Lansdown, Batheaston, Bathampton and Bathwick

(41 Posts)
Umbrellasandladders Fri 06-Oct-17 11:02:05

We are moving to Bath early next year and we have a 6 and a 4 year old. We have 'shortlisted' Lansdown, Batheaston, Bathampton and Bathwick as areas based on our need to have access to the M4 and easy access into town. I have heard comments about the lack of a community feel in Lansdown would this be accurate? I would really appreciate views on these areas. It's so difficult to relocate a family!

Joinourclub Fri 06-Oct-17 19:11:04

If you asked which areas were easy to get into town and to the M4, I wouldn't necessarily say all those areas! I'd say Weston, Newbridge, Lansdown, Camden, Larkhall. If you're after a community feel, then Weston, Newbridge and Larkhall all have their own 'high streets'. They also all have decent primary schools, Weston being particularly well regarded.

Bathampton and Bathwick are really lovely, but you need to cross the river to get to the M4. Bath is pretty small and getting anywhere on foot or by bike doesn't take long, but by car can be a nightmare.

Batheaston is also nice and relatively less expensive, but it is a car or bus ride into town along a very busy road.

Misstomrs Sat 07-Oct-17 08:12:20

I would agree with joinourclub completely. Newbridge and Larkhall are considered to be smarter than weston, although both Larkhall and weston have some social housing. All three have well thought of primary schools, although the school in weston is the only one that is oftead outstanding I think. As a compromise you could look at the new ensleigh development as it's between weston and lansdown with easy links to the M4 and a (steep) walk into town but just be aware it dies get very misty / foggy in the hill so that view will not always be visible and can make it chilly. This also applies to parts of lansdown.

Madcats Sat 07-Oct-17 16:33:06

I think the biggest issue with Lansdown for a young family is the lack of local shops. It drove me mad when I borrowed a house on Lansdown Crescent. Everything was a steep hill climb away. I think they were planning to pop a shop into the Ensleigh development and improve the bus service.

It's a good 2 degrees cooler than the city centre (years of driving DD to swim at Kingswood in a car that 'bings' to warn of possible ice).

Umbrellasandladders Sat 07-Oct-17 21:38:08

Thanks everyone. Yes maybe north of the river then, crossing the river could become a real problem.

I think I have narrowed it down to Batheaston and Lansdown. We are really fortunate to have a very good budget so could afford a lovely detached house in those areas. I just want to make sure I feel part of a community and there is a local scout group, pub and am able to build a good network of mum friends. So between these options which would you go for?

Misstomrs Sun 08-Oct-17 10:31:48

I think that Batheaston has a good community feel. We don't live there ourselves but have friends that do. Lansdown is very smart but I'm not sure how much actual community there is. If you want the Scout group, pub, local high street etc then within Bath Larkhall or Weston would probably be a better bet. Weston Park is very smart (and pricey) and close to town so is a good compromise. It depends on your budget really. Money will go much further in batheaston than in Bath proper, and further in Weston or Larkhall than in Lansdown. Saw no one had replied and didn't want you to be left without any thoughts. HTH.

Joinourclub Sun 08-Oct-17 11:33:23

Batheaston and Lansdown are very different so it's hard to say which is better.

Madcats Sun 08-Oct-17 13:42:57

We're out of touch with competition for infant/primary places but it did get 'interesting' about 5 years ago and there were lots of "bulge" classes. You can't apply for school places until you have an address but this is the state school admissions booklet:
www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/primary_admissions_booklet_2018-2019.pdf

I've already suggested to somebody else, but it strikes me that investing a few nights renting an apartment/house through Airbnb/holiday lets (of which there are a several agencies) would be money very well spent. Try the commutes/access to shops/pubs etc.

I've heard nice things about Bathford (it strikes me as being a nicer place than Batheaston). If they ever reinstate the train station I can imagine families would flock to Corsham too.

Umbrellasandladders Sun 08-Oct-17 13:55:58

Thanks Everyone, I appreciate your time.

The issue that's causing me to post is that we have a reception child due to start school next September and we don't have an address. I was hoping to rent somewhere in time for the closing date of January 15th and I want to work out where to rent. Then we have an address to apply for schools. The dilemma then comes when we find a house that is not in the area we have rented and got s school place in and are left driving to school from our house in a different part of town.

