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Your Guide on Relocating to Bristol

Bristol is a great city to explore with many things to do and a friendly community. If you are thinking about relocating to Bristol we have created this guide to give you the information you need to know. Covering costs, schools, transport, housing, fun activities, landmarks and more - we hope this helps.

Get to know Bristol


  • Languages spoken: The official language is English and there are over 20 other languages being actively spoken in schools including Somali, Urdu, Polish, French and Spanish
  • The population: 452,290 (2018) with a 0.30% growth rate
  • Hot air balloons: Did you know one of the main celebrations in Bristol is the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – a vital event for hot air ballooning in the UK held in Ashton Court in the month of August
  • Roads: The majority of roads in Bristol are uphill
  • Awards: Bristol has been ranked the Best City in Britain by the Sunday Times, Best Places to Live Guide 2017
  • Famous for: One of the UK's most loveable plasticine friends, Wallace and Gromit, were born in Bristol and Aardman Studios are situated here.


Housing and Accommodation

There are plenty of options offered in Bristol, from buying houses or renting out accommodation – there has been a significant increase in renting. On average buying a house in one of the well known areas, Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, are £530,000 in 2019 (increased by seven per cent from £495,000 in 2018) according to BristolLive, (2019.) Even though the Brexit vote has relatively reduced the prices of houses, rental costs are still high. However, it is easy to find a home in the UK, and are loads of options such as short-term rentals available, as well as furnished apartments and houses for rent.

Bristol offers a mix of suburbs, each with their own characteristics. Research is recommended to find the perfect place in Bristol to match your criteria for your family, accommodation type and leisure requirements.

For the City Centre, there are many housing areas that are right in the heart of Bristol and accessible to local amenities within walking distance. The City Centre of Bristol has a mix of architecture, including: Georgian terraces, Victorian villas, converted contemporary dockside warehouses and waterfront apartments, you will be spoilt for choice.

The docklands areas of Bristol has recently undergone regeneration over the years. This area specifically attracts a large proportion of young professionals who are opting for apartments near the City Centre, with close links to a wide selection of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, galleries, art-house cinemas, and theatres, all within walking distance.

For people who are relocating to Bristol with families and school-age children as a priority, the north of Bristol is a loved place for schooling areas. Areas such as Stoke Bishop, Westbury Park, and Henleaze, these are all popular places for excellent schools nearby, with chances to live in detached and semi-detached homes.

Neighbouring cities are easily accessible to Bristol, such as Bath Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and the Cotswolds. London is 2 hours away from Bristol and surrounding areas, which makes Bristol makes an ideal base or work location to commute to or from, from several other major UK cities.

Cost of living in Bristol (Compare My Move, 2019):

  • Average house price: £329,164
  • Average flat price: £247,846
  • Average rent: £1,232 per month
  • Average price of meal: £14 (inexpensive meal)
  • Average price of pint: £3.90

According to the Sunday Times, Bristol was crowned ‘’The Best Place to Live’’ in 2017, and also came second on the ‘’The Happiest Place in Britain’’ and made it to the ‘’Green Capital of Europe.’’

The popular areas in Bristol are Clifton, which has the most beautiful homes based in Bristol. You can spend your days admiring the white Georgian terrace houses on tree-lined streets.

Another popular area is Redland, a neighborhood near Clifton which is popular with families and friends for the parkland. It is close to the city centre of Bristol, and the rent in this area is acknowledged as decent.

Gloucester Road, another popular area in Bristol which is known to have one of the longest streets of independent shops in Europe. There are a handful of unique shops and great pubs which are really local towards the city centre.

Bedminster and Southville, both are small towns based towards the south of the river. Both towns have a cheap-ish ambiance with a small-town feel, which has a local walking distance to the city center. Every summer you can expect to see street art which covers the Bedminster’s buildings, and the biggest graffiti festival in Europe called UpFest – showcasing many talents.

Stoke Croft, a very hipster area which is well known to the students in Bristol, as well the gig fans and vintage clothing wearers. This part of Bristol is definitely an interesting area, home to a number of independent pubs, bars, bookshops, and clothing stores. Stoke Croft has a short commute to the center, with a unique music canteen and vintage clothing venue to check out called ‘That Thing’. As Stoke Croft is very popular for Students, as it is an affordable place for accommodation amongst students, they can try house-sharing if on a tight budget. Use Gumtree, Room Buddies or Spareroom in your desired area to find a match for a housemate you can share housing with. If you are looking to move alone, use Meetup.com to connect with other like-minded individuals similar to you, who share same quirky hobbies or attend local events.



