Bristol is a thriving city characterised by the diversity of its local neighbourhoods.
Located on the western edge of Bristol, Clifton is one of the best places to live in Bristol in our opinion. Elegant, leafy and filled with chic boutiques, cosy cafes, and beautiful buildings, Clifton is one of Bristol’s most exclusive suburbs and picturesque quarters.
Let’s discover Clifton.
All of Bristol’s most affluent neighbourhoods are clustered in the North West of the city. Clifton is located North of the River Avon to the West of the city centre.
Living in Clifton
As one of the oldest and most affluent areas of Bristol, Clifton is characterised by grand Victorian and Georgian architecture. It is home to the BBC (and its world famous Natural History Unit), Bristol Zoo and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and Clifton Observatory. Other prominent buildings include The Victoria Rooms, Clifton College, Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School and the Wills Memorial Building.
Living in Clifton offers the best of both worlds, with easy access to the city of Bristol yet all the benefits of countryside living. Clifton is a beautiful place to live, characterised by its majestic Georgian buildings, picturesque streets and independent shops, boutiques and cafés.
This affluent area consequently attracts professionals of all ages, for renting and buying properties, as well as for a great evening out. The area is home to a vibrant nightlife and has some fantastic bars and fine dining. Downsizers also love Clifton for its ease of living, bohemian lifestyle, cafes, restaurants and shops all on their doorstep.
Architecture & Properties in Clifton
Clifton is characterised by its picturesque streets lined with 18th and 19th century townhouses. Part of what makes the area such a nice place to live is the surrounding Georgian architecture and countryside. Clifton has always been an affluent suburb and property prices are slightly higher than the Bristol average.
Clifton’s development is the result of wealth gleaned from Bristol’s importance as a trading port for tobacco and slaves. Some of the best of these large detached villas now occupy prime £1million-plus sites on the edge of the open space of Durdham and Clifton Downs, while splendid formal terraces of town houses include Royal York Crescent, built in 1791 and reputed to be the longest terrace in Europe! Today, many of the large houses have been converted to flats.
The properties here ooze quality with their elegant rooms, parking areas and manageable outside spaces. The accommodation is mainly presented in either mews houses or impressively substantial flats of one or two bedrooms in Clifton itself, or smaller two-bed houses in nearby Cliftonwood or Hotwells.
However, these vary extremely, with flats representing the most affordable option and Georgian properties fetching the highest prices. Also, though the area is known for its period buildings, some more modern developments can be found which offer good value.
House Prices in Clifton
Properties in BS8 had an overall average price of £539,286 over the last year.
The majority of sales in BS8 during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £407,126. Terraced properties sold for an average of £638,230, with detached properties fetching £844,238 or more.
Overall, sold prices in BS8 over the last year were 3% up on the previous year and 7% up on the 2017 peak of £505,911.
Although this is without doubt the most expensive place in Bristol to purchase property, it is not exclusively the haunt of the rich; a large student population (Bristol University is nearby) and its draw for young professionals, who occupy the flats carved from large period buildings, make Clifton a popular area for rental accommodation. Its popularity means that both rental properties and those for sale do not stay on the market long.
For more information on house prices in Redland & Cotham, please visit the House Price data link for BS8 postcode (source: home.co.uk):
Properties for sale in Clifton
Here is a little selection of some of the best properties in Clifton.
Another aspect of living in Clifton is the great transport connections. The A4 curves its way round the village, providing easy access to the M5, while the M4 can be reached in about 15 minutes. The neighbourhood also boasts its own railway station, connecting to mainline services at Bristol Temple Meads in just thirteen minutes.
Clifton Down railway station, located behind Clifton Down Shopping Centre on Whiteladies Road, is on the Severn Beach/Temple Meads line. Temple Meads Railway Station is 2.5 miles away.
Frequent buses link to the city centre (Broadmead), Southmead Hospital, Bristol University, and Temple Meads Railway Station. Bus routes: 1, 8, 9, 505.
One of the reasons living in Clifton is so popular with families is the great quality of schools. Clifton offers great choice of both state and private school with a number of options at both primary and secondary level. St John’s Church of England Primary School is often oversubscribed and achieved an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating on its last inspection. The prestigious Clifton College is also very popular with parents opting for an independent education, with provision from nursery level through to sixth form.
State Primary Schools
State Secondary Schools
Whiteladies Road and Clifton Village provide great retail therapy, with lots of high-end independent stores. Park Street leads from the Clifton “Triangle” into the city centre and has many top-end high street stores along with independent offerings. Cotham Hill (off Whiteladies Road opposite Clifton Down Shopping Centre) has quaint village-type shops, along with a hardware store and post office.
There are far too many choices to mention individually. Whiteladies Road offers plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants, both formal and informal. Clifton Village is full of wonderful restaurants and bars. One of London’s best known restaurants, The Ivy, opened its second restaurant here in 2016. Park Street is fabulous for brunch and coffees. And, of course, there are many establishments dotted around the back streets.
Parks, Sport and Leisure:
Clifton and Durdham Downs are large open commons which are never to built on. Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the city’s biggest attractions and covers 12-acres, housing more than 400 species and nine under-cover animal enclosures. The Lido swimming pool, built in 1850, was redeveloped in 2008, complete with spa, restaurant and bar.
Clifton Observatory near the Suspension Bridge, offers superb views. An underground passage to Ghyston’s Cave allows visitors to enjoy a spectacular view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge.
Ashton Court Estate, just over Clifton Suspension Bridge, comprises 850 acres of ancient woodland and meadows abundant with wildlife and hosts the annual balloon fiesta (the biggest in Europe).
The Royal West of England Academy of Arts is based in Queens Road and has a permanent fine art collection, sculptures and photographs. It has two open exhibitions a year, with much of the work for sale.
The Everyman Cinema has recently opened after extensive refurbishment on Whiteladies Road.
Choices for keeping fit are endless and include Nuffield Fitness and Wellbeing Gym, Clifton College Sports Centre, The Exercise Club, while Bannatyne Health Club is just around the corner in Redland.
SUMMARY OF CLIFTON
Elegant, leafy and filled with chic boutiques, cosy cafes, and beautiful buildings, Clifton is one of Bristol’s most exclusive suburbs and picturesque quarters.
Prestigious and desirable.
- Properties are more expensive than in other areas of Bristol and have shown a strong increase year on year. Demand for rental in the area is very high for both students and professionals. Most properties are let or sold very quickly.
- Good for: great schools, eating/drinking, Bristol University, open spaces
Downside: high cost of acquisition
Domus Holmes Property Finder is an independent property-buying agency providing a comprehensive property search and acquisition service to clients looking to buy a home or purchase an investment property in Bristol, Bath and the South West of England (Somerset, Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds and Wiltshire.
For a free, no obligation consultation and discussion about your property search, please contact Jerome and Claire on:
T: +44 (0) 117 973 3683
M: +44 (0) 7734 115 098