Moving to Bristol From London: What It Takes Guide

Moving to Bristol From London: What It Takes Guide

In recent years, moving to Bristol from London has become a popular decision for many and many reasons. Especially due to the lower cost of living and the lush countryside setting, more and more people are making this move.

But for those considering a move from London to Bristol, several things must be considered to ensure that you make the transition successfully. Whether it’s housing, jobs, lifestyle, or the cultural scene in Bristol, you should explore a few things before making a move.

To help make your transition from London to Bristol as smooth as possible, we’ve created this guide outlining what it takes and what steps you should take to ensure success.

Moving to Bristol and What to Expect

Moving to Bristol from London is more than merely a change in postcode. It’s a lifestyle shift, offering a different pace, a unique blend of culture and history, and an array of opportunities in health, labour industries, and beyond.

From the famed graffiti artist Banksy’s works adorning the city’s walls to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol melds its rich heritage with a vibrant contemporary scene.

Bristolians take pride in maintaining a sustainable environment.

The city’s dedication to reducing its carbon footprint with initiatives such as Bristol Green Capital makes it a draw for eco-conscious residents. Various eco-events and a plethora of organic, farm-to-table eateries underline its commitment to sustainability.

There’s also the moving costs. To calculate them we took the average house price for each area and the distance travelled to calculate the removal company costs. The results were that on average it will take around £410 for a one bedroom flat and around £810 for 2-3 bedroom house or flat.

Top Reasons People Move

Here are some major top reasons why people move to Bristol:

  • Culture and Heritage: Bristol has numerous cultural landmarks, such as the Bristol Museum and art galleries.
  • Economic Opportunities: The Bristol job market, especially in the health and labour industries, has shown consistent growth.
  • Educational Institutions: Prestigious universities like the University of Bristol and renowned schools like Bristol Grammar School attract families and students alike.
  • Cost of Living: Moving to Bristol from London can mean significant savings on various fronts, from housing to council tax.
  • Art Scene: With famed graffiti artist Banksy hailing from Bristol, the city is often called a hub for street art enthusiasts.
  • Gastronomy: The array of independent restaurants and treasures like St Nicholas Market make it a food lover’s dream.
  • Connectivity: Bristol’s location makes traveling to other major cities in the UK easier.
  • Natural Beauty: With numerous green spaces and the breathtaking Clifton Suspension Bridge, the city boasts impressive scenic spots.
  • Lively Atmosphere: From Park Street’s shopping hubs to the thriving nightlife in Bristol City Centre, there’s never a dull moment.
  • Community Feel: Despite being a city, Bristol offers a more intimate, community-centric vibe than West London’s sprawling vastness.

Average House Price Compared to London: Renting or Buying

One of the most significant motivators for moving to Bristol from London is the considerable difference in house prices. While the average house price in London can be prohibitively expensive for many, Bristol offers a more affordable alternative without compromising on urban amenities.

Renting in Bristol also tends to be more budget-friendly. A city centre apartment that might cost upwards of £2,000 per month in West London could be available for nearly half that in Bristol City Centre.

However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. While Bristol might be more affordable, some areas in the city can match London prices, especially in sought-after regions near prestigious universities or green spaces. Furthermore, the demand has increased due to many shifting from London to Bristol, which can sometimes drive up prices.

While Bristol presents more budget-friendly housing options, it’s always wise to research thoroughly and engage with local estate agents to find the best deals.

Urban regeneration projects are consistently adding value to Bristol’s property market. Areas previously overlooked are now becoming trendy hotspots, offering investment opportunities and a vibrant community spirit.

Commuting Distance and Train Service Links

Moving to Bristol doesn’t mean being disconnected from major cities or London. With Bristol’s Temple Meads and Parkway stations, residents can access an expansive rail network.

Direct trains run frequently between Bristol and London Paddington, usually taking around 1.5 hours. Key hubs like Birmingham, Exeter, and Cardiff are also easily accessible, making day trips or business meetings feasible without lengthy journeys.

Average Salary and Career Opportunity

Bristol has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, with numerous start-ups and innovation hubs. SetSquared, an enterprise collaboration between universities, ensures support for budding entrepreneurs, thus making the city a haven for fresh business ideas and innovations.

The Bristol job market is robust, particularly in the health, technology, and creative arts sectors. While slightly lower than in London, average salaries are competitive, especially when factoring in the lower cost of living.

For instance, a professional in London might earn £40,000 annually, but similar roles in Bristol offer around £35,000. However, with Bristol’s reduced living costs, one could have equivalent, if not better, purchasing power. Resources like Bristol Jobs, Indeed, and local recruitment agencies can be invaluable for job hunting.

