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Affordable Living in Bristol: Budgeting and Cost-Saving Tips

The cost of living crisis has taken its toll on the finances of many households across the UK, with statistics from January 2024 showing that approximately one third of all adults are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent payments

Housing in Bristol

Data from April 2024 shows that the average private rent for a property in Bristol stood at £1,756 per month, which represented a 7.6% increase on the same period in 2023.

Property prices in Bristol have risen considerably as the city is now one of the most popular locations in the UK to live. However, there are still a number of more affordable areas of the city, including Avonmouth, Bedminster Down, and Hengrove. When searching for your ideal property in Bristol, it can be hugely beneficial to work with a trusted estate agent, such as Hopewell, who is familiar with the city and can help you to settle on the best area for your needs.

Low-Cost or Free Entertainment and Cultural Activities in Bristol 

From notable landmarks to entertaining attractions, there is plenty to see, do and enjoy in Bristol that doesn’t come with a huge expense, including: 

Parks and Green Spaces 

Bristol is home to a plethora of green spaces offering respite from the bustling streets and tall buildings.

Castle Park can be found between the Harbourside and Bristol Shopping Quarter and is an ideal place to sit and relax whilst looking out over the water. The remains of a vast medieval castle can be appreciated in Castle Park, as can the remains of St Peter’s Church, which sustained considerable damage during World War II.

If you’re keen to explore a wildlife haven in the heart of the city, Brandon Hill Nature Park is an excellent option. There’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy a picnic, and you can even venture to the top of Cabot Tower to soak in panoramic views of Bristol city centre if you’re willing to brave the climb to the top. 

Museums and Galleries 

Many of Bristol’s museums and art galleries have free entry, with others waiving entrance fees at certain times. 

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is free to enter and has a dynamic programme of events and exhibitions, showcasing everything from natural history to geology, archaeology and art. Step back in time to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt before embarking on a whistlestop tour of the last billion years of history on planet Earth, including getting up close and personal with some impressive dinosaurs. 

Spike Island is an exciting creative hub located in the Harbourside area of the city and is home to a gallery space, cafe, and a selection of working artists and creative businesses. The year-round programme offers an array of family activities, events and exhibitions, plus an annual event where artists open their studios to offer visitors a glimpse into their creative practices. 

The Arnolfini can also be found in the Harbourside area of Bristol and offers free entry to its contemporary art, performance, and music exhibitions. There’s also a cafe which overlooks the waterfront, which is an ideal spot to enjoy a drink and a snack. 

Walking Tours 

With a long and rich history, joining a walking tour is an excellent way to learn more about some of the important events that have happened in Bristol across the centuries. 

The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour is one of the most popular and covers two miles over the course of two hours, taking in everything from Long John Silver’s Inn to underground rivers. Tickets cost £12 for adults and just £5 for children, for which you’ll learn all about Bristols’ 1,000 year history from local artists and historians. 

Between Easter and October, it is also possible to join a tour of Clifton Suspension Bridge on weekends and bank holidays. These tours operate on a ‘Pay What You Think’ basis, but just a £5 donation is recommended. Tours last for around an hour and are a great family-friendly activity.

If you’re keen to see as much street art as possible, you can also complete the free, self-guided Banksy Walking Tour, which will also help you to discover a variety of affordable independent cafes, eateries and shops that are well worth exploring.

Support For Bristol Residents 

For residents experiencing debt or difficulties with managing finances, there are an array of organisations and support schemes that can help. You may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction, or benefit from help from services such as Citizens Advice.

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Relocating to Bristol: Insider Tips from Locals

millennium square bristol bullet

With a bustling nightlife, a huge range of arts and cultural venues, popular eateries, independent shops and a strong sense of community all within easy reach of some spectacular countryside, it’s no wonder that so many are proud to call Bristol home.

So, if you’re thinking about joining the 479,000 people who are proud to live in Bristol, here are some of our top insider tips to keep in mind. 

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Neighbourhood in Bristol

Each neighbourhood in Bristol has its own unique vibe, and finding the right one for you will provide you with an instant sense of belonging. Here are some things to look out for when choosing your ideal neighbourhood.

Local Amenities 

If you’re a foodie and you know you’ll want to be out all the time sampling some of the best cuisine in the city, a central location will offer easy access to the likes of Wapping Wharf and St Nicholas Street Food Market

Or if you’re hoping to enjoy boutique bars, leafy parks and striking Georgian architecture, the Clifton area of the city might be just what you’re looking for. 

Public Transport 

The public transport network in Bristol is excellent, and it is particularly easy to get around the city by bus. There are also several night buses which run throughout the city, which you should check out if you’re a night owl. 

There are also a number of other popular ways to get around the city, including e-bikes and e-scooters, which can be picked up and dropped off at various zones across Bristol. If that’s not for you, why not jump on a boat to one of the city’s many waterfront attractions?

The Atmosphere 

If you get the chance, we recommend spending a bit of time in the neighbourhoods you are considering moving to because it’ll help you get a feel for the overall feel of the area. 

Tips for Finding Housing in Bristol 

Whether you’re looking to rent or buy a property in Bristol, here are some tips to help you find your perfect pad. 

Know Your Budget 

The Clifton area of Bristol is one of the most sought-after and expensive areas of the city, with the average price in 2023 standing at £533,118. The large number of flats sold during this time has impacted the average here, as the average semi-detached property in Clifton fetched £1,325,308. 

There are plenty of more affordable neighbourhoods in Bristol, including Montpelier which is a laid-back residential area with an abundance of Victorian and Georgian properties, independent cafes and green spaces to enjoy. The average property price in 2023 here was £472,377 with semi-detached properties selling for an average price of £700,250. 

