Bristol Area Guide
Once a small medieval village, Bristol has grown to become the south-west’s largest city. Its maritime history is still in evidence today, and can be felt simply by strolling along the harbourside or viewing SS Great Britain, which was designed by the celebrated engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Likewise, Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge is a major local landmark, highlighting the city’s intriguing past.
Despite its rich history, Bristol is forward-thinking and progressive, with dynamic graffiti covering many buildings in the town centre, including some notable works by Banksy. With a wealth of museums, galleries, theatres and more, it’s no wonder that this location remains so desirable for homebuyers.
There’s an astonishing mix of property styles in Bristol; from the elegant period homes in Clifton village, to the family-friendly Victorian terraces in locations like Bedminster or Henleaze. Near the harbour, there are several contemporary apartments, with many offering views of the River Avon. The period flats in the city centre are also desirable, thanks to their original features and proximity to Bristol’s attractions and amenities.
Hanham is a good area to search in if you want a detached home (modern or Victorian / Georgian), and you’ll find some excellent 1920s semi-detached houses in Bishopsworth.
One of Bristol’s main advantages for families is its excellent range of schools. Colston Girls’ School on Cheltenham Road is one of the city’s best-regarded secondary state schools, as is Redland Green School on Redland Court Road, which was rated ‘outstanding’ in its most recent Ofsted report. St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School is very popular too, and was also given the ‘outstanding’ rating at Ofsted.
There are several notable independent schools in Bristol, such as Belgrave School in Clifton, and Bristol Grammar School on University Road. As for primary schools? St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School usually gets great results from its students, and Bishop Road Primary is also an excellent choice.
Bristol is in a constant state of change, with regeneration continually transforming parts of the city. Its harbour is an excellent example of this. Once a busy industrial dock, the entire area has changed beyond recognition, and now boasts a variety of restaurants, bars, plus an art gallery and museums. The square also provides the perfect spot for live performances and events.
Other areas are scheduled for improvement too, such as part of the Bristol Shopping Quarter, which is known locally as Callowhill Court. The streets around Temple Meads Station have been updated, with a recent addition being 3 Glass Wharf, and the University of Bristol has purchased land in this area too, to build a new $300 million campus for its students.
It’s easy to get around in Bristol. Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway are the two main stations, and from either of these, travellers can catch trains to destinations across the country. It takes approximately an hour and forty minutes to get to Central London.
Additionally, Bristol is served by some local stations, connecting residential areas to the city centre. This makes it incredibly easy to get to work, or enjoy a night out in town. There are several bus services in operation, plus numerous cycle paths for those who prefer to travel by bike; and Bristol Airport has flights running to multiple major European destinations and further afield.
Eating and Drinking
There are countless restaurants, pubs and bars in Bristol, with all tastes covered for. Most of the nation’s best-loved chain restaurants are represented, and there are also some fantastic independent eateries, such as the local’s favourite The Pipal Tree on Chelsea Road, or Chris and Jo’s Kitchen on St Michael’s Hill.
Brewdog Bristol is a popular haunt for those that enjoy traditional English fare (with a great selection of drinks) and The Hobgoblin on Gloucester Road is highly rated too; not least because of its impressive burgers. The Gryphon, with its distinctive décor and live music acts, is much-loved by people of all ages.
Things to Do
Bristol has some amazing attractions on offer. For example, kids will love We The Curious, which is an interactive museum, exploring all things related to science. Bristol Aquarium is right next door, and is another place to take the children for an afternoon out.
SS Great Britain gives visitors the opportunity to step back in time and experience life on a Victorian ship, and the M Shed museum (just a few minutes’ walk away) provides fascinating, thought-provoking insight into Bristol’s history. If you’re a fan of art, the Arnolfini Gallery is in the harbourside area, or alternatively, visit City Museum and Art Gallery on Queens Road.
(Photo Credit: Matthew)