8 Things to Consider When Moving from London to Bristol

8 Things to Consider When Moving from London to Bristol

Written by Zenyx Griffiths
Written by Zenyx Griffiths
4th March 2019 (Last updated on Friday 15th March 2019)

As more and more people are deciding to leave London, Bristol has become a popular alternative for many wanting to leave the sites and sounds of London. Bristol has become a popular destination for ex-Londoners and was even named Rough Guides Top UK City of 2017.

Bristol is a thriving UK city, often thought of as a smaller London. Many are committing to the move from London to Bristol in the hopes of lower living costs and property prices. Bristol is an amazing city to explore with quirky cafes, beautiful scenery and Banksy’s art at every corner. Bristol has become popular amongst young families as, compared to the busy life of London, it's a much quieter area packed with family-friendly events.

There are a variety of things to compare before moving cities and so Compare My Move has made it easier by creating a list of 8 things to consider when Moving from London to Bristol.


1. Property Prices

A crucial point to moving is obviously property prices. Although there is a higher salary rate, properties in London are often more expensive. However, properties in Bristol are highly sort after and can sell quickly, so it’s important to work fast!

Results from Zoopla determine that the average asking price for a 3-bedroom house in Bristol is £307,454, whilst in London, it’s an astounding £634,424. The average asking rent for a 3-bedroom flat in Bristol is £1,330 pcm. London is considerably higher with an asking rent of £4,993 pcm.  

It’s also important to look at the size of the properties when comparing prices. Not only are the properties in Bristol cheaper, but you’ll be getting more space for your money by moving from London to Bristol. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average property price per square metre in the City of London is £17,371, whilst the City of Bristol is £3,039 per m². Moving from London to Bristol offers lower property prices yet larger houses for your budget!


2. Living Costs

There's no denying that living in London can be expensive. According to reports made by Expatistan, Bristol is 28% cheaper to live in compared to London. Although both cities are similar when it comes to food and clothing prices, the cost of housing and transportation is considerably lower in Bristol.

As a brief example of comparison, the average price of a pint in Bristol is £4.56, whilst in London it’s £5.39. A monthly transport ticket is, on average, priced at £66 in Bristol and £138 in London. There are some similarities between the cities as an average dinner out for 2 in Bristol costs £32, closely followed by £35 in London.


3. Employment and Salaries

The key employment sectors in Bristol is the aerospace industry, the financial sector and, most recently, the creative and cultural industries including PR, design and advertising.

London is famous for being a city of opportunities and high salaries. Surprising no one, London is the highest paid city in the UK according to Centre for Cities, with weekly earnings averaging at £751.40. Bristol is just above the national average with weekly earnings averaging at £570.80.

Using the weekly salaries from above, the average monthly wage for someone living in London is £3,256 whilst in Bristol, it averages at £2,474. According to Zoopla, the average asking rent for a 1-bed flat in London is £1,788 pcm. This means that you would have an expendable income of £1,468 for bills, food and general costs. The larger the property the lower the expendable income.

In Bristol the average asking rent for a 1-bed flat is lower at £728 pcm meaning that the expandable income is slightly higher, calculated at £1,746. As properties are cheaper in Bristol it’s possible to purchase a larger house and still have a higher expendable income than if you lived in London. Despite the possibility of earning more, you would have a much higher expendable income when moving from London to Bristol, allowing you to save more and use your money elsewhere.


4. Schools and Education

As Bristol is attracting more families, it’s important to look at the schools available in the area and whether they’d suit your children’s needs. There are a number of high-quality primary and secondary schools to view in Bristol but you must always remember to research before securing a place as some may be Independent, requiring fees to attend. Below is a list of the top 5 primary and secondary Schools in Bristol according to School Guide. All have a Grade 2 or higher awarded by Ofsted Reports, marking them as either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

Top 5 Primary Schools:

  1. Victoria Park Primary School
  2. St George Church of England Primary School
  3. Holy Cross RC Primary School
  4. Hillcrest Primary School
  5. Southville Primary School

Top 5 Secondary Schools:

  1. Bristol Grammar School
  2. Queen Elizabeth's Hospital
  3. Clifton College
  4. Clifton High School
  5. Redland Green School

Bristol is home to 2 highly commended universities for those looking for opportunities in further education. The University of Bristol was ranked amongst the Top 10 Europe Teaching Rankings in 2018 by the Times Higher Education, whilst The University of the West of England was awarded a Gold rating by the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2018.


