Bristol is the 8th largest city in the UK with a population of just under half a million. It's one of the warmest and sunniest cities in Britain. The city of Bristol lies on the river Avon and is surrounded to the North East by the Cotswolds and borders the county of Somerset via its large protected areas of the Downs and Leigh woods surrounding the Avon gorge.
Bristol is a vibrant young city with an excellent live music scene, noteably Blues, Jazz, Trip Hop and Electonic music, which can be sampled throughout the city, every night of the week at the many, lively city bars in the heart of the city centre lining the river bank and in the trendy student area, Whiteladies Road. The bar and restaurant scene, which Bristol thrives in, can be further appreciated in Clifton Village, at the top of the hill, a modern, chic area of town inhabited by students and young professionals.
There are numerous Bristol hostels and student lodgings to be found both in Clifton Village and on Whiteladies road. Clifton Village is a more upmarket and priceier area, with the feel of a village, packed with boutique shops, organic grocery stores and gyms, and the standard of accomodation here is superb. Nearby Whiteladies Road gives a more budget friendly alternative. Both areas are safe and good choices for hostels.
There is a large Afro-Carribean flavour to Bristol to be found in the Easton and St Georges areas. These areas show the true life of the city, with blaring reggaeton belting from the street corners and ferocious domino matches dominating tiny dusty bars ran by Rastafarians. Here you will find hidden gems and delights in the grit of the area, with cheap accommodation, a bustling hostel scene, culinary delights and brilliant music venues. However it can be dangerous so do take a taxi at night.
Bristol is one of the UK's leading environmental cities with numerous recycling, renewable energy and conservation projects. It has a vibrant and brilliant art scene, home to the illusive, world famous graffiti artist Banksy, whose work is to be found throughout the city on numerous warehouse walls, tunnels, and bridges. The city is also famed for its film industry, with top theatres including the Tobacco Factory, and Clifton's Redgrave theatre showing numerous independent productions, and the larger Bristol Hippodrome, which shows the National productions.
Bristol has some great countryside and green parks all within walking distance of the centre. There is a cycle path all the way to neighbouring Bath, some 30 km away through leafy landscapes, making another pleasant walk or cycle.
There are several hostels in Bristol and it's a superb modern city, easy to navigate due to the prominence of the large hill overlooking the river Avon, where numerous country walks can be made.