Top 10 Best Places To Live In Bristol And Nearby

Bristol has something for everyone, ranked as one of the best places to live in the United Kingdom. Let's look at the best areas to live...

Bristol City is a great place to live, with a thriving economy, diverse population, and beautiful surroundings. There are plenty of things to see and do, famous for its vibrant nightlife and great food scene you definitely won’t get bored living in Bristol.

There’s a huge range of contrasts in terms of choosing where to live. Let’s look at some of the best areas to live in and what they offer to help you find your ideal place to live in Bristol.

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Where should I live in Bristol?

If you’re an avid sightseer, you’ll not feel any lack of opportunity, from the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge to the stunning views of the River Avon and the nearby countryside and coastline waiting to be discovered.

Bristol view towards the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bristol view towards the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge

Bristol has something for everyone, recently ranked the top place to live in the UK after London for under 26-year-olds while having loads to offer families as well. With plenty of green recreational areas, good schools, and a welcoming local population.

Bristol City has some of the most beautiful period homes with Victorian and Georgi­an properties, a large amount of green space, coupled with amazing shopping and nightlife.

The area has also seen some major development in the last few decades, as it reinforces its reputation as one of the most important start-up hubs in the UK.

1. Clifton

As one of the most affluent and sought-after neighborhoods in Bristol,  located on the banks of the River Avon, Clifton Village is one of the most in-demand locations for people planning a move to Bristol.

Royal York Cresent in Clifton, Bristol
Royal York Cresent in Clifton, Bristol

With a large number of historic homes and fantastic architecture, including magnificent Georgian terraces, Regent crescents, and picturesque garden squares, with the right budget, dreams can be born.

Clifton’s streets are filled with trendy boutiques and cute cafes that attract newcomers in equal measure.

The cost of both property purchase and rental sits at the top of Bristol’s property list, and you may well feel it’s worth it, with picturesque streets, convenience to the city center, and the plentiful amenities Clifton has to offer backed up with great schools, and very low crime rate.

Bristol Zoo, the Clifton Observatory, and the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge are iconic nearby landmarks.

Nearby Clifton Observatory
Nearby Clifton Observatory

Bristol University sits on the eastern side of the region, with much of the campus categorized as Clifton. Despite the university’s close locality to Clifton, high housing costs mean that it’s not a popular choice for students looking for accommodation. 

If you can budget for it, put Clifton at the top of your best places to live choices. 

2. Leigh Woods

If you’re looking for a have-a-cake-and-eat-it situation living in a rural village that’s still only 30 minutes away from the city using public transport, Leigh Woods may well be your perfect location. 

Leigh Woods with views of Clifton Suspension Bridge
Leigh Woods with views of Clifton Suspension Bridge

Just across the Clifton Suspension Bridge outside of the boundary of the city of Bristol, located beneath Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve, which is about 1.5 square miles of woodland, making the village an ideal location for nature lovers. 

There’s not so much in the way of amenities in the village. However, with Clifton just over the bridge, you don’t have to travel too far to have everything you need. 

There is a snag, such idyllic surroundings coupled with close proximity to the city means the average house price is steep, and property can be scarce. Expect to pay over £500,000.00 for an apartment and significantly more for a house.  

3. Totterdown and Temple Meads

If you’re on the lookout for a more affordable location close to Bristol City, Totterdown or nearby Temple Meads are well worth looking at. 

Primarily built in the 1800s around Bristol’s growing rail industry, the location has proven a popular choice for both first-time buyers and renters who want to keep costs down.

Bristol Temple Key Business Complex
Bristol Temple Key Business Complex

With charming narrow streets through this urban village, you’ll find an arty, creative neighborhood with many Victorian and Edwardian homes painted in bright colors. 

Totterdown is an ideal location for commuters; at just 1.2 miles from the city center with excellent public transport links, commute time into the city using public transport will be under 15 minutes. 

The traffic is often heavy, though, so taking a car may take a lot longer. If you’re planning to travel further, Bristol Temple Meads, the city’s largest railway station, is just a short walk away. 

4. Horfield

Horfield is a great place to live, especially if you’re a young family or professional who needs a relatively easy commute to the city center.

Just about 3 miles north of the city center, the area runs along Gloucester Road, so it’s a reasonable commute into the city by car or public transport. It’s also well located for a fast drive out of the city, and you can normally get to the M32, M5, and M4 motorways in minutes.

The popular Gloucestershire Road is very convenient to get to. You’ll find plenty of great shopping throughout, with stylish boutiques, patisseries, and independent shops such as butchers and greengrocers.

Horfield is approximately two miles from the University of West England Bristol campus making it a choice for second and third-year students to live. 

For fresh air and exercise, Horfield Common is a large green space in the center of the neighborhood, with good facilities.

The park has a café, multiple play areas, tennis courts, jogging, and walking paths along with a nice pond. The park is at one of the highest points in Bristol. However, it’s relatively flat, making it an ideal spot for walking and jogging.

5. Redland

Another neighborhood to consider is Redland. Situated to the East of Clifton, it can also be considered one of the best areas of Bristol to live in.

Redland was developed in the mid-19th century, characterized by its wide avenues with spacious Victorian properties, many fronted in local stone. 

Redland Road views Bristol
Redland Road views Bristol

If you’re looking for easy access to both the city center and quieter suburbs. Redland offers access to plenty of green areas and parks while also having some of the best schools in Bristol.

One of the best benefits of Redland is the fact that it’s within walking distance of the city. You can walk 1.6 miles in under half an hour, which is about the same time as the bus normally takes.

