Bristol is a small city that feels like a big city, according to the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide, which named Bristol the best place to live in the UK in 2017.
Bristol is a historic and charming city, with beautiful period architecture alongside modern buildings, and dotted with excellent green and open spaces. Cultural offerings are also excellent, from museums and galleries as well as theatres and cinemas to bars and nightclubs. Bristol is known throughout the world for its street art, thanks in part to Banksy’s work.
The city is very well-connected to other parts of the country, and transport links within the city are also good.
Bristol is a friendly, diverse city. There is a large student population here, attending the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. There is also a significant artistic community. Bristol has a local ‘currency’ – the Bristol Pound – which can only be used at participating local businesses, encouraging spending within the community.
The crime rate in Bristol for the year ending March 2017 was higher than the average crime rate across comparable areas. There was slightly less crime than in Southampton or Portsmouth, but more than in Newcastle, Norwich, and Cardiff.
In April 2017, the Avon and Somerset Constabulary crime report to the home office showed that crimes of violence and sexual offences and shoplifting had the biggest rises, though crime rose overall – this may have been part of changes in recording procedures.
Parking in Bristol is about average for a city of its size. There can be congestion issues in the centre, but there are Park & Ride schemes available to ease the traffic. Road connections in and out of the city are good, with the M32 leading into the city centre, and the M4 to Wales or London as well as the M5 to Birmingham or Exeter.
Bristol has a very wide range of options for entertainment and nightlife, including galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, pubs, bars, and nightclubs. The large university student population goes a long way to keeping the nightlife fresh, but there are entertainment options for all tastes – from 17th century pubs to trendy, modern clubs.
Bristol has a wide range of property available, so it’s a good place to look for a family home of any style – from Georgian townhouses to more modern semis.
There is good access to green and open space in Bristol. There are city centre parks like Victoria Park and Brandon Hill, as well as the Downs, the Avon Valley Country Park, and the Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve, among many others. There are also many playing fields and sport venues. Bristol lies on the River Avon, and there are many pleasant waterside walks.
Schools in Bristol are generally very good, with some top state primary schools that are amongst the best in the country, and generally good secondary schools. There is also the prestigious Bristol University, and the University of the West of England. Seven percent of Bristol residents are children aged 0-15.
Property in Bristol varies widely, and includes plenty of homes that would be suitable for pets.
There is good access to green and open space in Bristol. There are city centre parks like Victoria Park and Brandon Hill, as well as the Downs, the Avon Valley Country Park, and the Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve, among many others. Bristol lies on the River Avon, and there are many pleasant waterside walks.
Bristol is served by two mainline rail stations – Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads – by First Great Western trains. The journey to London Paddington is about an hour and twenty minutes from Bristol Parkway, and an hour and forty minutes from Temple Meads. Additional stations in the area include Bedminster and Lawrence Hill.
Getting around Bristol itself is easy, with many convenient bus services offered by First buses. Road connections in and out of the city are good, with the M32 leading into the city centre, and the M4 to Wales or London as well as the M5 to Birmingham or Exeter. Ferries also operate along the harbourside.
Bristol has its own international airport, with flights from airlines including EasyJet, Ryanair, and other European companies.