There is a lot to love about Bristol. Not only is it the home of Blackbeard, Darth Vader, Ribena and the Easter Egg, but it is also the world’s largest manufacturer of hot air balloons. It’s not hard to see why. After all, it is a beautiful city. From above, you would see the churches, the castles, the rivers, the lakes, the bridge, which spans the entirety of the Avon Gorge all the way from Clifton to North Somerset. It is a maze of old landmarks and new architecture, each one folding upon the other until a modern, cultured city is formed.
But lower the flames of that air balloon and descend into the city below, and you will find a wealth of things you cannot see from above. This is a city with a heart. A hub of creativity, scenic valleys and old, cobbled alleys which lead to vibrant markets and bustling neighbourhood communities.
If you are about to move to the city, then this guide can help you visualize what it is you have got to look forward to. Be warned, however, that although this is the complete guide, there is plenty more to the city which cannot fit onto one webpage. As with all great cities, those experiences will have to be lived to be understood.
Pubs & Bars
We’ll start off where any sane person would after a stress filled and hectic move. The pub. It tends to be a theme throughout England that the quality and historic value of a city is based on the pubs it keeps, but the pubs in Bristol certainly do not fail in that area. Tucked neatly into Hillgrove Street, The Bell is a traditional, laid-back pub; perfect for communities to gather for a few pints at the end of a long day of work. Akin to that there is the Old Market Assembly, aptly located on Old Market Street, where a playhouse plays host to lively theatre productions. Pop down there, watch a show and then climb up to the balcony to enjoy a smooth, iced cocktail.
Of course, the city doesn’t just cater to those partaking in alcohol. There are plenty of booze-free bars to venture into. Take the Rocks, for instance. This bar has a unique selection of alcoholic-free beers and mocktails, all provided in a luxurious pub setting, with a big screen for sports and outdoor tepees for those later summer evenings. Whatever’s your tipple, Bristol has a place for it.
If you are a creative type, then there are plenty of creative outlets to engage with. With it being the birthplace of Banksy, you can visit numerous locations to see the work of the great man himself, including the city centre, St. Werburghs and Bedminster. If you are more interested in photography, then there are workshops which can help you hone your craft, or for music lovers, venues like the Louisiana, Exchange or the Old Duke can stir up the soul and create some beautiful memories.
Creativity is embedded in the stones of this city, the more streets you walk down, the more creativity you will find. After all, there are many people who might live in a city but take little time to explore and experience it. Do not resolve to be one of these people. It is so important in a city like Bristol to open the door and allow your own creativity to take you where it may.
With remote working now a feasible option for many companies, choosing where to live has never been more flexible. Of course, finding the right place for you can still depend on your budget, but a financial advisor in Bristol will undoubtedly help to manage your monetary side of things. When this is figured out, you will have to then decide what community you wish to be part of. Across from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, there is the village of Leigh Woods, rich with history, character, and plenty of kind neighbours ready to welcome you to the community.
After a large regeneration project, the Harbourside is also a beautiful spot to live if you are looking to be more integrated in the wider community. There are nearby stations, markets, and plenty of well-reviewed restaurants to meet up with locals and chat about the week’s events. Make sure to visit the city and integrate yourself as much as you can before you make the decision. But wherever you choose, you are sure to be met with kind-hearted, fun and laid-back communities ready to let you in.
A Perfect Day Out
As mentioned before, it is important to jump into the city and explore its depths whenever you have the time. If you are an old school music fan, then there are plenty of record stores to unleash your inner-vinyl-freak. Places like Rough Trade Bristol in Nelson Street or Wanted Records in Saint Nicholas Market will have a range of genres from rock, reggae to folk. Explore them all and get to know fellow music lovers. But be warned, they will be sure to tell you exactly why ‘X’ Beatles album is better than another Beatles album, so be sure to get your facts straight before venturing out into that debate.
If music isn’t really your scene, then there are plenty of other places that will cater to you. If you’re a sports fan who is looking to become more embedded in a community, then a Bristol Bears game down at Ashton Gate is a must. Just south of the River Avon, you will find a spectacle of sport and a raucous but friendly atmosphere. It’s true that attending a rugby fixture can be a great way to spend the afternoon and integrate with fellow fans. Enjoy the local beers, have some banter with the away supporters, and make sure to say “GO BEARS!” You’ll be sure to pick up some new friends for life.
Across the country, there are many beautiful and cultured cities to live in, but Bristol has to be one of the best. It’s friendly, scenic, creative and full of places that you will just keep coming back to. Wherever you live in this city, you will find something to love.
Just be sure to pop up into an air balloon once in a while, if you’re not too afraid of heights that is. You can gain a lot of perspective when looking at things up from above. In this case, that perspective will most probably lead to a feeling of gratitude. That down there is the city of Bristol, and it’s all yours.