Bristol and surrounding areas.
Looking for local info and views on where’s best to live as a new job that seems to be permanent means I need to move from my current place in Cardiff closer to my new base as the commute is a killer, both financially and in time. Get a clean run every morning which is fine but it’s all too easy to finish slightly late and have a 2hr drive back home which is the issue as it doesn’t leave me enough time to cook food and relax in the evening!
Work is based in Barton Hill and I’d ideally like to be able to cycle into work, splitting the journey by driving to the outskirts then riding the rest is an option. I’m also fine for driving in Monday, cycle back that evening then vice versa the next day etc. I don’t really want to live in the centre though so hoping to find somewhere that is relatively quiet and more importantly not terrible for bike thefts! Will be renting so areas with plenty of 1 bed flats with designated parking is the goal. Don’t want to go above £800pcm for rent either which is the sticking point, the market is mental right now.
So what areas should I be looking at? Yate has been suggested as it’s an easy ride in along the old railway line for most of the way. Would like somewhere a bit closer though!Posted 1 month ago
I don’t really want to live in the centre though so hoping to find somewhere that is relatively quiet and more importantly not terrible for bike thefts!
What do you mean by “centre”? Bristol is a relatively small city so you can cycle commute across a fairly wide radius.Posted 1 month ago
Based on that info, Crews Hole sounds a good bet. Down by the river, on the east of the city, fairly quiet location with easy access to Barton Hill and the countryside in the opposite direction. My advice would be to drive as little as possible in Bristol.Posted 1 month ago
Barton Hill is just off the Bristol – Bath railway path which will give you a traffic free ride from a lot of places. Look at East Bristol (warmley, Kingswood, hanhan) or the villages near the path. Personally I’d look closer in like st george. Not exactly ticking your list but once you get used to it Bristol is great and easy to get round.Posted 1 month ago
Hanham high street has a nice vibe, local bike shop etc even Keynsham is only a 35min cycle from Barton hill. There are even some short trails in Hanham woods by the river.
I would look at the route of the railway cycle path eastwards from Barton hill and take your pick.Posted 1 month ago
Look at the Bristol to Bath cycle route. NCN4 I think. It’s obvious on the map. Take your pick of places, Keynsham, Saltford, Bath, or anywhere in between them. Spoiled for choice.Posted 1 month ago
Also look at Stockwood/Whitchurch too – there’s another railway path there and the ride time to Barton Hill is a realistic 25-30 mins, mostly traffic free.
Feel free to drop me a PM if you fancy some more hints.Posted 1 month ago
I live in Backwell, North Somerset and commute to Lawrence Hill (right by Barton Hill) via bike, its a great ride, mostly on cycle path. But the best bit is, there’s a train station at Lawrence Hill which is surprisingly well connected – consider that when choosing.Posted 1 month ago
All the recommendations are good, but it’s going to be the £800PCM that’ll dictate where you are best placed. Barton Hill is well located from all sides via bike, so if you’re looking at outskirts, then have a check on the Warmley area, or Kingswood and Emersons, should be a fair few rentals, it’s far enough out to not be central, and loads of cycle paths joining up to the Bristol to Bath path to get you to work, and probably just a 20 minute cycle.Posted 1 month ago
Hi OP, I think you need to be a bit more specific in your requirements as far as location is concerned. There are a fair few locals here – and Bristol is actually a fairly compact “centre” surrounded by loads of different suburbs, all with their own advantages and drawbacks. Then there are the commuter towns of N. Somerset (Nailsea, Backwell, Portishead, Clevedon etc) and S. Glos (Thornbury, Yate, Bradley Stoke, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne etc) – all commutable by bike and probably a bit quieter again than the suburbs. How close to city life do you want to be? You can be just 1-2 miles from the centre in fairly quiet suburbs or right out of it in the other towns.
Everywhere I drive lately seems to have blocks of 1-2 bed apartments being built so there’s plenty close to the city, from which you could walk to Barton Hill. If you head out to the “towns,” and aim to drive certain days, you’ll be sat in commuter traffic for a fair chunk of your life. 😀
EDIT: I have no idea what rental prices are like at the moment, sorry.Posted 1 month ago
Guess it would be useful to know more about what you do want from your new neighbourhood. Pubs and culture, or peace and quiet?
