Blogs > Life in the UK / A snapshot of UK Cities

A snapshot of... Bristol

  • January 25, 2021

Bristol is a hugely vibrant city with a rich maritime history. The city has a thriving economy, high employment rates, a fantastic arts and culture scene and offers a good balance of city-life and country living. Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of the ten ‘Core Cities’ in Great Britain. The population is around 630,000 and in 2017 the city was named as the UK’s most desirable location in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide. Described as “a small city that feels like a big city” Bristol has been described as “glamorous, creative, hi-tech and professional” jobs on offer with “great food and drink” and “the city crams in all the culture you could wish for”.

The city’s diversity has also increased in recent years and now, there are over 45 religions, at least 187 countries of birth represented and at least 91 main languages spoken by people living in Bristol. These languages include Polish, French, Spanish, Somali, Urdu, Punjabi.

The NHS in Bristol

The University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust is the newly merged Trust comprising University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust.

Bringing together a combined workforce of over 13,000 staff, the new Trust delivers over 100 different clinical services across 10 different sites serving a core population of more than 500,000 people.

With services from the neonatal intensive care unit to care of the elderly, the Trust provides care to the people of Bristol, Weston and the south west from the very beginning of life to its later stages.

They also provide specialist services such as children's services, cardiac and cancer services, and other smaller specialist services that are nationally commissioned, to a wider population through the south west and beyond.

Joining forces gave them an exciting opportunity to take everything that is great about Weston and UH Bristol and turn it into something even better, it has been a beacon for quality teaching, research, and innovation.

Where should I live?

Compared with other major cities in the world, house and flat prices in Bristol are relatively reasonable, however, the prices are rising rapidly as the area becomes more popular. As with every place in the UK, property prices vary area to area but the figures below will give you an estimation of what to expect in each area.

Clifton and Redland

Both areas are slightly more upmarket areas to live in Bristol, with a cosmopolitan feel. Each area is located within a good distance from the city centre.

Redland is the cheaper to live in than Clifton but is still considered a very nice area in Bristol. Redland has some of the best state schools in the city and it is one of Bristol’s latest hotspots for families with its large Victorian houses, green spaces, allotments, and you are just a short walk from the city centre. A one-bedroom flat to rent in this area start’s from £400 and £700 for a two-bedroom flat.

Clifton is one of the most picturesque and sought-after areas to live in the whole of Bristol. With its listed Georgian terraces, Regency crescents and garden-squares, Clifton is often the first-place people will think of when considering the move to Bristol. Its village offers independent cafes and boutique shops, or you can head to the Royal York Crescent for panoramic views across the city. A one-bedroom flat to rent in this area begins at £400 per month for a one-bedroom flat and £750 for a two-bedroom flat.


This area is filled with streets of period terraced houses, an array of shops and a fantastic range of pubs and restaurants. The area has two railway stations, with the Bedminster station taking you all the way to Exeter. In addition, a cycle path runs along the river from Bedminster to the city centre. The area is well-served by buses to the centre and the airport. A one-bedroom flat in Bedminster will start from £500 per month and a two-bedroom flat from £890.

Redcliffe and the City Centre

There have been dozens of new property developments taking place across Redcliffe and the city centre and the property here is in high demand. Bridge Quay, a recent waterfront scheme, sold its first 40 apartments in one day. The fundamental advantage of living in this area will have you close to all the action of the city, as well as great transport links across the UK.

The average property price is affordable for living in a city centre, but please note that most properties will be flats or apartments. A one-bedroom apartment in the centre starts from £700 a month and a two-bedroom apartment begins from £1,200 a month.

