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So you’ve chosen to make Bristol your next home? Great, you’ll love it!

But where should you live in Bristol? And which areas of Bristol should you avoid? What else do you need to know regarding cost of living in Bristol, public transport and work?

This article aims to explain all of this to you so that you’re fully prepared for your move to this thriving city.

Psst! Do you want a FREE eBook about moving to Bristol? Subscribe now to get it plus a bunch of other cool freebies! >>

Moving to Bristol: Good Areas to Live in

As with most cities, there are good areas to live in, and bad ones.

There are a number of up and coming areas in Bristol, plus those areas that have always been good to live in.

The following places that I recommend are all based on my own experiences, but you will also find that most forum threads agree with this list of good areas to live in Bristol as well.

When starting your search for houses or places to rent in Bristol, you will need to act fast (especially for the best areas).

It’s not unheard of for places to disappear from under your nose within a day, or even a few hours.

As someone who has embarked on several house hunts over the past few years, it was all too common for me to have a viewing booked in for the next day, only to find that by that morning, the place had been snapped up.

So, when it came to finding my current home, I knew I had to move swiftly.

Anyway, here are the up and coming areas of Bristol and great options for living in:

1. Emersons Green & Downend

Located just a couple of minutes from each other, both Emersons Green and Downend are great places to consider living in.

There are a number of shops centrally located within each suburb, so it’s unlikely you will need to keep heading into the city centre for everything.

That said, for the days when you do want to head into town, it will take you 20 minutes by car (on a good day – not during rush hour), or roughly 30 minutes by bus.

You can also easily cycle into town from either of these areas, taking about 45 minutes along the popular cycle path.

Downend is a little cheaper if buying your forever home, and both areas offer great schools, safe family neighbourhoods, easy access to the Ring Road and motorways, plus the ability to get out into the countryside quickly and easily.

These areas are perfect for families, and those who prefer peace and quiet.

2. Clifton & Redland

Both of these areas are slightly more upmarket in Bristol, and they are certainly what one would call ‘cosmopolitan’.

Each area is located a good distance from both the city centre and the Clifton Downs (a popular parkland space for families, couples and friend groups to go to).

Although Redland is considered a good area in Bristol, it is cheaper to live in than Clifton (although still on the expensive side compared with most other areas in Bristol).

Clifton is most definitely reserved for those with plenty of spare cash to spend, and for anyone who would love to own an original Georgian home.

Furthermore, Clifton Village is not too far away from either area, which offers superb shopping in independent boutiques.

Both of these areas are great for young professionals.

3. Horfield

Within Horfield, it’s easy to find safe neighbourhoods with good housing standards.

You will also find that Gloucester Road is easy to get to, which offers plenty of great shopping throughout its independent boutiques, patisseries and local produce shops (i.e. butchers, greengrocers etc).

You will also find that you’re only a couple of miles from the city centre as well, making it really easy to commute into the city for work.

If choosing to live here, you may wish to opt out of owning a car as traffic can be bad, but this would depend on exactly where in Horfield you choose to rent or own. If you’re within easy access of the M32, then owning a car will not cause you too many headaches.

Horfield is great for both families and young professionals.

4. Henleaze

You’ll notice from this list that a lot of the best areas to live in Bristol are located North of the city.

Henleaze is further away from the centre than Horfield, but only by a few minutes in the car. Henleaze offers much of the same sort of vibe as Horfield, albeit with a few more shops around than just Gloucester Road.

You’ll likely find that access to the motorways is easier from Henleaze than Horfield, although you will be a little further away from the centre in case you’re commuting.

Henleaze is also great for both families and young professionals.

5. Hanham

Hanham has much of the same sort of vibe as Emersons Green and Downend, but is slightly closer to the centre than those two areas.

Access to the Ring Road is as easy as pie from Hanham, and the neighbourhoods are just as clean and safe as the Emersons Green and Downend areas.

As such, Hanham is perfect for families and anyone who loves the quiet life.

The only word of caution here would be cost of living. As this is an excellent area to live in, this will be rather noticeable in rent and property prices.

That said, with the great area and good quality housing, you won’t mind paying a little more.

An Author’s Note

As with any consideration in moving house, the advice will always be to rent somewhere for 6-12 months before purchasing.