For a mix, I really like the places just south of the river- Totterdown/Windmill Hill/Knowle/Bedminister/Southville are all an easy ride to Barton Hill with quite a mix of properties. Leafy parks and interesting neighbourhoods with enough gentrification to feel safe(ish, you’ll still want a place with good bike storage), without it being super expensive for rentals. Shout/DM if you have questions.Posted 1 month ago
I’m a country bumpkin at heart so prefer access to open spaces, easy ways to escape etc. If I had my choice I’d be working and living in the middle of nowhere but sadly all the work is mainly in cities so I have to compromise. Not bothered about easy access to anything bar a decent supermarket and a corner shop, everything else I’m happy to travel for or order online. A decent bike shop nearby might be nice but not essential.
Look at the Bristol to Bath cycle route.
I know it well and would love to have it as my commuting route hence the initial idea of Yate.
Everywhere I drive lately seems to have blocks of 1-2 bed apartments being built so there’s plenty close to the city, from which you could walk to Barton Hill.
I’m living in one in Cardiff and I’m worried that they’re the same as those, some good ones but some bad ones and impossible to tell just by looking at them! It’s all about the people that live in them, on my current estate we have three separate blocks and currently one is crap due to bad residents. Mine is ok but going downhill and the third is great but mainly due to it being mostly owner-occupied.
If you head out to the “towns,” and aim to drive certain days, you’ll be sat in commuter traffic for a fair chunk of your life. 😀
You don’t need to remind me, spend some days stuck in it constantly in my truck. It’s why I’m really not keen on living in the central areas, hard to get anywhere so I’d feel trapped.Posted 1 month ago
I’m a country bumpkin at heart so prefer access to open spaces, easy ways to escape etc.
Bristol’s pretty easy to escape. From Bedminster it’s 20 minutes to Dundry then you have miles of very quiet lanes. Or about 15 minutes to Ashton Court/ Leigh Woods for mellow MTB trails. I don’t know about MTB from east Bristol but there’s nice gravel and road riding in the Golden Valley.Posted 1 month ago
I know it well and would love to have it as my commuting route hence the initial idea of Yate.
Yates fine, as is Coalpit Heath/Winterborne/Frampton Cotterell, you’ve got many ways in to Bristol to cycle, you can go straight over to the Bristol/Bath path via the dramway, or on the road with the new cycle path stuff, which is nicer in wet wintery days if you want to get to work a little less mucky.
Again, rentals are sparse and expensive these days, it’s going to be a case of finding a place, i had a quick look in the area and it’s either 1 bed flats in the dodgy bits, or house shares, rent has gone mad by the looks of it!Posted 1 month ago
We moved to Bristol a few years ago for work, and I stayed in lots of different areas in airbnb while finding somewhere. To me, Easton / Lawrence Hill are dodgier bits, where inner city people got moved to, slowly being gentrified. But I would enjoy cycling a good bike to get to work that way, unless you have a knackered commuter? However, our younger staff like the ‘urban vibe’ and inde brewery bars and so on.
Those suggesting Knowle is an easy commute are a lot fitter than me! Note Knowle West is another not-great area. But we live further south on the edge of Whitchurch / Hengrove. It’s far cheaper than going north because it is further to the M4/M5 but I live within 500 m of fields and hills and within 5 mile near-flat commute to the University campus in the city centre. You can use the Whitchurch railway path and Feeder St mostly off-road or residential streets all the way to Barton Hill industrial area in 25 minutes riding. Stockwood is a housing estate as is much of Whitchurch but there are some nice bits, you have to visit and look around at the neighbours to get an idea. The downside to this part of the suburbs is there are no ‘good’ beer pubs, just estate ‘flat roof’ pubs.
If you can get a flat with a car parking space for your budget in Crews Hole I agree that is a good compromise, with riverside walks it feels far less urban. For outside of the city I would look around Bitton / Saltford, being on the Bristol-Bath bike path but again I suspect rates are higher than you want. Keynsham is also a reasonable option if you would mostly commute by train.Posted 1 month ago
I meant to add, be aware that the Clean Air Zone is meant to start in ‘summer’ 2022, if you drive an old car.Posted 1 month ago
I only know Bristol as my Sister lives there, so not best placed to give much advice.
But – they used to live in Brislington which seemed nice, although parking was always a nightmare & traffic seemed pretty much gridlocked all the time.