Average Monthly Expenses

Housing Cost
Monthly rent for 900Sqft furnished accommodation in an expensive area £1,900
Monthly rent for 900Sqft furnished accommodation in a normal area £1,200
Utilities for one month (heating, electricity, gas) for two people in a flat £350
Internet for one month £24
Transportation Cost
One-way ticket £2
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) £3
1 litre of Petrol £1.19
Entertainment Cost
Dinner for two in a neighbourhood pub £28
2 cinema tickets £20
2 tickets to the theatre (best seats) £86
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including starters, mains, dessert and wine £53
Cocktail £8
Cappuccino £2.75
A pint of beer £4.32
1 month of gym membership £29


The city has over a hundred schools, most Ofsted-rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. There is an increasingly diverse student population which provides extensive opportunities to work in a range of urban and suburban settings. Many schools have benefitted from extensive capital funding to ensure education buildings are of a high standard and in some cases ‘state of the art’.

In addition to the large range of schooling, Bristol is also home to both the University of the West of England (UWE) and the University of Bristol; offering hundreds of undergraduate and post graduate degree courses.


Bristol is connected by road on an east-west axis from London to Wales by the M4 motorway and on a north-southwest axis from Birmingham to Exeter by the M5 motorway. To reach the north of England from Bristol you should use the M5 and M6 motorway.

There are two key railway stations in Bristol: Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway with an extra 11 suburban stations. There are also scheduled coach links to most major UK cities.

Bristol is also served by its own airport, Bristol Airport (BRS), at Lulsgate, the airport is the ninth busiest UK airport and offers services to major European destinations.

By Train:

Bristol to London – 1 hour 40 minutes

Bristol to Manchester – 2 hours 59 minutes

Bristol to Birmingham – 1 hour 26 minutes

Bristol to Edinburgh – 5 hours 52 minutes

Things to do in Bristol

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge is more than just a masterpiece of design and engineering. Considered to be Brunel’s greatest work, it is an internationally recognised icon of Bristol. The bridge spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.

Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo opened in 1836 and is a Victorian walled zoo located between Clifton Down and Clifton College, near Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Bristol Zoo is the world’s oldest provincial zoo’s. Its mission statement is to “maintain and defend biodiversity through breeding endangered species, conserving threatened species and habitats and promoting a wider understanding of the natural world”.

Bristol Balloon Festival

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons and attracts over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the globe. The event is held over four days in August at Ashton Court Estate and is completely free of charge. As well as the hundreds of balloons that fill the sky, there are a large number of trade stands, fairground rides, and entertainment.

Museums and Galleries

Bristol is well known for its rich heritage and artistic nature. Bristol’s museums come in all shapes and sizes. Brunel’s SS Great Britain offers an amazing immersive experience transporting you back to Victorian times, to the M Shed, the city’s social history museum housed in a 1950’s transit shed.

You should also visit the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, a museum which explores the city’s archaeology natural history and more. Last, there is the We the Curious, which is the only digital 3D planetarium in the country.

Parks and Gardens

Bristol is frequently described as a city in the countryside. It has plenty of green space to relax in the park with friends or visit the excellent play equipment to entertain your children. There are over 400 gardens and parks in Bristol and some of the largest ones in the city centre include Castle Park, Brandon Hill, and Clifton Downs.

A popular option for many is the extensive grounds of Ashton Court Mansion. The Estate was once the home of the Smyth family and is now a historic park just ten minutes from the centre of Bristol. It covers 850 acres of woods and grasslands, designed by Humphry Repton. The estate also offers an 18-hole golf course, mountain biking and stunning views of the city.

Fun facts about Bristol

  • Bristol is the world’s biggest manufacturers of hot air balloons - Cameron Balloons in Bedminster makes the most balloons out of anyone in the world.
  • Bristol invented time travel – A small piece of time travelling history can be seen on the clock at the entrance to St Nick’s market – the time shows ‘Bristol time’ and ‘London time’. Before the invention of GMT, trains travelling to and from Bristol to London used to operate on two different timetables, 15 minutes apart.
  • The first bungee jump took place from Bristol Suspension Bridge – On 1st April 1979, a member of the Oxford University ‘Dangerous Sports Club’ bungee jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a new sport was born across the globe.
  • The city has its own currency – In 2012 the Bristol Pound was launched, designed to keep money in the local economy, it’s enjoyed a great success in keeping trade local.


If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.

References 2021. UHBW NHS - About The University Hospitals. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2021].


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