Getting to Bristol is a breeze, with four trains an hour from London’s Paddington Station taking around 100 minutes to get you to the city. The M4 connects east and west, across the Severn Bridge from Wales, and the M5 passes by on its way from Devon up to Birmingham. Bristol Airport, seven miles south of the city, hosts a range of low-cost airlines.
The city centre’s very walkable and cyclable, if pretty hilly, and bus routes are well-planned, reliable and inexpensive (tickets can be bought on-board or in advance through digital devices). Frequent buses run all through the night and rail links and cycle lanes make it easy to get around. Boats ply the waterfront for anyone seeking a different view.
Food and drink
Bristol takes food seriously, with award-winning places to dine, restaurants on boats, quirky cafés and food markets throughout the year. Al Bab Mansour serves up tasty Moroccan food for generous prices, while John’s York Cafe does greasy-spoon dining properly.
Supermarkets and express mini-stores such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s are in generous supply too, although this being Bristol you might want to support your local traders instead – and with market stalls pretty much everywhere, eating healthily is easy and cheap.
Where to shop
Anyone craving brand-familiarity is well-catered for in Bristol, with Cabot Circus and the Broadmead Centre offering high-street names and the mall experience. More offbeat shops and boutiques can be found on Park Street, Old Market and St Nicholas Market, where record stalls and designer boutiques abound. At the top of Park Street lies Rise Records, Bristol’s legendary independent record store that rivals Rough Trade in terms of influence and stock: two floors of new vinyl, CDs, books, DVDs and films await you, plus frequent in-stores from major bands.
There are no halls of residence at BIMM Bristol, but our Student Support Team can offer guidance when it comes to finding suitable student digs. Whether you choose to live in a bedsit, a flat, a shared house or even on a part-board basis with a family, there’s plenty to choose from… although they do fill up fast, so we recommend you begin your search as soon as possible to find a home that suits you.
If you’re looking to share, check out online housesharing websites, such as Gumtree, Accommodation For Students and Spare Room, or search for Facebook groups with names like ‘BIMM Bristol Freshers’ and post what you’re looking for.
Although not as expensive as London, Bristol is still a happening city, so it can be a bit hard on the wallet. Monthly accommodation costs are likely to set you back anywhere between £280+ for a house share and £400+ for a bedsit or one bedroom flat. And that’s before you’ve tallied up other costs such as phone, clothing, food, groceries, laundry, travel and utility bills which may not give you much change back from £100 a week. Entertainment is another big expense, with nights out costing as little as £10 a week to over £100 depending on your likes and budget.
If it’s a bargain you’re after, The National Union of Students (NUS) offers a range of exclusive discounts in high street shops, restaurants and online on sites such as Spotify. Check out the NUS Extra website and buy yourself a £12 student discount card which will quickly start paying for itself. Or else just get cheeky – it’s always worth asking for a student discount wherever you go, as lots of places will happily accept a Student ID Card.