Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To move to Bath?

148 replies

AppletonP · 13/04/2021 20:31

We've rather fallen in love with Bath but we haven't spent massive amounts of time there. Anyone care to share the downsides of Bath? The private schools don't seem to feature in the league tables. Is that because the state schools are very good?

OP posts:

Overit20 · 13/04/2021 20:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

4amWitchingHour · 13/04/2021 20:37

Downsides of Bath: tourists. Seriously, they take over.

No idea about the schools though.


Spanglebangle · 13/04/2021 20:38

As with all places it depends where you look. Places like Twerton and Oldfield Park can be dodgy. But there are many lovely areas.

My nephew went to the Paragon and Prior Park and was very happy at both.


Spanglebangle · 13/04/2021 20:40

Yes it does get very tourist heavy during summer and at Christmas. We don't go into town during these times as it is just too stressful.


TheHateIsNotGood · 13/04/2021 20:48

I believe it's very expensive but if you're selling up from London/SE you'll afford it easy enough. There are some estates around for the low-paid, but they're more than full, even Bristol is struggling before the Bathers are completely edged out to there.

I'm sure you'll be fine though just like the pp who moved there just 2 months ago. Never mind the local schooling, in a few years cleaners, carers and gardeners will be in such short supply they should command premium wages and you won't have wasted any money on tutoring or university.

I don't leave near Bath.


AtLeastThreeDrinks · 13/04/2021 21:22

Isn’t the pollution really high because of how the city’s situated? Heard that from a friend so not sure of the accuracy!


muddledmidget · 13/04/2021 21:33

I lived in Bath for 4 years while I was a student and I loved every second I was there, but I think the students and the tourists kind of overrun the place! In some areas more than 2/3 of houses are student houses, parking is a nightmare as its either parking permit (one per house) or a free for all, including students who don't live on your road but can't keep their car anywhere near their own house. It's a nightmare to drive in and out of Bath, it's close to the m4 but it takes ages, and the centre of Bath always feels polluted, especially around London Road.


Shufflebumnessie · 13/04/2021 21:39

I lived in Bath for a few years and loved every minute! I spent a year in Twerton (wouldn't recommend it!) and a couple of years a short walk (up a very steep hill) from the town centre.
It becomes very busy in the summer as the tourists descend but the overall feel of the city is great! I can't comment on schools.
There are several other lovely locations not far outside Bath too.


GruntBaby · 13/04/2021 21:51

No grammar system. The secondary schools (state) are very different in character but you generally hear good things about Ralph Allen and Hayesfield, St Gregory's (Catholic) too. Beechen Cliff has been in the news with some serious issues you would definitely want to research.

For primaries then Bathwick, Widcombe and WASPS are generally considered very good (but then their intake demographic makes that likely). Also heard good things about St Stephens, and I hear St Andrews, which has a very different demographic, is up and coming.

Private - KES Prep is excellent as is KES senior (academic). Royal High School also an excellent academic reputation.
There's also other private schools, all with their own character, such as Prior Park (Catholic), Monkton (Anglican), Kingswood (sporty).

Pollution - fairly high around the main roads through the city, and it's in a bowl with hills around so can trap. May improve with recently introduced clean air zone (which, beware, may one day include private vehicles as well as commercial which will make driving within the city expensive).

Traffic - Can be a nightmare, such as 45 mins+ to cross at rush hour. Has improved to some extent in recent years. Obviously quieter than normal at moment.

Parking - Dreadful. Very small zones, requiring permits, and even then you're fighting to get a space and may find yourself parked several streets away.

Areas -
Widcome and Bathwick are nice (and expensive), and very close to the train station so popular with ex-Londoners.
Bear Flat (Edwardian/Victorian) is popular with middle class professional parents, also fairly expensive.
Georgian parts of Lansdown and centre of city are very expensive, and either small flats more suited to young professionals, or £2-5m townhouses.
Camden is nice (Victorian terraces mainly) but quite a walk from the city/train station.
Larkhall (Georgian + Edwardian and 1940s) also quite far out but nice houses and villagey feel. Again quite expensive.
Weston is close to the hospital, far from the train station but often more spacious.

Cheaper areas - Twerton (can be a bit dodgy, but only in Bath terms), Oldfield Park used to be very studenty but many students are moving to purpose built accommodation so I think it will go up in price and atmosphere. Fairfield Park.Odd Down. All these are quite a trek from the city centre.

Public transport is pretty poor. There's a train line that runs from Bath Spa to the small Oldfield Park station on the southwestern edges. Otherwise it's buses and except for the centre-hospital route and university route, they're infrequent and unreliable IME.
Good links to Bristol, Bristol airport, London etc.

As it's a hilly city (aside from very centre) e-bikes are very popular!

To live in it feels like a lovely, safe city, though a little insular and old fashioned at times. Very popular with ex-Londoners escaping for a more relaxed pace of life (around 90% of my DC's classes are 'incomers' either from London or other university cities, though will depend on school). It's very liberal, well-educated, open-minded. Unfortunately it's not particularly multicultural (it's overwhelmingly white) but the university does bring some diversity.

Despite the lovely Theatre Royal, there's less culture than London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, so for most shows/opera/ballet/comedy/rock, you need to travel. Trains back from Bristol stop surprisingly early and can be a rush to make it back from a show.


GruntBaby · 13/04/2021 22:00

Forgot the tourists. There are a LOT of tourists, and I've lived in some very touristy cities previously.