Sigh!

Misstomrs Sun 08-Oct-17 15:21:30

Given that you've got two broad areas in mind, if it was me, I would base it on schools, then look at the for sale / recent sales in the property market to see if I was happy with what I could get, and then look at what and where to rent. I you like where / what you rent then you can just wait a while until the right house becomes available.
However you approach it, good luck. Bath is beautiful. I'm sure you will enjoy living here.

Umbrellasandladders Sun 08-Oct-17 17:18:15

Thanks so much. Been talking to DH and we've agreed to just wait until we've bought the house and be led by that. We have a year two child at school where we are need minimal disruption.

So plan is wait for the house, get it and then try to get both kids into the local school. We will have to work out an interim option whilst we wait for a place. Don't think we can do anything else.

Just wish the housing market would pick up. It's quite frustrating as no stock. So will try to be patient and hope for the best.

Thanks everyone.

MrsEricBana Mon 09-Oct-17 11:13:32

Hi Umbrellasandladders. Have had a good read of the above and in your position and given your budget I'd be gunning for Lansdown or Camden or, if budget allows, Sion Hill. These areas are great for M4, St. Stephen's state primary (and if private school in the future, Kingswood, Royal High), easy into town. Local shops - Julian Rd and St James' Square for chemist, fab deli/cafe, newsagent, vet, co-op, dry cleaner, florist, amazing greengrocers. Community atmosphere I'd say definitely but depends on specific location. Camden Rd good community. St James' Square area - street party, good pub. Other areas in lower Lansdown - street party, jubilee party etc. Scouts - Larkhall I think (short drive from above).
Agree with pp that Bathwick, Bathampton no good for M4 BUT personally I'd not rule out as schoolwise you have state primary Bathwick St Mary's (excellent) and King Edward's School (excellent, private, just be aware that pre-prep up to age 7 is in Weston but there is shuttle bus). FWIW Bathampton, Newbridge, Weston less "smart" and less Georgian housing stock than the above areas (Bathampton not Georgian either really). Do pm me if you'd like more info.

MrsEricBana Mon 09-Oct-17 11:18:45

Yes to renting btw, as chances are your ideal area to live will become much more obvious once you see how it works for you in Bath in terms of all your needs. Do NOT buy or rent somewhere without viable parking is my top tip!

Spindelina Mon 09-Oct-17 12:54:38

Or ditch the car - that’s what we did. We’re a short walk from town and school, commute by train, and use taxis, car club and occasionally hire cars when needed. Much less hassle than owning a car.

Joinourclub Mon 09-Oct-17 12:58:24

Tell us your budget and requirements OP and we'll find you somewhere! Who doesn't like a bit of virtual house hunting on rightmove?!

MrsEricBana Mon 09-Oct-17 13:57:12

("A lovely detached house" in Lansdown or Bathwick will be ££££££££££££££ btw).

Umbrellasandladders Mon 09-Oct-17 14:36:28

You lot are so brilliant, what a help. If I meet people like you when I move I will be so happy. So let me indulge you all further smile.

I grew up in Keynsham so have a knowledge of Bath and Bristol, but spent most time in Bristol really. Moved away and now want to move back to the area and want to come 'home'. DH works in Reading and needs to get there and London but will be able to WFH in between.

We are really thinking hard about the house and area because previous couple of moves have not been right for us and this is a long term house. We are looking at Rightmove all the time and I am in Bath once a week trying to get a feel for areas. That's hard when you are just driving in the car, staring out the window and then trying not to drive into the car in front!

We are renting up in Berkshire as we have sold our house. We thought we would have bought in Bath by now, we underestimated how slow the housing market is. So that has put us in a predicament as we won't be BANES residents in time for school applications in January, so will have to go through the pain of getting a reception place once they've been allocated....but thats another story.

