When we relocated our young family to Bristol almost 3 years ago we couldn’t have imagined how much we would fall in love with this city. I had grown up here, and left at 18 so I was not prepared for just how vibrant, diverse and energetic it had become. But there is more to it, the towns and cities of the West Country all have so much to offer both in terms of quality of life and environment, but also from a career point of view.
Below are some things that you might not know that could help you conclude #westisbest
1. Bristol is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the country to live because of the combination of affordability, good schools, accessibility and proximity to the countryside and coast.
2. Bath and Cheltenham are snapping at our heels, though. Cheltenham has been voted most family friendly town and Bath is a favourite with London ‘relocators’.
3. There are plenty of jobs! The main towns and cities in the West Country have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. The West Country is home to some of the UK’s most innovative and growing businesses such as Dyson, Trunki and Yeo Valley.
4. Bristol was named the UK’s first Cycling City. At first sight, with its steep hills and climbs, Bristol might not seem an obvious choice but it really is easy to get around by bike and everyone does it!
5. Prefer to work in a suit? Well, you are welcome here too! Nationwide, Lloyds, Friends Life, RBS, Burges Salmon, TLT – huge players in financial services and the law – all have West Country bases.
6. The balloons! Whatever your age there is nothing more magical than looking up on a balmy summers evening and seeing hot air balloons fill the sky. Home to the International Balloon Fiesta for almost 40 years, Bristol is balloon city and we are proud of it!
7. Our food is amazing, and local! Brothers Jon Ray and Peter Sanchez run Casamia, a Michelin starred restaurant chosen by Gordon Ramsay as the best neighbourhood eaterie in the UK. And our neighbours at Poco were voted most ethical UK restaurant.
8. We are home to a large number of the UK’s fastest growing businesses, more so than London or Manchester. Electrification of the Great Western Railway line will ensure further inward investment
9. Our cultural offering is second to none, we have amazing theatres across the region, festivals every week – take your pick from Vegfest, Grillstock, Habourfest and the St Pauls Carnival in Bristol or the literary, jazz or horseracing in Cheltenham. Not to mention the Roman Baths in Bath…
10. Take That are coming!!! And One Direction! Ok, we are jumping ahead but the plans to build an arena in city centre Bristol will make it an entertainment centre for the region as well as creating thousands of jobs.