5. Student Living

The vibrancy of Bristol makes it the perfect home for students! It offers exciting nightlife and the closer you are to the city, the more things you’ll find to do. There is a range of clubs, quirky stores and unique cafes to explore. London may also offer great student experiences, but it’s often at a greater price. Bristol is a very student-friendly city but only has 2 local universities to choose from compared to the 40 available around London. However, both universities are highly commended and have excellent ratings.

Student Loans are expensive enough let alone taking into consideration the costs of living and accommodation. Accommodation fees can vary widely depending on the type you choose and whether you are on or off campus. According to Which, the weekly cost of rent for students living in London is around £255, whilst in Bristol, the average is £145.


6. Differences in City Life

Bristol could be considered a more family-friendly city compared to London as there is a lot more greenery and space to explore, whilst London is highly populated and contains a confusing maze of buildings. Both have a lively nightlife but there are more quiet areas of Bristol that are more suitable for children to play in. It can be a great relief to escape the busy life of London, especially with a growing family. 

London is well-known for its social aspects. From the West End to the London Eye, there are so many attractions to entice you! However, Bristol has a lot to offer too. Roof terrace bars, live music, a variety of festivals, there’s more to this city than you think! Cabot Circus contains modern high-street stores for some retail therapy whilst Colston Hall hosts many world-renowned artists producing brilliant live performances. A perfect balance for those who enjoy a quiet space after returning home from a local night out. Bristol has the best of both worlds!


7. Local Transport and Commuting

According to Expatistan, Bristol’s local transportation costs are 43% cheaper than in London, with Bristol monthly tickets costing on average £66, whilst London’s is an average of £138. There are regular buses running every day in Bristol and the cycling community is continually growing. Bristol Airport and a range of train stations are easily accessible from the city, perfect for commuting to work or planning a holiday.

Those who are thinking of moving from London to Bristol often consider commuting to work. It should be considered that Bristol is a 2-hour train journey from London and, depending on the traffic, could take around the same amount of time by car.


8. Culture and Community

Famous for its art and vibrancy, Bristol is widely known for its culture and for being the home of the famous artist, Banksy. Everywhere you go there is a feast for the eyes with beautiful graffiti and striking colours. It’s definitely a refreshing sight compared to the dull grey of London. With local markets, Bristol Zoo and the exciting Bristol Balloon Festival, there is much to do and plenty to explore! London also offers a variety of events but they’re often more expensive and over-populated, creating a cramped and uncomfortable atmosphere.

Both cities are known for their diverse cultures, attracting people and businesses from all over the world. However, Bristol has a better community feel with family-run businesses mixed in and unique places to socialise. London can sometimes feel isolating as everyone rushes around impatiently, barely acknowledging each other.


So Should you Move from London to Bristol?

With so much information to take in, it can sometimes feel difficult to commit to the decision to move. But Bristol is a popular city for ex-Londoners and we can easily see why.

Yes, London has higher salaries but it also has lower expendable incomes. The price of London properties lowers the amount of extra money you can save to enjoy the festivities and social aspects available. Bristol properties are cheaper and you can get bigger spaces for your money. Moving to Bristol allows you to save more so that you can enjoy everything it has to offer. There are many excellent schools for children to attend and the family-run businesses add to the sense of a close-knit community.

Whether you’re a student looking for lively accommodation or a family searching for their dream home, Bristol has plenty to offer and a variety of places to explore!


Moving to Bristol with Compare My Move

If we’ve convinced you that Bristol is the place for you, you can find out more in our Moving to Bristol guide to get you started. 

Compare My Move can save you up to 70% on your removal costs, lowering the stress of your move. So don’t forget to fill out our quick and easy form to get connected with up to 6 reliable removal companies near you!

Compare the best removal companies