Creative, energetic, friendly, affordable and business-friendly, Bristol isn’t just a big city; it’s one filled with an innovative spirit, a thriving arts and culture scene, fantastic neighbourhoods and an excellent quality of life.
Bristol’s growing popularity over the last decade as a place to live and work has meant a massive demand on housing and with it a considerable boom in property prices, up by 56% between 2008 and 2018. In comparison, Manchester was at 37.8%, Birmingham and Cardiff at 32% and Leeds at 21%. The UK average was 32%.
Bristol is relatively expensive for a property, compared to the rest of the UK, but there is a lot of variation across different neighbourhoods. Properties south of the River Avon tend to be more expensive. Areas near Temple Meads are up and coming, thanks to their proximity to the railway station, which offers fast travel to London. Many people relocate to Bristol from London and find the prices extremely affordable in comparison. And with the hilly topography of the city, there are often beautiful views to be enjoyed from well-positioned houses.
Students will find plenty of affordable accommodation, and the city is a student hotspot, with the University of Bristol maintaining a reputation for being one of the finest in Britain. The Harbourside is one of the biggest success stories and a residential area packed with new houses and luxury apartments with views of the water.
Clifton village is another sought-after area, close to local shops and restaurants. It’s as popular with families as it is with students and very close to the Downs. Other popular regions are Redland and Cliftonwood, plus Stoke Bishop and Westbury Park which have diverse housing. For large family homes, look at Wesbury-on-Trym.
Bristol has a thriving commercial property sector and local economy with particular strengths in sectors such as the professions, media and the arts. There are plenty of exciting firms located in and around the city and salaries are excellent, with a healthy local recruitment market. Even better, research suggests that it will be one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities in the next three years, with all of the opportunities that this offers to businesses, entrepreneurs and workers alike. The transport infrastructure and business park network makes it easy to reach most firms without a long commute.
Bristolians take their food seriously and expect to enjoy organic, seasonal, plant-based, artisan, local foods and other treats. You’ll find every nationality represented in the city’s thriving restaurant scene. One of the best places to find plenty of different restaurants in the Waterfront. The city is also the world’s vegan capital.
Love history? Then you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied, including Bristol Cathedral, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, SS Great Britain and Clifton Observatory. Don’t forget to visit the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, the Bristol Old Vic (the longest continually operating theatre in the UK that recently underwent a massive renovation project) and the Royal West of England Academy.
Is going shopping for yourself your thing? Then you’ll enjoy everything from designer labels to independent boutiques across the city. Bristol Shopping Quarter, Gloucester Road, Cabot Circus, Clifton Village, Park Street and The Galleries are all thriving shopping areas, some of which boast a high concentration of independent shops and eateries. Another must-visit is the St Nicholas indoor market.
If you love music and clubbing, you’ll be in your element, with different venues that cater for every taste, some of which even take the party onto moored boats for something a little different. The quality of nightlife is high, and Motion nightclub was even mentioned in the Top 20 global nightclubs in 2017. Don’t forget the O2 Academy for big-name live bands. If events are more your thing, then look forward to a packed agenda, including the International Balloon Festival or the Downs Festival, which takes place on Clifton Downs.
Relax on a warm weekend on the Waterfront, where you can enjoy a drink at a terrace bar. Visit the expansive grounds of Castle Park to blow away the cobwebs with a walk or admire the Avon Gorge views on the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The surrounding countryside is just a short drive away from the city centre and it is one of the few locations in the UK that can combine the best of the city, the countryside and the coast.
A City For Young People
BBC Newsbeat analysis figures show that the city was the best choice outside of London for those in the under 26 demographic. Young people can benefit from the affordable prices, buoyant employment market, low crime rate, competitive rents, sports facilities, mental health, 4G, entertainment and other vital factors. The average age of a Bristolian resident is 33, compared to 40 across the UK, and the city is genuinely diverse, with 91 languages spoken across Bristol, 45 religions and over 180 countries of birth.
In conclusion, Bristol is definitely up to the task and is providing the living standards people desire from a city. With great cultural and entertainment, a lively waterfront, work, diversity and low crime rates, it’s a contender for the UK city of the year!
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