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Moving to Bristol

Written by Reviewed by Marc Benger

29th Jul 2020 (Last updated on 30th Jul 2020) 7 minute read

Home to the River Avon, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Harbourside, Bristol is a green, creative and culturally diverse city, drawing in families and businesses from all corners of the world.

The city has a rich history as one of Britain’s largest ports and is a hub for architectural, creative, historical and cultural activities. Once a centre for heavy industry, over the last few decades Bristol has reinvented itself as a powerhouse for culture and creativity, with independent music venues and theatres hosting events and festivals across the year. At Compare My Move, we have helped thousands of house movers find a Bristol removal company over the recent years. Here we’ve collected all you need to know about moving to the city, from where to live and where to work, to what to do and how to get there.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Property in Bristol
  2. Best Areas to Live in Bristol
  3. Schools and Education in Bristol
  4. Where to Work in Bristol
  5. Transport in Bristol
  6. Entertainment in Bristol
  7. Crime in Bristol
  8. Moving to Bristol with Compare My Move

Property in Bristol

The City of Bristol is undoubtedly one of the most sought after areas in the south of England. Costs of living are high, but the city offers a wealth of history and culture, employment opportunities, independent businesses and entertainment.

When it comes to property, the city of Bristol is rich in architectural history, so much so that there is even a specific style of architecture unique to the city known as “Bristol Byzantine”, developed in the 1850s.  Today, Victorian homes especially remain highly desirable, with high ceilings, large bay windows and detailed moulding now back in vogue.  The average cost for a property in Bristol is currently £276,751, with the average rent at £1,093 pcm. When it comes to moving, the average cost to move house in Bristol is £892.78, with the most popular time of year being in August.

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Best Areas to Live in Bristol

The city is a vibrant and pleasant place to live, with a variety of activities to take part in as well as a lot of interesting architecture to appreciate. Depending on your reasons for moving to Bristol, for example, whether you are a young family, graduate or professional, certain neighbourhoods will appeal to you more than others.

AreaAverage Property PriceAverage Rent (pcm)

Clifton

£712,890

£1,265 pcm

Montpelier

£388,245

£974 pcm

Totterdown

£207,500

£1,010 pcm

Southville

£381,746

£925 pcm

Hotwells

£453,997

£777 pcm

1. Clifton

For the upmarket crowd, Clifton is famous as a beautiful place to live, with green open spaces and incredible Georgian architecture, and a strong independent ethos. It is the most expensive location on our list, with the average property price at £712,890.

Clifton is one of the most picturesque and sought-after areas to live in the whole of Bristol. With the Clifton observatory offering breathtaking views of the Suspension Bridge and the cafes and independent shops of Clifton Village, there's no surprise Clifton is a popular location. 

2. Montpelier

Montpelier is a colourful and eclectic community of creative and bohemian people and you can find plenty of Grade-II listed Georgian terraces like those in Clifton. The area has a host of independent cafes, restaurants and shops. Prices for property in Montpelier are considerably cheaper than Clifton, with the average currently £388,245.

3. Totterdown

Totterdown was built in the 19th century around the railway industry and may be an ideal place to live if you’re on more of a budget or a first-time buyer. With narrow streets sprawled across this urban village, houses are often older and smaller than those in nearby areas. The neighbourhood itself is artsy and creative, with many of the Victorian and Edwardian houses painted in bright colours. This is the most affordable location on our list, with the average property price at  £207,500.

4. Southville

This area of Bristol went unnoticed for decades until its regeneration in the early 1990s when the tobacco factory reopened as a theatre and arts hub. Southville is now home to a range of independent shops, bars and restaurants, offering a community feel for everyone. Living in Southville, the harbour is only a short walk away, which is a huge selling point among buyers. The average property price in this area is currently £381,746.

5. Hotwells

The area of Hotwells is located on the banks of Bristol’s Floating Harbour, below Clifton Village. Just a mile from the city centre, Hotwells overlooks the SS Great Britain and both the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge are nearby. Homes consist of Georgian and Victorian terraces, in addition to new-build townhouses and apartments. The average cost of a property in Hotwells is currently £453,997.