Consider Your Needs 

It’s important that your home offers everything you need, so it’s worth making a list and taking time to think about whether these requirements are set in stone or you have some flexibility. 

One thing to note here is that parking can be challenging in many of Bristol’s neighbourhoods, so this is something to think about when looking for your ideal home. 

Speak to an Expert 

Bristol’s property market is competitive, but there are plenty of experts on hand who can help you through the process. The Hopewell team has extensive knowledge of both the city itself and the local property market, which we use to deliver a bespoke approach when assisting each client in the search for their perfect property. 

Integrating into the Community 

You shouldn’t have any problems integrating into your new community, but here are some top tips to get you started. 

Get Involved

Although it can sometimes feel a bit daunting at first, Bristol’s community groups and local events attendees are renowned for welcoming newcomers and ensuring that everyone feels included. 

There are too many community groups and local events to mention here, but we recommend keeping an eye on upcoming Bristol Open Doors events and volunteering opportunities with organisations that you’re passionate about. Of course, it’s always a good idea to join any local Facebook groups and follow local businesses and community groups on Instagram; this will help you keep up to date with upcoming events and opportunities to meet new people. 

Follow Bristol’s Festival Calendar 

Bristol is home to a host of festivals and other events throughout the year, all of which provide ample opportunities to connect with like-minded people. From the Loves Saves The Day festival in May, which is known locally as Bristol’s Glastonbury, to the free Bristol Harbour Festival in mid-July, which celebrates the city’s maritime history and thriving harbourside area, there are events for absolutely everyone to enjoy. 

While we can’t mention every festival here, notable shout-outs go to St Paul’s Carnival, the International Balloon Fiesta, and DogFest Bristol.

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The Role of Property Management Companies in Bristol Rentals

a car parked before a house

If you are a landlord who is considering outsourcing the management of your Bristol property, it can be beneficial to first understand precisely how the services of a property management company could help you to save time, keep your stress levels low, and ensure that your property consistently remains a sought-after unit in what is a busy and competitive property market. 

What Do Property Management Companies Do? 

Property management companies essentially act as a representative of the landlord as they oversee all aspects of a rental property, which includes:

1. Property Maintenance 

Landlords are legally required to address maintenance issues swiftly, which can be challenging if you have a busy schedule or own several properties. Property management companies are equipped to deal with everything from smaller problems requiring urgent attention to more substantial issues that may take time and effective management to address.

Some common maintenance tasks that management companies handle include:

  • Addressing urgent plumbing problems
  • Fixing integrated appliances
  • Conducting preventative property maintenance, such as maintaining roofs and clearing gutters
  • Maintaining shared outside spaces 

As property management companies understand the legal requirements and industry standards that a property must meet, they can therefore take the pressure off your shoulders and give you the peace of mind that any problems your tenants encounter will be addressed as quickly as possible.

2. Tenant Screening

Finding responsible tenants isn’t an easy task and requires both time and resources which you might not have yourself. Property management companies handle everything from marketing your property to screening interested tenants and obtaining references.

3. Lease Management 

From simple lease renewals to missed payments and major lease breaches, proper lease management can take up a lot of valuable time and resources. Experienced property management companies are often in a better position to provide efficient solutions to any issues that arise, including liaising with the police and legal professionals. 

4. Rent Collection Management 

Property management companies handle all aspects of rent collection, which includes ensuring that tenants are paying the correct amount of rent on time and maintaining up-to-date records. Any disputes will be efficiently managed and appropriate steps taken if a resolution is not found within a reasonable time frame.

Advantages of Using a Property Management Company for Landlords

Effective property management companies expertly handle all aspects of renting out your property, only contacting you directly with complex issues that need your approval and to keep you up-to-date with all the information you need to know about your property. This has many advantages to you as a landlord, including: 

1. Reducing Stress

Emergencies can occur in even the best-maintained properties, which can cause a lot of stress if your tenants need your help during the early hours of the morning or late at night. Plus, if you have multiple properties, you may quickly find that your days are filled with a variety of different maintenance tasks, fielding tenant queries and managing financial records, which can be especially difficult to manage if you also have other work and/or family obligations.

By outsourcing management to a professional company, you can feel assured that everything is being handled by a team that knows exactly what they’re doing.

2. Saving Time

From marketing your property to meeting with prospective tenants, collecting rent, maintaining records, completing maintenance tasks and handling disputes, it’s easy to see just how much time and effort goes into maintaining a rental property. By outsourcing this to a professional property management company, you can reclaim this time to invest into other aspects of your professional life. 

How Tenants Benefit

Tenants also benefit when renting properties that are managed by a professional company, which is why managed properties typically experience less downtime and secure higher monthly rents. Some of the key benefits that tenants experience include:

1. Fast Resolutions to Issues

Property management companies allow tenants to contact them directly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that issues that arise are met with swift resolutions without tenants needing to follow up multiple times before the problem is fully addressed. 

2. Confidence in Renting a Well-Maintained Property 

There are unscrupulous landlords out there who don’t maintain their properties in accordance with the guidelines set out in law, which includes ensuring that the property is in a good state of repair. Many renters actively seek out properties that are managed by professional companies, as it increases their trust and confidence levels that their hard-earned money is affording them the standard of living they deserve.

3. Easy Lease Renewals 

Many tenants choose to stay in well-managed properties for longer, which is why the lease renewal process is often kept as simple as possible. This allows tenants to avoid spending money on what can be a very costly moving process and enables them to feel settled in a property that genuinely feels like home. 