Unless you know an area is definitely the one for you, it is best to rent before buying just in case it’s not quite as rosy as you first thought.

And when viewing properties (for both rent and buying), take some time to walk around the streets near to them. Keep these points in mind:

  • Grab a drink or have some lunch in the local cafes, and test out the facilities on offer nearby.
  • Is there plenty of shopping?
  • Have you got a good local library nearby?
  • What do the schools and doctor surgeries look like?
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Knowing all of this is a great way to get a feel for the local area.

There’s nothing worse than renting (or worse: buying!) somewhere that you thought was in a great area, only to find it’s not quite right for you.

Fall in Love with Bristol: Harbourside

Moving to Bristol: Places to Avoid

As can be expected, there are always going to be places that should be avoided, especially if moving to Bristol.

When I was first looking for somewhere to rent in the city, a local woman overheard me phoning letting agents during my working lunch and started listing places I should avoid living in. She’d overheard me looking for somewhere in St Paul’s and was so concerned for me that she spoke her mind.

Once I got to know Bristol, I fully understood where she was coming from.

The list that follows of places to avoid in Bristol is combined from my own experiences, plus the common places that appear in forums as places to avoid when moving to Bristol.

Eastville & Easton: Although these areas are multiculturally diverse, they do have higher crime rates than one would like in a living area.

Stokes Croft & St Paul’s: Although there is a lot to see in Stokes Croft and St Paul’s during the daytime, (and if you’re looking for decent pubs and bars), the crime rate is fairly poor in these areas. I would certainly recommend avoiding both areas if looking for somewhere to live in Bristol.

Hartcliffe: Similarly to these other areas listed, crime rates in Hartcliffe are not great! In fact, they’re so poor that the Bristol Post included this area in their article about Bristol’s most dangerous streets.

Fall in Love with Bristol: Girl with the Pearl Earring Street Art

Cost of Living in Bristol vs London

With Bristol often being compared to London, there of course comes a time when the cost of living in Bristol vs London should also be compared.

In some respects, Bristol is thought of as a ‘baby London’, but there are a few notable differences, such as the hipster vibe, accent and cost of living in Bristol.

Rent & Property Prices

First things first, average rent prices in Bristol differ between which area you’re looking at.

If renting in the city, you should expect to pay in the region of £1,000-£1,200 per month for a small 1 bed flat.

Whereas, if you’re able to look further outside of the city in areas like Downend, Emersons Green and Hanham, you could find a beautiful 3 bed house with garden for that price or even closer to the £900 per month mark.

On the other hand, Bristol can be quite an expensive place to purchase property in.

Even a small flat could set you back at least £150,000 in the cheaper areas, whilst you should expect to pay over £200,000 for a 2 bed home.

Of course, as you add more bedrooms plus other benefits like good schooling nearby, garage, conservatory or extra bathroom, your fee will only continue to increase way beyond a £250,000 figure.

That said, Bristol really is an up and coming city, with many people flocking to live here.

Any property you do purchase in Bristol will surely turn out to be a great long-term investment (especially if you can add value to the property whilst owning it).

Property Fees

With both renting and buying property in Bristol, there are a whole ton of fees to take into account on top of the purchase or rent price.

So you will need to do some complete research into this to ensure you know what to budget for.

My recommendation would be to review the various guides, tips and articles on the Money Saving Expert website.


When thinking about bills, a couple can expect to pay about £110 per month for most bills, including gas, electricity, council tax and internet.

Water is billed once every 6 months costing approximately £200 each time.

For gas and electric, you can opt to have a smart meter installed, which means you simply pay for what you use.

Depending on your usage, this can work out cheaper, so it’s worth investigating. Smart meters are normally free to install too!

General Cost of Living in Bristol

Now that we’ve got some of the formalities out of the way, it’s time for a comparison!

Bristol is considered to be 19% cheaper to live in than London. 

For a street food meal, expect to pay about £5-6 in Bristol, or approximately £25 per person for a dinner in a decent restaurant.

A trip to the cinema will set you back just under £20 for a couple and a pint of beer comes in at a whopping £4 average price.

For a full comparison, I usually refer to the Expatisan website, which is updated regularly. 

