It’s not surprising that Bristol was voted as the Best Place to live in the United Kingdom by The Sunday Times in 2017. When you consider Bristol is, in all truth, a pretty great place to live. It has to offer someone looking for a brand new place to live – and the glowing approval from the Sunday Times helps the matter. Bristol showcases different things to offer, depending on where you choose to live.
They looked at data that included the different crime rates, academic achievement levels, and housing costs, to work out which part of Bristol was the best place to live in. Its diversity is one of the best things that stood out in the crowd for Bristol.
The home editor for the Sunday Times, Helen Davies, said that “The city is a worthy winner thanks to its perfect combination of exceptional culture, outstanding schools, buzzing culinary setting, exciting redevelopment, and community spirit.”
Stokes Croft is one of the street-art centres of Bristol, the classic Georgian terraces in Clifton, this city is, in all truth, as much of a various place as the people who live in it. There’s a whole bunch of incredible alumni who have come from Bristol. Banksy, the creator of Wallace and Gromit, and a heaping helping of independent businesses. Bristol has a strong culture of individuality and self-expression.
Bristol is a unique place, and it has many different styles. Each part of Bristol is distinct – they have a unique style and way of life that makes picking the right place for you to live quite tricky. To make sure that you’ve got the knowledge you need to make the right decision, we’ve put together a guide on some of our top-rated neighbourhoods in Bristol.
If you want more information about the best places to live in the Bristol area, visit Excalibur Removals.
Redcliffe/Bristol City CentreRedcliffe/Bristol City Centre
Once the harbour of Bristol, the now derelict area is the heart of the city. The top of the area is the Clifton Wood houses – the period terraces are painted colourfully and back on Hotwells Road, also offers some stunning views of the SS Great Britain, a museum ship.
The harbourside development is more than ten years old and heads south towards the city centre. There’s a food market, plenty of bars and the famous gallery known as The Arnolfini is also located in the Bristol City Centre. This is where Wapping Wharf can be found, an exciting new area in the heart of Bristol. The home to the ever-expanding Cargo 2, it’s a bunch of shipping containers that are refitted into bars, yoga studios, restaurants, and barbers. Wapping Wharf is one of the lifestyle hubs of the city, and regardless of the weather, maintains a healthy relationship with the public.
There are also plenty of sporting activities such as rowing and paddle boarding that make use of the River Avon.
The St. Paul’s area is a great display of what Bristol can offer from both a cultural and social perspective. The area is known primarily for being able to hold the yearly African-Caribbean celebration known as St. Paul’s Carnival. Since 1968, the carnival boasts a procession of bright colours, a sound system that routinely belts out upbeat tunes, and food stalls are culturally diverse staples of the area.
If you’re a music lover or a DJ, you might want to go and check out the best record shop in Bristol, Idle Hands. It’s a hub for musicians and performers alike, located close to some of the clubs and venues across the city. You don’t have to go far to see what’s on offer.
With regards to architecture, some of the first-class Georgian designs are all on offer here, such as the church of Saint Paul, which reflects in the house prices, which sit at an average cost of £220,000.
Southville has been described as the Notting Hill of Bristol by some people.
It’s undeniable to see why, as it went unnoticed for a prolonged time, after the regeneration of the Tobacco Factory as an arts theatre in the late 1990s, it’s now one of the highest demand areas in Bristol. Its thriving restaurants, bar scene, and growing arts hub are shared with the neighbouring area of Bedminster. Furthermore, you’ve also got the live graffiti festival and the proximity to Spike Island, which is a renowned gallery. The area might be south of the river, but it’s only a short walk away from the harbour.
As an area, Southville is perfect for any family looking to relocate. It has many primary schools within the area and a family-friendly Tobacco Factory.
Bedminster is a rather traditional neighbourhood in Bristol which is located on the south side of the city centre. It shares the same postcode as Southville and also coexists with Bedminster Down and Windmill Hill.
As an area, it’s undergone quite a few changes in the last couple of years, with all the prominent landmark buildings like the Robinson building. There are other developments in the area, which have created new possibilities in townhouses and flats.
