Top Reasons to Attend University in Bristol
- Population 428,000
- Student population 47,000
The largest city in south west England, Bristol is perennially popular as a student destination. It has benefited from National Lottery funding and other grants to finance major regeneration projects and the city now buzzes with activity at the harbourside bars, restaurants, museums and art galleries. The thriving local economy means high prices and generally expensive accommodation. The rates are, however, fairly relative to other cities in the south of England. Bristol is on the whole welcoming to students.
- Travel by car is not easy with parking fairly difficult and expensive. However, several park-and-rides in the city offer a cheaper alternative.
- Walking and cycling are preferable and the cycle tracks are good. Bristol has been named as the UK's first Cycling City, with government grants in place to further improve cycling networks and facilities.
- There is an extensive and reasonably priced bus network. Travel cards are available. The Studentlink bus service operates during the week.
- London is 1 hour 45 minutes away by train. National Express operates coach links to many UK destinations. Bristol Airport offers low-fare flights to many popular European destinations, with Air France now offering up to three flights a day between Bristol and Paris, and KLM offering four flights a day from Bristol to Amersterdam. Bristol's harbourside attractions are served by regular ferry services.
Attractions for students
- Bristol has two football clubs, City and Rovers, a championship rugby club and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, which hosts one-day international matches.
- Tennis, swimming, ice-skating, golf, rowing and sailing are all available. Bristol Climbing Centre offers indoor climbing while the Avon Gorge is a popular venue for outdoor climbing.
Culture and nightlife
- The city is well provided with cinemas, both multi-screens and independents. Showcase Cinema de Lux in Cabot Circus, Bristol's shopping and leisure quarter, features 13 screens and state-of-the-art facilities, including an exclusive Directors' Lounge and an in-seat ordering service.
- The Bristol Old Vic theatre company is based at the Theatre Royal, whilst the Hippodrome is the venue for musicals, ballet and opera. Bristol Hippodrome is the main theatre for Bristol, with regular West End shows. Colston Hall is host to comedy, rock, pop and orchestral concerts and exhibitions. St George's Bristol, famed for its renowned accoustics, has classical, folk and world music concerts. The Arnolfini and the Watershed Media Centre offer lively programmes of exhibitions, films and theatre.
- At-Bristol is a hands-on science centre. Bristol Aquarium showcases both native and tropical marine and freshwater creatures in naturally themed habitats. Bristol Zoo Gardens, in Clifton, have over 450 species set in 12 acres of beautiful grounds. Bristol's M Shed museum is located on the site of the former industrial museum. The museum explores the city's history and culture through the ages.
- Bristol has an excellent range of pubs and clubs from the traditional to stylish late-night bars. Student nights are offered at city-wide venues throughout, and a particularly vibrant scene can be found on the famous Park Street, Whiteladies Road and Habourside areas. Bristol has been awarded Purple Flag status for the second year running for safety in the city at night.
- Bristol's city centre shopping area boats nearly 500 shops. Cabot Circus offers over 120 high street retail stores, 15 major flagship stores (including Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser), restaurants, cafes, 2,600 car parking spaces, all under one massive glass domed roof.
- The surrounding city centre shopping area has been refurbished and improved and the Galleries Bristol offers all of the popular shops, stores and restaurants that you might expect on the high street. On the northern outskirts of Bristol is The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, which has 135 shops all under one roof. Park Street is useful for music and second-hand clothing.
- Clifton Village has many specialist, boutique shops, but some stores can be expensive. St Nicholas Market, established in 1743, has stalls selling a range of food, second-hand books, old clothes, CDs and a range of unusual and exotic goods. It also hosts an award-winning farmers' market every week and a Slow Food market at the end of each month.
Proximity to the city centre
- University of Bristol: campuses in the Clifton and Cotham area, close to the city centre.
- University of the West of England: five campuses, the main purpose-built Frenchay Campus lies about 4 miles north of the city centre.
Crime in university cities
- Find out how safe this city is with our crime figures.
- See crime statistics for crime near university campuses.
For further information
Content was accurate at the time of compilation. Population figures are compiled from the 2011 censuses for England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.