As a potential Bristol resident, you could not be in a better-connected city in the UK, where London is less than two hours away, Cornwell at your doorstep, and the admiring scenery to experience of the Cotswolds, Wales and Devon.

Bristol have two main railway stations; Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway. Both of these stations are served by First Great Western railways, where they offer direct routes through London, Birmingham, Cardiff, and other major UK cities. The City itself provides easy access to a network of motorways, with direct access to the M4 at the northeast of Bristol City, which connects to London, and the M5 connecting commuters to Exeter and Birmingham which makes it easier for good transportation links when relocating to Bristol. Bristol also hosts its own airport, with airlines such as Ryan Air, EasyJet, and BMI Regional operating out of it.

The City is motorcycle friendly, where there are a number of cycle routes and links to the National Cycle Network. Commuting across Bristol with cycle routes, public transport, and ferry services are the most opted choices of recommendations for getting around Bristol.

Commuting or getting around in Bristol by car is not highly the best idea nor recommended, as parking in the City Centre is quite expensive. It is best to consider your daily travel to and from work when you are potentially looking to relocate to Bristol.



Bristol City is home to two well-known recognizable universities – the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. There are also several other education facilities and institutions such as the City of Bristol College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. There are also three theological colleges; Trinity College, Wesley College, and Bristol Baptist College.

For families with infants, Bristol is home to over 100 infant, junior, or primary schools and 17 secondary schools. Majority all schools are located within decent distance in areas in Bristol, so it makes it easier for families. Bristol currently has the country’s second highest independent school places, the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (all-boys) and Red Maids’ School, which claims to be the oldest girls’ school in England.

Find out more about local schools in Bristol in terms of their ratings, Ofsted results and general information about schools around Bristol.


Working and Employment

The local economy of Bristol over the previous years has centered on creative media, electronics, and aerospace industries. Bristol is to date recognized internationally as the capital of South West, for its economy knowledge in aerospace and defense, creative media, environmental sector, financial services, information communications technology, and professional services. Bristol offers good transportation links, a good quality of life which means it attracts skilled workers across the UK from other cities and abroad. Bristol also has significantly showed a higher than average proportion of population with university degrees and results. Employment rates continue to steadily grow along with the UK average, with a proven track record for maintaining impressive economic, growth and innovation.

Types of industries

  • Aerospace: Bristol’s aerospace industry and associated businesses have witnessed sustainable employment for individuals in the engineering industry, with major employers such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, British Aerospace, and Ministry of Defense, where Bristol holds a leading position in aerospace industry globally
  • Creative and Media: 12% of all businesses in Bristol accounts for the creative/cultural industry, where the creative and media businesses operating out the city are varied and include advertising and marketing, animation, design, digital, public relations, publishing, television and film. Due to the regeneration of Bristol’s old shipping areas, it has allowed agencies in Bristol more room to expand, with gaining recognition for the quality of work and more competitive pricing than London.
  • Financial Services: Bristol is recognized as the third largest financial services center in the UK. Bristol goes way back in long history of specializing in insurance, banking and ethical investment, and more. Companies like AXA, Bank of Ireland, and Lloyds Banking Group, have big hubs in the city of Bristol where they are always employing several thousands of finance professionals.

There are so many other job opportunities in retail, admin to child-care professions popular in Bristol. Check out Bristol’s job board, which posts overactive 6177 live jobs. Check out The Guardian Jobs, where they are posting live job opportunities daily. 


Get social! Insta-gramable locations

If you are social media savvy and love taking photos, you will definitely want to know what are best Instagram-able spots in Bristol to take great shots off and selfies! You do not need to be a blogger or social media influencer to brighten up your Instagram profile feed – there are many stunning places to visit which so Instagram worthy. It was like the city Bristol was made for Instagram, due to the fact that each corner you turn there are some admirable views, interesting art and beautiful buildings to glance at. If you search #igerbristol on Instagram, you will be surprised to see many beautiful shots of the Bristol unfiltered. Here are a list of places where you should get your phone or camera ready to take snaps off when in Bristol:

