News / Bristol

Bristol area named one of the best places to live in the UK

By martin booth, Friday Apr 3, 2020

Views of the Downs are one reason why an area of Bristol has been named one of the best places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times.

We’re not sure where on the harbourside you have to stand to get these views, but we’ll take the accolade regardless – especially while all of its much-lauded restaurants remain closed.

The newspaper describes “the two-decade transformation of the city’s floating harbour from a wasteland into a model urban village — at least for young professionals and downsizers who put convenience and buzz before gardens and GCSE results”.

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“It’s easy to ditch the car here,” says the newspaper, who will publish their annual guide on Sunday in their Home section.

“Pretty much everything is within walking distance, from the Arnolfini gallery to the M Shed museum, trendy North Street, the Tobacco Factory Theatres and the allotments in Southville (last year’s Bristol winner).


“There are a dozen or so restaurants, from the upmarket, 14-seat Box-E to The Athenian, which does Greek street food. If you don’t want to eat out, there are specialist shops for meat, veg (organic, of course), fish, cheese, wine and beer.

“It’s a 20-minute walk to Temple Meads station, for direct trains to most key destinations across the country (it’s a 1hr 19min ride to London Paddington), and views of the Downs and the Avon Gorge make Harbourside feel a long way from ring roads and traffic fumes. Bristol is the greenest city in the UK, according to Compare the Market.”

Sunday Times Home editor Helen Davies said judges “championed locations that have showcased great community spirit”.

The Sunday Times names the Arnolfini and M Shed among the jewels of the harbourside area – photo by Martin Booth

She said: “The Sunday Times’s expert judges assess a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband speed to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street to produce the definitive guide to the UK’s finest locations to call home.

“The judges have travelled thousands of miles around the UK, visiting the locations and talking to locals. They look for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes, and locations bursting with community spirit.”

The harbourside comes third in the South West in the newspaper’s annual roundup, behind Cheltenham and Bear Flat in Bath at number two. Other locations in the South West to make the list include Frome in Somerset, Lyme Regis in Dorset and Shaldon in Devon.

Wapping Wharf is a brand new harbourside development – photo by Jon Craig

Main photo by Martin Booth

Read more: Ten-pin bowling and crazy golf planned for Harbourside

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