Key Considerations When Choosing a Property Management Company 

It is important to note that not all property management companies provide transparent, mutually beneficial services, so here are some things to look out for: 

1. Local Property Market Knowledge

In order to effectively market your property, your chosen management company needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the local market. This is something that our property management company Hopewell puts a lot of time and effort into. Plus, our team all live in Bristol, which adds to their local knowledge and helps them to find the right tenants for every property. 

2. Highly Contactable 

You need to feel assured that your management company will respond to your communications efficiently.

3. Solid Reputation

Looking at reviews from both landlords and tenants will help you obtain a balanced and objective perspective on the services offered by your prospective property management company.

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10 Things to Consider When Searching For A Long Term Let

woman writing down notes while packing

The rental market can be a scary place. With so much to consider, properties to sift through, and agencies on offer, finding your perfect home can quickly become a daunting task.

However, help is at hand. We’ve pulled together ten factors that are worth taking the time to research and mull over in order to make a well-informed decision when searching for your next long-term let. Keep reading for a complete run-down on finding a rental property that aligns with your needs.

1. Budget

First things first – what’s your budget? With all your ideal wants and needs, your budget is going to act as the foundation upon which everything else will be built on. Without a decent idea of where exactly your budget sits, you won’t be able to take each property into a fair consideration.

When determining your budget, remember to account for rent and all other associated costs, including utilities, council tax, maintenance, and deposits.

2. Location

Possibly the biggest aspect of any move is the location of your new home. When you’re looking at potential long-term lets, consider the neighbourhood – how safe is the local area? How far is it from your place of work? Are there good schools located nearby?

Especially if you’re moving to a new city, it’s worth doing your research on the specific area your ideal properties are located in before you commit to the move.

3. Local Amenities

Similarly, the local amenities will play a key factor in your decision to move. Assess the available amenities in and around the property, such as gyms, parks, shops, supermarkets, and parking space, and decide what the most important aspects are for you to have around your home.

This also ties in with whether you’re looking at a furnished or unfurnished property. For example, if a rental doesn’t come with a washing machine or dryer, you’ll want to find out whether there are any laundrettes in the local area, and how far they are from your new abode.

4. Public Transportation

Local amenities are especially significant if you don’t have a car and will need things within walking distance. Have a look at the availability and convenience of public transportation in the area if you rely on it to get around.

5. Utilities

Once you’ve scoped out the local area and decided on your budget, you can start honing in on the finer details of your next dream let.

If you’ve found a place you like in the area you’re most drawn to, one of the first things you should inquire about before you get any further along in the process is the utilities.

Does the rent include any utilities, and if not, which will you be responsible for? This includes water, electricity, gas, and WiFi. Ask about the price range of each, and budget for these additional costs. 

6. Maintenance & Repairs

There are no shortage of horror stories regarding maintenance and repairs in the world of renting. To make sure you don’t wind up as a new tenant in a property that’s crumbling down around you, make sure to check the property’s condition before you make the move.

If you find that there are any existing faults, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forgo that property entirely. Clarify the landlord’s responsibility for maintenance and repairs, and make sure any issues are fully documented before signing the lease. If it’s something the landlord is willing to take care of, you could negotiate your terms ahead of committing to move – don’t be afraid to ask questions.

7. Lease Terms

When it’s time to sign on the dotted line, it’s important to review the lease agreement thoroughly, paying attention to the duration, renewal options, and any special terms or conditions, such as pet policies and occupancy limits.

With long-term lets, you should also make sure you’re well-versed with the rules regarding subletting or terminating the lease early, just in case.

8. Insurance

Depending on the terms and conditions outlined in the lease, you might want to consider investing in renter’s insurance to protect yourself in case of fire, theft, or other unforeseen events.

9. Tenant Rights

This is also where your tenant rights come in. Familiarise yourself with the tenant rights and protection in the local area, and make sure you know the eviction process and your rights in case of any disputes.

10. References & Reviews

Last but not least, doing your research on the landlord or agency you’re working with is going to be your safest bet for ensuring you don’t experience any unpleasantness down the line.

Try and speak to any current or previous tenants if you can, and see what they have to say about their experiences with their properties. You can also find lots of handy information online in the form of reviews.

In the quest for a long-term rental, being properly informed is key. From budgeting wisely to understanding lease terms, the journey demands attention to detail. Prioritise your specific needs and evaluate every aspect of these ten crucial factors to make sure you find a home that is harmonious with your lifestyle.

Are you on the hunt for your perfect long-term let? Feel free to get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you find your dream rental property.

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Galleries to Graffiti: Our Guide To Bristol’s Artistic Offerings

Galleries to Graffiti: Our Guide To Bristol's Artistic Offerings

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Bristol, you’ll know that the city is overflowing with creativity. Art lies inside the beating heart of Bristol, with vibrant graffiti dotting each corner and creative hubs tucked away on every winding road.

There are many weird and wonderful things about living in Bristol, but its famous art scene is easily top of the list. The south-west city is so inherently creative that it was even crowned as the UK’s most artistic city during 2019, and has birthed some of the most well-renowned artists throughout the last few centuries.

Whether you’re planning a trip and need some recommendations or you’re a local who fancies soaking up the creative culture of your city, keep reading for a pocket-sized run down of all Bristol’s must-see artistic offerings.