If you’re on a budget when you first come to Bristol, make sure you check out all of the fabulous free things to do in the city… there’s plenty!

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Average Salaries

But if the cost of living in Bristol is cheaper than in London, surely that means there is also a difference in average salary.

Those working in London should expect to get paid an average 40% more than Bristolians, with the average salary equating to £58,000 per year.

However, this does come with a much higher cost of living (especially when it comes to rent and mortgage prices).

The average Bristol salary is £35,000 per year (before tax), and there are a number of thriving industries in Bristol.

Whether you have an eye for design, are a budding technologist or an aerospace expert, there’s some really great work opportunities in Bristol.

We’ll cover more of this in the Moving to Bristol: Work section below.

Fall in Love with Bristol: Clifton Suspension Bridge

Living in Bristol: Work

Bristol has always had a fantastic seaport, allowing the trade of goods to be ever expanding.

In the current climate, Bristol trades heavily in motor vehicles (Bristol is actually the largest importer to the UK), grain, timber, fresh produce and petroleum products.

Aside from the city’s nautical connections, Bristol’s economy is reliant on aerospace, technology, defence, media, tourism, IT and financial service sectors.

The Filton area of Bristol is particularly great for those involved with engineering due to top employers BAE Systems, Airbus and Rolls-Royce all residing there.

Filton Abbey Wood is also great for defence workers, with over 7000 people currently working for the Ministry of Defence based there.

Tourism does fairly well in Bristol due to over 9 million people visiting the city every year, particularly when you think about how many fun things there are to do in the summer in Bristol (including the International Balloon Fiesta).

Finally, nicknamed the ‘Silicon Gorge’, finance, IT and technology all do well in Bristol, as well as startup businesses.

With so many fantastic job opportunities available in Bristol, this is a great city for graduates and young professionals wishing to relocate.

As mentioned, the average salary is £35,000, which is why so many people come to this city looking for work.

Although this makes job hunting highly competitive, with the relevant qualifications, experience and work ethic, you are likely to find an amazing employer, good money and an enjoyable job.

Take me for example…

Fresh out of University with a Business degree, a startup software company offered me an opportunity with them.

Five years and a variety of job roles within the company later, they are still presenting me with new and varied work opportunities.

After seeing the successes I’ve achieved with this blog, they invited me to join the Marketing team as a Content Writer, which also allows me to work remotely most days of the week I might add.

How many cities can say opportunities like that are presented regularly?

As for benefits and bonuses, it’s common for companies to offer dental care, medical insurance and work-based pensions (which are becoming compulsory in the UK).

Plus, it is very common for companies to offer the opportunity for you to get involved with a ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, which allows you to purchase bicycles for a fraction of the cost – providing you plan on cycling to work of course.

The average worker in Bristol does not receive a bonus in the workplace, but it is not unheard of, so this is worth checking during your job interview or induction day.

If you will receive a bonus, this will be advertised alongside your expected salary.

Working in Bristol Guide

Living in Bristol: Transport

I’m not going to lie, transport in Bristol (and throughout the UK) is not the best.

Having travelled extensively on Italy’s rail networks, the Paris Metro and even buses in Hawaii, I know that the UK has a lot to learn when it comes to transportation (especially public transport).

Driving in Bristol

Specifically in Bristol, the road system leaves a lot to be desired.

There are a number of confusing one-way systems, highly congested traffic and lots of roadworks. Therefore, I will always recommend not to bother driving in Bristol unless you really must.

Alternatively, if leaving the city, you will need a car for days out such as trips to London or further afield. But when in the city, please consider walking, cycling or catching a bus.

Cycling in Bristol

Cycling in Bristol is a very popular pastime, which is only made all the more true when you consider just how many cycle paths are available in Bristol.

It’s super easy to get from the city centre out to most suburban areas whilst hardly cycling along main roads.

Plus, many companies are involved with the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, allowing you to purchase a bicycle for a fraction of the cost.

Please refer to the Moving to Bristol: Work section above for other benefits available when working in Bristol.

Buses in Bristol

I’ve briefly mentioned the endless roadworks that seem to occur within Bristol, but what exactly is all of this for, and is it worth it?

Alongside the South Gloucestershire and North Somerset councils, Bristol City Council is working on improving public transport links, particularly buses.

