Definitely Bristol. I moved to the South West about ten years ago and have lived in (or within spitting distance of) Bristol that whole time. There are *still* new things for me to see and do (and old favourites, of course).
The architecture in certain areas, particularly Clifton Village
which is mostly Georgian, is gorgeous. There's not much beats the view from Royal York Crescent
(I used to live in the middle of the crescent, in a top floor flat. I miss that flat and those views. I do not miss the 67 steps to get there, or the scrum for parking!). There's also lots of new building going on, particularly apartments being built along the harbourside
There are lots of parks and "hidden" green areas. One of my favourites is Queen Square
, which is right in the centre of town. It's nice and peaceful most of the time - occasionally there are events there with big screens (they showed the Olympics there and people brought deckchairs to sit and watch them) and at (sunny) lunchtimes in the week it fills up with office workers eating.
In terms of culture, there's something for everyone. The Bristol Hippodrome
has both regional and national tours and the ENO and WNO come at least annually. Colston Hall
has music performances of every type, and there's some great smaller music venues - particularly The Fleece
, who have both up and coming bands, tribute acts and some surprisingly large names playing for a really small venue. There's a permanent street-art project
and Bristol is the home of Banksy
There's the ss Great Britain
, the world's first iron hulled steam ship (this is where I got married last year) and Clifton Suspension Bridge
, both designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
In terms of shopping, there's Cabot Circus
(in the centre of town) which has shops, restaurants and a cinema, as well as various out-of-town retail parks and lots of local high streets offering independent shops as well as the larger, national chains.
There's two universities (Bristol University and The University of the West of England), lots of major employers (including Rolls Royce and many legal and financial services firms have offices here), the airport is only half an hour outside of town and the train links you to Birmingham in 90 minutes and London in just under two hours. Bath is next door, and Glastonbury is near enough for a day trip. The countryside and coast are both within a 45 minute drive. http://visitbristol.co.uk/