Arnolfini

Established in 1961, Arnolfini, otherwise known as Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts, quickly became known as one of Europe’s most influential contemporary art hubs, spanning three floors with stunning works from artists around the globe. The centre works regularly with the community to provide everyday art activities alongside its regular exhibition schedule, with live events held throughout the year for locals to enjoy, from cosy art workshops to full-scale creative festivals.

Located inside Bush House on the city’s harbourside, Arnolfini has a partnership with the Tate, as well as a membership with the Bristol DIY Network and links to UWE (University of the West of England), one of the city’s popular universities.

Spike Island

Standing on the stretch of Cumberland Road that overlooks the River Avon, Spike Island is a cultural hub for creatives and artists, with a strong focus on contemporary arts and a thriving community network with strong links to Bristol’s student scene. UWE’s Fine Arts BA and MA courses are even based at Spike Island, which makes up part of the university’s city campus.

A stone’s throw from Aardman Animations, creator of beloved children’s stop-motion characters Wallace and Gromit, as well as the SS Great Britain, Bristol’s former passenger steamship that now serves as a museum, Spike Island’s breathtaking exhibitions are almost always free of charge, regularly chopping and changing all throughout the year so there’s constantly something new to explore in their well-lit grand gallery spaces.

If you’re lucky enough to catch one, make sure you don’t leave without paying the Emmeline cafe a visit and sampling one of their famous doorstop sandwiches.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

One of the city’s largest museums, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery showcases everything from Eastern art to the city’s local history, with stunning natural history collections and its events run throughout the year – and, it’s free entry, run as part of Bristol Culture through the city council.

Situated in the upmarket Clifton area, the museum’s art gallery spans pieces from all periods, including a collection of modern works done by local artists. So grand is the gallery that has even been granted designated museum status, given by the national government in a bid to protect the most outstanding museums.

Banksy

Bristol’s vibrant street art scene is an integral part of its culture – it’s what gives the city its unique character, with a different mural adorning every corner you turn, each bursting with more colour than the last and breathing life into even the most mundane of concrete facades. 

However, there is one artist in particular whose name is synonymous with Bristol street art – Banksy, who has been decorating his hometown with world-renowned pieces for decades, his earliest works riding the wave of Bristol’s 1980s street art movement. 

Doing a ‘Banksy tour’ is a great way to explore the city while immersing yourself in the works of one of its most famous residents. You can even book yourself a guided walking tour if you want the full run-down of Banky’s complete Bristol works – but, if you’re going it alone, here’s a list of pieces you won’t want to miss, and where to find them:

  • The Well-Hung Lover – Frogmore Street
  • The Girl With the Pierced Eardrum – Albion Dockyard, Hanover Place
  • The Grim Reaper – M Shed
  • Paint-Pot Angel – The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
  • Take the Money and Run – Montpelier Health Centre car park
  • Valentines Day Mural – Marsh Lane, Barton Hill
  • The Mild Mild West – Stokes Croft
  • The Police Sniper – Park Row

Street Art Hotspots

Practically anywhere you find yourself in Bristol, you’ll be met with a stunning display of graffiti that you could easily stop and stare at for hours. But, if you’re looking for the best places to soak up some street art in the city, these are the go-to’s:

  • Stokes Croft.
  • Easton.
  • Bedminster
  • Park Street.
  • Nelson Street.
  • Montpelier.

Yearning for Bristol’s buzzing art scene directly on your doorstep? Feel free to get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you find your perfect rental property.

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Bristol’s Best Kept Secrets

Bristol’s Best Kept Secrets

Bristol is a city overflowing with culture, personality, and colour, with vibrant street art adorning every corner, stunning architectural sites brimming with history, and a maze of winding roads to get lost down.

Beyond Cabot Tower, Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the Bristol Cathedral, the south-west city has so many hidden gems to explore alongside its main attractions. That is, if you know where to look – keep reading for a run-down of Bristol’s best kept secrets.

Clifton Arcade

Nestled in the heart of the upmarket Clifton Village, Clifton Arcade is a charming Victorian display of independent shops selling all manner of quirky offerings, from antiques, to jewellery, to vintage clothes. Surrounded by cute cafes and eateries, the arcade is the perfect place for a lazy afternoon of shopping – you can catch them any day of the week between 10am to 5:30pm, and 11am to 4pm on Sundays.

Bravas

If you want to be transported to a sunkissed Spanish tapas bar for the evening, you have to take a trip to Bravas on Cotham Hill. With a chilled-out local feel, outside tables strung with fairy lights, and ice-cold Spanish beer on tap, the restaurant serves up the most delicious Spanish-inspired plates, featuring an ever-changing menu to accommodate seasonal trends.

Her Majesty’s Secret Service

This quirky cocktail bar is well and truly tucked away – if you didn’t know it was there, you might walk straight past it. Nestled in the depths of Whiteladies Road, just next to Clifton Down Station, HMSS serves up entirely unique, mouth-watering twists on all your favourite drinks in a cosy, intimate atmosphere that will have you at the bar all night.

University of Bristol Botanic Gardens

The original University of Bristol Botanic Gardens was established in 1882, and has since relocated three times. Today, the gardens are open for the public to enjoy, with a total of eight stunning plant collections and a ton of events and workshops to get involved with if you fancy a day immersed in nature.

Bristol Lido

This wonderful open-air swimming pool is hidden in the depths of Clifton, flanked by traditional wooden-door changing rooms and a sun deck, making for the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon by the pool in the summer sun. There’s even a bar and restaurant alongside the lido if you fancy a bite to eat after your swim.