They’ve recently launched an express bus service to make travelling into the city faster, easier and more eco-friendly. Known as the MetroBus, this should really help to improve congestion and commute times.

Alongside this, there is a new Park & Ride facility available from Lyde Green (a new housing development in the suburbs), which opened last year. This is in addition to the pre-existing Park & Rides in Brislington, Portway and Long Ashton.

So, despite Bristol looking like a death trap right now of orange cones, warning signs and congested traffic, we should hopefully see this improve as early as 2019! Here’s hoping!

Travelling Further Afield

As for travelling further afield, it takes just 2 hours to drive to London Heathrow via the M4 motorway, and there are lots of great day trips you can take from Bristol that are located less than an hour away.

Or you can opt for a fairly priced coach, taking 2.5 hours to get to Heathrow or 4 hours to get to London Gatwick. These are normally National Express coaches, so keep an eye out for offers and discounts on their website.

Bristol also has its own International airport, which offers fair car parking prices or the option to get the Flyer Express bus from Bristol Temple Meads train station for just £11 return.

Although you cannot fly to everywhere from Bristol, you should find that the airport is still very well connected, especially with European destinations.

Bristol Transport

Living in Bristol: Food

You may have noticed that food plays quite a large part in my blog, so it should come as no surprise that a moving to Bristol guide would also include a food section.

Bristol is perfect for foodies!

They are on top of all the latest trends, including veganism, bubble tea and local produce, whilst also ensuring many chain restaurants are available alongside the independent family-run places.

Street food is particularly prevalent in Bristol – not only cheap, but they are of high quality and exotic. Are you in the mood for some delicious falafel? How about Caribbean jerk chicken? Easy.

In Bristol, you can find food to suit every taste, personality type and budget.

Don’t believe me? Just check out my local’s guide to Bristol: the food edition!

Oh, and this is just some of the great eateries in Bristol. It’s safe to say that my Bristol food guide is going to keep on growing!

Stonebaked Pizza from No 51, Bristol

Why is Bristol so easy to fall in love with?

Hopefully reading this guide has given you lots of food for thought ahead of living in Bristol.

But did you know that Bristol has also been voted the best city in the UK multiple times?

If you ask any native Bristolian what they like about living in Bristol, you’ll likely hear one of these things or a combination of them:

  • Bristol has a diverse, multicultural and fun vibe
  • It offers a good balance of city-life and country living
  • There are a number of excellent industries that are booming within the city, including aerospace, technology, IT and marketing
  • It’s a truly colourful place to live in, with lots of fun and free festivals throughout the year
  • There are hundreds of thriving independent businesses in the city, which locals love to support
  • Salaries are decent here, combined with fair rent and housing prices
  • Christmas in Bristol is a pretty epic celebration of a whole bunch of fun stuff!
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If you’re after more reasons why Bristol is so easy to fall in love with, here’s a more in-depth article.

Bristol Living Guide

Should you move to Bristol?

If you were to ask me “Should I move to Bristol?”, then my answer would simply be: “Yes, you totally should! There are so many reasons why!”

Although let’s face it, I’m a biased resident having called this home for the past five years.

But don’t just take my word for it – let the awards speak for itself!

  • Named the best place to live in Britain in 2017 by The Sunday Times. Enough said!
  • Declared European City of Sport in 2017 by The European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation. Thus, Bristol is a great place to keep fit!
  • Home to almost 20,000 businesses, Bristol was also voted #1 for starting a business in the Start-up Cities Index in 2016
  • Voted European Green Capital in 2015 by The European Commission. Bristol was actually the first UK city to win this highly coveted award!

International Balloon Fiesta

Phew, that’s it from me! I hope you find this article useful if considering living in Bristol. Now tell me, when are you moving to this fun and vibrant city?

Did you like this? Go ahead and pin it for later!

Where should you live in Bristol?

