It’s probably fair to say that few people grow up dreaming of the day they finally get to move to Bristol. Yet, as England’s sixth most populous city, presumably plenty of people really like it here. So what’s the appeal?
Bristol is the largest city (and county) in the south west of England and in 2014 it was named Britain’s best city to live in by the Sunday Times. This accolade was bestowed upon it in recognition of its fantastic social scene, extensive shopping facilities, beautiful and varied housing, high school standards, low unemployment rates and close proximity to wonderful areas of countryside. As a thriving university town (hosting the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England as well as the Bristol Institute of Modern Music), many graduates choose to settle here after their courses have finished, drawn to the city by the educational provision and kept here by the vibrant ambience and high employment rates.
Why live in Bristol?
Whilst the city’s excellent rail and motorway connections mean that you can easily commute to London
(in as little as 80 minutes), there are benefits to living in the same city you work in. Being able to catch a bus, cycle or walk to work gives you a great deal more time to enjoy life, and with plenty of job opportunities, affordable housing and all the amenities you could want right here, living in Bristol makes a lot of sense. The extra time you gain by not having to endure a lengthy commute can be joyfully spent taking advantage of the buzzing nightlife, artisan cafes, well-maintained parks and plentiful shops.
There are a plethora of pubs, clubs and bars to choose from, including some quirky venues with a nautical theme to tie in with the city’s ‘floating harbour’ (so called because the water level doesn’t rise or fall with the river Avon’s tide). Traditional English pubs sit alongside modern bars that double as gig venues; tearooms co-exist alongside specialist cafés that cater for niche tastes.
You will never be short of places to spend your evenings or weekends – as a thriving city, Bristol is home to plenty of theatres, cinemas, comedy clubs, bowling alleys and activity centres
(where you can bounce the night away at a trampoline park, scale the walls at climbing centres or test your nerves on high ropes courses). Or you could see art in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, or on the street in the form of Banksy murals. Street festivals and carnivals crop up at regular intervals too, including the famous Balloon Fiesta, Harbour Festival, Mayfest (a theatrical extravaganza hosted in unusual venues) and the Food Connections Festival.
If you feel like getting away from the city for a while, the Cotswolds are right on your doorstep
. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the largest of its kind in England and Wales) the Cotswolds are easy to reach and explore. You can also visit neighbouring Bath and several charming villages, such as Painswick, Castle Combe and Stow-on-the-Wold; Cheddar Gorge is also close by. There are plenty of cycle paths around – the National Cycle Network started here – giving you every opportunity to get some fresh air at weekends.
Working in Bristol
The city is home to a wide range of local and national employers – virtually every area of trade is thriving, including retail, construction and manufacturing, storage, transportation, IT, communications, health, social work, and scientific and technical industry. With plenty of government investment in the area, other areas of industry are beginning to grow, including engineering, insurance, media, aerospace and military operations. All of this makes Bristol an ideal place to move to if you and your partner work in different fields – there is a strong chance that you will both gain meaningful employment in your field of expertise. There is also plenty of casual work available (thanks, mainly, to the ebb and flow of its student population).
As if you needed further persuasion to come to live and work in Bristol, it has amongst the lowest unemployment rates in the UK and higher-than-average salaries
, both of which explain why Bristol has experienced the greatest growth in disposable income.
Finding employment can be tough in the UK and many people find that they have to relocate to where the jobs are. Bristol has plenty of jobs available and offers a perfect combination of exciting city life, plenty of greenery within the city in the form of plentiful parks, and easy access to beautiful countryside. Why wouldn’t you want to live here?
If you're an experienced store manager we're currently recruiting for a position
at Safestore, which would cover Bristol, Cardiff and Bath.