There are few terraced properties that are remains of the Victorian era. However, the majority of them have been converted into multi-person spaces. As the leading shopping area, Bedminster is home to two different shopping streets and a lot of local studios that attract both artists and other specialists alike.
Brislington and Knowle
Brislington and Knowle are settled next to each other on the BS4 postcode. Brislington once visited by King Henry VII in the 15th century, and Knowle has been recorded in the 11th-century Domesday book under the original spelling of Canole.
Brislington is the heart of two main development areas that have been converted into studios by various industries. The city centre is walkable which makes it one of the broadest demographics and highly eclectic areas. There are unique local convenience shops, restaurants and cafes.
Its counterpart is much more modern and traditional, having many different community groups and the boardwalk shopping centre. The area is recently home to a multiple redevelopment program.
Brislington Brook, a tributary of the River Avon, runs directly through the northern border into the Woodlands of Nightingale Valley.
Totterdown is one of the best places to visit if you want to explore Bristol, not just because of the best views in the city, but you can also see a brightly coloured range of houses that showcases the creativeness of the residents.
Totterdown was called by The Times newspaper the fifth hippest place to live in the UK in 2016 with the help of Paintworks. Its quirky attraction and aesthetic charm of the different coloured terraced houses is an iconic sight to the south of the city. As well as access to a large assortment of houses to live in, there are plenty of creative types you can enjoy here.
The area is pretty popular for younger families because there are lots of school options, plenty of local parks, and a very friendly local atmosphere.
The St George area has become a popular choice for families. There are five schools in the area, and it’s also reasonably affordable for a first-time buyer. Nowadays, the average cost of a house is above £200,000.
Saint George’s Park is the centrepiece of the area, and it is a stunning, open green space with plenty of things to do. There is a play area, tennis courts, a skate park, and even a music festival in the summertime.
If you go down to Church Road, then you’ll see all of the local amenities on full display. There is a wonderful selection of different cafes and restaurants, an organic food shop, and even an artisan bakery.
As the name suggests, this is the eastern side of the city and is a pretty popular area. The average price of a house is £230,000. The area has become well known for being part and part of the legend known as Banksy, a street artist who remains unknown to this day. Banksy left many of his graffiti projects in the area, and it’s a hotbed for both the artistic and the Bohemians alike. Furthermore, the area is home to a very strong sense of community and also environmental awareness. So, if you are an ethnically oriented person, then this would be a good spot to settle.
As well as having a great selection of places to eat, the area is home to the Bristol Sweetmart. This is a place full of award-winning things, so it’s well worth popping in to take a glance.
It is one of the most popular areas for young people. It is popular with young professionals who are drawn to the nightlife, as well as the cultural options available in the area. It’s near Stokes Croft, with very multicultural residents, so if you like the inner city, this is somewhere you could settle in. Plus, it does have some of those gorgeous Grade II Georgian properties; they’re just at a much lower price than in Clifton.
Although the area is popular with young people, it’s also suited to families, as there are five schools within the area. You’ve got four basic primary schools and then an all-female secondary school.
Cotham and St Andrew’s
Cotham is a suburb known for its wealth, located in the heart of North Bristol, between Saint Pauls and Clifton. It’s a sophisticated area and has many large older properties converted into multi-person residences.
Just next door to that is Saint Andrews. This is to the east and was built in the late 19th century. Consequently, a lot of the housing is primarily large Victorian properties. However, thanks to the multiple buses that run along Gloucester Road, the area has very well-developed transport links.
Redland and Westbury Park
If you want access to another well-developed suburb in the central area of Bristol, Redland is a good idea. It’s picked up a reputation for being a good accommodation area for second and third-year university students; the buildings are predominantly from the Georgian era and are usually grade II or grade II* properties.
The primary architecture of Westbury Park is Victorian era and early 20th-century style choices, although there are a handful of Georgian buildings as well. Most of the Victorian era properties are still complete with their original house names, so the area feels very historically authentic.
Furthermore, there are several schools spread out across both areas, so it’s a popular place to live.
