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almost definitely Birmingham I would imagine
because it's such a big city. out of the two places you're gonna have loads more chances to do what you want if you're in birmingham than in bristol.
not that i have been to either.
The centre is small it's true, but it's also packed full of things to do. Great record shops, tonnes of venues, pubs, bars, restaurants etc. Impression of Birmingham is that there's not that much there, despite it being so huge... But I have only been there twice.
As soon as you're out of sight of the Bull Ring it all seems to be decrepit warehouses and dodgy looking estates.
One of the best music promoters in the country operates from there (Capsule who do Supersonic) and I have heard a lot of good things about bars, nightlife etc. But definitely doesn't have the depth of things on offer in Bristol which is astoundingly well provided for in terms of entertainment and culture.
It's a really well run festival, but there's really not much near the Custard Factory other than a ten minute walk back to the middle.
Bristol: full of Tesco-burning crusties
My brief experiences of Birmingham have all be ghastly, whereas Bristol is lovely. Thousands of posh students is its only real drawback.
I got the (completely unjustified) idea that Bristol was a more polarised city with really expensive posh bits contrasting really dodgy bits.
Even St Paul's is fairly ok these days. Stay out of South Side though.
On the plus side, Montpelier is bloody lovely, as is Stokes Croft even if it is a bit right on at times.
...the residents are so right on and cool, that they don't care if the neighbours get a good night's sleep or not. Always struggled to square the social conscience bit with a total lack of respect for the neighbours. And I agreed that the Tesco shouldn't be built there, but ironically it would have been the one convenience store on the strip that wasn't selling the sort of booze that is slowly (or quickly) killing many of the locals.
Birmngham, much improved but you can't polish a turd.
I've only been to Birmingham once so can't really comment.
otherwise I'll assume it's full of bedwetting indie folk
Think the perception of it being a dingy hole is a bit unfair. Been a lot of redevelopment and such over the last 10-15 years in the city centre - got some nice shopping areas and restaurants and what not.
Lots of parks spread about the place.
It's got its shit areas, but so has everywhere (particularly any big city).
"Birmingham: It's not that bad"
What's so fantastic about Bristol? Also, it shouldn't be getting compared with Birmingham - It's in the Division Two of cities, along with Nottingham, Cardiff, etc, not capable of mixing it with the real big boys...
not just music; art and theatre too. A lot of things going on there every weekend and weeknight. For such an incredibly small town centre there are an enormous number of venues for things. And I've been really impressed with the bars and restaurants there every time.
But I certainly don't think Birmingham is deserving of most of the stick it gets.
Mind you, I also don't think Stoke is that bad a place really, but that's a different subject.
Just saying that to live in I'd pick Bristol every time.
Lovely place with lovely people.
A million times Bristol. Great city. Plus the wonderful Bath is only 10 minutes away on the train.
I preferred Birmingham.
I don't think it's really comparable to living there.
I was simply answering the question to the best of my ability, I won't next time, thanks.
they were both a bit boring. bristol is slightly nicer but about 5 hours away from anywhere decent.
50 min to Cardiff
2 hours to London
3 hours to Cornwall
~90 minutes to Minehead for ATPs or Exmoor
Bath, Wells, Glastonbury, Cheddar and other similar touristy places nearby.
and go back pretty often. My sister lives in Bristol. I'd recommend both, but Birmingham should be your first choice. It's an exceptionally friendly place to live, everyone is so nice. It's the second biggest city but the town centre is pretty small, you can walk everywhere once you're there. It's exceptionally cheap to live in, house wise, and there's a lot of fun stuff going on. I also found where I lived to be really nicely multiculturally integrated - it was really friendly living in predominantly South Asian areas, and lots of brilliant restaurants to go with it. The only downside is the city centre is very chain-y, hardly any independent shop or pubs or cafes.
Bristol is nice but smaller and snootier. The redeveloped docks are lovely, and the suburbs. The downside there is that there isn't really much to the town centre beside Cabot Circus (the shopping centre) and it's a lot more expensive.
Maybe that's just me being used to London prices.
Last time I was there I walked from the downs to Park Street through Clifton. It was a bit, um...
Every city has that kind of area doesn't it? Now if you had carried right on walking to Bedminster...
I take it you're moving off to uni or college or a job or something?
like omg edinburgh or durham or york or london or somewhere??!!?!? can't believe i was considering going to durham, jesus.
I strongly recommend moving to Glasgow
And I might well be going Durham... it'll make me work hard is the hope. At least I'll be back in Manchester lots with the short terms.
not the end of the world
It's all gravy.
I not sure. I'll be going as a student but I missed that out on purpose as I wanted to get the general response about the cities independent of the unis.
I guess I'm a typical disser- I'd like a good underground music scene (apart from Bristol's bloody drum and bass scene, but I'm getting into House/some Garage stuff on the electronic side, even if I am mostly guitars). I'm also enough of a bedwetter that I'd like a nice enough area that I'm not too likely to get ma stuff nicked. And as a student price will matter somewhat...quite how expensive is Bristol?
if it's University of Birmingham, I'd recommend living in Selly Park rather than Selly Oak: you get bigger houses and fewer break-ins. And rent is some of the cheapest in the country, although it's a while since I lived there so I'm not sure how much it is now. If you're going to one of the other universities and are flexible about where you live, the best area objectively is Kings Heath/Moseley/Balsall Heath.