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42 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Living in Bristol (By a Local)

  1. Bristol seems like a fun and exciting place to live. I’d love to go there soon, What shouldn’t I miss there?

    1. It most definitely is Agness! I adore Bristol, as you’ve probably guessed 😉
      Ooh, I hope you do get to come here soon. You absolutely should not miss: The Clifton Suspension Bridge, Harbourside, Banksy Walking Tour, Gloucester Road and Clifton Village shopping and afternoon tea at Cox and Baloney’s Tea Room. I’m afraid you’ve just missed the Harbourside and Balloon Festivals, but maybe next summer? 🙂

  2. shaun king says:

    nice to see you using my Bristol photo in something about Bristol – it has been used in China, Spain and Russia all on property sites but at least it might encourage people to visit. regards Shaun

    1. Hi Shaun, I appreciate you letting me use it from Pixabay. I adore the colourful houses of Totterdown, but I’ve just never been able to photograph them quite so beautifully as you have done. Here’s hoping we can start putting Bristol on the map a bit more! 🙂

      1. Manish says:

        Thank you for great information.

        1. I’m glad you found the blog helpful Manish! xoxo

  3. shaun king says:

    Hi Justine, these houses are not the Totterdown ones, but are instead above the grain barge bar above Hotwells – you have the new appartments and the painted houses above you can see them form near the harbourmasters office and that side of the river. Should be easier to photograph from there too. The mix of old and new makes a good image. 🙂

    1. Awesome, thanks for the tips!! I clearly need to spend more time by the Harbourside!! 🙂

  4. Steve D says:

    We are a family of four. We’ve recently moved to Bristol from Wansted, and having considered and travelled most of Bristol’s suburbs we finally decided (following much deliberation) to purchase in Downend. We loved the high street, 1930’s housing stock, and the fact that people clearly take pride in their properties. The area is full of professional families, and their Facebook group (heathboard) is like a micro community in itself. You can still get a 1930s semi for £400k.

    Once we’d moved In, it didn’t take long for us to receive invites from friendly neighbours to “street nights out” to the Duck and Willow which by the way is a great foodie pub.

    We did also consider Emerson’s Green but we personally preferred the older housing stock Downend had to offer. We also liked Westbury on Trym but you get far less for your money as Londoners have driven up prices there. Downend is stil relatively unknown to those moving to Bristol from the south east so grabbing a true bargain is possible. We got this house for £395k;jsessionid=072E631AC38D271554B30E672B445F54?prop=64236263&sale=5006776&country=england

    We’ve been in Bristol now for 4 months, and it’s best move we’ve made.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks ever so much for sharing this! I’m so pleased to hear that your move to Bristol has been worthwhile. I may be biased, but I also think you’ve made an awesome move! The house you’ve linked to looks stunning, and definitely a bargain compared to what you’d get in London.

      I would have to agree with you on the style of houses. I’m living in Emersons Green at the moment, but we’re looking towards Downend for our next home as we also prefer the older style.

      Also, now that you’re in Downend, you should keep an eye out for the Downend Voice and my travel column, which started this month. Lots more cool travel stories coming your way! 😉

  5. Kay Nicholls says:

    Lovely article. Planning to move to Bristol in 2018 and Downend is an area that caught our eye too.

    1. Hi Kay,

      This is great news – you’re absolutely going to love living in Bristol! Downend is a lovely area so I’m not surprised it’s high on your list too. Everyone looks after their homes, neighbours get along, and the shops are really handy here. There’s some great independent coffee shops on the high street, which are a huge hit with all of us locals! 🙂

      If you ever have any questions about living in Bristol, then you’re more than welcome to send me a message!

      Good luck for the move next year – I hope it all goes well!



  6. andrea lowe says:

    We are moving to Bristol in the summer, relocating from Paris. I am finding your tips really useful and they have already helped me narrow our house search.

    1. That’s great news, Andrea!
      I’m really pleased to hear you’ve found this post useful, and I wish you the best of luck for your move 😀

  7. Alistair young says:

    Great piece of work and so detailed – this should be a site that covers the whole of the u.k. that tells the honest truth about an area what’s good and bad…

    I myself was born in hanham in 1960, left for surrey in 1964… that’s where the jobs were for my father. We should have stayed, I hate it here, the people are awful, no genuineness, it’s dog eat dog and so materialisic. I always wonder what it would be like to move back to hanham whitucks road and look at the cows in the fields opposite and fly kites…

    I think I would have had a better life if we had stayed, such a shame……..

    1. Hi Alistair,

      Thanks for commenting!

