Living in Bristol

The locals are friendly, is it great for business and if you are interested in country life, Bristol is an excellent city to pick. But what is it like to live in Bristol, UK? 

Bristol is situated in England’s southwest and is UK’s 10th largest city. Most people visiting the UK go to London, but few people know what a great city Bristol is. I fell in love with Bristol years ago and lived here since. 

Living in Bristol

Is Bristol a safe place to live?

Completely, it was named several years in a row as UK’s most livable city.  It’s a great place for developers and entrepreneurs and ticks all the boxes if you’re a young adult who wants to live in a diverse community. Besides, there’s so much to do in Bristol.

I stayed in Manchester three years before moving to Bristol and have been travelling around the UK for over five years. I’ve been open to relocating to another British city for a while, and  Bristol is my preference.

There are many reasons why Bristol is incredible: it has many trendy cafes and restaurants, is host the best festivals in the world, has a rather fantastic nightlife, fantastic music scene, lots of parks, public spaces, universities and most of its people voted against Brexit. Bonus! 

There are also good public libraries, clean public toilets and other council facilities. Other than London, Bristol seems like an exciting alternative to live in the UK.

Bristol folks are known as Bristolians. Bristol has a new economy built around innovative media, technology, electronics and aerospace. It was voted Best City for Entrepreneurs (Startup Cities Index 2015), Best Place to Live in Britain (Sunday Times 2015), and was named European Green Capital of the EU (2015).

Culture in Bristol

Bristol has a deep sense of culture. People are usually polite and supportive. When you enter a store, locals will engage in conversation and ask questions. People often meet in those communities and do group events In different places around Bristol; you can find neighbours being good friends and depending on each other.

Gloucester Road is a cool spot to hang out with younger Bristolians, and there are several boutiques, stores, pubs, bars and cafes where locals want to hang out. B Bristolians are very passionate toward helping local people prosper, so many would happily travel to shop in small, organic shops as opposed to supermarket chains.

Bristolians are usually polite and receptive to talking and pinting in local pubs. Going out drinking with friends and colleagues after work, on a Friday, is expected.

Bristol Startups

Bristol has been dubbed “Silicon Gorge” because it’s not only the fastest-growing start-up hub outside London but home to numerous tech giants and start-ups. It’s considered to be the go-to place if you want to invest in a tech-related company. According to Startup Cities Index 2015, Bristol has long been a vibrant city with big music and art scenes, now named the best city to run a company in the UK.

There are many areas in and around Bristol without high-speed internet connectivity. That’s extremely frustrating, particularly when you find your dream house and realise there’s no internet service. In heavily populated areas, BT and Virgin Media provide internet services. 

Cafés and restaurants

Bristol is a rather trendy city that readily follows new trends. It’s the best place to find chic, edgy coffee houses. Gloucester Road is a perfect starting point. Bristol has countless restaurants and plenty of international cuisines available. If you like Japanese, Thai, Korean or any other kind of food, you’ll find it in Bristol here.

Food and grocers

Bristol has many supermarkets and several small, independent shops. Throughout the week, many markets with fresh produce are open too.   There are many butcher shops, fruit and vegetable stands, and small stores selling European goods.  There’s also a big Asian supermarket where you can find several similar ingredients. Food quality is generally good, and the costs are reasonably low. You can eat well on £140 a week for two. 

Lovers of nature

Bristol is an excellent location if you’re an outdoors fan. The city has many parks, trails and green spaces. Bristol is near Somerset, a perfect spot for nature lovers. Wales is less than an hour away, with excellent walking and hiking opportunities, including Dean’s Forest and Brecon Beacons. To the north, you can reach Snowdonia and other woods like Woodchester, one of my favourite green spaces with plenty of walking trails.

Life in Bristol

Bristol isn’t cheap to live in, and what you save on food, you will fork out in rent. A one-bedroom downtown apartment costs hit £ 900. However, if you’re willing to move away from the city centre, you can find a 2-bedroom house with a garden at the same price outside the city centre.
Bristol’s north and west are safer places to live and if you can’t afford to rent alone, sharing a home can be as inexpensive as £ 500 / month, including bills.

Keen in mind that high agency fees are payable when you plan to switch houses in Bristol. Charges are from £ 100 to £300 per request. You typically need another £80-£ 180 to get your inventory finished, and a deposit goes into a safe deposit regime. You would need to pay one month in advance, as well as a (refundable) deposit (usually six weeks pay).
When you leave, there is a checkout charge (usually under £100) and if the house is not left in good shape, the deposit will not be returned in full to cover maintenance costs.

Essentially, you need a lot of money to transfer here. Bills are payable on top of your rent. I suggest renting a house with central gas to save money in the long run. Before moving in, check a house’s energy-rating results.
Here’s what you usually need to remember to put aside for monthly bills: council tax, utilities, heating, gas, internet. You’ll need about £ 300 to cover all the bills. Check out the Bristol housing festival.

Weather Bristol

Bristol has a mild climate and decent air quality, but it rains a lot. Summers and winters are both hot and rainy. Although the environment isn’t perfect for sun lovers, it has its advantages, for example, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to change your car tyres. The good news is you won’t need to buy costly winter coats. Essentially, Bristol’s autumn begins with several cold or sunny periods. Don’t neglect outdoor activities if it rains. Grab your water, a good rain poncho, and go. The British countryside is as beautiful even though it pours.

Also read: Things to do in Bristol with kids.