The Milk Thistle

If you want a real speakeasy experience, head to the plain red brick building on Colston Avenue, and knock on the signless black door. Inside, you’ll find the sister of Hyde & Co, Bristol’s original prohibition spot, where you’ll be welcomed in to explore four stylish floors cradling the patrons of Bristol’s coolest bar alongside some of the city’s most delicious cocktails.

Chance & Counters

The gaming cafe Chance & Counters sits at the foot of Christmas Steps, and is home to over 500 board games to play alongside a delicious menu of comfort food and a decadent selection of beverages. Drinking games just got an upgrade – make sure you clear your schedule if you’re planning a trip as it’s far too easy to while away hours at one of their cosy tables, demanding rematches with all your friends.

Leigh Woods

Just beyond the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge sits Leigh Woods, a lush green wilderness with fantastic views over the Avon Gorge. There are countless trails tucked away in the woods you can enjoy strolling between on a sunny afternoon, as well as the Iron Age Hill fort to explore.

Only Green

A CBD-cafe that sits on Bristol’s vibrant stretch of Stokes Croft, Only Green offers organic, plant-based treats and drinks that come fully dosed up with CBD, with a focus on health and wellness included in everything they serve up. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the resident cat taking a snooze on the windowsill while you enjoy your CBD coffee.

Redcliffe Caves

These historic man-made caves run all the way beneath the area of Redcliffe, just next to the harbourside. During the Middle Ages, the Triassic red sandstone was dug into to harness sand for pottery production and glass making. Unfortunately, the caves are often closed to the public nowadays, but you might be lucky enough to catch them a few times a year when they’re used for hosting events.

20th Century Flicks

Bristol is well-known for housing some wonderful cinema spots, but this tiny movie store is less on the resident radar. Home to over 20,000 movies on DVD, the store also has two cosy cinemas on site, with just 11 and 18 seats respectively. The screens are available for private hire if you’re looking for an extra-special cinematic experience for you and your friends.


If you’re looking for a home in Bristol where you can discover your own hidden gems, we have a selection of short lets, long lets, and houses for sale that are just waiting to be filled. Feel free to get in touch today to hear more about how we can help you find your dream home in the heart of the city.

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7 Bristol Bucket List Attractions

Bristol Cathedral

If you’ve ever been to Bristol, you’ll know just how many things there are to see and do here. From its maritime history and museums to street art and iconic structures, Bristol has it all.

For those who have never been to this wonderful city, we thought it would be handy to compile a list of Bristol must-see attractions and sort of Bristol bucket list, as a guide for those wanting to see the city’s top attractions and not miss anything.

SS Great Britain 

Brunels SS Great Britain is an iconic landmark along Bristol’s Harbour and it’s hard to miss. Whilst being impressive to look at from the outside you can also have a look around the inside of the ship for a small price. It is also enjoyed by those of all ages so visiting with family is encouraged.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Another one of Brunel’s iconic landmarks is the magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge, which connects Clifton Village to Leigh Woods over the River Avon. Catch stunning views during a clear day or visit at night to see the bridge lit up.

Bristol Harbourside

Bristol’s Harbourside is steeped in history from pirates, sugar traders and more, which has created the city we know today. The Harbour is lined with restaurants, museums, bars, galleries and cafes, making it the perfect place for a long stroll on a sunny day.

M Shed

For those wanting to learn all about Bristol, a visit to M Shed museum is a must. Here you can explore the city through time, from its places, the people and the stories that come with them. It is also free to enter and great for all ages.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

From Ancient Egypt and fossils to stuffed animals and a suspended Bristol Boxkite, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has something for everyone. There is also a vast collection of Victorian and Edwardian paintings and a stuffed Gorilla!

Cabot Tower

Situated in Brandon Hill, Cabot Tower is a 105ft tower built in 1897. Originally built to commemorate John Cabot’s voyage from Bristol to the continent of North America 400 years ago. Today, it is one of the city’s best viewpoints, climb up the spiral staircase and witness panoramic views of Bristol in all its glory.

Bristol Cathedral 

Situated on College Green, Bristol Cathedral is a magnificent sight set between modern-day architecture. It is England’s only hall church Cathedral with large Gothic windows and a pinnacled skyline, which has stood for over a thousand years and is one of Bristol’s most recognisable buildings.

So, there you have it, some of Bristol’s must-see attractions and certainly ones to add to your Bristol bucket list. There are of course many other wonders to discover but you’ll have to find these for yourself.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during your visit to Bristol, check out our short lets here.

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Best Questions To Ask When Viewing A Long-Term Let

If you’re currently on the property hunt, you’ll know just how fast-paced it is, especially for long-term and student lets.

It can be tempting to jump at the first property you see when scrolling through Rightmove or Zoopla, however, we always advise prospective tenants to view the property before making a decision.

There are certain things you should consider when trying to find the right property for you, such as location, transport links, and amenities. But a viewing is also a time to ask the landlord or letting agent questions in person. Let’s take a look at some of the key things you might want to ask.

How long is the contract?

Understanding the length of the contract is a great place to start. You may have already seen the tenancy length on the advertisement but it is always worth double checking.

Most fixed-term contracts are from 6-months onwards with the average being 12-months, although this can vary.

Ensure you check what happens after this period. Will you have to move out after your tenancy ends? If you want to stay, are you able to renew your contract? Will you then be put on a ‘rolling contract’?

It is worth asking when the tenancy start date is as well. Most will require you to move in on the specified date, others may be flexible to accommodate when you can move in.

What are the local amenities like?

Your letting agent or landlord are likely to be a local, or should at least know the area fairly well. So, it is worth asking them about the local amenities such as which shops are nearby, transport links, schools, gyms, anything that is important to you.