Overall Cost of Living

A significant pull towards Bristol is its cost-effective living. On average, living in Bristol can be 30-40% cheaper than living in West London. Rent, groceries, dining out, and even leisure activities can all come at a fraction of the London price.

For instance, a meal in the city centre of Bristol at an average restaurant might cost you £12, whereas the same meal in London could set you back £20. Such savings across various aspects of daily life can quickly add up, making Bristol a financially appealing choice.

Primary to Sixth Form and Prestigious Universities

Bristol’s educational offerings are second to none. Schools like Bristol Grammar School and Clifton High School have produced outstanding academic results. Parents can consult the Bristol City Council’s guide on schools to find an institution that aligns with their expectations. The University of Bristol and UWE Bristol are renowned for higher education, drawing students from across the globe.

Bristol’s education sector emphasizes inclusivity and diversity, ensuring students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities. Numerous community projects and extracurricular activities are designed to shape well-rounded individuals prepared for global challenges.

Another factor to consider is Bristol’s efficient public transport system. Investing in a monthly travel pass can be cost-effective and reduce reliance on personal vehicles, further cutting down on car maintenance and parking expenses.

Culture and Museums

Bristol is a cultural melting pot. Its rich maritime history is proudly displayed in the M Shed Museum, while the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery host a mix of historical artifacts and contemporary art. And let’s remember its most famous yet elusive artist, Banksy, whose street art graces many a Bristolian wall.

Nightlife, Sports, and Dining Out

Bristol’s nightlife and dining scenes are eclectic and vibrant. From independent restaurants in the heart of St Nicholas Market to the lively pubs and clubs in the city centre, there’s something for every palate. For sports enthusiasts, the Ashton Gate stadium hosts football and rugby matches, ensuring there’s always some action in town.

Dining Out offers a plethora of options, from global cuisines to classic British fare, with many establishments celebrating Bristol’s rich maritime history. Whether you’re a fan of bustling bars, quiet wine nooks, or sports arenas, Bristol delivers.

Walking and the Outdoors

Often lauded for its abundant green spaces, Bristol offers a delightful mix of urban parks and serene countryside walks. The famed Clifton Suspension Bridge leads to picturesque trails along the Avon Gorge, while Ashton Court Estate boasts acres of woodland walks and deer sightings.

Remember, the Harbourside walk offers scenic views of the city’s waterside attractions. A stone’s throw away lies the Mendip Hills, an Outstanding Natural Beauty area perfect for avid hikers and those seeking tranquil countryside escapes.

Best Areas to Live in Bristol

Bristol’s diverse neighbourhoods cater to varying lifestyles and preferences:

  • Clifton: Known for its Georgian architecture and proximity to Clifton Suspension Bridge, this area offers excellent schools and a village-like feel, making it ideal for families.
  • Harbourside: A vibrant neighbourhood offering modern flats with waterfront views, it’s perfect for young professionals and those keen on a lively environment.
  • Montpelier: Celebrated for its bohemian spirit, Montpelier is a hub for artists and offers an eclectic mix of independent shops and eateries. It’s best for those wanting a trendy, alternative vibe.

Significant Advantages and Downsides of Moving to Bristol

Relocating to Bristol presents many advantages, including a more affordable cost of living, a rich cultural scene, and access to beautiful outdoor spaces. However, while the Bristol job market is robust, salaries can be slightly lower than the London average.

Key Attractions for Locals and Visitors

Beyond its dynamic city centre, Bristol is a gateway to numerous nearby attractions. The historic city of Bath, with its Roman-built baths, is a short train ride away. The mesmerizing Cheddar Gorge offers stunning views and adventurous caving opportunities. And for those looking to delve deep into the past, Stonehenge is easily accessible for a day trip.


Navigating a potential move brings up many questions. Here are some commonly asked ones:

Why are Londoners moving to Bristol?

For a balanced lifestyle, affordable housing, cultural richness, and proximity to green spaces and other major cities.

Is it better to live in Bristol or London?

Both cities have unique offerings; Bristol offers affordability and a relaxed pace, while London boasts unmatched global vibrancy.

Where do most Londoners move to?

Bristol, Brighton, and Manchester are among the top cities Londoners relocate to for varied reasons.

Summary of Moving From London to Bristol

Making the leap and moving to Bristol from London can be an enriching experience. Bristol offers a blend of cultural vivacity, affordability, and access to beautiful landscapes.

For those contemplating the move to Bristol, can help you with it. They take the load off of you by dismantling and reassembling everything you need. If you need more services such as packing, it will have an extra cost of about £440 (2 men included).