Aspire to Move’s Area Guide to Bristol

Bristol Clifton suspension bridge aerial view

If there was ever a city that was the embodiment of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, it would be Bristol. This is a city overflowing with vibrancy, adventure, character, and life. The best part is, our Aspire To Move HQ is just around the corner in the neighbouring city, Bath, although we do also operate our property hunting services in Bristol too. 

Bristol has it all, food stops that cater to all tastes, shops like you’ve never seen before, nightlife compared to that of big cities such as London, massively diverse communities, street art covering almost every square mile, and some serious history.

Keen to learn more about life in Bristol? Buckle in, we’ll be touring you through this multicultural city. 

Where is Bristol located?

Bristol is the largest city based in the South West of England and is situated on the River Avon. Whilst it may be thought to be part of the county Somerset, Bristol is actually a county of itself. Bristol is an easy location to travel back and forth between and only requires a bus or more popularly, train hops to reach destinations; London (107 miles east), Bath (12 miles east), Salisbury (50 miles south), and Birmingham (88 miles north).

Is Bristol a good place to live?

If it’s a city that has about 1000 things going on at any given moment that you’re seeking, then Bristol is definitely the place for you. There’s never a dull day in this incredible city, and even when the weather isn’t behaving the most friendly (as the British climate often does), Bristol still has plenty of activities, sights, and spots to enjoy. What’s more, the city of Bristol is well-known for its music scene so the atmosphere within the city is always spirited and festive. In fact, in 2010, Bristol was named Britain’s most musical city. And whilst that was over a decade ago, it still rings true today. The spirit, musical presence, and general stimulating vibe of the city are still very much alive.

Ask anyone who lives here and you’ll find out just how highly Bristol is rated, so much so that it was voted as the UK’s happiest city in 2019. Both residents and visitors are drawn to Bristol regardless of the reason. The city is just that massively accommodating that it pulls people from all walks of life.

Bristol has a vast backstory, filled with so much history, making it the place it is today. A few of the most recognized milestones being:

  • Birthplace of the SS Great Britain steamship in 1843
  • Home to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, opened in 1864
  • Cabot Tower is built in honour of the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s travel to Newfoundland

Now we can recognise that this might all sound a bit intense and whilst a large population of the residents of Bristol are definitely on the creative, artsy and dynamic side, there’s so much more to the area beneath its surface. 

Certain areas of this massively influential location are far more suited to those seeking escapism. There are districts of Bristol that offer beautiful blends of riversides and onlooking landscapes such as hills and forests whilst still providing the flexibility of travelling in and out of the city centre with ease.

With so much on and communities to suit everyone, Bristol is most definitely an ideal place to relocate to. 

Bristol city central castle park view

Housing types and prices

The versatility of housing and accommodation in Bristol means that there is quite literally something for everyone. Because Bristol is a county of its own, you will find that each area of Bristol has its own style and character so there will undoubtedly be a neighbourhood to suit you.

Especially with its youthful feel and endless exploration opportunities, Bristol is particularly popular amongst younger families and students. But because of its ease of commuting, it’s also a favoured location with business professionals too.

Bristol currently sits in the top 3 most expensive cities to live in the UK, after London and Birmingham. And with the very apparent popularity of the location, it certainly makes sense why there are rises in living prices for residents of Bristol. 

Related: Learn more about letting agents in Bristol and see available listings now.

Looking to buy

The average housing prices for properties in Bristol comprise of the following figures:

Apartments: £266,100

Terraced houses: £364,424

Semi-detached houses: £396,198

Source: Rightmove

Looking to rent

The average costs of renting a property in Bristol will vary depending on the size of the property itself and the number of rooms within.

A 1 bedroom property will average around £1,282 per month and 2 bedrooms looking at roughly £1,605 per month.


(Figures averaged at time of publishing, therefore subject to change)

Areas of Bristol


A highly valued and demanded place to live in Bristol. The area of Clifton is remarkably modern and a central hub for many landmarks and activities. A bustling community that sits in a brilliantly convenient spot in the city of Bristol, Clifton is a popular area to live in if you’re looking to have easy access to both the city centre and surrounding amenities. 

Locale from City Centre: North-West


A popular spot amongst younger demographics, Redland is a vibrant location brilliant for both students and families alike. The lovely Victorian-style properties situated in Redland are what makes the area appealing plus it benefits from welcoming pubs which are cornerstones of the community. Small hidden independent shops give this area of Bristol a beautifully quaint and homely feel and the parks and green spaces create a grounded and close-to-nature feel.

Locale from City Centre: North-West


Famously described as ‘Bristol’s Indie District’, Bishopston is a small shopper’s and cafe hopper’s dream as it houses a variety of independent retailers and coffee shops. The properties of Bishopston are well suited to larger families thanks to being mostly 2, 3, or 4-bedroom houses.

Locale from City Centre: North


Even though Kingswood sits right on the border of South Gloucestershire, it is still a district of Bristol. Much like the other properties of Bristol, Kingswood homes have the typical Victorian style. The area is mostly favoured by families due to its accommodating homes and plethora of schools and play areas.

Locale from City Centre: East


Totterdown is a hilly and colourful suburb that gives residents a brilliant overhead view of the city. You can see the houses of the area upon entering the city centre thanks to their towering height and spectrum of colourfully painted exteriors. In addition to these bold and bright homes, the area of Totterdown also houses plenty of modern and independent shops, making it a popular destination for visitors and residents.

Locale from City Centre: South-East


This rural haven area is tucked a bit further away from Bristol’s city center and borders the city altogether. Thankfully plenty of transport links are available to get residents to and from the city but with plenty of options in the area itself, there’s little reason to regularly venture center. Keynsham perfectly accommodates residents both young and old so is a greatly versatile community. 

