Teachers explain why Bristol offers a fantastic life/work ‘package’ to school staff

As well as offering wonderful career opportunities in education, Bristol is one of the most exciting, diverse, friendly and beautiful places to live in the UK.

It has all the facilities and attractions of a major city, but with easy access to coast and countryside. Bristol also has excellent transport connections: London is a 90-minute train ride away and you can drive to the surf beaches of South Wales in about an hour.

For 2015 Bristol has been named the UK’s first European Green Capital; the BBC’s Natural History Unit, transport charity Sustrans and the ethical Triodos Bank are all based here and the city is a haven for cyclists with bike-friendly routes around town, and a wide selection of off-road tracks to enjoy.

There is a wide variety of property available to buy and rent in Bristol, and the city has a reputation for being ‘village-like’, with each area having its own distinct community feel. From vibrant, multi-cultural urban neighbourhoods decorated with street art, to leafy suburbs with wide roads and a relaxed atmosphere, Bristol has a place for everyone.

Dan Schoner (Teach First Student Teacher):

“You can live in one place, but you can travel a couple of miles up the road and you’re in what feels like a completely new city.”

Gloucester Road is a popular destination for many education professionals, with its myriad cafés, restaurants and independent shops. As well as being a popular residential area, it’s a great place to visit, hang out and watch the world go by.

Bristol’s Harbourside has been redeveloped in recent years and is now filled with restaurants, bars, shops, museums and galleries. It is home to the popular At-Bristol Science centre – one of the UK’s greenest buildings – whose attractions include a planetarium, a walk-through virtual tornado, and Wallace and Gromit film set.

Shopping options in the city range from the spectacular Cabot Circus centre – containing all of the major high street names – to quirky independent shops in areas such as Park Street and Gloucester Road.

Bristol is home to numerous concert halls and theatres including the Colston Hall, St George’s, Hippodrome and the Tobacco Factory, and a has a thriving live music scene.

There are music, photography, film and food festivals throughout the year, as well as Bristol’s world-famous Balloon Fiesta every August.

Kevin Hawkins:

“It’s very culturally diverse, and there’s so much going on… We’ve got a lot of young teachers here who have come in from outside or abroad, they’ve quickly made friends…

“From a professional and a social point of view Bristol is a really good city to live and work in.”

Many teachers and other education professionals living in Bristol are Bristol born and bred – they love the city so much, they don’t want to leave. Others have come to the city from different parts of the UK, or overseas.

Wherever they come from, they seem to share a view of Bristol as a relaxed, welcoming, friendly, cosmopolitan city where people from a wide variety of backgrounds mix happily together. It’s a great city for young people, but also a wonderful place to bring up a family.

Joe Cook:

“Being a teacher in Bristol is a really nice way to start your career. I don’t see myself ever leaving Bristol… or teaching. I’m very settled, very happy.”