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Can anyone please tell me about Bath?

(19 Posts)
sunlounging Mon 23-Jun-14 16:38:57

I'm 44 and a single mum to a son who starts school next year and am lining up a move from Brighton to Bath next spring. It's basically my 'new fresh start' after my divorce. I grew up in the west country and have always wanted to move back, but the little voice in my head is making me a bit nervous. To cut to the chase, I think Bath will be lovely, and a great place for my son to grow up, plus all the advantages of good schools, and easy to get to the coast etc, but, and here's the but, I'm secretly worried it might be a bit conservative with a small c which isn't really my thing at all. I'm not religious and all the schools seem to be churchy, which I actually really don't like, plus I'm on my own and want to meet fortysomething women like me! I'll need to make friends! Can anyone give me a bit of a lowdown on Bath? Please allay my secret fears and tell me its not all rugger types voting tory! I don't have a massive budget for a house, can just about scrape a 2 bed cottage there, and I get the (false?) impression it can be a bit snooty. Sorry in advance for the hideous stereotyping, don't want to offend anyone, it's just so hard getting a feel for it if you don't live there or know it. Thank you.

me! I'm not remotely wild or alternative but I do want to meet people I like

OP’s posts: |
Sunnyshores Mon 23-Jun-14 19:06:25

I've never actually lived in Bath, but its my nearest/best city and I go in regularly. It is beautiful, has high end shops and some outrageously priced properties, hence it does seem to attract alot of wealthy people.

But I've never felt a snooty atmosphere as such. There are alot of affordable areas in the surrounds, and students, so perhaps this 'refined air', is just an illusion from the grandeur of the buildings and the fact the city is small and well kept.

Are you thinking of living right in the city? Are there local playgrounds etc where you'd meet people. Will you be working?

Perhaps Bristol would suit you better? (Personally I prefer Bath although on paper Bristol's more alternative scene would suit me better)

Huge decision, but you have plenty of time. Can you arrange to spend time in the area?

BreezefromtheWest Mon 23-Jun-14 19:18:49

Do you have family and/or friends in or around Bath or will you be totally on your own? If you don't know too many people, then you might find Bath very family orientated, lonely and expensive.

littlesupersparks Mon 23-Jun-14 19:32:48

We live about half an hour away. I definitely wouldn't say it's conservative - families generally have quite a laid back hippy-ish vibe actually.

However I wouldn't move back there now. It's uber expensive and the tourists and traffic drive me potty! Some of the outlying villages are nice though xx

hesterton Mon 23-Jun-14 19:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spindelina Mon 23-Jun-14 20:03:08

Bath is great. I'd say most areas were more naice middle class with a lot of Guardian reading and Radio 4 listening. Or maybe that's just me.

But it's expensive - what do you think your budget for housing will be, if you don't mind the question? That will dictate which bits you will be able to afford to live in, which all have different characters (conservative-liberal etc). Or which outlying smaller town/village. Fortunately (for you!) the most expensive bits are also the most Conservative and probably conservative (Lansdown, particularly).

Will you be looking for work? Where? Might you need access to the station, for example? How do you feel about cycling up hills?

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Jun-14 20:20:31

I live in Bath and I really like it. It is a great city with a lot of character. We live very near the Kennet and Avon canal, so great for walking and cycling. The dcs are at a lovely primary and they love the area. The secondary schools are very good too. Most of the people I meet are really nice. I have friends who live on boats and friends who live in massive Georgian houses. Most of us are somewhere in between. You do get one or two snooty types, but I ignore them and you'd get them anywhere, not just Bath. In fact, a lot of the families who have recently moved to the dc's school, have moved down from London, as they say they can get more house for their money. That might be another reason why house prices are more expensive here!

Spero Mon 23-Jun-14 20:24:42

I am in Bradford on Avon and I like it - really easy to get to Bath, 15 mins on train and you might find your money goes a bit further here. I don't know Bath enough to comment if it is snooty and conservative but I don't think so - there are loads of artists in and around Bath so definitely a more 'alternative' feeling than other places I could think of. You also have Bristol pretty close and again very easy by train.

The only downside for me is the car traffic - its dreadful.

sunlounging Mon 23-Jun-14 22:05:25

Gosh, thank you very much everyone, how helpful, you're all making Bath sound so great I just want to get there! Budget is £300k max for those of you who asked, I could do with it being a bit less if possible, which doesn't seem to get you much in Bath itself, especially if you need a catchment area for a popular school. Weston/Newbridge seems affordable, as does Combe Down (not sure how good the primary school is there though?) and I know people love Larkhall but it perhaps seems a bit boho for me. Hopefully won't need the station as will be working in Bath but not sure which side yet. Dunno really, just want somewhere nice, safe, not too hilly if poss, with a smattering of Guardian/Radio 4 liking neighbours (don't shoot me), and of course, a good primary school. Would consider a village outside - Bathford? - or the other way, towards Marksbridge or Farmborough but too rural maybe. Any village suggestions welcome - don't know out of Bath too well. Thank you everyone!

OP’s posts: |
ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Jun-14 22:16:07

Have you thought about Batheaston, Bathford, Bathampton. I am in one of these villages on the East side of Bath. Don't want to out myself though! I can walk into Bath in 20 mins on the canal path and cycle in 10. We are in a beautiful place with everything you need, great doctors, school, shop, park and in 5 mins I'm in the middle of the countryside and that's on foot. I really don't want to move from here, ever. The community is fantastic, many diverse people, and definitely Guardian readers and radio 4 listeners too wink

Spindelina Tue 24-Jun-14 08:29:59

Schools-wise, there aren't really any bad ones. In the areas you mention, Combe Down primary, St Saviour's infants/junior (Larkhall) and Weston All Saints primary are all good schools (I know kids at all of them), though none of them are in the crazy sharp elbows required category (which should be to your advantage, as you'll be an in-year applicant).