      I’m glad you liked the article, although I’m so sorry to hear you’re not enjoying living in Surrey. I would love to be able to write detailed guides like this for more of the UK, but I need to live in more places in order to do so 🙂

      I hope there is something you like about Surrey; even if it’s just that your friends and family are there. If you’re not able to re-locate, then it’s really best to hang onto the positives as best as you can.

      All the best,


  8. Hans says:

    Hi Justine,

    Firstly, I’m honestly taken aback by your writing. The energy and authenticity as well as connection to audience are well done. I can see why the marketing team would like you to join.

    Thank you for sharing the guide, it is very helpful for my family and I who are keenly awaiting our move to Bristol.

    One difficulties we are facing is currently we are living in a house, and in Bristol, we plan to go for apartments instead (for practicality reasons). Hence, there won’t be enough space to hold all our items. I’m wondering if you would have knowledge/recommendation on reasonably-priced storage spaces.

    Your food guide will be my next stop 🙂
    Thank you again and hope you’ve continued to enjoy your work and writing.


    1. Hi Hans,

      Thanks for commenting and for the very kind comments! I’m glad you’ve been finding my Bristol articles helpful… plenty more where this one came from in the pipeline! 🙂

      There are quite a few self-storage options in Bristol that you should find are competitively priced. But my vote would be to start with either The Big Yellow Self Storage or Safe Store; both of which have several different Bristol locations. As they’re chains, you should find the prices are pretty good although exact costs will depend on how much stuff you have and how long you need the container for.

      I hope that helps you! Good luck with your upcoming move to Bristol — once you’re here, I’m sure you and your family will love the city!

      And please feel to poke me if you need any other advice or information I might be able to share.



      1. Hans says:

        Hi Justine,

        So our move to Bristol is 3-weeks away (yes, I plan it to coincide with Brexit day, haha…Just kidding). In our previous visit, we were looking at flats/houses around Henleaze, Clifton, Redland and Horfield.Clifton and Redland are very pleasant areas but as you’ve mentioned, would tear a hole in my pocket & most of them have aged.

        I’ve been contemplating reasonable alternatives such as Patchway or Bradley Stoke. Would you have any recommendation or sense of how family-friendly and safe it is? Or would you not recommend them?
        From zoopla and rightmove, the houses in Patchway are recent built and modern. The only missing info is the presence of amenities in the area.

        Thank you, Justine.

        1. Hi Hans,

          Wow, that’s come around quickly! On behalf of the British Government, I apologise profusely for all of the current mess of Brexit — I don’t think any of us quite know what’s happening there :-/

          Anyway, although we haven’t lived in the Patchway or Bradley Stoke areas ourselves, we know a few families who live in those areas seemingly quite happily.

          The centre of Bradley Stoke has had a few more reported crimes than the outskirts, but I think that’s probably to be expected in any area to be honest. Here’s a good crime map to take a look over. And here’s the equivalent for the Patchway area. I think it’s probably worth noting that despite these maps, we haven’t heard ourselves of these being areas to avoid (like the areas we listed in the blog) so although we haven’t lived there ourselves, they don’t strike me as particularly worrisome.

          As far as amenities go, it’s not completely void in that area. For instance, there’s the Cribbs Causeway shopping mall not too far away, which has plenty of shops and restaurants and always seems to be bustling whenever we visit. For children, there’s a few things around that would be worth visiting such as the Wild Place Project, Hollywood Bowl, AirHop Bristol and the Aerospace Museum. You might have to drive to them all, but you shouldn’t be in the car for too long 🙂

          I wish I could give you more info but we just haven’t lived there ourselves. Either way, I hope the above info has given you some food for thought 🙂

          Let us know if we can be of more help!


  9. Dom says:

    Thank you for the lovely article, it was good to read so many useful and informative stuff about Bristol. I’m moving there in January 2019 (when my new job starts). Very exciting about the move from a different country!

    1. Hi Dom,

      Thanks for commenting!

      So pleased you found the article helpful. Good luck with your move to Bristol, I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂



  10. David Ross says:

    Is Clifton overrun with students? My wife and I are thinking of retiring to the area.

    1. Hi David,

      I wouldn’t say that Clifton is overrun with students, given it’s quite an affluent area. However, students do reside there as it’s close to various Bristol Uni campuses (but students are likely to be living in large Georgian properties that they rent together… you know, the three-storey seven bedroom type of places).