Schools and Education in Bristol

Bristol’s education system is very highly rated and consists of three universities, 30 secondary schools, 50 primary schools, and five colleges.

A number of Bristol primary schools are among the top in the UK and are consistently top the SAT league tables.  You might be moving to Bristol for University, and starting your student life. Bristol University is one of the top 20 universities in the UK, and the University of the West of England ranks highly for student satisfaction. Bristol is also famous for being student-friendly and a fantastic place to study.

If you’re looking for a primary school for your children, remember to do your research as school ranking varies from area to area. Secondary schools are also highly regarded. Below we’ve listed some of the top schools in the Bristol area for both Primary and Secondary.

Best Primary Schools in Bristol

Primary SchoolLocationAgesReal Schools Guide Score 

Perry Court E-Act Academy

Bristol

3-11

81.71

St Teresa's Catholic Primary School

Bristol

4-11

74.8

Bishop Road Primary School

Bristol

4-11

70.87

Ashley Down Primary School

Bristol

5-11

68.87

Badock's Wood E-ACT Academy

Bristol

3-11

67.88


Best Secondary Schools in Bristol

Secondary SchoolLocationAgesReal Schools Guide Score 

Colston’s Girls School

Bristol

11-18

66.5 

Redland Green School

Bristol

11-16

57.8

St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School

Bristol

11-18

55.2

Gordano

Portishead 

11-18

54.2

St Bede’s Catholic College

Bristol

11-18

52.7

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Where to Work in Bristol

Bristol is renowned for a diverse economy and has strong financial and banking sectors, with established engineering, service and creative industries. There are also notable engineering and aerospace employers including Airbus and Fusion Processing.

Bristol has a skilled workforce and is well connected to other major UK cities. It's fast becoming a thriving hub for creatives.

The latest information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that Bristol has a large skilled workforce, with more than a fifth of jobs classed as a professional occupation. Well-connected with other major UK cities, Bristol has an ever-expanding employment sector.

Transport in Bristol

When it comes to getting around the city, transport is available from a variety of sources. Trains run from Temple Meads to arrears like Clifton, busses run throughout the city and much of the city centre and surrounding areas can be reached on foot.

Furthermore, Bristol is developing into a very environmentally conscious city, winning the European Green Capital Award in 2015. Bristol is the first and only UK city to win the award. As a result, Bristol has a booming cycling community with cycle paths linking the city. 

For those looking to go further afield, Temple Meads train station has connections across the country and Bristol Airport offers flights to European cities and beyond. 

Entertainment in Bristol

There is a huge range of options for socialising and several hotspots for a night out in Bristol, with numerous bars and restaurants available. Local art and culture are popular in areas like Old Market and St Pauls.

The  Watershed arthouse cinema and bar is perfect if you’re a cinephile, this multi-arts venue showcases arthouse cinema and has a café/bar on site. 

The spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge is a symbol for Bristol and has been for 150 years, attracting visitors from around the world. It opened to the public on 8 December 1864 and is looked after 24 hours a day, every day throughout the year. Clifton Village is also an ideal location for brunch and some shopping at independent stores and charity shops. 

For those with children, both Bristol Zoo and At-Bristol offer great educational days out, with the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery also on offer. 

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Crime in Bristol

According to recent figures from the Home Office’s police.uk website, the top 5 worst areas for violent crime in Bristol are Hartcliffe and Withywood, Old City Docks, Staplehill and New Cheltenham, Stokes Croft and St Michaels and Trinity. 

The areas with the fewest reports of violent crime were Clifton Downs, Winterbourne, The Dings and St Phillips Marsh. Overall, violent crime made up 27.4% of crimes in Bristol during the period of June 2019 to May 2020. 

However, during the same period, there was a 12.9% decrease in burglary crime, 6% decrease in anti-social behaviour related crime and 2% drop in criminal damage and arson.

Moving to Bristol with Compare My Move

Once you've decided to make the move to Bristol, we can connect you with up to 6 professional removal companies that can help make your home move stress-free. You can also save up to 70% on your removal costs and be safe in the knowledge that our removal company partners are insured and fully verified.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.

Marc Benger

Reviewed by Marc Benger

Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

Co-founder and director of Compare My Move, Marc Benger has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.