Bristol City Guide

By Rachel Mason


If you’re considering relocating to Bristol, it’s easy to see why. Less than an hour from the coast, home to renowned street artist Banksy, a diverse and dynamic restaurant and café culture and a direct train line to London, Bristol simply oozes appeal. A green city with over 400 parks and gardens, Bristol is the home of an up-and-coming tech culture that is attracting talent from all over the globe.

Housing in Bristol 

House prices in Bristol have soared in recent years with the average house now costing over £360,000, following a 10% rise in prices this last year. However, the investment planned for Bristol means house prices are expected to continue to rise. 

Clifton is a pretty area of Bristol and is within walking distance from the city centre, making it a great place to base yourself. Close to the University, it’s loved by students and families alike. For slightly more modern (and less hilly) living, Bristol’s harbourside offers waterfront apartments, luxury developments and attractive townhouses, with spectacular views. More traditional suburban areas preferred by families include Cliftonwood, Redland and, slightly further afield, Westbury-on-Trym and Westbury Park. 

UK’s visa requirements for working in Bristol 

If you’re a British national, you’re permitted to work anywhere in the UK. Whilst Britain’s departure from the EU has changed the position of European nationals to live and work in the UK, the UK still welcomes employees from Europe, but does require them to obtain a visa. Once you’ve secured a job, your employer can usually apply for a work visa on your behalf. You can read more about the UK work visa application process post-Brexit in our article ‘All you need to know about uk immigration visa changes ’.

The cost of living in Bristol

The cost of living in Bristol is substantially cheaper than living in London, and similar to that of Eindhoven, with rent, on average 47% lower, and living costs around 15% less expensive than the UK’s capital. 

Typical living costs for a family of four in Bristol work out at around £2389 per month.

You should budget around £177 a month for utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water and rubbish disposal, and a further £32 each month for internet of around 60Mbps or more. Full-time childcare for children below school age will be around £122 a year, but private education will set you back an additional £12,000–£15,000 each year. 

Dining out for two will cost you around £50, add another £4.40 for a beer, or £8.00 for a glass of wine. But a McDonalds can be picked up for anything from £6.75 upwards!.

Dining at home is also less expensive than in London, with a loaf of bread priced at £1.05 and a litre of milk priced around 95p.  

Commuting and Public Transport around Bristol    

In Bristol, it’s really easy to get around by bus, and if you want to explore the South of England, the rail network means you can get to London, or to Plymouth on the coast, within two hours.

There are also plenty of car parks in and around Bristol city centre, and even some out-of-town park and ride sites if you fancy avoiding the traffic. 

In 2021, the City of Bristol announced plans for a £4bn investment into public transport with the creation of an underground and overground network to make getting around the city both greener and easier, but it’s likely to be another 10–15 years before Bristol residents start to see the benefits of these plans. 

The Education system in Bristol 

In Bristol, schooling can be state, or private. Unless home-schooled, all children between the ages of 4 and 16 are obliged to attend school. State schools are free-of-charge, Primary Schools cater for children from Reception to Year 6 (age 4–11), Secondary Schools for Year 7 to Year 11 (age 11–16), and College or Sixth Forms for years 11 to 13 (age 16–18). At each of these levels, education follows the National Curriculum. Schools are assessed by Ofsted and the results of the assessments can be found on the Ofsted website.  

There are different types of state schools including:  

Grammar Schools – These are selective schools that are usually run by the local authority. These are selective schools which means students must pass a test to gain entry to a grammar school. Grammar schools are usually non-fee paying and follow the National Curriculum.  

Community schools – These are run by local authorities who get involved in everything from employing the staff, to owning the land and building, as well as determining admissions criteria.  

Foundation schools and Trust Schools – Often these are owned by a charitable trust with a third party and run by a governing body which determines their own admissions criteria and employs staff.  

Voluntary aided schools – Often linked to a faith or religion these, like a Foundation school, have an independent governing body that determines admissions and employs their own staff.  

Academies – Academies are independently managed schools that cater for students of all abilities. Academies are established with sponsorship from business, faith or voluntary groups in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and the local authority. 

Private schools are also available for students at a fee, which usually ranges from £15,000 to £40,000 per year.  

Global technology companies in Bristol 

Ranked the sixth most active city in the UK by technology company growth, Bristol is home to many tech success stories including Codasip, Nordic Semiconductor, Graphcore, Ziylo, and Ultraleap. The University of Bristol has also spawned 33 ambitious tech companies since 2011, and is home to SETsquared, a business incubator program currently incubating more than 80 different ventures. 

There are now 430 tech companies in Bristol. Much of Bristol’s tech industry is made up of seed stage companies (42%), making it a great growth area for new and upcoming technology stars. Bristol-based start-ups include XCD HR, Blu wireless, upUgo, and YellowDog. In addition to start-ups, Bristol is home to Amazon, Oracle, and BT.  

Things to do in Bristol in your spare time 

Bristol is in the sunny South West, so it’s only a short hop to beaches in Weston-Super Mare, or to the an unmissable harbourside ambience in Plymouth, with the rugged landscapes and fascinating folklore of Cornwall also on the doorstep. 

Bristol has a multitude of museums and galleries such as Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and Aerospace Bristol, but it’s also only a twenty-minute drive to the spectacular city of Bath, –the backdrop for many period dramas and movies, and is home to the Roman Baths, Bath Rugby and Bath Thermae Spa. 

Bristol also has thriving theatre scene, is home to the Wild Place Project, and boasts an aquarium that’s well worth a visit. As the largest city in the South-West of England, there’s plenty to do in Bristol.  

If you would like to discuss opportunities that we are currently recruiting for, or that we may expect to have in soon, please contact me,

Additional sources 

The Best Things About Moving to Bristol (

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