If you have a car you may want to ask about parking as well. Properties in central locations may not have parking close by or they may require you to purchase a parking permit.

What does furnished mean?

If the property is furnished or part-furnished, find out exactly what will be left in the property when you move in. A lot of the funishings you see when viewing the property could be the current tenants and only a few pieces will remain once they move out.

This doesn’t just apply to furniture but goods as well such as a fridge, freezer, washing machine, TV etc. These things can add up if you have to purchase them yourself.

How much are the bills?

In most cases it is the tenants responsibility to cover the cost of the utility bills, so it may be worth checking if the letting agent or landlord have a rough estimate of these as this could significantly affect your monthly outgoings.

It is worth asking about the EPC rating as well as this could affect how much you will be expected to pay on things like gas and electric.

Council tax is another one that is worth asking about. In most cases you will be required to pay council tax, however, there are exceptions and rates can vary across the country. Your local council will charge you a monthly amount, depending on which band your property falls under.

Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax but you will have to apply for an exemption with your local council.

When is the rent due and how do I pay it?

Rent due dates vary from tenancy to tenancy. In most cases, it is at the beginning of the month for ease and this is generally when tenants tend to move in.

When it comes to paying your rent, it is common for your letting agent to ask you to set up a standing order so that the money is automatically transferred when it is due, helping to reduce late rental payments. They will let you know which account this should be paid into.

How much is the deposit? Is it protected?

The deposit is usually one month to five weeks rent and is commonly required to be paid upfront before your tenancy starts.

This should be protected by a government registration scheme such as DPS. You should be made aware of this, if not, always ask where this will be protected.

Some landlords may also require a holding deposit. This is a sum of money you are required to pay when you are a serious prospective tenant. This is legally capped at one week’s rent and is refunded to you once you start the tenancy or it is taken off your first month’s rent.

In summary, ensuring you ask all of the questions you want during the viewing stage helps you make your decison much easier. If everything sounds great you’ll be ready to say yes and put your offer in. If not, you can carry on with your property search knowing you asked all of the questions and could eliminate it with ease.

If you require help in your property search, get in touch with the team on 0117 011 8663 or view our properties here.

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How to Collect Rent Hassle-Free

When it comes to rental payments, the expectation of timeliness is far from unreasonable. That said, a signed contract is no guarantee of money in the bank. As well as causing landlords unwanted stress, constant delays and repeatedly missed payments can have significant knock-on effects.

It is in the best interest of both tenants and landlords to maintain a mutually respectful relationship. Whether you’re carrying out repair work on a property, rectifying faults or, in this case, collecting rent, it is important that professionalism and courtesy are upheld at all times. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to tenants, punctuality and consistency are never guaranteed. Whether you’re dealing with students, families or young professionals, there are various reasons that may cause an individual to forget or withhold rent; unforeseen personal circumstances, financial issues and contractual disagreements to name a few. In such instances, it is vital that landlords understand the proper way to go about rent collection and reminders. 

The good news is that with a little assistance and the correct procedures in place, rent collection can be straightforward for all parties involved. In the following article, we’ll discuss best practices for hassle-free rent collection.

Contracts And Rental Agreements

When it comes to efficient, stress-free rent collection, it is important to establish clear expectations from the outset. Typically, this will come in the form of a rental agreement and/or contract. Without clear documentation outlining when and how rent is due to be paid, or the procedures that will follow a late payment, misunderstandings and disagreements are bound to arise. 

A well-drafted rental agreement should cover all bases and prepare for every eventuality during a short or long-term tenancy. Not only is it crucial to state how much rent is due and when, but the means through which it should be paid and the steps that will be taken if a payment is missed. Should a disagreement arise, this initial contract will help to clarify any misunderstandings and settle the dispute promptly.

Cash Is No Longer King

Gone are the days of physical exchanges; crumpled bank notes and dog-eared cheques are relics of the past in an almost cashless society. This isn’t to say that physical currency is a hard no, but it is far from the most efficient means of transaction available. 

As mentioned above, stating the method through which you wish to be paid is a key part of any contract. We’ll explore this in further detail shortly, but it is worth noting that standing orders are usually the most reliable ways to send and receive rent.

Standing orders are one of the easiest and most effective means of rent collection by landlords and tenants alike. By setting up repeat payments, tenants are able to send pre-specified amounts at the same time every month, until cancelled. This can be done using mobile or online banking and removes the risk of human error almost entirely. Requesting rent via standing order also enables landlords to keep track of payments in one place, as opposed to multiple sources of payment which may prove difficult to monitor.

Be Proactive

A little forethought goes a long way; while no landlord wants to feel like they’re constantly nagging their tenants, gentle reminders and polite notices are often helpful. Rather than maintaining radio silence until a payment is missed, why not send an email or text a few days in advance? Sure, this requires a little preemptive thinking, but it will save a lot of hassle down the road.

Additionally, it is important to remember that unforeseen circumstances may affect a tenant’s ability to pay rent on time. In such instances, an element of flexibility is often the most viable solution. Though a lenient approach to rental payments is never ideal, the importance of a positive tenant relationship should not be underestimated. Being amicable and understanding of one-off personal issues is often far easier for everyone involved than reaching for the legal handbook. 

Utilise Property Management Services

Managing and collecting rental payments is certainly no walk in the park. Whether you’re dealing with short, medium or long-term lets, it takes proper preparation, constant maintenance and a proactive approach. As a landlord, this can prove incredibly difficult while managing multiple properties or everyday life. Fortunately, property management services offer a comprehensive solution to these issues.

