The Independent and The Times have nominated Bristol as the best city to live. The Metro has also given 12 reasons why Bristol is the best city to live in.
Of course, I agree but I think it’s the best city to live in because though it’s great for jobs – as The Times says, unemployment is low – you’re also surrounded by wilderness and adventure.
You’re never far from hills
If you want to hike something bigger than Park Street, then we have the Cotswolds, The Mendips the Quantock Hills and the Brecon Beacons. Exmoor isn’t far and a little further you can get to Dartmoor or North Wales. I went for a quick afternoons adventure on the Mendips with my daughter, which you can read about here. There are some fantastic walks to do including visiting waterfall country and a great mountain to climb – there’s some wonderful views from the top of Pen Y Fan.
We have some of the best rivers
The picturesque Wye river is a short drive over the old Severn bridge. Hire a canoe or take your bike and you’ll be taken back in time to Ye old Engerland.
Several times a year, you can ride the Severn Bore and not just when the news tells you it’s on. In fact, it might be best to avoid the rather busy days. I went on a really busy day and here’s a little video I shot.
Want to go beneath the ground?
Some of the worlds best caving is right under our noses (or should I say “toeses”). Of course there are the Wookey Hole and Cheddar caves, but we also have proper hardcore speleology to be done. From Goatchurch Cavern near Burrington Combe, under the Mendips to all the caves beneath the Black Mountains.
Many a coast line is in easy reach
A short skip and toll ride later we have Rest Bay and Porthcawl for a spot of surfing. Windsurfers take on the muddy waves of Weston-Super-Mare at high tide. Just over an hour away you can go fossil hunting and have a cream tea at Lyme Regis. And in the summer you can a wave after work either in North Devon or the Gower.
Bristol ain’t exactly flat
So climbers take advantage of this in the Avon Gorge. But you can also boulder on the cliffs of Clevedon. You can head up to some great climbing on the Brecon Beacons or take on some of Dartmoors Tors. Bristol also has a plethora of indoor climbing venues, like Redpoint, or if you want to climb in an old church or the TCA.
We have more than our fair share of trees
How many cities have an awesome mountain bike trail 5 minutes from the city by bike? We have two trails winding around Ashton Court and around the corner from that in Leigh Woods. There is also some world class downhill mountain biking over the bridge in Afan Forest. Or for a more chilled amble with the kids, you can explore the Forest of Dean and do the Room on the Broom trail.