With a good mix of family homes, prestige properties, and flats, Redland is a good location for everyone, from young professionals and couples to large families.

Redland is also a popular student housing area. Famous for being Bristol’s ‘party central’, Redland is perfect for living the typical student lifestyle. With the famous Gloucester Road close by, you’ll be living in the center of Bristol’s student hub.

Families often prioritize Redland because of the excellent school provision in this area at both primary and secondary levels. Popular schools in Redland are Westbury Primary School and Redland Green School, both of which are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

6. Redcliffe

One of the more sought-after areas, Redcliffe has seen considerable development of new homes over the past decade. 

Young professionals seek out the area because it’s close to the city and many of the big employers. 

Redcliffe Wharf
Redcliffe Wharf

There is a premium to pay for housing, but with so many bars, restaurants, and historic sites on the doorstep, plenty of buyers and renters consider it well worth the price tag.

Redcliffe can also make good sense for families with children, with some of the best schools in the city, including the St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, which consistently ranks as one of the best secondary schools in Bristol.

You won’t lack having things to do. The nearby Harbourside development hosts a weekly street food market, numerous bars, and the Arnolfini, an award-winning gallery.

Just a bit further, you’ll find Wapping Wharf,  home to the ever-expanding Cargo 2, a series of shipping containers transformed into a lifestyle hub with barbers, bars, restaurants, and yoga studios. 

There are also plenty of historic sites to visit, including St Mary Redcliffe Church. The church, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in England, was first built in the 12th century and was named after the red cliffs along the River Avon.

7. Montpelier

Montpelier is one of the hippest places to live in the UK, a colorful and eclectic community of creatives with a very bohemian vibe. 

Aerial view of Bristol City
Aerial view of Bristol City

The area has fast become one of the most popular areas for buyers and renters moving from outside of Bristol, with young professionals attracted to the unique urban vibe of Montpelier.

If you’re commuting, you’ll be able to get into the city center in about 20 minutes.

While the area is most popular with young people, there’s plenty of provision for families with four primary schools and close connections to secondary schools. 

You can find some fantastic Georgian terraces homes similar to those seen in Clifton, plus you’ll have a host of independent cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops nearby.  

8. Portishead

Approximately 12 miles west of Bristol city center, located on the coast of the Seven Estuary, Portishead offers lifestyle advantages that aren’t available directly in the city.

Portishead’s residents enjoy a relatively simple 20-minute commute time into Bristol without the hassle and higher housing costs associated with city living.

Sunset at the Portishead Jetty
Sunset at the Portishead Jetty

Portishead has plenty to offer. For shopping, you can enjoy the traditional Victorian high street with plenty of boutique shops to visit.

There’s a lovely marina that has plenty of restaurants, shops and a leisure center,  you can also take an enjoyable stroll right around the marina.

Nature lovers can enjoy plenty of fresh air in the nearby nature reserve and woodland walks.

The area has become a very popular location for families, with a good range of homes available for both purchase and rent.

The more recent development of the marina area has also increased the range of apartments and duplexes available for single professionals and couples. 

9. Southville

Once somewhat unloved, Southville has developed to become one of Bristol’s most popular locations to live in. 

Back in the 90s, initial redevelopment started with the conversion of the old tobacco factory into an arts and theatre hub. This prompted an urban regeneration that has seen Southville move on to be branded as Bristol’s Notting Hill.

Southville has much of the appeal of Clifton with its colorful terraces and range of independent shops, but at a much lower price tag if you’re looking to rent or buy a property there. 

Located south of the river, It’s a pretty easy walk to the harbourside and city center.

Southville is an ideal location for young families looking to relocate to Bristol. It is located within close proximity of a broad range of primary schools, from nearby Victoria Park to Ashton Gate School.

There are plenty of distractions and entertainment on hand, from the fun of the Tobacco Factory to the M Shed, which is part of Bristol Museums and runs a range of workshops and other events throughout the year.

10. Bedminster

Bedminster is another popular location to the south of the city bordering trendy Southville.

Bedminster has developed a lot over recent years. Several of the most prominent new developments are the Airpoint Apartment Building on West Street and the Robinson Building, just off East Street.

With other developments ongoing, there’s a broad range of modern homes available, from apartments to townhouses. 

Bedminster also enjoys a good range of traditional Victorian terraced homes, of which many have been converted into apartments or renovated for modern family living.   

The area has a vibrant feel. There’s plenty of nearby shopping along two main streets. Also, at just over a mile from the city center, the location is ideal for city-based professionals.

When you need space, it’s just minutes away from lovely green areas such as Victoria Park and along the River Avon.

Summary –  best places to live in Bristol and nearby

Bristol’s broad range of neighborhoods presents plenty of choices for any newcomer.

The city’s success and the range of employment opportunities are reflected in the higher cost of both property purchase and rental. It’s likely your budget will be a big influence on where you choose to call home.

If you can stretch to Clifton, you’ll never grow weary of the sight of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and knowing you’ve arrived home. 

If you head to the more affordable sites in the north, remember you’ll still choose one of the most progressive and dynamic cities in the United Kingdom to call home. 

New developments are always happening in and around the city, and the ideal way to discover the best that Bristol has to offer is to take some time out and spend a few days exploring the city and the locations we’ve mentioned above.

Discover the places that resonate best with you and the lifestyle that you want. You’re bound to find something that works for you. 

Other UK cities to consider:

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Expatra Team

Our most popular evergreen guides are kept fresh and up-to-date by our in-house research team. If you have any questions about our guides or the country discussed feel free to contact us or leave a comment below and we'll get back to you.

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