The English Language Centre, Bristol

A family-run Centre of Excellence in a lively university city

Established in 1969, ELC Bristol is a family-run school and part of the Clifton College Education Group. The school is the joint number 1 ranked English language school in the UK, according to the EL Gazette rankings based on British Council inspectors' publishable statements.

We believe that personal care and attention are essential, and we will do everything we can to ensure that our students' stay in Bristol is one of the most productive and enjoyable times in their lives. We get to know all our students as individuals. Every single student is known by name and every student in the school is discussed in our weekly teachers' meetings.

All of our teachers are qualified native speakers, but maybe what is equally important is that they care a lot about our students. They also have many years' experience teaching English (average: 18 years) and they have worked at ELC Bristol for a long time (average: 9 years).

We aim to encourage an atmosphere of tolerance and respect; to have a mix of students from as many countries as possible. We want our students to benefit from a truly international experience and learn, not only from our teachers but also from each other.

ELC Bristol keeps our students and staff safe by ensuring strict welfare, safeguarding and emergency procedures are in place and that an ongoing training programme keeps us aware and open to change and improvement.

Almost all of our accommodation is located within walking distance of the school. We have a dedicated team to arrange accommodation and don't use an agency, which helps us to place students in the most suitable homestay or residence.

Our social programme is very popular with our students. There is a full excursion to another city or tourist destination every weekend. We also arrange 2 or 3 afternoon/evening activities during the week in Bristol.

“On the first day of school, the Principal told us that ELC would be our family in Bristol. I realized, after a while, that all the ELC staff make you feel at home. We come here to learn English, but ELC is more than that because you can experience many different cultures and make beautiful friendships.”

Naif, Saudi Arabia

  • General English (Intensive)
  • Exam Preparation (Intensive)
  • Cambridge English First
  • Cambridge English Advanced
  • Cambridge English Proficiency
  • Homestay 18+ (Half-board)
  • Homestay Under-18 (Half-board)
  • Student Residence Shared Bathroom (Self-catering)
  • Student Residence Private Bathroom (Self-catering)
  • Summer University Residence 18+ (Self-catering)
  • Young Adult Summer Residence 16-17 (Half-Board)
School Factfile
  • Established in 1969
  • The school is located in a fine old building in Clifton, one of Bristol’s most attractive areas
  • Average age 23, minimum age 16
  • Expected student numbers (2023): 120-140 year-round and 180-200 in July and August from around 20 different countries
  • Our teachers have an average of 18 years experience
  • All of our year-round student residencies and most of our homestays are within walking distance of the school
  • Our students can join many of the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies – a great way to make English friends
  • A popular social programme run by the teachers


Bristol has all the attractions of a major city but it is easy to live here as most places of interest are located within walking distance, and you are not dependent on public transport.

With a population of around 450,000 and two major universities, Bristol is the second-largest city in the South after London, which is less than two hours away by train.

Bristol is a lively student city, well-known for its nightlife, theatres, shopping, music scene and street art. The lively harbourside is popular with our students, and there is a wide choice of international restaurants in the city.

Bristol has major transport links and is conveniently placed to make day trips to popular destinations like London, Bath, Oxford, Cardiff, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.

Bristol International Airport has flights to 122 cities in 37 countries. As well as making it easy to get here, it offers our students a great opportunity to visit other European destinations.

Bristol hosts many festivals throughout the year. 250,000 people visit the city over the weekend of the Harbour Festival! There are several stages for live music, dance, acrobatics and other performing arts. Other popular events are Bristol Pride, Upfest, Foodies Festival, and Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, the largest balloon gathering in Europe.

“There is so much to do in Bristol - I am never bored! It is easy to meet my friends after school because they all live close to me. I like that we can walk to the shops and restaurants - and, of course, the nightclubs! In my second week, I joined the Students' Union volleyball club so I have made some English friends, too.”

Guilia, Italy

Bristol Factfile
  • Population: 450,000
  • Bristol is the second-largest city in the South
  • 1 hour 40 minutes to London by train
  • Two universities and more than 50,000 full-time students
  • An international airport with flights to more than 100 destinations
  • Bristol is the home of Banksy and famous for it’s street art
  • There are lots of parks and green spaces. Bristol is the only UK city to have been made European Green Capital
  • Many of the city attractions are within walking distance of the school
  • There are many restaurants, bars and nightclubs centred around the attractive harbourside
  • There is a good selection of designer and independent shops in the city and a large shopping mall just a short bus ride away
  • Bristol is the cultural centre of the South-West and is well-known for its live music, art and theatre.

Latest posts from The English Language Centre, Bristol

“We would love to welcome you to ELC Bristol. It is a family-run school which prides itself on caring for each individual student. If you come, our team of dedicated teachers and staff will do everything they can to ensure that you have one of the most enjoyable and productive times in your life.”

John and Margaret, Directors

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