Here at Hopewell, we offer a range of property management services for short, medium and long lets. Our expert team are able to handle every aspect of your property, should you so wish. From viewings, references and deposits to routine maintenance and rental collection, we take the time and care to ensure your property is managed effectively and is compliant with current legislation.

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5 Great Reasons Why You Should Move To Bristol

City of Bristol

We may be biased in our love for Bristol but if you’ve ever visited, we’re sure you’ll understand. Bristol is a vibrant city with a great music scene, fantastic food on every corner, and plenty of green spaces for all to enjoy.

If you’re making the move to Bristol or perhaps you’re considering it, we’ve listed five things that make Bristol so great, if you needed a little convincing.

Vibrant Music Scene

Bristol has a rich music history with genres ranging from trip-hop to drum and bass. There are many music venues where you can catch a variety of music genres such as the well-known O2 Academy, which hosts performances by top artists. Over the years, big names such as Kendrick Lamar, Kings of Leon and Amy Winehouse have all performed there.

Bristol is also the hometown of famous musicians Massive Attack and Portishead.

The city’s underground music scene became a cultural movement in the 1980s, due to a lack of mainstream venues catering to the emergence of hip-hop music. Thankfully, this is not the case now and music enthusiasts can find a venue that suits their music taste with ease.

A study from Visit Bristol found that Bristol’s live music venues generated £123m of revenue to the Bristol economy in 2015 – pretty impressive!

If theatre is more your thing, there are some fantastic venues such as Bristol Old Vic and the Hippodrome, which show everything from popular productions that hit London’s West End to independent plays, shows and comedy acts.

Street Art

Bristol is famous for its vibrant street art and almost every available surface of the city has slowly become a canvas for artists. Turning the walls of Bristol into an outdoor exhibition.

World-renowned artists like Banksy, Inkie and Cheo adorn the city’s walls, along with many smaller artists. Banksy, who is believed to have started his career in Bristol, has left behind several of his iconic pieces around the city, including the “Well Hung Lover” mural which can be found opposite College Green on Lower Park Street. 

UpFest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, has become a highly anticipated event on the Bristol calendar, supporting and shining a light on street arts’ freshest talent. According to Bristol City Council, street art attracts over 1 million visitors to the city each year. To learn more about Bristol’s street art, there are a few guided and self guided tours you can do, which is a great way to spend a sunny day in the city.

Green Spaces

Bristol is full of picturesque spaces from Clifton Downs to the sprawling Ashton Court Estate. Bristol is a city of parks, starting from the city centre and spreading to the outer suburbs. And with over 400 of them to enjoy, you’re sure to find your favourite.

The city centre offers spaces such as Castle Park, Brandon Hill and Queen Square, all of which are filled with people during the summer months, enjoying picnics, playing sports or reading in the sunshine.

The city also has a large number of community gardens and allotments, providing great opportunities for residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, yet love the hustle and bustle of city living, Bristol couldn’t be a more ideal city to reside in.

Food Scene

Bristol’s food scene is booming, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and street food markets, offering a diverse range of cuisines. Because of Bristol’s diverse and inclusive culture, you can find something delicious from almost every corner of the world.

For those that enjoy a little fine dining, the city is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Cassamia and Bulrush, each offering dishes made with the very best seasonal and local produce. 

But for a more relaxed dining style, you have the Harbourside Food Market or the indoor food market at St Nick’s, not to mention the 100s of other restaurants in and around the city centre. There are also a number of food festivals throughout the year, such as the Bristol Food and Drink Festival and Wings Fest.

The food and drink sector in Bristol is worth around £2.5 billion and employs over 70,000 people, according to a study by Barclays. Bristolians are big on supporting local independent businesses and its thriving food and drinks scene is a testament to that.

Harbourside Food Market

Sustainability

Bristol is big on sustainability and in recent years has made commitments for clean energy. It is the second UK Gold Sustainable Food City, the first Cycling City as well as a former European Green Capital title holder.

The city even influenced international policy at the UN climate change summit in Paris in 2015, sharing insights on best practices and ambitious sustainable action.

There are also many green activities one can do in Bristol. From strolling through its parks and woodland, visiting attractions such as We The Curious (a science centre), or one of our City Farms such as Windmill Hill City Farm, where you can get hands-on with growing plants, rearing animals and learning all about sustainable living.

So, there you have it, a list of just some of the things that make Bristol so wonderful. Of course, there are plenty of other hidden secrets in and around Bristol but you’ll have to discover these yourself!

Take a look at some events to look out for in Bristol this year.

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8 Events To Look Out For This 2023

If there’s a time to get up and personal with Bristol, it’s this 2023. With the city welcoming its 650th anniversary, the year promises to be jam-packed with events, festivals, and celebrations of everything that makes Bristol iconic.

Visitors can look forward to a full schedule no matter what type of entertainment they’re looking for. Below are only some of the countless thrills you shouldn’t miss when you visit Bristol this 2023:

Celebrate The Best Of Bristol at The Bristol Harbour Festival

The Bristol Harbour Festival is one of the city’s biggest events. Every year, the quayside celebration attracts around 250,000 people with its eclectic collection of circus performers, musical acts, and daring water stunts. If you’ve never seen people strapped to jetpacks flying over the water, then this is your chance.

There’s a total of seven stages for visitors to enjoy this year, offering over 120 hours of unforgettable and uniquely Bristolian experiences. The Bristol Harbour Festival will run from the 14th until the 16th of July.

Watch The Sky Come Alive at The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

What does a hundred hot air balloons taking flight look like? Head on over to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta this year to find out. 

