A Northerner’s Guide to Bristol

Think the differences between the North and South are exaggerated? You couldn’t be more wrong.


To some, the North is ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ of proper country pubs, warm-hearted people, £1 pints and decent gravy. To many of the students of Bristol, it is a cultural wasteland of feral cave dwellers, who emerge only to collect benefits and loot Gregg’s.

Yet, through what can only be assumed to be the result of a serious flaw in the application process, some Northern folk – like myself – are actually admitted into one of the South’s most prestigious and pretentious universities.

A typical northern night out.

Forced to overcome endless obstacles in our noble quest to escape the tumult of degradation into which we are born, northern students must attempt to acclimatise to an environment that actually resembles a civil, functioning society.

Cost of Living

Without a doubt, the first thing an immigrant Northerner will notice in Bristol is the extortionate prices of the staple elements of our domestic diets – beer and McDonald’s.

For example, Britain’s best-loved burger, the McDonald’s Fillet-O-Fish, costs Bristol’s hard-working fast food lovers £2.49. In Hull however, one can expect to pay £2.39.

In Bristol, a pint can set you back anything up to £4, whereas ‘Oop Narth’, alcoholic beverages tend to be free. This is thanks to the ancient, traditional Northern pastimes of stealing, and alcohol dependency.

Granted, these price differences may seem fair, as obviously the entire population of The North is unemployed. But spare a thought for those of us who journey to Bristol in search of a better life, only to have our meagre finances thrown into chaos by such extortionate price-hikes.


Despite being geographically bookended by the linguistic wonders of Essex and The West Country, the vast majority of the South of England is disappointingly bland. Of course, the Bristol accent is colourful, but indigenous Bristolians are difficult to come by on the mean streets of Clifton.

An indigenous Bristolian Photo: Scotsman

Travel a few hundred miles up the M6, however, and you can expect to be greeted with a rainbow-like spectrum of fun, interesting and characterful accents.

From the simply irresistible Geordie twang of Cheryl Cole and her clan, to the heartwarming Mancunian drawl of the Gallagher brothers and the cast of Shameless.


A great man (probably Northern) once wryly observed that “Southerners are stylish, Northerners are practical”.

Left to fend for ourselves in a fashion wasteland, we Northern folk tend to take a more pragmatic approach to dressing. This in stark opposition to the more chic “let’s-copy-those-twats-from-Made-in-Chelsea” approach that is so often found in Bristol.


Equally, any given Saturday in Liverpool sees the city centre shops teeming with pyjama-clad, roller-haired beauties, unwilling to waste so much as a second of precious getting-ready time before the traditional all-you-can-drink for a fiver free-for-all that is Saturday night in any self-respecting Northern metropolis.

Yet, dare pass the doors of Blue Mountain emitting so much as a whiff of fake tan, and you will be regarded with the sort of suspicion largely reserved for war criminals, or paedophiles.

To conclude, some might say the distinctions between North and South are blown out of proportion. They are wrong. And stupid.