Bristol's most unique and quaint spots, it is a shame the Christmas Steps have become a forgotten attraction. If you do plan on visiting Bristol, I highly suggest visiting the steps.