Exploring the UK

An overview of: Bristol

Where is Bristol?

Bristol is a city located in the southwest of England. It is situated about 120 miles west of London and lies between the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, bordering the River Avon.

Historically a centre for shipbuilding and trade due to its port, Bristol has evolved into a vibrant, modern city known for its rich maritime history, cultural institutions, and as a hub for arts and media.

About the region

Bristol is nestled in the southwest of England, a region celebrated for its captivating blend of urban dynamism and rustic charm. The southwest is renowned for its rugged coastlines, rolling countryside, and historic landmarks. From the ancient mystique of Stonehenge in Wiltshire to the surfer’s paradise of Cornwall’s beaches, the region offers a diverse tapestry of experiences. Bristol, with its rich maritime history and vibrant arts scene, stands as one of the southwest’s primary urban centres, juxtaposing the tranquillity of the surrounding countryside with its bustling city energy.


Bristol is one of the major cities in the southwest of England and is well-connected through various modes of transport:

  • Car: The M5 motorway runs to the west of Bristol, providing north-south connections (e.g., Birmingham to Exeter). The M4 motorway lies to the north and connects Bristol to London to the east and Wales to the west. Other significant roads include the A4 and A37, offering routes to Bath, the southwest, and beyond.
  • Train: Bristol Temple Meads is the main railway station in Bristol and offers services to various parts of the UK, including direct trains to London Paddington, Cardiff, Birmingham, and the north of England. It serves as a key transport hub in the West. Bristol Parkway provides additional rail links, especially for those travelling from the Midlands and the North.
  • Air: Bristol Airport is located about 8 miles southwest of the city centre, it offers both domestic and international flights. It’s one of the primary airports in the southwest and serves a wide range of destinations across Europe and a few outside the continent. Regular bus services connect the airport to Bristol city centre.
  • Bus: Numerous bus services operate within Bristol and connect the city to its suburbs and other regional destinations. Bristol Bus Station is located in the city centre, it’s the main hub for regional and national coach services, including those run by National Express.

Living in the area

Bristol, as one of the UK’s vibrant and culturally-rich cities, offers varied housing options ranging from historic Georgian terraces to contemporary city-centre apartments. Suburban areas, like Clifton and Redland, are sought-after for their picturesque settings and character homes, while newer developments cater to the city’s growing population.

The cost of living reflects its status as a major urban centre, with living expenses, including rent, transportation, and leisure activities, being higher than in many other regional cities, yet still generally lower than in the London area.


  • Primary and Secondary Schools: Bristol has numerous state-funded primary and secondary schools. Many schools in Bristol have received positive ratings from Ofsted, the UK’s official body for inspecting schools.
  • Independent Schools: There are several private schools in Bristol, such as Bristol Grammar School, Clifton College, and Badminton School, which have long-standing reputations for academic excellence.
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN): Bristol provides several institutions and resources for children with special educational needs, ensuring that all students have access to quality education.
  • Post-16 Education: For students looking to continue their education after GCSEs, many secondary schools in Bristol offer sixth-form programs. Additionally, institutions like St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College offer A-levels and vocational qualifications. City of Bristol College is a significant further education institution providing a vast range of vocational courses and apprenticeships.


Bristol, a cultural hub in the southwest of England, seamlessly blends history with modern leisure. The city boasts historic landmarks like the Bristol Old Vic theatre and the maritime museum SS Great Britain, while also serving as a beacon for contemporary arts at venues like the Arnolfini. With events like the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, lush spaces such as Brandon Hill, and a diverse culinary scene, Bristol offers a rich tapestry of experiences. From the bustling Cabot Circus shopping complex to the historic charm of St Nicholas Market and a pulsating nightlife, the city encapsulates a vibrant mix of the traditional and the contemporary.


NHS Trusts in Bristol:

Primary Care:

  • Bristol has numerous GP (General Practitioner) surgeries and clinics spread across the city. These serve as the first point of contact for most health-related issues.
  • Many GP surgeries also offer specialised services, such as women’s health, vaccinations, and minor surgeries.

Specialist Services:

  • There are various specialised clinics and services available, including dental services, sexual health clinics, and mental health services.
  • Children’s services are offered at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, which is part of the UHBW.

Mental Health:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust provides mental health and related services in Bristol. This includes inpatient care, community services, and therapy.

Relocation support

How do Doctors Relocate assist with your relocation?

In addition to providing personalised career guidance, facilitating interviews and managing negotiations to secure the right job opportunity for each individual, we offer ongoing relocation support to our candidates, helping with practical matters such as accommodation arrangements, banking, and setting up other essential services.

Our dedicated team is readily available to address any concerns or queries that you have along the way, ensuring that you feel supported and confident throughout your relocation.

With our guidance, you can confidently navigate the relocation journey, focusing on your professional and personal growth in the UK.

Your essential reading list: Top blogs to help with your relocation to the UK

Moving to the UK: Planning and packing tips

Driving in the UK with an overseas license

Buying a car in the UK

The UK education system

School Holidays in the UK

Supermarkets and grocery stores in the UK

Public holidays in the UK

International airports in the UK

Urgent and emergency care services in the UK

Useful information and contacts in the UK

Registering with a GP and Dentist in the UK

Childcare in the UK

Arranging accommodation in the UK

If you’re a doctor interested in NHS positions, please contact our team to discuss the opportunities available to you.