Bristol named best place to live in the UK for 2017

“It has everything you'd want from a big city - vibrant nightlife, pretty sights and plenty to do - but all on your doorstep”

Rachel Hosie
Monday 20 March 2017 10:49
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From the pretty Georgian terraces of Clifton to the graffiti-covered streets of Stokes Croft and the colourful waterfront - Bristol is a city as diverse as its inhabitants.

And those inhabitants will likely currently be feeling rather smug as Bristol has just been crowned the best place to live in the UK in 2017.

According to the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide, which assessed data including crime rates, house prices and school performance, the capital of the south-west is the most desirable place to live in Britain.

Bristol was described as “a small city that feels like a big city, handily placed for seaside and scenery, but hardly cut off from the rest of the country.”

The judges also pointed out that Bristol has plenty of “glamorous, creative, hi-tech and professional” jobs, a brilliant food and drink scene and tons of culture.

Famed for Banksy, Brunel and the invention of Ribena, it’s a quirky city that attracts people of all ages.

One of the reasons Bristol is so beloved by many is its focus on individuality - there are always new unique stores and eateries popping up and the city is home to the longest stretch of independent shops in the UK.

“The city is a worthy winner thanks to its ideal combination of extraordinary culture, impressive schools, buzzing culinary scene, exciting redevelopment and community spirit,” said Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies.

And it’s often heralded as being as exciting as London whilst providing a much higher quality of life.

“Bristol's such a vibrant and diverse city but without the craziness you can get in a capital city,” says 23-year-old Amber Bartlett, a student support advisor at the University of Bristol.

“It has so many different neighbourhoods that all have their own characters and quirks and residents generally love where they live,” she told The Independent.

“It's a young city but without being overrun by students and the city certainly doesn't grind to a halt when they all head off in the summer.”

And the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has said he is unsurprisingly “chuffed” with the city’s honour: “Pinpointing what makes Bristol special isn't easy,” he said. “It's a combination of many things from the people to the place itself, but at the heart of it is our cultural diversity and independent spirit.”

It's a sentiment that seems to be shared by all Bristolians.

“You can't help fall in love with Bristol and because that feeling is shared by so many living here, it gives off this amazing homely vibe,” said 22-year-old Hannah Price, online editor of the University of Bristol’s student newspaper, Epigram.

“It has everything you'd want from a big city - vibrant nightlife, pretty sights and plenty to do - but all on your doorstep,” she explained to The Independent. “I don't think anyone living here will be surprised that Bristol won.”

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