Bristol waterfront
Bristol waterfront. Image: Sion Hannuna/Shutterstock

7 things you need to know about living in Bristol

21 Feb 2018

In the final instalment of our Bristol focus, we’re looking at what it’s actually like to live in the south-west city, should you decide to move there for work.

Relocating to a completely new city for work can be a big step. It doesn’t matter how close you are to your new home, it will still be a big adjustment.

The best advice for anyone choosing to relocate for work is to do as much research as possible about what it’s like to live there.

This month, we zoomed in on the vibrant sci-tech city of Bristol, for anyone thinking of heading that way.

With so many innovation and tech giants in the south-west, also known as the ‘Silicon Gorge’, it’s no wonder that tech workers would be looking to the UK city of Bristol to work and live.

Just Eat, Oracle and Dyson are some of the big tech names in Bristol, so the need for talent is strong. Curious about the most in-demand tech jobs out there? We’ve got you covered there, too.

But, if you’ve already decided to move to Bristol, be it to soak up the strong tech hub atmosphere or to follow that dream job of yours, you might already be confident in the beautiful city’s abilities to meet your professional needs.

Want to know what it’s actually like to live there? We’ve rounded up a few facts and tips to help you get accustomed to your new home.

1. Best place to live in UK

Bristol was named the best place to live in the UK for 2017. The crown came from the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide, which looked at crime rates, house prices and school performance.

“The city is a worthy winner thanks to its ideal combination of extraordinary culture, impressive schools, buzzing culinary scene, exciting redevelopment and community spirit,” said Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies.

2. Balloon bonanza

Bristol is home to Cameron Balloons, the world’s biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons. So, it’s no surprise that the city also hosts Europe’s largest annual balloon festival every year: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

August 2018 will see the festival celebrate its 40th anniversary, so it’s set to be an extra-special occasion. It attracts more than 130 hot air balloons from all around the world and it’s a site not to be missed for anyone working and living in Bristol.

3. Bristol history

From incredible feats of innovation to well-known faces, Bristol is dripping in rich history that you might want to know if you’re planning to move there.

Classic Hollywood heartthrob Cary Grant, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and mysterious street artist Banksy all hail from Bristol. It is also home to one of the most impressive feats of UK engineering: the Clifton Bridge.

4. A home to music and art

When it comes to culture, Bristol has an art and music scene that’s every bit as rich as its sci-tech scene.

Stokes Croft is just one example of the creative side of the city. Often referred to as Bristol’s cultural quarter, taking a stroll around its unusual shops, great pubs and cool clubs will be a great way to spend a weekend.

There’s also Gloucester Road, which is one of the longest streets of independent shops in Europe.

The city is known for its famous underground artistic graffiti as well as a strong music scene.

5. Festivals abound

The International Balloon Fiesta isn’t the only festival in Bristol. Anyone thinking of relocating to the south-west city would be remiss to not learn about the incredible festivals that happen during the year.

From the Bristol Film Festival in March to the annual dance, music and arts event of the Bristol Harbour Festival in high summer, there are plenty of free festivals and family fun to be had throughout the year.

6. The cider scene

Did you know that Ribena was invented in Bristol? It was created at the National Fruit and Cider Institute, which leads us to the longstanding relationship between Bristol and cider.

If you’re relocating to Bristol, you’d do well to trade craft beers for artisanal ciders, as the city is home to a huge number of craft cider pubs and shops.

While we’re on the subject of after-work drinks, you should become familiar with some of the city’s secret cocktail bars and hidden drink venues.

7. Boats for every occasion

One of the best attractions for Bristol is its stunning harbour and waterfront. We’ve already mentioned the vibrant Bristol Harbour Festival but even when there aren’t events happening, the waterfront is a site to be enjoyed.

However, the boats aren’t only there to sit in the harbour. A number of Bristol’s boats have been converted into cafés, restaurants, a museum, and even a music venue and club.

Bristol life infographic

Infographic: Hays

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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