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Who knows Bath - which areas are good ?

(10 Posts)
bathtime Thu 11-Jun-09 22:18:03

We are considering a move to Bath or Bristol. We think (?) we have the Bristol areas sussed, but Bath is a bit more difficult.
Where is a good place to live if we want: (our wishlist - we don't ask for much!!) 4 bedrooms, period property, decent sized garden, good state primary and secondary schools)? We'd prefer somewhere not too suburban in feel, a bit more bohemian I suppose.
I can see the poet's corner area is really nice, and Bathwick (if pricey), but where else could we think about? I've heard people say Newbridge, but the houses always seem to be on Newbridge Rd/Hill which I don't fancy as I've got a thing about busy roads. We looked at Larkhall, but we didn't really understand the area and its layout - do you know what I mean? We couldn't see what roads you would actually live on. Or are we being dim?
Realistically what primary/secondary schools do you get if you live in Bathwick, Poet's corner, Larkhall, etc?
I get a good feel about Bath and it's obviously beautiful - but what's it really like as a place to live? Is it friendly enough for newcomers? Any other inside info?

Or putting a cat amongst the pigeons - anyone have views on Bristol (Redland, Bishopston) v's Bath?

bathtime Thu 11-Jun-09 23:30:05


MrsFlittersnoop Thu 11-Jun-09 23:46:03

Hi Bathtime. We are planning to move to Bath this summer. I grew up there and know it quite well, but don't have much up to date info on primary schools.

How old are your children?

Poets Corner / Bear Flat (I'm prejudiced in it's favour because it's local to where it's near where I grew up!) has Moorlands Junior School nearby and is very close to Beechen Cliff secondary for boys and Hayesfield secondary for girls. It is very convenient for the railway station and city centre and has good local shops. Newbridge has Oldfield secondary for girls, Larkhall has St. Marks co-ed secondary. There is a Catholic co-ed secondary, St Gregory's near poets corner as well.

If it's bohemian you want then Larkhall might suit you, but the traffic at that end of the London Rd on the way to the M4 is horrendous.

Other areas to consider are Combe Down, at the top of the hill above Bear Flat/ poets corner. Fab views if you get the right property and a villagey atmosphere and some good primaries I hear. It is on the south side of the city which is much cheaper than say Bathwick.

Recent thread here asking similar questions which might help you.

bathtime Thu 11-Jun-09 23:54:02

Thanks MrsF
We have girls primary aged and a baby, but we'd be thinking ahead for secondary as we wouldn't want to move again. The other thing I meant to say is that we wouldn't want a church controlled schools (I can't remember if it's voluntary aided or voluntary controlled) as we're not really religious.
Good luck with your move - hope it's going well. We're not ready to move quite so soon - probably next year, but I'd really like to get a sense of where to aim for etc.
I'll also check out that other thread! Thanks again.

Thingiebob Fri 12-Jun-09 00:05:40

Hi there
I come from Bath although haven't lived there now for over 14 years but go back regularly to visit.
It is a beautiful place to live with amazing restaurants, shops and clubs.

It can be a bit snobby and has a higher cost of living than Bristol.

In terms of areas, there are some that are not very pleasant as there is in every city.

Lansdown area has some beautiful properties and is very upmarket and nice although you are on the outskirts of the city. Any of the surrounding villages up there are pretty as well but very rural so may not be your thing.

Newbridge has some nice bits but as you said you will always be near some traffic.

Combedown is very, very nice and is situated near a number of secondary schools in Bath. Larkhall is supposed to be pleasant but I don't honestly know that area. Anywhere near Claverton Down is also nice and around Combedown.

There are many beautiful properties along near the Victoria Park particularly along Weston Lane and near the golfcourse. This has the added bonus of being near the city centre and near the Royal Crescent.

Weston is a nice village area which has some pretty upmarket areas but also some not so pretty but is reasonable and has good transport links. In fact there are good transport links all over the city should you need to use public transport.

Areas which don't have the greatest reputation and are not populated by period properties are Twerton, Foxhill, Snow Hill, OddDown. These areas tend to have 'social problems' and are not as pleasant. Walcot is the 'artisan quarter' and therefore has a mixed socio-economic population and is the 'trendy' area.

Erm... as for schools - not sure but I know when I grew up in Bath, the secondary school choice was quite limited. There was only one non-denominational mixed comprehensive which was heavily over-suscribed and difficult to get into because of this, the rest were either single-sex, catholic or private which may not be a problem for you but I know was a major issue for the population.

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 12-Jun-09 00:07:16

No probs Bathtime! Apologies for the poor editing in that last post blush.

Re. Newbridge/Weston - thanks to the quaint tradition of single-sex schools in the city, there are NO boy's secondaries in the area. It is busy as well - lots of traffic going to Brizzle. Convenient for the hospital though. And if busy roads and pollution worry you I would think very carefully about Larkhall hmm.

The only church schools are St Mark's (which might rule out Larkhall for you) and St Gregory's RC in Odd Down.

Oldfield Girl's in Newbridge has an excellent reputation.

TBH, Bath is quite posh and the schools are mostly OK.

One area I adore (but it ain't cheap) is Lyncombe Vale. It's a lovely hidden valley behind Beechen Cliff and one of the city's best kept secrets smile. There is a good private prep school there (the Paragon school), and your nearest state primary would be Widcombe.

Good luck with your house-hunting!

Thingiebob Fri 12-Jun-09 00:10:03

I'd just like to add that if I could I would move back there like a shot. When I grew up there I had a very happy time despite it being a bit boring back then. Now, it has great entertainment, wonderful shops, cafes, bars etc to rival Bristol and is small enough to have quite a 'local' feel. It is also breathtakingly beautiful and is a wonderfully romantic place steeped in history.

That sounds a bit OTT but it's the truth!

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 12-Jun-09 00:20:33

I quite agree Thingiebob! I left 25 years ago and have lived in London for most of my adult life, but have always spent several weeks each year back in Bath with my family.

The schools are still a headache for parents, with limited choice and often very oversubscribed. Good point about areas to avoid BTW, there is a surprising amount of hidden poverty in Bath which isn't apparent unless you've lived there.

bathtime Fri 12-Jun-09 12:33:45

oh thanks for all of this. interesting stuff. i hadn't explored combedown or walcot - i'll look into those. Yes, I'm thinking Larkhall might not be quite right for us but I'll have another look. Also I didn't really explore Weston properly.
Silly question but, when people say Lansdown what area is that exactly? Is it just anywhere off the Lansdown road? But if it's very pricey it's probably not going to be for us!
I suppose we'll also want to be accessible to the station as dh will initially need to commute to London (!) and then hopefully get something a bit more local eg Bristol.

Thanks again, and keep any Bath info coming!!

BottySpottom Fri 12-Jun-09 13:44:14

Don't know Bath very well, but I have a friend in Camden. It's a bit more exciting than Fairfield Park/Oldfield Park, has a few shops and is slightly further down the hill than Lansdown.

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