Hundreds of hot air balloons are set to lift off from the idyllic Ashton Court Estate this August 10th to 13th, marking another year of Europe’s largest air ballooning event. Ascents in the morning are only at the beginning; visitors can look forward to mesmerising nighttime shows to close the day.

Party Vibes at Love Saves The Day

Bristol is a city with a rich musical heritage and culture. It stands to reason that it’s home to some of the country’s best music festivals, such as Love Saves The Day.

With a lineup of over 175 artists hosted across 10 stages, Bristol’s award-winning independent music festival is coming back to shake the house down. Or the Ashton Court, where it’ll be held on May 27th and 28th. Headlining the event will be legendary DJ Fatboy Slim and electropop hit maker, Years & Years.

Rock On at Bristol Sounds

Can’t get enough of Bristol’s music festival circuit? Then head out over the summer for a week’s worth of performances from some of the biggest names in the industry at Bristol Sounds. 

Bristol Sounds will be setting the rhythm against a backdrop of ships and cranes at the Harbourside. Shows are set to run nightly from 21st to the 25th of June. While the full line-up has yet to be announced, guests can already expect a banging time with acts such as Mika, The Levellers, James, and Jacob Collier headlining the event.

Meet Myths at The UnicornFest

Loads of historic landmarks dot Bristol’s landscape. There’s the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, stretching majestically across the Avon Gorge. Beautiful piers like the Weston-super-Mare extend into the tranquil blue of the Bristol Channel.

What could possibly make these iconic structures better? As it turns out, unicorns. As part of Bristol’s 650th celebration, the city is setting up an art trail that goes through its most famous locations. The artwork will feature–you guessed it–herds of unicorn paintings and structures made by local artists.

Join The Procession at St Pauls Carnival

The St Pauls Carnival has always been a grand and unforgettable celebration of African Caribbean culture and community. However, this year’s event will be one for the books. 

After three long years without the Carnival’s spectacle of music, costumes, and artists marching down the streets of St Pauls, the festival is finally coming back in full force on the 1st of July.

Nosh, Drink, and Jam at BOXHALL

From the creators of London’s BOXPARK follows the much anticipated BOXHALL. Set to open its doors sometime this summer, the park is a new haven for folks who like their food and beer with a side of music and cultural events. 

But what truly sets BOXHALL apart from other multi-entertainment parks is its focus on local cuisine. To ensure visitors sink their teeth into the best of what Bristol has to offer, the BOXHALL team has partnered up with Michelin-star chef and Bristol’s own, Josh Eggleton.

Grab A Pint at the Bristol Craft Beer Festival

Fancy whetting your palate on artisanal craft beer? Then head on over to Lloyds Amphitheatre on the 9th and 10th of June, where the taps will be flowing all day for the Bristol Craft Beer Festival.

Slake your thirst on over 300 beers, crafted by the country’s premier breweries. You can also get your fill of cider, wine, and gin. There’ll even be non- and low alcohol options for those who wish to imbibe sans the inebriation.

Massive music festivals, carnival processions, and fantasy creatures trotting around the city–Bristol has a smorgasbord of experiences to offer this year. Visitors and residents will find their days filled with the best of Bristolian art, music, grub, and drink.

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Explore Bristol’s Historic Harbourside: A Walking Tour

SS Great Britain on Bristol's Harbourside

Bristol’s habourside is a historic gem that is steeped in maritime history. From the 13th century until the present day, the city’s port has played a vital role in the UK’s trade and commerce. Today, Bristol’s harbourside is a bustling hub of activity with cafes, restaurants, bars and museums.

Below, we will take you on a self-guided walking tour of Bristol’s historic harbourside. From the SS Great Britain to the M Shed Museum, we will explore the city’s past and present on foot.

Starting at the SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain is one of Bristol’s most famous landmarks. This steamship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843. Today, it is a museum that tells the story of its life at sea and its restoration.

Start your walking tour at the SS Great Britain and take a tour of the ship. You can see the original features such as its steam engines and learn about life on board for the crew and passengers. After your tour, stroll along the harbourside and take in the wonderful views of the water.

Bristol’s Floating Harbour

Bristol’s Floating Harbour was created in 1809 to allow ships to access the city at high tide. The harbour is still used today, with a mix of leisure and commercial boats moored alongside the quays.

Walk along the harbour and take in the sights and sounds of the bustling area. You’ll see street performers, cafes, and restaurants and if you have time, you can even take a boat tour of the harbour.

Bristol’s Old City

Bristol’s Old City is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways that date back to medieval times. This area is home to some of the city’s oldest buildings, including St Nicholas Market and the Corn Exchange.

Take a stroll through the Old City and stop at some of the independent shops and cafes that line its streets. You’ll also get to see some of Bristol’s famous street art, including works from famous graffiti artist Banksy.

M Shed Museum

The M Shed Museum is located on the harbourside and tells the story of Bristol’s history through its people and places. The museum has a range of exhibits, including photographs, objects, and interactive displays.

Take some time to explore the M Shed Museum and learn all about Bristol’s past and present. You can also enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat at the museums cafe, which overlooks the harbour.

Bristol’s historic harbourside is a facinating area to explore on foot. From the SS Great Britain to the M Shed Museum, there is so much to see and do. Whether you’re interested in maritime history, art, or food, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in thie vibrant part of the city.

To make the most of your walking tour, wear comfortable shoes and make sure to bring a camera to capture the sights, especially on a sunny day! Whether you’re a local or a vistor, Bristol’s historic harbourside is a must-see destination.