Birmingham has a good music scene but not the greatest, especially as some good venues have closed in the last few years. But all bigger bands will either play there or Wolverhampton, and there are some fun local scenes which are easy to get involved with.
...Black Sabbath are playing the Academy in May.
But seriously yea, it's good. More stuff is happening and some good nights cropping up. Seem to have spells of great gigs then dries up a bit but that's probably the case anywhere.
Depends where you want to live. Clifton = expensive. St Pauls = not expensive.
And which university are you going to/planning to go to?
and love it. I have visited Birmingham (by canal) once and thought it was OK. I can therefore only really speak for Bristol. On the surface it seems like any other town, crappy chain stores and a shopping centre, some nice harboury and touristy bits, some crappy bars full of twats on a night out. But under the surface there are loads of pockets of niceness, some great bars in Stokes Croft and up Park Street to Clifton, weird hippy communes and related pubs in St Werburghs, a ridiculous amount of large events like the St Pauls Carnival, the harbour festival, even the Duke Jazz and Balloon festivals. Nice excuses to sit outdoors in the day drinking tins of cider. The downside for Birmingham for me would be how far it is from the sea, or anything interesting at all for that matter.
I grew up in Wolverhampton and family still live there so visit a lot and spent a fair amount of time in Birmingam. Moved to Bristol about a year and a half ago from Devon. Birmingham is a decent city now, so much better than it used to be and has some really nice spots
Bristol is far, far nicer and is a really great place to live. Yeah the centre is full of cunts at the weekend but it's a big city innit. The music, art, theatre scenes are all brilliant from huge stuff to tiny DIY events. I love the place.
one of the best things about Bristol (other than living there)is how close it is to loads of stuff for day trips/weekends away:
London - 1hr 45mins on train (good service)
Birmingham - 90mins
Cardiff - 45mins
Bath - 10mins
The sea - a few mins
Somerset - a few mins
Cornwall/Devon - not that far
South coast/Dorset - not that far
Plus very good airport flying to most of Europe (might not be of that much interest to a student)
I guess if you want to get away from Birmingham you could head to Coventry or Wolverhampton?
plus it has plenty of carribean cuisine.
then the countryside is very close by as the city just stops at the gorge pretty much. There's a nice country estate (council owned i think) with deer and stuff, plus woods with mountain bike trails if that's your sort of thing.
Never been to Birmingham.
so outta the loop.
and there's so many ugly, depressing parts the good bits don't make up for it
but really that's true of most UK cities, i honestly genuinely don't understand why everybody doesn't want to live in london.
and just not that amazing.
you haven't been doing it right
and it doesn't have to be expensive
I've been a few places I thought were amazing. London definitely isn't one of them...
and look up the disposable income thread from a while back, it is almost certainly gonna be expensive.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the place or owt.
But I'm biased and have never been to Birmingham, so you should probably discount my opinion.
Here are some good things about Bristol.
- You can get from the city centre to what feels like the middle of nowhere in about 15 minutes. Also, if you go and sit on a surrounding hill in the dark you can see almost all of it lit up and it looks really cool.
- Lots of the medium sized arts venues (like the Watershed, Arnolfini, Tobacco Factory) are friendly and community focussed, but not in a way that makes you feel like there’s a club you have to join.
- It’s included in lots of bands’ tours, obviously excluding arena sized acts (unless you like Bon Jovi), and most of the venues are really nice.
- It’s a fairly small size and feels safe, particularly around the posh university bit, so is probably a good place to go if you’re living on your own for the first time.
I don’t really know though because I have no life experience but it’s a nice city and the university seems good, I would probably apply to Bristol if I didn’t already live here.
bristol is full of wannabes. horrible city.
It's like the north but in the south. Cracking bridge as well.
but Bristol (disclosure: where I live) is a much, MUCH nicer city. Walking around the centre of Birmingham can be a pretty soul-destroying thing, from my experience. In Bristol you're always a short walk from something nice to look at. But we do have a council that can't get anything done, which is a pain in the arse.
the beautiful young boy in front of me in the milkshake cafe who offered me a sip of his milkshake to try when I couldn't decide what I wanted. I didn't try it obv but it was so sweet and he was so beautiful, he looked like Justin Bieber.
I vote Bristol
but then i like places where everyone is self deprecating and doesn't aim to high so as to avoid disappointment. The Coach Station has a big sign which reads "one hundered thousand welcomes" which given that the population is just over a million means around one in ten people welcome you to Birmingham. Probably fair.
I've never been to Bristol, but i once fingered a girl from Portishead (the place, not the band) in Newquay many years ago. That's my only experience of Bristol.
were you aware of the excellance of the city of birmingham symphony orchestra, many people from other parts of the country seem to struggle to come up with 'bostin' reasons to come to birmingham, but, Simon Rattle made a lot of his name as their conductor and the CBSO became a genuine world class orchstra, with several of their recorded performances of some classics, becoming 'must have' recordings of a piece.
Birmingham also now has an excellant symphoney hall which is adjacent to the unashamedly pleasent Brindley Place developement and the interesting Icon Gallery.
Birminghams collection of pre-raphalite art is also unparralleled. and includes some of the most beautiful/impressive art that even self-professed non arty types might like.......the william morris 'grail' tapestries, the artist being byrne jones. Srsly these are beautiful and impressive, they seem illuminated, admitedly they often go on tours, so check ahead to avoid dissappointment