Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Head to Bristol if you want the urban bustle and wild countryside on your doorstep

Bristol has always been lively and sharp. I know because I grew up there.

I love the diversity of the city; from chic Clifton with its grand Georgian mansions and sprawling green areas known as The Downs, to Brunel’s Suspension Bridge, which has spanned the Avon Gorge for 150 years, and the artistic Harborside area, home of the Arnolfini arts center .

Then there’s the West Indian community of St Paul’s, which rates Zoopla as one of the top ten hipster hangouts in the UK; and the bohemian graffiti-splashed Stokes Croft, full of shops, bars and restaurants.

Go west: the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

Go west: the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

The emigration from London to Bristol is a worn path. Home to Banksy and where the music genre drum ‘n’ bass started, Bristol is often compared to the capital for its food and art scene. But it is much smaller.

Bristol has a population of 463,400 to 8.9 million in London, making it a very friendlier place to live, where you are likely to meet old friends or, if you are new to the city, easily make new ones.

The regular joke with the Bristol real estate agents is that those who move to Bristol continue to move west and later retire to Devon or Cornwall.

Property searches for Bristol and the Southwest have skyrocketed during the closing. A survey by real estate group Savills (savills.co.uk) identified the desire for easy access to the countryside as ‘of great importance’ to buyers.

So with the delights of Devon, Cornwall and The Cotswolds on the doorstep, Bristol is an obvious choice. The survey also found that a separate workplace at home is a precondition for 61 percent of the over-40s.

Ashley Day, director of Bristol Property Center (bristolproperty centre.co.uk) agrees: ‘Space to create a home office is new to us, but with more people looking to work from home in the future, it certainly remains a priority. ‘ For value for money, Day’s advice is to look just outside the city center.

He says, “St George, Redfield, Brislington, Southville and Bedminster are all good options.

Bristol has always been good for independent traders and Church Road on St George and North Street in Southville has a great selection of bistros, bars, delis and shops. ‘

So what do you get for your money?

You will need around £ 150,000 to £ 200,000 for a one or two bedroom apartment. A Victorian one bedroom garden condo in St George is available from estate agents in Ocean (oceanhome. Co.uk) for £ 179,000, or a modern, two bedroom ground floor flat in Brislington for £ 210,000 is for sale at Connells (Connells. Co .uk).

If your budget extends further, a two bedroom home with garden in Southville, near the popular North Street, can be yours for £ 320,000 with Knight Frank (knightfrank.co.uk).

Although Bristol has a lot of greenery, the desire for large gardens brings many buyers to the city’s suburbs, says Richard Brooks, Savills’ head of residential sales in the Southwest.

A good example of this is the three bedroom cottage from circa 1879 on two floors, a garden and views over fields in the village of Abbots Leigh (five miles west of the town center).

Q&A with real estate expert Ross Clark

I continued to pay my mortgage when I was on leave in April, even though it was a struggle.

Now I’m afraid I will be fired. Is it too late to apply for a mortgage holiday?

A: No, the deadline for applying for a mortgage holiday has been extended to October 31.

Until that date, you can apply to your mortgage lender to reduce or suspend your repayments for a three-month period. However, you should think carefully before doing this.

Interest will be charged during your ‘holiday’. That amount is then added to your outstanding debt and your payments are increased or the term of your mortgage can be extended.

It’s best to talk to your lender and see if you can come up with a scheme where you pay as much as you can afford without cutting your payments down to zero.

The danger is that if you get out of the habit of paying off a mortgage, you may get a shock when the ‘vacation’ comes to an end. For most people, that seems to be January.

It also has a summer home that can be converted into a home office and costs £ 695,000 through Savills.

However, Brooks says the city market remains the strongest.

Clifton and Redland are attractive, especially for those looking for historical features. Everything that needs work sells the fastest. ‘

The highest price bracket allows large historic properties in Clifton and Leigh Woods to sell up to £ 3.5 million.

More typically, a refurbished four-bedroom house with a small garden in Redland costs £ 985,000 with Savills, or a Victorian five-bedroom house with garden in Cotham is £ 1.2 million with Goodman & Lilley (goodmanlilley.co .uk) .

Looking to the rest of 2020 and 2021, brokers say they will work on new ways to engage with clients by providing real estate video tours before clients set foot in one place.

Take a virtual tour of The Boot Factory in St George where a beautifully converted brick ground floor two bedroom Victorian apartment with front and rear courtyards is available for £ 275,000 through Knight Frank. Going west has never looked better.