      I’d suggest spending some time in Clifton over weekday evenings and weekend afternoons so you can get a feel for whether you and your wife personally think there’s too many students there. But certainly compared with other areas of Bristol, you shouldn’t feel overrun by them.

      You may also want to take a look at areas a bit further out from the city (such as on the outskirts/suburb type areas) to see even fewer students.

      I hope this helps but just shout if you have any other questions!



  11. joao says:

    Hi thanks for the tips…
    I have one question….when u say that should avoid this areas Stokes Croft & St Paul’s, and say that “the crime rate is fairly poor in these areas” I didn’t understand if this areas have a high rate of crimes or lower, or it should be avoid only because there are lots of pubs and night life around?

    1. Hi Joao,

      Thanks for commenting! And I’m glad you found the tips helpful…

      Apologies for that particular section not being clearer. We personally think the Stokes Croft and St Pauls areas are GREAT for nightlife; they have some awesome pubs and bars that are well worth a visit. And the street art there is pretty cool to see during the day time too. What we meant about avoiding these areas when looking for somewhere to live is simply because of the crime rate. You can see what I mean here in the 35 Wards section. Both Ashley (which includes St Pauls) and Cabot (which includes Stokes Croft) are in the top 5 results for crime figures.

      I hope this makes things a bit clearer but just shout if you’ve got any other questions 🙂



  12. Annie says:

    Bristol is a fun city but it is not beautiful If you want beauty travel to nearby Bath.I lived in Bristol for 10 years moved to Devon when I had kids (far too many smack heads) best decision I ever made.

    1. Hi Annie,

      Thanks for commenting!

      I definitely agree that Bath is a beautiful city, although I do think that Bristol has its pretty moments too (maybe not everywhere, of course!) It’s a shame, but many of the UK’s larger cities have their good and bad bits. We still think Bristol is a great place to live, although it’s certainly not for everyone. For us, we like to think we’ll be able to call it home for at least another 5-10 years; beyond that, who knows?! 🙂

      I’m glad to hear you’re liking living in Devon… there’s definitely a lot of beauty there for sure!


  13. Rachel Chapman says:

    I’ve rented in Clifton, Redland, Southville, Bedminster and Knowle. When I decided to purchase my home, I opted for Easton. I absolutely love it, it’s multicultural, creative area with the strongest sense of community of any place I have ever lived. True the crime rate may be slightly higher than the ‘posher’ areas of Bristol but this is not the only criteria you should judge and area on. It might also be worth noting that Southville, which is seen as a very desirable area has a higher crime rate (,

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for commenting and for sharing your experiences of living in Bristol.

      It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying living in Easton in particular. I completely agree that crime rate shouldn’t be the only factor in the decision of where to live, especially as Bristol is a large(ish) city and so the crime rate is likely to be higher than in more rural areas or even smaller cities and towns anyway.

      But for us personally, we do prefer to live in areas with lower crime rates. It’s probably more of a placebo effect than anything to be honest — if we’re aware of crime being common near where we are, then we tend to be more on our guard than if we thought we were in a safer area. But this is just us… 😉

      Anyway, we really appreciate you sharing your views on living in Bristol in the comments section. We like to think it helps to give a more rounded view, as opposed to just us rambling on, haha!

      All the best,


      1. Linda says:

        Hi really great article. We are both healthy, interested and sociable 60 year olds, is there a particular area that would be more suitable for us, linda

        1. Hi Linda,

          Thanks for commenting – I’m glad you liked the article! 🙂

          Have you considered the areas in and around Hanham? Places like Hanham itself, Oldland Common, Longwell Green and Keynsham…

          They’re classified as the suburbs of Bristol but they’ve got a lot going on — plenty of shops, restaurants and other entertainment are never too far away. Plus, they’re the perfect distance from places like Bath and the Cotswolds if you’re into more outdoorsy activities.

          Let me know what you think!


  14. Nick P says:

    What a lovely piece of writing! Very useful and unbiased. We’re currently deciding between Westbury on trym and Downend for our family home. Both areas look very similar but Westbury seems more transient and also a little pricier due to being that little bit closer to the centre. From what we can see, you get more for your money in Downend and it’s got better road links. I also love the Bristol to Bath cycle path by the way. Currently renting until we make our mind up!

