Multiple brunch options on your doorstep and the choice to walk or cycle to work – who says city life can’t be just as rewarding as that in London?
Luckily, this is where the South West really excels itself, with cities that manage to cram a lot in while still feeling friendly, relaxed and easy to get around.
Bristol is constantly revered for the quality of life it provides for its residents, from beautiful scenery and friendly locals, to a dizzying amount of festivals, gigs, exhibitions and community events throughout the year.
The scenic harbour, hot air balloons and suspension bridge may hog most of the limelight, but there’s far more to Bristol the more you get to know it – film screenings in caves, theatre on boats and little-known pop-ups and speakeasies just waiting to be discovered.
Whether you opt for the hilly rainbow suburbs of Totterdown or Windmill Hill, or the more sophisticated climbs of Clifton – each neighbourhood has something different and interesting to offer, whether you’re a resident or a visitor for the day.
A short hop across the estuary is bustling Cardiff, with its burgeoning food scene, lively music scene and close proximity to the award-winning beaches of the Gower Peninsula.
The atmosphere in the city centre is unbeatable when there’s an international rugby or football game on, or if you want to escape the crowds you can take a stroll or cycle along the River Taff to Llandaff Cathedral or all the way to the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park.
Several of Cardiff’s suburbs straddle the massive Bute Park, so you can combine easy access to transport, nightlife and an exciting mix of restaurants with green spaces and routes to the edges of the city.
Like your cities a bit more grand? Bath and Cheltenham both wear their Georgian grandeur on their sleeve and offer up first rate shopping and dining – but don’t take themselves too seriously. Due to its position in the dip of seven hills, Bath residents can enjoy panoramic views of the city from almost any point in the city (except for the city centre – unless you’re in the rooftop pool at the Thermae Spa, which isn’t a bad shout at all), where Cheltenham dwellers not only get the trappings of a city but can also be out in the beautiful Cotswolds in no time.
Forget hour-long commutes, smog and being miles away from the city centre – life is about to get much easier…