Less than a mile south of Bristol city centre, this area grew up off the back of the tobacco industry. Wills Tobacco was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco and employed around 30,000 people in the area, giving rise to many of the Victorian properties still present and popular today.
In Southville itself, houses are predominantly larger Victorian terraces with modest gardens, perfect for families and young professionals. Moving west from Southville is Ashton, which is also popular with families, offering a range of Victorian and 1930s properties. In Bedminster, southeast of Southville, the houses are more compact, suiting first-time buyers or people looking to downsize from a family home. A touch further out from the city centre is Windmill Hill and Victoria Park, where the properties are of a similar era but you can get slightly more house for your money, as well as a greener landscape. To the far east of this patch perched on a hill is Totterdown, where properties are smaller but afford outstanding views of the city.
With its vibrant cafe culture and bustling nightlife offering a range of bars and restaurants, North Street creates a happening hub. The Tobacco Factory Sunday market supplements the wide range of shops on offer, including delis, butchers and greengrocers, meaning you don't necessarily have to venture to a supermarket. North Street runs right through Southville, Bedminster and Ashton, and forms a main artery of services and transport links. The compact design of Bristol means that the other areas within this patch are within walking distance of these facilities and those of the city centre itself. For sports and fitness fans, Bristol City Football Club's ground is a few minutes' walk from most homes in the area and David Lloyd gym and sports facilities is based in Long Ashton. For a special night out, there are several large music venues within a 15-minute walk including the infamous Colston Hall, which has played host to The Beatles.
Education and health
Children of primary school age are well served here, with several schools dotted around the area, including St Mary Redcliffe Church of England, Ashton Vale, Parson Street and Victoria Park Community Junior School. For older children, there is Ashton Park Secondary School and Bedminster Down Secondary School. There are also numerous doctors' surgeries and dentists within the vicinity, without having to venture into the city centre.
Just a 10-minute stroll from the city centre and the harbourside, this area is ideally situated for getting out and about. Temple Meads train station is a short walk from Totterdown and Victoria Park, and there is also a station at Bedminster. There are great cycle paths around the area and it is a popular place for joggers, not least because of the green, open space of Victoria Park. Southville doesn't experience a lot of heavy traffic because the main roads bypass it, although in just 15 minutes you can be on the M5 or M4 and be on a Devon beach within an hour or in the Mendips in 15 minutes. The bus network works very well and it is just 20 minutes to Bristol airport.
Points of interest
Renowned architect and presenter of Channel 4's "Demolition", George Ferguson is local to Bristol and is responsible for the At-Bristol Millennium project. He has also had a marked impact on Southville. His conversion of the old tobacco factory into a new bar, restaurant and theatre has brought renewed vibrancy to the area, rubber-stamping its cosmopolitan credentials.
For a relaxing weekend stroll that feels a million miles away from the bright lights of the city, you can head to Ashton Court and its beautiful grounds, just a stone's throw from the centre of Southville.