Who Bristol's Gypsy, Roma and Travellers are, where they live and how we support the community.

Bristol's Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

The term Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) describes a number of ethnic and cultural groups.

Ethnic Gypsy, Roma and Travellers include:

  • Romany English Gypsies
  • Eastern European Roma and Irish Travellers
  • Scottish and Welsh Gypsies and Travellers
  • Showpeople

These Gypsy, Roma and Travellers are minority ethnic groups, often with their own traditions, customs and languages.

Cultural Travellers include:

  • Circus and Travelling Showpeople 
  • New Travellers 
  • Boat dwellers
  • And in some cases vehicle dwellers

Cultural Travellers may travel or chose to live in a caravan, boat or vehicle because it is a family tradition or because they've known no other life. Others travel in search of a better life, for economic or environmental reasons.

All of these groups are represented in Bristol. Each group has its own culture. They often share the same problems related to accessing public services and discrimination.

Where Bristol's Gypsy, Roma and Travellers live

Not all GRT families live in caravans on Traveller sites. In Bristol, about 95% of the community live in houses  or flats.

Many of the families live in Bristol for the autumn and winter months, but are often elsewhere during the spring and summer season.

Gypsy, Romany and Traveller website

We have an easy English website for the GRT community with phone numbers and information about how to access services and get  support.

Bristol's Travellers' sites

Ashton Vale 

Our permanent traveller site in Ashton Vale has 12 pitches where a mixture of English Gypsies, Welsh and Irish Travellers live. Bristol City Council owns the site and it's managed by Elim Housing. 

Some of the residents move away to find work in spring and summer but come back for the autumn and winter months.  They may also travel to Traveller fairs, to visit family or  for pilgrimages.

Lawrence Weston

Our transit traveller site has 20 pitches. It's used for Gypsies and Travellers moving to and from Bristol for work.
Residents are allowed to stay here for up to three months at a time.

Showpeople sites

Bristol also has one ethnic Showpeople site with 12 plots in Bedminster 

Meanwhile sites

We have some limited provision for vehicle dwellers who are currently kerbside in Bristol. Pitches on these sites are small and have minimal facilities. They provide a safer alternative to living roadside. 

None of these sites are permanent but they can provide a more secure stopping option for up to 6 months. 

We'll contact you after you've applied if we need further information to process your application.

Apply for a pitch on a meanwhile site

For information about meanwhile sites email:  meanwhile.sites@bristol.gov.uk


We have a legal duty to give pupils from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller access to education.
We work with families, communities and schools to make sure:

  • schools understand the GRT culture
  • GRT children can access distance learning if necessary
  • parents are engaged in their child's education
  • bullying, discrimination, literacy issues and cultural issues are dealt with properly

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers information for education professionals or schools


 The Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community often find it difficult to access health services.

Our Gypsy and Traveller Health Visitor Stephanie Lovell visits families who are based in or travelling to Bristol to help them with any healthcare needs.

Email: stephanie.lovell1@nhs.net

Call : 0117 903 0732 or 07795 646 541

Awareness training

We provide free training to schools and other organisations interested in:

  • gaining a better understanding of the GRT culture
  • improve their services for the GRT community

pdf Myth buster booklet (476 KB)

Support for victims of racism, harassment and discrimination

SARI provides free and confidential support to victims of racism, harassment and discrimination. Contact Anna Balcerek: anna@saricharity.org.uk

Contact us

If you're working with or are concerned about a GRT child, young person or family encourage them to contact us.

Report an unauthorised encampment

How to report an unauthorised encampment and what we'll do