I'm looking to immigrate to the UK shortly and I'm trying to decide where to live. I work as a sailor mostly on boats with seasonal contracts, so I expect to be out of any potential flat for months at a time, mostly using it as a place to keep my things and to recover during months that I'm between contracts. As such, I'm hoping to find a place with relatively low rental costs (no sense paying through the nose for a flat I'll not actually be in most of the time, right?) and low crime rates, with good transport links to the rest of the UK. Preferably also a largish city as I'm a city-slicker by heart and am most comfortable in urban settings, and also potentially a port with potential local maritime jobs. I've been looking at Southampton and Bristol to start with, but I'm a bit short on details other than "They were famous historical ports" and am open to other possibilities as well. Can anyone offer more local advice and information?
London is right out, though. Bugger the living costs.