Clifton – BS8
When people think of moving to Bristol, Clifton is one of the first locations they think of. While it is true that the majority of the area has been made famous by grand Georgian properties, Clifton does have some inner beauty. In addition to the beautiful garden squares and Regency Crescent, you’ve got boutique restaurants, bars, and pubs.
Culturally, Clifton is one of the most interesting areas in Bristol. The Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol zoo, Clifton Cathedral, and Clifton Down are all here. Consequently, it’s a very desirable part of the city to live in, and many successful architects and artists have made their homes here.
Clifton is a pretty big area and runs from Avon Gorge across Durdham Downs, and down Whiteladies Road to the triangle where Bristol University’s own Gothic Wills Memorial Tower runs adjacent to both the municipal museum and the art gallery.
Owing to the popularity of the area, the majority of various properties are rented as leasehold flats.
Clifton has a lot of schools to choose from within the catchment area, offering preparatory, preschool and Catholic schools, as well as the Old Vic and the University of Bristol.
Hotwells is located south of Clifton, a district in Bristol named for the hot springs that come up from the rocks of the Avon Gorge next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s about a mile out from the city centre.
A lot of the housing in the area was in a state of disrepair during the first half of the 20th century, but over the last 50 years, a proper renovation effort has been led, and a lot of the older Georgian properties have been successfully restored to former glory. Furthermore, there are plenty of housing developments built on what used to be dockside wharves.
Failand and Leigh Woods – BS8
Failand is on the edge of Somerset and sort of skirts the border between that and Bristol. It’s a quaint, charming village with two separate parts, which are both an older and smaller area located about a mile from the larger, more new area.
In a similar sort of vein, Leigh Woods is a village that is located just outside the city of Bristol and is located beneath the Leigh Woods National nature reserve that making the area a beautiful site for nature lovers.
While it is true that both villages don’t have a whole lot of local amenities, you can get to Clifton Village via the suspension bridge. However, there is a post office, a general store, and country pubs.
Henleaze and Westbury-on-Trym – BS9
Located in the northern area of Bristol, Henleaze is a suburb which was primarily redeveloped back in the 1920s. However, there are still some Edwardian style roads located across the southern border. The area has things like supermarkets, bakeries, newsagents, a library, and even a cinema for film enthusiasts.
The entire area is known best for Henleaze Lake, which is a former quarry that flooded and has now been home to a famous swimming club for the last hundred years.
Westbury-on-Trym is a quiet little village that has quite a few amenities, good transport links, and a High Street for socialising purposes. However, it does feel really quite homely.
Coombe Dingle, Sneyd Park and Stoke Bishop – BS9
There are three primary locations within this postcode. First of all, you have Coombe Dingle, which is a suburb in the northwest area of Bristol. It’s the point where the Hazelbrook tributary of the River Tryme properly emerges from the limestone gorge. It’s a fairly small area, but it has some interesting shops along Westbury Lane, so it’s worth checking out.
Sneyd Park consists of Edwardian and Victorian properties. It’s become the playground of millionaires over the last few years, so if you have money to spare, this could be your new home.
Stoke Bishop is one of the largest suburbs in the Bristol area and is the location of one of Bristol University’s halls of residence. There are quite a few people who make their homes there over the course of a year, all of them beginning students. Not only that, but the University has a sporting complex that is located here, and the area has quite a few other sports venues.
Southmead and Henbury – BS10
Located at the northern end of Bristol, Southmead is a suburb surrounded by other suburbs. Monks Park, Henleaze, and Horfield are all close by. The area also shares a boundary with Filton, a town in South Gloucestershire. The river Trym runs through Southmead and goes towards the local nature preserve in the Southwest, Badock’s Wood.
Henbury is about 5 miles outside the city centre, close to Cribbs Causeway, and there’s a tributary of the River Trym. The exact name is Hazel Brook.
Avonmouth, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston – BS11
Avonmouth is a suburb located on the outskirts of Bristol, which is also a port area. The entire area is a rather considerable part of the maritime economy that Bristol has enjoyed for many years, particularly for the exporting of large, heavy things. There is a junction on the M5 motorway, and the port way follows the river into the Cumberland basin, as well as Hotwells and Clifton.