They moved several years ago out to Saltford & love it there. It does seem like a nice place to live & by bike I think they are only minutes from the Bristol-Bath cycle path.Posted 1 month ago
It seems like quite a nice area, so no idea if you can rent anywhere for your budget.
You’ll struggle to find any flats in Saltford and houses will be well out of budget.
Re. Easton being dodgy, bits are still (M32 corridor) but larger swathes are now very gentrified.Posted 1 month ago
Again, rentals are sparse and expensive these days, it’s going to be a case of finding a place, i had a quick look in the area and it’s either 1 bed flats in the dodgy bits, or house shares, rent has gone mad by the looks of it!
Prices have jumped up rather alarmingly! If I end up looking at the £900 and above range I’m actually better off staying in Cardiff and commuting, rather moot though as that level is above my budget.
I meant to add, be aware that the Clean Air Zone is meant to start in ‘summer’ 2022, if you drive an old car.
Well aware as the work vehicles don’t pass it. My car does though, at least for the first few years anyway.
Plenty of areas to look at, thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming as I fear finding somewhere suitable in budget cold be a bit of a mission.Posted 1 month ago
Don’t rule out Chepstow. Not common, but some people drive over the bridge, park up just off the ring road (first junction on the M32) and cycle from there. Lots of sneaky ways into central Bristol.
Rentals are cheaper than Bristol but not as many. Just make sure you only look close to the M48 link road anywhere down by the river (or back over to England) is a bit of a mare since they closed off the high street.
And never leave Bristol on a Friday afternoon. Took me 2 hours to get back home (Tintern) from BS5.Posted 1 month ago
Portishead? Cycle path follows the River Avon into the centre, around 10 miles to Barton Hill. Takes you passed Ashton Court & Leigh Woods.
Loads of 1 bed flats with parking & should be able to find something in your budget.
Easy motorway access back to Wales. Mendips & Quantocks, Exmoor not too far down the M5.Posted 1 month ago
I moved to Bristol as a kid five years old and left age 31, loved it. I moved more central as the years went on. Gave up driving and cycled everywhere. Its not big so a golden hour commute you can be in the middle of nowhere..Posted 1 month ago
Mangotsfield, Warmley and Hanham would be worth looking at. Also might be worth having a look at Willsbridge area. The main issue you will find is the more suburban / semi-rural the area is the less likelihood is there will be one-bed flats available and you will have to drive to a supermarket. I would suggest avoiding Yate as its largely a town full of boring 1970’s houses, but if you are happy to travel that distance by bike I would look at neighbouring Chipping Sodbury, which is a more traditional market town.Posted 1 month ago
Fwiw re: rent.Posted 1 month ago
I’m in St Werbergh’s, couple of mins from the motorway and £600 a month.
Pucklechurch, Warmley, Emersons Green.
All are toward the north east of Bristol and all are within/on the railway or ring road cycle paths.
There’s a lot of new housing at Emersons, so may be a bit cheaperPosted 1 month ago
Chepstow is out as my early starts mean I can’t rely on the old bridge being open (they regularly shut it for maintenance overnight plus when it’s windy), was an initial thought though.Posted 1 month ago
Hadn’t considered Portishead, will look into that as I like the town. Initially ruled it out due to distance.
Emerson’s Green does have lots of flats but they never seem to come on the market and when they do they’re £900+ for some reason.
@banks – you’re lucky, nothing has come up on RightMove below £750 for weeks and even then they were studio flats in rough areas. Maybe I’ve just got to get lucky when looking.
Old bridge is not shut that often. Mostly overnight at weekends. If you have early starts then with little traffic it only adds about 20 minutes to go via the new bridge. The M48 to the M4 is the local test track 🤐
Have you signed on with the estate agents/letting agents? Plenty don’t put properties on RM due to demand.
That is bonkers cheap. are we talking a whole house or just a room?Posted 1 month ago
I think at that budget you’re going to have to look at the borderline iffy areas – but there are some areas I’d avoid for sure.
Bristol / bath cycle track is great for commuting and they’re just resurfacing / widening bits of it at the moment. Looking along it at cheaper areas then I’d think:
Redfield / St George / better parts of Eastville / Fishponds. I’ve lived in fishponds a few times and it’s a very mixed culture area now but I quite liked it. My parents rent out a fairly decent sized 2 bed garden flat in a block there for about £850-£900 a month (long term tenant in place). I’d have thought a 1 bed flat could be within budget potentially in those areas.