  • Oowee Diner: the diner on North Street that has your back based in the South of Bristol. What makes this diner stand out from other diners is the trendy low lighting and wood paneling for that welcoming ambience. With the neon lighting against all white everything, this diner has certainly got its unique look. Apart from the amazing interior, they provide amazing food such as a mouth-watering cheesy burger. (add image)
  • The Florist: Bristol’s newest edition of cocktail bar was clearly designed for the Instagrammers! With flower walls, neon bridge slogan signs, pink velvet chairs and cocktails that are just as well pretty as the interior, the only challenge you will face is how many pictures are you going to take or post for the feed? (add image)
  • The White Lion: A popular place for Bristolian Instagrammers, a classy bar at your doorstep with views to admire – especially on a summers day.
  • The Cottage Inn: Probably one of the most ideal places to spend your sunny afternoon. The classic pub vibes gives the best views of the city as you sit on the wall, watching boats float past on the harbor. Not to miss, the colored houses of Hotwells directly facing you, you will not be able to miss it.
  • The Ivy Clifton Brasserie: This restaurant/café is probably one of the most photogenic places. It has beautiful orangey origami butterflies handing from the ceiling, an archway at the entrance which is inviting as it is beautifully given a makeover during seasons, especially at Christmas.
  • Lido Bristol: The Lido is another photogenic place which is worthy for your feed. Enjoy drinks and nibbles whilst relaxing around the pool and fresh air. It makes a great a snap and will definitely brighten up your feed.
  • HMSS: Like it could not get any better… HMSS is one of Bristol’s coolest bars, as they are known to have great and unique cocktails that will definitely catch you eye. You will get to see it all, from Twister lilies to giant strawberry drinks, they is a lot to capture so perhaps I will have the camera ready.
  • M Shed: A fun-filled museum that is worthy to make it on your Instagram feed. M Shed is a great museum in Bristol city centre, with free admission. One of the rooms in the museum is beautifully decorated, with hot air balloons and not to forget the amazing view from the top floor terrace.
  • Street Art of Bristol: Bristol is the capital for street art in Britain, which only means this is something worth capturing when in Bristol. One of the world’s most famous street artists, Banksy, is from Bristol and you can find his most famous artworks all around the city.
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge: Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of the most iconic places in Bristol. The bridge is extremely mesmerizing and its photos doesn’t really do much justice. The best capture to get of the bridge is from a small hill located on the right-hand side of the entrance to the bridge (where Clifton observatory is based)
  • Bristol’s colourful houses: You have not really made it to Bristol if you haven’t seen or been able to capture images of the iconic colourful houses in Bristol – quite symbolic to Bristol. You will be able to find some Notting-Hill style colourful houses all across Bristol.
  • Bristol University Botanic Garden: The Botanic Garden of Bristol offers three amazing greenhouses for everyone to view, full of orchids and a variety of interesting plants. If you want your Instagram feed to be more floral-like, check out the Botanic Gardens and get picturing-away!
  • Paletas at the Cascade Steps Food Market: This is for the foodies! This place is probably the most photogenic place to capture your ice cream or frozen fruit sticks! Paletas is a small colourful stall near the food market, near the Cascade steps, which makes a great background to show off your ice cream!


Hospitals and Healthcare

When relocating to Bristol, there a number of well-known hospitals and healthcare under NHS and independent based in Bristol, specializing in different areas.

Hospitals in Bristol:

See the full list of hospitals in Bristol 

List of healthcare clinics:

See the full list of healthcare clinics in Bristol


The Community

There is a very diverse community in Bristol, as well as so many activities and causes to be involved in to unify the Bristol community as one. This makes It easier when relocating to Bristol, knowing there is a strong sense of community amongst people from many different backgrounds that come together in activity programmes, events, charity causes and more.

Trinity Centre is a place where the community comes together. A much loved historic landmark music venue, which is a central hub for people to get involved In a range of programme of arts and cultural events, social activities, projects for charity and more. Trinity Centre gives people of Bristol the space to come together, connect, learn, share and celebrate. As well as being participating in the programmes, you can also dedicate yourself to volunteer for a number of activities going on. The things the community can get involved in is dance and fitness classes, youth music, community kickstart programs, gardening with community, repair and renovation with community, ignite arts. 

Another place where you can find activities in Bristol to join is Well Aware, which is a helpful site to help you find what activities and events are happening in near time to be part off, and what other organizations in the Bristol are offering .e.g. #feedthehomelessBRISTOL organization.

There is also something for the elderly to get involved in as well especially. LinkAge Network is an organization to create lasting solutions that strengthen communities within Bristol, improve health and wellbeing, and reduce social isolation among older people. A local charity that has been active since 2007, originating from a recommendation by the Bristol Older People’s Partnership Board. They provide events as well as regular events such as over 55s Club for water-based activities, walking tennis, community weekly lunches, fitness activities, Victoria Park Short Walks, dance, playing badminton for pleasure, and the list goes on! Check out the list of many different events and activities you can attend.