Shirehampton was built when its parish back in 1844, and following an attack by the Luftwaffe during the Bristol Blitz of 1941, it was rapidly re-developed. Shirehampton is also a place where you will find the Avonmouth sewage works nature reserve, which is a reserve made of both rough grassland and man-made lagoons.
Lawrence Weston is a postwar accommodation located in northwest Bristol. It was rebuilt after the war from its original hamlet status.
Bedminster Down and Bishopsworth – BS13
Bishopsworth is a residential suburb in Bristol located towards the south of the city. It was originally a civil parish but was absorbed into the city of Bristol during the 1930s, and the official abolishment of the civil parish was in 1951. It doesn’t have a big population, estimated at around 12,000 people, but it does have a lot of good local facilities like shops, pubs, a public library, and even a swimming pool.
Contrastingly, Bedminster Down was developed during the 1930s as a suburb and is primarily a residential area. Lots of the estate was built using left coal mines, and there are also multiple churches spanning different sects of Christianity.
Hengrove and Whitchurch – BS14
Hengrove is a suburb that runs along two different door carriageways, the A37, and the A4174. There are plenty of terraced houses that are home to families, as the area does contain schools for all ages. As a fan aside, the city is also the home of the defunct Whitchurch Airport, which has now been converted into a quite nice entertainment centre.
Whitchurch is a village which is located in northern Somerset by technicality, although it is usually classified as being part of southern Bristol. The A37 passes through Whitchurch and links the area to the city of Dorchester.
Hanham and Kingswood – BS15
Hanham is a suburb which is located in the south-eastern part of Bristol. Technically speaking, it is the authority of South Gloucestershire. It only became a civil parish a few decades ago but is considered to be part of Bristol because it’s within the urban subdivision of the city. During the 2011 census, only 6128 people were living in Hanham, including the famous writer and comedian Stephen Merchant. He was born there.
Kingswood is a suburban area within the category of South Gloucestershire, located about 3.5 miles away from the city centre of Bristol. It used to be a forest during the Saxon and Norman periods and was a royal hunting estate that covered the whole of Bristol.
Fishponds, Frenchay and Staple Hill – BS16
If you head out towards the northeastern parts of Bristol, you will encounter Fishponds. It’s a large suburb approximately 3 miles off the city centre. Its famous name was about a quarry filled with water and fish. Nowadays, the area is home to 2 Victorian-era parks, and one of them has a rather large boating lake.
Frenchay is a village that is located mainly in the area of South Gloucestershire but has three grade 2 listed buildings and has the prestigious Frenchay Manor house, which dates all the way back to 1257.
Staple Hill is located in South Gloucestershire, East of Fishponds and is considered part of Bristol at the same time. The area was built during the 18th and 19th centuries where people could gather after the main predators of the local forest started to become extinct. It’s quite close to the Bristol Ring Road.
Downend and Emerson Green – BS16
Downend is one of the more affluent parts of Bristol, with the architecture being primarily Victorian, as well as semi-detached and detached properties that were built back in the 1930s and 1950s.
On the other end of the scale, you have Emerson’s Green, a town and a parish that exists within the power of South Gloucestershire, although it is considered to be part of Bristol.
The area was primarily farmland once upon a time, has been re-developed into a residential area over the last three decades, and is located close to both the motorway and Ring Road.
Portishead – BS20
Portishead is a seaside town situated on the Severn estuary. Technically, this makes it part of Somerset. It’s close to Bristol and has a very fast-growing population that has been considered a dormitory town for Bristol for some time now.
There has been substantial evidence to point toward a prehistoric settlement in the area, although the official record of the existence of the town dates back to Roman times. In the modern era, the area was known as a popular fishing town before power stations and chemical work started. The dock and industrial firms have been closed in recent times, considerable development has gone into making sure that the area has been reimagined as a marina.
Longwell Green and Bitton – BS30
Longwell Green is a suburb of Bristol located in the county of Gloucestershire. It has many local amenities, as well as a primary school committee centre. There are retail and leisure parks nearby, and it’s a very pleasant place.
The BS30 postcode is also home to Bitton, south of Gloucestershire which is home to 9000 people.