In the meantime, I wanted to post on here to get the locals view on our shortlisted areas, and you guys are really coming up trumps for me. I didn't even know about St James Square or Camden Road. That's the problem with driving around aimlessly! I am going to look into those areas further. Also not sure about Batheaston, something niggling away at me, bit far out maybe, London Road traffic........ Then Lansdown, we will feel isolated with no community and no friends. But love proximity to town which is what we want, but where do you go for a pint of milk? But Eric mentioned St James Square so that may be the answer. Like Bathampton, but won't get our Year 2 in as it has a massive waiting list, so ruling that out. Bathwick an option, but motorway a problem.

I agree with Eric that Lansdown might work best....off to research St James Square and Camden.

Very fortunate to have a budget up to 1.4.

Spindelina Mon 09-Oct-17 17:33:15

St Andrew’s primary School is just by St James’s Square, and close to Camden Rd. A few years ago it had a really bad reputation. That’s now changed, but it’s still undersubscribed (partly because St Stephen’s has historically been so popular). But if you end up in North/central Bath, it’s definitely worth a look.

MrsEricBana Mon 09-Oct-17 18:26:42

Pint of.milk:
- lower Lansdown use Co-op (newly redone) on Julian Rd for all essentials. Also milk, veg etc from Eades (greengrocers) still on Julian Rd but right by St. James' Square. Also newsagent at bottom of St James' Square sells basics inc milk (just being done up so not sure exactly what).
- Camden people use same and Fairfield Park shops and Larkhall shops plus Camden is just above a huge Morrisons
- Also stop at a Tesco express on school run e.g. on Bathwick Hill.
Lansdown community best in the streets of whole houses rather than where lots of flats.
Yes you are right re Batheaston imo though if you lived there your dh could get to motorway easily and you could use tollbridge to cross town.
Best way to make friends is via school (our street has amazing neighbours too, from young to 80+)
Some nice houses on Rightmove - fab one at 1.65 - that one Georgian, parking, good garden, right by park (inc playground, ducks, cafe) and walkable to town.
Good luck!

Spindelina Mon 09-Oct-17 18:56:01

Other option for milk is Waitrose - only slightly further.

Madcats Mon 09-Oct-17 21:30:51

If your DH is working near the centre of Reading I would ditch the plan to drive and get the train (and possibly leave a cheap bike in Reading).

There's a lot to be said for being able to fall out of the house in Widcombe or Lyncombe to jump on the train.

Misstomrs Tue 10-Oct-17 07:22:06

Isn't there rather a lot of unappealing social housing near St James's Square? A friend of mine lived there and loved the central location but said the area was a bit 'mixed'. That said, it's obviously near the crescent and Marlborough buildings so there's only so much it can be mixed, so to speak. Would be interesting to know what other people's experiences are.

Spindelina Tue 10-Oct-17 08:51:39

You’re talking about Ballance Street and the roads around it. We walk through on the way to school. Not sure what you mean about unappealing - architecturally it’s pretty good I think (some of it is converted period terraces). If you mean the people are unappealing then that’s just offensive.

It’s not a vast ghetto of an estate by any means. Yes, its rough by Bath standards. But Bath standards are pretty high! I like the fact that it’s a socially mixed area - on one side of Julian Road is Ballance Street, on the other side is the Royal Crescent.

OP: another area to look at might be Audley Park Road and close by. Nice area, good community, park on your doorstep. But further out from town (between there and Chelsea Road for your pint of milk), and you’d have to think about schools (Newbridge is v oversubscribed). But worth a look.

Misstomrs Tue 10-Oct-17 09:11:26

I meant the buildings, not the people! They remind me of old Victorian design - tall, windows on the smaller side, a bit imposing and hard next to the soft bath stone. I don't know what the people are like. I only had one friend who lived there who felt it was a bit too much of a mix but I lived in London for years so social housing pretty much next to million pound properties doesn't bother me personally. I can see though, if you were moving away from London, that might be something you either liked and wanted to keep or were looking to move away from. We moved to an area that has a mix, although to be fair a lot of Bath has social housing, it's just personal preference how close you want to be to it.

Audley park road is a great suggestion. Lovely location.

Spindelina Tue 10-Oct-17 09:58:24

There are a few areas where there is a mix of Georgian and C20th architecture, some more elegant than others! In the mid C20th, Georgian terracescwere seen as ‘old’ and inferior to the lovely ‘modern’ housing. The areas of eg Edwardian housing have stayed more homogeneous.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now