Staple Hill is next along the line but probably a bit more expensive – I don’t think you’d get in budget in Mangotsfield.
Warmley/ Saltford will be out of budget as will Bath.
Kingswood you could look at – loads of flats around there have gone up the last few years.
Hanham above is mentioned – that’ll be out of budget.
Yate has always been cheaper than Bristol but that is quite a big cycle commute.
Keynsham mentioned above – that might be out of budget but as well as a nice bristol to bath cycle track from nearby there’s a train station that gets you to temple meads for £5.20 return.
That’s all my side of Bristol that I know.
Horfield has always historically had lots of rental properties abs house shares with students in mind – no idea what prices are like now. Cribs Vaudeway has had a lot of properties go up the last few years – not a clue what prices are like there – think the development is called charlton hayes or something like that.
Bedminster has fit a bit cooler in recent years so probably out of budget but wonder if Bedminster down might be cheaper.Posted 1 month ago
Could you not get a 2 bed place and sublet?Posted 1 month ago
Yate to Barton Hill isn’t really a big commute. 11 miles, almost entirely flat and 90%+ off road with 80% of that being the BBRP, the Ring road Path and the Dramway. The Dramway isn’t fully surfaced closer to Westerleigh so guards and slightly bigger tyres might be needed for winter.
2 Bed Place in Chipping Sodbury – Link to RightmovePosted 1 month ago
I suggest you sign up with some letting agents in the areas you are interested in. I have a one bed flat I rent out in Redland and it’s never been on Rightmove. The agent I use had 10 interested people within half a day of me instructing him when I have needed new tenants. Fishponds mentioned above has some lovely properties and is both close to the cycle path and also the Frome Valley which is a nice finger of green which runs from the outskirts to Eastville.Posted 1 month ago
Severn BeachPosted 1 month ago
Once I know what areas I am interested in I will be taking a day to tour the letting agents, had a feeling the decent stuff may not hit the websites.
Posted 1 month ago
@Marko – I’ve been monitoring it on my current commutes and at 5am it’s closed a surprising amount after early morning works. They might just be going through a phase of lots of work right now but it’s not worth the risk of having an unreliable commute time.
The M48 to the M4 is the local test track
Dunno what you mean… 😇😙Posted 1 month ago
Managed to get a viewing on a flat in Emerson’s Green on Saturday, purely as they’d just had a cancellation as I rang. Was one of 12 others viewing it that day. Was decent enough and was up for £800pcm so said I was interested and could possibly push to £850 if that was needed. Just had a call back and it went to a couple who offered just over £1000pcm. I think the market may be racing ahead of me!Posted 1 month ago
To be fair – Bristol was also like this in 2011 when I moved down here. In the days coming up to our first visit, We’d arranged to see 9 properties over the weekend we were visiting and by the time we arrived for the first at 09:00 in Hotwells, 5 of them had been let. All were gone by Monday.Posted 1 month ago
Got a week off this week so have just spent the last few days going round all the letting agents. There’s pretty much nothing out there right now. Only managed to get 2 viewings, one in Portishead for a place that was tiny and another in Knowle which was good but right at the top of my budget. Not great for 4 days of solid searching if I’m honest.
All of the letting agents are saying the same thing though: there’s very little coming onto the market let alone at the lower end. 1 bed places just don’t really exist and 2 bed and above are pushing £1k pcm. Unless I manage to catch something early and get a viewing slot then I fear the market has passed me by and I’ll be in the annoying position of having to leave my new job as living near it is just not affordable.
More searching tomorrow.Posted 6 days ago
I had a quick look on Rightmove and there are 2 bed flats in Kingswood for less than a grand but have no idea if they are still available.
Could try joining some of the local Facebook communities :-0 and asking on there, good luck!Posted 6 days ago
I enquired about those and they’ve both had their viewings and are just waiting for the landlords to select the tenants. Everything is moving quick, landlords hold all the cards right now as there’s so few of them.Posted 6 days ago
Speak to all the agencies sound Bristol and let them know what you’re looking for. If rental is anything like buying, if it’s on Rightmove it’s usually gone unless you’re endlessly refreshing. Our house went on Rightmove at 5pm Thursday, 22 booking slots full by 7pm and sold by the Monday at 10% over asking. It’s ridiculous.Posted 5 days ago
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