Keynsham and Saltford – BS31
Keynsham is a town which is located between Bristol and Bath and home to about 16,000 people. It’s been occupied since pre-start times, and at least two Roman villas have been identified in the area. In the 12th century, it was a medieval market town. The area has pretty good transport connections and is close to Salford.
Salford, in this case, is a large village near Bristol. It’s one of the more important villages in the area thanks to the Salford Manor house, which is the oldest building currently occupied in England. There are also four pubs, a Norman church, and the old brass mill that goes back to the 18th century.
Bradley Stoke and Almondsbury – BS32
Bradley Stoke is a suburb that was built in the 1980s just outside Bristol to the north and is below the interchange of both the M4 and the M5 motorway. It is located about 6 miles from the city centre, which makes it very convenient for anybody trying to travel into the city, and it has the Willowbrook Centre in the area which attracts millions of visitors every year.
Contrastingly, Almondsbury is a large village which is located just a few miles from the city centre. One of the most important historical landmarks there is Saint Mary’s Parish Church which dates back to the 12th century.
Patchway and Little Stoke – BS34
Patchway is a suburb that is about 6 miles from the city centre to the North. It has grown up from being a large village during the last hundred years or so, and is now a popular spot for commuters, as there are plenty of transport and rail links. It’s also close to the Cribbs Causeway mall, where you can do quite a bit of shopping.
Finally, Little Stoke is the neighbouring side of Bristol that has a community centre, a pub, and lots of local shops. Bristol Parkway Station is located here, which offers easy transport into the city.
Alveston and Thornbury – BS35
Alveston is a small village that has about 3000 residents. It’s a 10 miles north of the city centre and is near where Bristol connects to Gloucester. The local pub, the Ship Inn, used to be a coaching house and goes back to 1589.
Contrastingly, Thornbury is much bigger than Alveston and is a market town located about 12 miles away from the city centre. Around 12,000 people live in the region and are famous for the discovery of the Thornbury hoard, which saw over 11,000 coins dating back to 260 A.D. dug up. There is a High Street, lots of pubs, and two supermarkets.
Frampton Cotterell and Winterbourne – BS36
Frampton Cotterell is a small village which is located roughly 7 1/2 miles away from the city centre. With a population of just over 9000, it’s not the biggest, but it definitely has a lot of appeals. There’s a church, a country pub, a cricket club, and a primary school.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have Winterborne. This is a large village on the northern edge of the Bristol area and has a 12-century church, as well as a rather big duck pond which is a very popular place to be able to fish. There are plenty of good pubs here too.
Chipping Sodbury and Yate – BS37
Chipping Sodbury is a market town that has been around since the 12th century. There is a festival week and every year, the mop fair takes place, and there is also a festival week.
Right next to Chipping Sodbury is Yate. This is a lovely little commuter town about 12 miles away from the Bristol city centre. Up until the 1960s, it was classified as a small town. The author of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling was born in Yate. There are so many fun places to explore and many open spaces, making it a good place for families.
Long Ashton – BS41
Long Ashton is a village that is located just outside Bristol that goes back to the Saxon period. There have been both prehistoric and Roman artefacts located in the area, and it was even mentioned in the Domesday Book. There is a manor house that goes all the way back to the 13th century and a church that goes back to the 14th century.
There are several pubs, one of which was founded in 1495. Ashton Court is an estate near the village that holds many festivals during the year, including the Bristol International balloon festival.
Backwell and Nailsea – BS48
Finally, the last two places that we are going to talk about are Backwell, which is located about 7 miles to the south of Bristol and is home to Backwell House. It’s one of the most important buildings in the entire village. It’s near Backwell Lake, a wildlife haven, and Backwell playing fields that have more than 17 acres of public space for people to use.
Finally, there is Nailsea, a commuter town with more than 15,000 population, the Nailsea Glassworks was founded in the 18th century, and while they didn’t last very long, the glass that was produced is still popular with collectors today. The town has many pubs in youth clubs, and there’s been a carnival since the 1960s. There’s a rich history for this place, even though it hasn’t been necessarily the most successful, and it’s always nice to come and visit the carnival and see what’s about.