9 October 2020/ Area guides

Office leasing guide: Bristol

Offices to rent in Bristol

Bristol is a creative hub and vibrant city in the southwest of England. Industries including media, defence and engineering have a strong presence here and it was even crowned the UK’s best city to live in in 2017. It’s a great place to be based if you want to be within easy reach of other cities, including London, Birmingham (both around an hour and a half by train) and Cardiff (less than an hour). And with two universities in the city, the University of the West of England and Russell Group University of Bristol, you’ll have a large pool of highly-skilled talent to pick from.

Starting life as one of the west coast’s major ports, Bristol has evolved into a vibrant city that has a lot more to offer than its convenient waterways. It was voted European Green Capital in 2015, and you’ll spot plenty of two-wheeled commuters and plant-based restaurants to back up its reputation.

Bristol offers the best of both worlds; a cosmopolitan feel to rival larger cities like London and Manchester and rolling countryside less than half an hour’s drive away. If you’re looking for hustle and bustle, but plenty of space to get away from it all, you’ll find a great mix here.

Want to find out more about renting office space and living in Bristol? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Bristol’s key business areas

Central Bristol is where much of the commercial activity is concentrated. Close to Temple Meads, the city’s main railway station, is where you’ll find many of the financial services and legal businesses, including Deloitte and the private University of Law. It’s also a hub for office space for all sectors, whether you’re in publishing or plumbing. The Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is also in the centre of Bristol, and an abundance of new, highly sustainable office space is being developed here.

The north of the city is where a number of engineering, aerospace and automotive businesses are based, including Airbus, Rolls Royce and Boeing. Bristol Business Park is home to loads of prominent tenants, so it’s a prestigious place to occupy. Nearby you’ll also find the UWE Centre for Robotics, where world-leading research and innovation takes place. Aztec West is another great place to be based in northern Bristol. Both are fantastic locations if you need to travel for business, as they’re just a few minutes’ drive from the M32 and M5, which can take you all across the UK.

If your business is focused on industry, or being near a port is important, Avonmouth is a great place to base yourself as it’s Bristol’s industrial centre. It’s also within easy reach of the motorways, so you can quickly nip out to other locations from a base here.

Getting around in Bristol

Bristol has 14 railway stationsTemple Meads, the city’s main station, has stood in the centre of Bristol since it was designed and built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1840. Other major stations include Bristol Parkway, which is located in Filton and Keynsham, serving the north and south suburbs of the city respectively.

There are plenty of bus routes in BristolBuses in Bristol are primarily operated by First West of England, which runs plenty of routes all across the city. Cross-city Metrobus routes also operate here, which can take you from south to north in less time. If you’re travelling further afield, you can catch National Express and Megabus services from the city centre, or from the University of the West of England if you’re in the north of Bristol.

Bristol is well-connected by roadIf you need to travel in and out of the city, there are plenty of major roads connecting Bristol to the rest of the UK. The M32, which starts in the centre of the city, connects with the M4 and M5. The former can take you east towards London and the south east, or west towards Newport and Cardiff, while the latter connects Bristol to Gloucester, Cheltenham and Birmingham.

Bristol is the UK’s first ‘Cycling City’You’ll find cycle lanes all across the city, making it easy to commute on two wheels from virtually anywhere in Bristol, as well as picture-perfect routes to explore in your downtime. Tackle the Bristol to Bath cycle path and spend time exploring the historic neighbouring city, or head to the nearby Mendip hills to explore. Whether your route takes you past the serene River Avon, through one of the city’s many parks, or along its vibrant city streets, you’re bound to enjoy cycling through Bristol.

Bristol Airport is located just outside the cityFrom the city centre, Bristol Airport is around a 30 minute drive or 35 minute bus ride. It’s a relatively large regional airport, so you’ll be able to fly to a variety of short haul and domestic destinations, including Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona, from here.

Offices to rent in Bristol

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Business amenities in Bristol

There are hotels for every budget in BristolWhether you’re hosting an event, welcoming a special guest or visiting for a meeting, there’s a hotel for you in Bristol. From the Mercure Bristol Grand to Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa, you’ll have plenty of options if you’re seeking something upmarket. If you want a room with a view, go for the Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin – a beautiful option that overlooks the Clifton Suspension Bridge. You’ll also find cost saving options, including Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and Travelodge, across the city.

You’ll find restaurants for every taste across BristolBristol’s culinary scene is second to none, serving everything from salads to sushi to sizzling steaks to succulent plant-based options. Need to impress? No. 4 Clifton Village serves up delicious, locally-sourced British classics and can be booked for private dining experiences if you’re really trying to impress. The Ox is also a great choice, as this former bank turned steak house serves plenty of tasty options.

Seeking a laidback place to meet? Look out across the centre as you dine or drink on Bambalan’s covered roof terrace, or grab a bite from the legendary St. Nicholas Market’s many food stalls, which serve everything from falafel to smoky barbecue to Japanese street food. You can also explore Whapping Wharf’s contemporary restaurants, housed in cool shipping containers next to the floating harbour.

Bristol has a great choice of meeting rooms From the HERE studios in Brislington to the spacious boardroom at The Lost & Found, there are plenty of meeting spaces to book across Bristol. Whether you’re looking for a small space with an abundance of character, like The Cellar at Desklodge Old Market, or to host a large event at Ashton Gate Stadium, you’ll have lots of choices.


Other business amenities

If you need to indulge in some retail therapy, you’ll have loads of options in Bristol. From central Cabot Circus, which is packed with high street and high-end shops, including Apple, Victoria’s Secret, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, and eateries galore. Alternatively, stroll up Park Street all the way to Clifton Village, where you’ll find independent stores, cafés and local gems just waiting to be discovered. Cribbs Causeway is another excellent place to visit – an out of town retail mecca packed with the biggest names in shopping.

There are also plenty of places to keep fit in the city, from affordable chains like PureGym, The Gym and Xercise4Less to independent or boutique fitness facilities like LuxeFitness and TRIB3 Fitness. You’ll also find high-end places to exercise and indulge in treatments, including Nuffield Health and David Lloyd, dotted across the city and its suburbs.

Offices, serviced offices and co-working space to rent in Bristol

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Notable office tenants

  • Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Aardman Animations
  • Airbus
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Rolls Royce 

Key agents

  • CBRE
  • Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP
  • JLL
  • Knight Frank LLP
  • Savills
  • Alder King LLP 

Interesting facts about Bristol

Bristol has its own currency – the Bristol Pound. Launched in 2012, it can be used across the city but is largely favoured by small local businesses.

There are more than 400 parks and gardens to explore across Bristol, meaning it’s a city with plenty of green space.

The Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel was once used as a base for spies during WW2 and cover trains would run from Temple Meads to transport them across the country.

Legendary actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol and street artist Banksy hails from the city.

Bristol has its very own leaning tower: Temple Church, which leans an alarming 2.7 degrees – just one degree less than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.