Weston has a bit more of a surburban feel to it than Larkhall, and they've both got decent local shops. The buses from Weston are very good because of the hospital (though not exactly cheap), but Larkhall is nearly level to the city centre.

To be honest, I don't think you'll go far wrong.

firesidechat Tue 24-Jun-14 08:58:01

We moved to Bath about 7 years ago and we love it (radio 4 listener here). We are close to Combe Down and right on the edge of the city, which I think is the best of both worlds. It's a bit quieter, lovely countryside on our doorstep, but very easy access into the centre.

I don't know anything about the schools because ours are all grown up.

Personally I wouldn't want to negotiate the London Road in order to get into the city centre and I would avoid some areas on that basis alone. The London Road can become a bit of a logjam, although I don't think the traffic in Bath is anything like as bad as Bristol traffic.

Also where we live is the very opposite of snotty. There are all sorts of estates and areas in Bath which you won't see if you just come as a tourist. Some are fairly rough, some ok, some lovely. It's like any other city in that respect.

One thing to think about is that it is a very popular place to visit. The city centre in the summer and at weekends is heaving with tour parties and we tend to avoid it at certain times. If you're trying to get from A to B in a hurry, you run a serious risk of hitting daydreaming, jaywalking visitors. grin

I am so happy that we live here and don't regret the move at all.

sunlounging Tue 24-Jun-14 20:41:06

Thanks everyone, that's all very helpful to know. Am gradually piecing together my knowledge and can't ignore the bad traffic as everyone mentions it! I have a few questions if anyone's around: spindelina that's good news about schools, I'm a bit concerned about the in-year thing as you hear mixed reports about Bath primaries and how over-subscribed they are. I was interested in Newbridge primary which looks pretty good, lovely playing field etc, does anyone have any experience of it? firesidechat could I ask which are the areas to avoid as I just don't have a clue at the mo? And ihategeorge, yes I have thought about batheaston and bathford, both the junior schools look lovely and in peaceful settings, just not sure how easy it will be to meet people. Can I ask what batheaston is like? I drove through recently and it seemed a bit disjointed, pretty houses but a fairly grottyish pub - not sure if that's a fair description though! Thanks again all.

OP’s posts: |
shebird Tue 24-Jun-14 21:14:25

Hi OP I am familiar with both Brighton and Bath both have their good and bad points and some similar issues. Property prices are sky high in both cities and both suffer from an influx of visitors making busy at weekends and in the holidays. If I had to choose it would be Bath, it is more civilised than Brighton IMO and there is a lovely atmosphere and pace of life there. Yes it might appear a bit snooty but once you get to know Bath you realise that there is actually a great mix of people in the city. Remember it is also a university city so lots of students give it a vibrant edge. Good luck with your move.

lightningstrikes Tue 24-Jun-14 21:16:49

I lived in Bath and have moved to a village outside now. It is a really really lovely place to live and not snobby at all generally. Parking is a nightmare and traffic can be horrendous. Now that we are out of Bath I love going in to shop / visit friends, but wouldn't move back in. You should have a look / start a thread on - I think there used to be a single mums meet up thread on there.

juliet76 Fri 22-Aug-14 22:15:25

Hi Sunlounging, I would love to know whether you went ahead with the move and if so, where you ended up! We are planning on moving from Madrid within the next couple of months and am also wondering which part to base us in - depending on schools of course (DS is 5). Would be great to hear where you ended up and what you think! PM me if you like.

Angelmum007 Thu 24-Sep-20 14:14:59

Do not move to bath, yes looks beautiful etc but it’s the people who ruin it for you, won’t matter which part you move to and people from all walks of life seem to be horrible in this city.
I lived there 9 years and it was a terrible experience.
It attracts all the wrong sorts too.
The authority’s in that area are totally useless and won’t help you even if your in serious need.
I was terrorised out of my own home by neighbors asulted abused and the police wouldn’t even help or let me press charges they are useless I ran away with my kids in the end myself from no help just to get out of there.
The schools and nurses are awful always trying to find reasons for bad peranting when the problem resides on there premises from your children being bullied and not properly taken care of and no matter how many meetings and plans are made to address this nothing changes my kids suffered depression from bullying.
They will ask your children things and call socail services on you for the most ridiculous things like your teaching your kid to cook so you don’t have to make dinners and if your child walks out the door 1 day with a coat in summer your neglecting them and so on blaming you for your child being unhappy rather then address the severe bulling taken place at school.
The amount of times I’ve picked up my kids from nurses and they had faeces all up there back and down there lags because they’d been neglected for hours in this state.
I had this happen with both my children on many occasions and my kids are now 4 and 11 so you can see years nothing changes.
The mothers around bath are the most unfriendly I’ve even met and are a clicky as hell. They will only make friends with you for a short while so they can later talk about you then bullying you them selfs in groups. So no I don’t recommend bath as a nice place to live in the slightest.
Plus it’s over run with drug addicts which are placed everywhere by the council so yes you and your children with be seeing them anywhere and that’s without them moving in next door to you.

JoannaP1 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:28:27


Hi there, I'm a single mum with 2 kids (boy 11, girl 13) and contemplating the move you were considering about 6 years ago.. all your worries are the same as mine! Having just put an offer on a property in Newbridge, it's now getting real and I'm having a crisis of confidence. I wondered how it worked out for you?? Thanks

cheesecake864 Thu 29-Oct-20 21:30:57

Have you considered moving to Bristol -much more going on and lots of great areas and easy to travel to bath by car or train ?

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