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Moving to Bristol?

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Bristol at a Glance

Moving to Bristol

If you are considering moving to the UK, but are wary of the weather, Bristol is the place to be! Check out the InterNations Expat Guide to learn more about the facilities and features of one of the sunniest and warmest city in the UK!

About the City

Bristol is England’s sixth most populous city and the most populous city in Southern England after London, with an estimated population of around 437,500 as of 2014, known as Bristolians. Based in the southwest of England, Bristol was originally a trading port and part of the county of Gloucestershire until 1373, when it became a county in its own right.

Built around the River Avon, Bristol has a short coastline on the Severn Estuary into the Bristol Channel, which made Bristol such a prosperous maritime port. Much of the city's history can still be discovered in a variety of maritime attractions frequented by visitors to the city.

Bristol’s strong links with the ocean, and its key role in the profitable trade of slavery and tobacco, inevitably lead to the city’s involvement with piracy. One of the world’s most famous pirates, Blackbeard, was allegedly born in the Bristol, near the old harbor.

Bristol is a now a popular holiday destination for UK holiday goers and foreigners alike; with a multitude of things to see and do, Bristolians pride themselves on offering an insight into their impressive heritage and culture.

Bristol today is split into 4 parliamentary constituencies, comprising of 35 wards for local government that are again split further into Bristol’s neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are not contained within fixed borders, as they are mainly informal regions. Some of these areas overlap, or are contained within others, while others have more than one name, which can lead to confusion amongst visitors and those moving into the city.

Finding Accommodation in Bristol

Bristol offers an eclectic mix of suburbs, each with their own indelible characteristics, meaning some research may be required to find the perfect match for your family, accommodation and leisure requirements.

Commuting into Bristol by car is not recommended and parking in the City Center is expensive, so consider your daily travel to and from work when looking at potential areas to relocate to. However, named as England’s first cycling city in 2008, Bristol boasts an impressive infrastructure for cyclists as well as ferry and train services in and out of the center.

For City Center living there are a number of housing areas right in the heart of the action, providing you with all local amenities within walking distance. From Georgian terraces and Victorian villas, to converted dockside warehouses and plush waterfront apartments, you will be spoilt for choice.

Over recent years the dockland areas of Bristol have undergone extensive regeneration. They now attract a large proportion of mostly young professionals opting for apartments in this beautiful waterfront location, which offers a wide selection of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, galleries, art-house cinemas, and theatres, all within walking distance.

Renowned for its affiliation with the Suspension Bridge, one of Bristol’s biggest attractions and historical points of interest, Clifton is probably one of the best known areas outside of the center. Because of its history and reputation, properties in Clifton are always in high demand, which is reflected in the property prices for this area.

Set upon a steep hill between the Waterfront and Clifton are Hotwell and Clifton Wood, where you will see a slight reduction on property prices. This area has easy access to the city center by foot, bus, or ferry and benefits from shops, restaurants, and traditional pubs on its doorstep.

For people moving to Bristol with families and school age children to consider, it is rumored that the north of Bristol is favorable to the south for schooling. Areas such as Stoke Bishop, Westbury Park, and Henleaze are all popular and boast excellent schools nearby; offering the chance to live in a true English leafy suburb of detached and semi-detached homes.

It is also worth considering the neighboring cities and counties that are easily accessible to Bristol, such as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and the Cotswolds. With London under 2 hours away Bristol and surroundings is an ideal base or work location to commute into and from several other major UK cities.

The Climate in Bristol

Situated in the south of England, Bristol is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the UK. The nearest weather station to Bristol is based at Filton Airfield and has recorded temperature extremes from -10°C to 34.5°C. On average, temperatures range from 3°C to 22°C throughout the year; however, temperatures are heavily influenced by the Atlantic weather patterns.

Rain is intermittent but falls fairly evenly throughout the year, with rare occurrences of snow falling anywhere between November and April. Summers in the area tend to be dry and moderately warm, with some rain and cloud scattered throughout.

InterNations Expat Magazine