Locale from City Centre: South-East

St George

With greenery, parks, and nature reserves such as Troopers Hill, this area heading East out of Bristol is an excellent spot for any budding nature lover and keen explorers. St George is a great district for families thanks to all of these greenery spots, making them brilliant areas for picnics, play dates, and general days out with the kids. 

Locale from City Centre: South-East


The harbourside community is young and eclectic but the benefit of living in this area of Bristol is the immediate access to all that the city has to offer. The modern properties of Harbourside and the bubbly community make this an ideal home for young families.

Locale from City Centre: In City Centre


Brislington is only a short distance from Bristol’s city centre, making it a great spot for those who have jobs within central Bristol. The broad variation of housing in Brislington makes it appealing to all, whether families, young single/couple professionals, or the elderly. And the edge of Brislington borders the city of Bath, making Brislington a brilliant linking location.

Locale from City Centre: South-East

Stokes Croft

Stokes Croft is a cultural hotspot that has vibrancy and creativity at every turn. The mixture of different street art styles, independent shops, and brilliantly modern properties makes Stokes Croft a great location to live in if searching for a more ‘unconventional’ new home.

Locale from City Centre: North


Filled with plenty of independent shops and beautiful properties ranging from traditional terrace houses to modern apartments, Bedminster is a well-rounded community. The area is popular amongst those who enjoy the arts and hosts different theatre shows and productions. 

Locale from City Centre: South

row of colourful houses above harbour in Bristol, UK


Bristol is a solid location to both make a temporary stop in your life and to build your forever home. Whether you’re looking to book up each weekend by exploring the nightlife of the city or have more long-term plans and are in need of local schools, shops, and other amenities, Bristol can accommodate any life plans. 

Schools, colleges, and universities

Bristol is home to some of the most well-known and popular education institutes in the South West. The universities in particular are popular amongst many and see a lot of interest from international students, yes people move to Bristol from all corners of the world!

Additionally, the higher education centres of Bristol have seen their fair share of alumni and celebrities pass through such as Simon Pegg (actor and comedian), Susanna Reid (journalist and TV presenter), and even Sir David Attenborough (natural historian and biologist).

The following are just a few of the top-rated schools for all age groups in Bristol:


  • Bishop Road Primary School
  • Westbury Park School
  • Ashton Gate Primary School
  • Whitehall Primary School


  • Bristol Cathedral Choir School
  • Redland Green School
  • St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School

Colleges and Universities

  • University of Bristol
  • University of the West of England
  • City of Bristol College


It would be impressive to not be able to get transport to your location from Bristol and vice versa. Considering Bristol is almost like a smaller version of London, it hosts so many travel options to help you get to where you need to be with ease. In fact, you can get to and from London quite easily and quickly with Bristol’s transport links.

There are bus stops probably within a 5-minute walk of one another and many different hubs around the city. The train station itself has bus services operating upon the main entrance/exit which helps people get to the city centre and anyone passing through Bristol.

Bristol Temple Meads train station is huge. It has to be after all to be able to accommodate all the train services that pass through every day. It’s not quite on par with London but far larger than most of the other cities in the South West. 

It doesn’t stop there though. Bristol has access to not just one primary train station, but two. Bristol Parkway is the second station in Bristol located further North.

Better yet, Bristol has its own airport – we did say Bristol is like a small London. A short drive along the A38 will get you to Bristol Airport where you can take connecting flights to anywhere both in and out of the UK.

And if you are driving, you can easily get in and out of Bristol via the M4/M5. There are so many travelling options in this great harbour city. 

Food & Drink

The culinary experiences of Bristol are unmatched. With so many great multicultural influences, large bars, restaurants, small cafes, etc, there is so much on offer in and around Bristol. Be careful to not let your wallet take too big of a hit when exploring your dining options, we know it’s tempting to want to try it all!

Here are a few of our top picks of cuisine locations to enjoy some marvellous meals and beautiful beverages:

360 Cafe at the Clifton Observatory

  • Cake and Coffee
  • Rooftop views
  • Dog-friendly


  • Steak house
  • Locally-sourced produce
  • Fire-based cooking

Mud Dock

  • Tapas, meze, and grill
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Harbourside views

The Clifton Sausage

  • Classic British
  • Comforting
  • Friendly and welcoming atmosphere

The Ostrich

  • Funky and cosy
  • Sat on the waterfront
  • Beer garden

The Florist

  • Mediterranean-inspired
  • Botanic-themed interiors and decor
  • Outside terraces

Small Bar

  • Rustic style decor
  • Representing small businesses
  • Craft beer

For a taste of everything Bristol has to offer, the Foodies Festival is the ideal way to explore and sample a little bit of everything.


One of the most joyous aspects of Bristol is the exploration. Wading through the streets of the city and venturing further afield to the small suburbs and areas making up this glorious location will unearth so many experiences and locations worth taking in.

Independent Shops

Just like Bath, Bristol has plenty of unique gems of independent shops covering every edge of the city. Whilst there are plenty of bigger shopping centres in the city such as Cabot Circus, The Galleries, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, there are plenty of other unique shops in Bristol that step away from the mainstream shopping experiences. 

Here are a few of our absolute favourite shopping spots:

The best aspect of this powerhouse of a city is that the levels of exploration are immense. Although we’ve provided all of our suggestions and guidance, there will always always always be something new you will discover for yourself. Relocating to the city of Bristol is a surefire way of kickstarting a new and remarkable lifestyle.

We can help you to find your perfect property in Bristol, regardless if you’re searching for something lavish or comfy.

Drop us an email: 

Give us a call: 01225 444 333

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