The edgier, more buzzy sister to nearby Bath – Bristol has a sprawling feel of a series of interconnecting villages – offering a range of housing stock, pursuits and differing feels to cater for media types, young families or London commuter couples. Although a major South West city, Bristol never feels very far from nature – with an ‘outdoorsy’ feel and a gateway to Devon and Somerset.
Bristol is such a vibrant hub of culture, diversity and activity. Never a dull moment, there is always plenty to entertain!
Joseph Fry, a Bristol resident, first worked out how to make liquid chocolate into bar form, leading to a huge international industry boom. Before that point, all chocolate was taken as a drink.
From the converted wharf buildings on the river basin, to Clifton’s Georgian glamour and pastel terraces of Totterdown – Bristol really does have every type of property you could wish for.
Whether it’s the ‘big names’ at the modern Cabot Circus development in town, including a Harvey Nichols outpost; the independent boutiques of Clifton or the foodie destinations of Whiteladies’ road, Bristol’s range of quarters all have something different to offer when it comes to retail therapy.
Bristol is home to one of the liveliest food scenes across Britain. From acclaimed restaurants attracting travellers and critics, to the appealing array of simple lunch spots, cafés, bakeries and street food stalls, Bristol has it all. Independent restaurants, bars and cafes and is home to an award-winning array of them. Perhaps one of the more famous food stops is Pieminster, the unique creations from this homegrown pie shop are loved and devoured all over the country, everyone from Kate Moss to the Queen has tried one! You can head towards St Nick's Market to grab one on the go. Bristol's rich mix of cultures are reflected in the food available in different quarters of the city. Head to St Mark's Road in Easton for Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, St Pauls for Caribbean, Clifton for classic British and seafood or Park Street and the Triangle for some of the best burgers in the country.
Boutique hotel on the Clifton Downs, No. 38 Clifton is an undiscovered gem; we love the ‘private townhouse feel’ elegant historic rooms that are palatial in size and opposite the open green spaces of the Downs, you feel you have escaped the city entirely. Hotel du Vin also has an outpost near to Colston Hall if you are after a base in the thick of things. The Bristol Hotel, right on the waterfront, may lack personality but for location it can’t be beaten and the bar has a good buzz on summer evenings.
From gigs at Colston Hall to nationally acclaimed theatre at the Bristol Hippodrome, exhibitions at Bristol Museum and M Shed – as well as family attraction destinations including @ Bristol, Bristol Zoo and HMS Great Britain – the cultural calendar in Bristol is packed all year round. The summer International Balloon Fiesta is not to be missed as the skyline of the city becomes busier than the M25 in rush-hour. As the home of Banksy, Bristol is proud of its graffiti heritage and there are plenty of street art tours that take in the city’s finest murals. For a slower pace, tucked between Clifton’s residential streets, the Bristol Lido is not only a glorious outdoor pool and spa but an award-winning restaurant and tapas bar too – it has a real ‘holiday’ feel in summer months.
Perhaps one of the most picturesque walks in the country, the River Chew Circular is an 8Km loop that will blow you away as you’ll be taking in lovely farmland scenery, views over the countryside. You’ll also be treated to a fantastic view of some historic sites including Stanton Drew Stone Circles and Pensford Viaduct.
Temple Meads Station will get you into London Paddington in 90 odd minutes, while the M4 corridor means the South West and central England are within easy reach. Good schools include Badminton and Clifton College, while Bristol University is world-class. Bristol has 8 hospitals to its name, plus all the other large city amenities you’d expect.