    1. Hi Nick,

      Thanks ever so much for your kind comments!

      Those two areas are great choices if I do say so myself. But you’re absolutely right about Downend being the cheaper of the two. From what I understand, a lot of people moving from London and cities like it tend to head to Westbury, which I think also pushes the prices up there.

      Good luck with choosing your forever home once you’ve worked out where you want to be though 🙂


  15. Jo Treasure says:

    Thank you so much. Having read your article (which is brilliant by the way) and also read “The five most family-friendly places to live in Bristol” Evening Post article we’ve eventually decided to move from Edinburgh to Downend in Bristol.

    Your article truly opened our eyes to other parts of the cities we’d previously never considered. We’ve just had an offer accepted on this lovely home (if I do say so myself 😉

    Without your help, this wouldn’t have been possible as we had our sights set on BS6/BS7/BS9/BS10. Thank you Wanderers of the World!

    1. Hi Jo,
      Thanks ever so much for your comment – and your lovely compliments about the article. I’m so pleased you found it helpful and you’re totally right – that house is an absolute stunner! <3
      I'm sure you and your family will be so happy there, and if I do say so myself, Downend is an excellent choice 😉
      Congratulations on the offer and good luck with the move!

  16. Hazel says:

    I have found your writing extremely informative and was wondering if you have any information about Kingswood in Bristol which I understand is about a mile or so from Downend and Hanham. I have heard that the housing stock there is very good, with pockets of 1930’s properties with large gardens. Schools seem to have good ofsted reports too but there doesn’t seem to be much information about the area at all. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards Hazel.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Hazel,

      Thanks for commenting! I’m so pleased you’ve been finding this article helpful.

      Regarding Kingswood, I’m afraid we’ve not lived there ourselves but we have visited a few times as the High Street has loads there – and it’s where our local council office is. I’ve found a thread on Reddit about living in Kingswood, which seems to be quite helpful (although most of the posts are 2 years old so I guess take things with a pinch of salt). You can see it here.

      What I will say though is that Scott and I had the opportunity to view a place in Kingswood to buy and we decided not to as it was quite close to the High Street, which we understand can get busy and rowdy throughout the day and especially at night. If you have the chance to view somewhere a little further away from the main hub and within residential cul-de-sacs then you may find this works better for you.

      I’m sorry I can’t be of much more help – if I spot anything else that might be helpful to read then I’ll be sure to post the links here for you.



  17. Louise says:

    I found this article really helpful. Thank you so much for being so honest and enthusiastic about the topic! I’m was looking for a place to rent just for a month or two, Bristol was really almost outside of my radar…Then I have read this article and I want to go to Bristol!
    I would like to know, you said Eastville and Easton were multiculturally diverse but high crime rate. Apart from those two and of the places you mentioned, out of Emerson’s Green, Downend, Clifton, Redlands, Hanham, which one is the most multiculturally and social diverse? Which one has more diversity in all areas, including age?
    Thank you very much for your time and a great article!

    1. Hi Louise,

      It’s wonderful to hear you’re more interested in Bristol after reading our blog!

      And thanks for your questions – we’ll do our best to answer them for you.

      To be honest, I wouldn’t describe any of those areas as ‘multicultural’. As far as cities go, Bristol is pretty “white” and the areas that are multicultural are often the most deprived areas. It doesn’t feel great writing that but I’m afraid it’s the way it is.

      That said, out of all the areas we’ve recommended in the article, the most diverse of those is probably Redland. It does have a high concentration of University students but there are also lots of family friendly areas, as well as large pockets of working professionals in their 20s and 30s. As far as multiculturalism goes, I’d still call the area “white”, but it’s close to all the diversity you get from Gloucester Road and Cheltenham Road, so you won’t have to walk far to find more diversity and the unique Bristol vibe.

      I hope this helps you with your search! If you want any other info about Bristol, just let us know 🙂


      1. Louise says:

        Thank you so much for your reply and being so honest! It’s very refreshing. I’ve only ever visited for s few hours many years ago, so haven’t spent any real time in the city. After reading your blog, I will definitely visit for a much longer stay.
        Many thanks

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