Bristol is overestimated and that is why after three years , I decided to start a new life in the north of England.

Laura Bernardeschi
6 min readNov 17, 2021

Traveling and exploring new places is part of my style of life and probably Italian DNA .

In fact for 30 years I have worked as travel agent , tour leader and tour guide in Italy and Uk and more i discover a place more I get curious .

By the way even if i had in Bristol a good job , a flat to stay and nice friends , during my last holiday i felt in love with a city of north of England called Newcastle and put all my efforts to move there .

The results arrived quite early .

I had my holiday end of September and in one month and half i am already packing all my staff , ready for a van to bring me and my luggages in Newcastle to start my new job end of this month .

UK is a perfect place if you decide to move around quite often.

Uk is not like Italy ( my home country ) where 80% of people live all their life in the same place .

In UK people are traveling more . The family and relatives are important but the life is not based only on them like in Italy instead.

I have met in Uk people of any age who decide to change their work , house , style of life quite often . More people are educated more they wish to change !

Life is too short to get bored doing always the same type of life !

Obviously during one of my boring morning jobs , i met a few women of a side of Bristol called Hartcliffe who have never been outside England adapting themselves to repeat day after day their routine .This kind of boring , unhappy people are ready to judge and gossip behind your back as soon as they notice your origins, spirit of adventure and bravery .

Bristol is not a small London .

After 8 years living in the capital , i decided to move to Bristol because everyone was telling me that it was like a small London and it was good for recovering myself.

In 2019 i was surviving a painful and dramatic abusive relationship and my mind and health were a chaos .So I followed quite soon the advices of some good colleagues and moved to Bristol without checking too much the reputation of the city .

I was quite lucky to find immediately a work as tour guide and life model and met immediately fantastic friends ( Bristoliums and foreigners ).

But immediately i realised how different and slow are Bristoliums compared to Londoners and because of it everything is more difficult when you decide to be professional .

In Bristol rarely people start to work before 9 am and during the week end the streets of the city are empty up to 11 am .

It is good if you are trying to get free from your anxiety, but it is not great if you look for some types of work .If you are self employed and try to work as tour guide , brand ambassador and hostess as i was in London , Bristol is not the right place.

There is not an Arena for cultural and musical events.

There is not an important conference centre .

The airport is not brilliant and does not attract investors and tourists.

In Bristol airport , for example , there is the ad of the Romans Bath but nothing connected to the city .

Promotions and events are rare and you can not have a full time job as self employed in these sectors.

The public transport is not fantastic .

The train is very expensive and you pay a fortune to travel outside Bristol. This happens because the government is not promoting modern trains in south west of England and the system is slow and expensive.

The local buses often delay or are canceled last minute …most of the time i prefer using an Uber taxi than a local bus !

Still now you have to talk with the driver to do a ticket because no prepaid card like the oystercard in London is accepted . Younger people use an app to pay their ticket but still now is not enough and common .

The centre of Bristol is nice but not glamorous and you have not the possibility to enjoy famous foreign brands like in London or Leeds or Manchester .

Bristoliums are nice people with a funny accent. Their R is quite strong and unusual for the English language but it is not difficult to understand them . Their curious “hi my love” will stay forever in my mind .

By the way i have met several racists even if the statue of Colston was thrown into the river Avon in these three years and this lack of multiculturalism is affecting also the artistic life of the city .

A few example

If you try to be a photomodel and life model you need to be careful how you move inside the circle of artists and life models.

Since the beginnings it was clear i was not welcomed by some of the locals artists and models even if my experience was better than theirs .

I do not know how to explain … there is an “anarchist” Bristolium underground language reserved only for the locals .Nobody from abroad or other important British cities can go through it .

Obviously if you contact the most important cultural centres of the city you receive respect and work because they can see from your Cv your experience.

But if you work with smaller groups of artists who recommend other people , (life models or photo model in particular ) , they will always recommend “anarchist” Bristoliums !

Bath for the worldwide artists is much better than Bristol for example… probably because more used to foreigner tourists and people are more open minded !

Rent are expensive …more than in London !

When i arrived in 2019 , rents in Bristol were not so expensive as nowadays .

You could rent a one bedrom flat for £850 a month … now after three years the same flat is rented for £1.100 a month.

Why ? Bristol is always the same …even worser than three years ago .

Lots of people have arrived from London and other places of south west during the lockdown …this means less jobs available , less flats to rent and more traffic .

The council has increased the council taxes too, even if for example, the rubbish collection in Cotham / Redland where I live, is not brilliant.

Because of these high rents and lack of cheap accomodations there are lots of homeless around the streets , in particular in the centre and in Stoke croft area abandoned to their destiny.

Night life is ok but do not expect glamour

Bristol is ok for restaurants , pubs , clubs you will never see too many women dressed glamorously around.

Bristolium women tend to be overweight and their accent does not help …nothing compared to the elegance i met in Mayfair , Covent garden or Kensington.

Here women seem all the same , dressed with no expensive outfits , blonde extensions , evident make up , faked tan , awful eyelashes , long alien plastic nails , a glass of alchol in their hands ready to shout at the first occasions while walking unstable on their high heels.

If you do not believe me , have a look in the harbour side Friday and Saturday nights.

Bristol is great for the outdoors .

In fifteen minutes by car or train you are in an amazing countryside even if the streets can be very busy because there is not tube or trams and often lots of road works around .

Bristol is the Amsterdam of England for the attitude towards drugs .

In conclusion Bristol is nice but overestimated and no elegant ( apart Clifton and Redland).

Living in Bristol in 2021 is really expensive and cheaper cities can give me more of what i am looking for and… for that i am going to the north.

Thanks for reading




Laura Bernardeschi

Actress, life model , blogger and writer , originally from italy but living in Uk since 2011 .She lives for art