The annual xmas market is also worth a mention for the 3-4 weeks of annual hell inflicted on the locals. Even worse traffic than usual, no parking, no space in restaurants, physically forcing your way through pavements rammed solid. Locals avoid the city centre for a month and when forced to go in, walk along the river bank or back streets.


floofycroissant · 13/04/2021 22:08

It's a very pretty city, definitely a place to move to if you like walking. The weather is amazing.


  • parking and driving, depends on the area but a lot of streets are super steep and narrow. On street parking is common and you need to be prepared for your car to get dinged and scratched.

  • Tourists, be prepared to book ahead all year. It also means that a lot of the parks are abused, so every night covered in trash and rubbish - the council do prioritise this. I avoid town totally when the Christmas market is on its just miserable.

  • homeless/drug addicts. The council focuses on the money eg tourists, and sadly others in need don't get a lot of help. I've seen more drunks and drug usage in 1 year in Bath than my 7 years in London

  • other than the super pretty stereotypical Bath streets a lot of the more "affordable" houses are in suburbs (Odd Down, Twerton, Weston) which are pretty bland and could be anywhere. Suburbs also have terrible public transport.

  • if you're not in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse then you'll likely be paying upwards of £350k for a small prefab on a 60s estate

Neighneigh · 13/04/2021 22:19

I grew up in Bath - try Weston village (the old bit not the new bit), Lansdown etc because you get more space and lovely houses, walking distance into town and benefits of being nearby but not the faff of tourists and parking.

School wise, there certainly used to be a very good choice of private like pp have said. Being a purist I'd say the Royal High isn't as good as Bath High used to be but that's just me


sprinkleyumnut · 13/04/2021 22:29

It's incredibly expensive. I don't live far from Bath it's about an hour drive/train ride. It's my favourite city but it's incredibly posh and expensive to live there.


Tidypidy · 13/04/2021 22:35

Frome is often called Little Bath as it feels very similar in terms of shops, atmosphere and hills.


isurvived3under2 · 13/04/2021 22:36

I only lived there for 2 years a while ago. I remember the tourist situation being hellish, and making everything silly expensive. I ended up moving as I could never have afforded to buy there.


Diverseopinions · 13/04/2021 23:13

Keynsham is nice, about 6 miles west of Bath and on the A4 going towards Bristol. It is a little town nestling under the eyes of Kelston Round Top and on the river, and with its own train station - 55 trains per weekday to Paddington ( although quicker up there from Bristol Temple Meads). State schools are good, and private schools in Bath and Bristol are numerous ( Clifton College, etc).

Saltford, outside Keynsham, is nice too, with a marina, weir, historic houses, and easy access to Bath.

I bet a lot of people don't live in Bath, but at Newton St Loe, and other villages on the outskirts, of which there are many. Maybe nicer to get public transport into the centre, as you'd probably go into Bath for a mooch around and for pleasure, and not to do a big shop; that is unless you work in Bath.


AppletonP · 13/04/2021 23:32

@Diverseopinions Any other village choices with good public transport into Bath that you'd recommend especially those that would make it easy to get to to KES.

OP posts:

MoMuntervary · 14/04/2021 00:00

Bradford upon Avon is a delightful small town with much of the character of Bath and is a very quick train ride to Bath itself. Avoncliffe and Freshford are both also lovely villages and in between the two. Bathampton and Bathford are also nice but not on the train line. Can't comment on distance to KES as I've no idea where it is!


Cheesypea · 14/04/2021 00:00

It's a beautiful part of the world however I was suprised at the level of homelessness there- and I'm a londoner! Also there's loads of mumsnet threads saying there's loads of ghosts in town!! I never had any spooky feelings so I cant be in tune with the paranormal. Wells is even more gorgeous imo, the hills there are breathtaking.


felineflutter · 14/04/2021 00:10

Anyone mentioned the radon yet? Grin


AliTheMinx · 14/04/2021 00:14

I looooove Bath. I went to Uni in Bath and then lived right in the centre for 10 years. Fabulous shops, restaurants and bars. My husband and I moved to Corsham as we could get more house for our money here (Bath is super expensive) and it's closer to his office, but I secretly long to move back to Bath (even though Corsham is lovely). Our son goes to KES. He has been there since Reception. The Pre-Prep is in Weston near the hospital, so a bit of a trek across Bath, but now he's in the Junior School, which is the Corsham side of Bath - as is KES Senior School. This works well for me, as I work at the University, which is close by. I love KES. It's a fantastic school, and gets good results. However, there are some excellent state schools and other private schools in Bath, so you'll be spoilt for choice!


AppletonP · 14/04/2021 10:06

Thank you @MoMuntervary It gives me a starting point for searching out different areas.

OP posts:

AppletonP · 14/04/2021 10:46

@AliTheMinx How long does the school run take from Corsham? It's great to hear you love the school.

OP posts:

Madcats · 14/04/2021 11:39

I've lived in Bath for 30 years and have a daughter at KES. I would say that at least 30% of families relocated from London or abroad. It is a fabulous school if you are good at one or more of academics/sport/drama/music (preferably a mix of all). There doesn't seem to be a vast amount of homework, but kids are expected to apply themselves.

There is a fairly complicated system of buses and minibuses to get some of the children to/from school. Ordinarily, plenty of families would lift share too. Details on this page:

I reckon the catchment area expands at senior level, but about 50% of children live within a mile or two of school, with further clusters in Bathampton, Bathford, Corsham, Bradford on Avon and Frome.

Pre-covid extra-curricular used to happen before school (ensembles and some sport) from 8am and after school until 5pm - 6:30pm. The there are normally fixtures on about 2/3rds of the Saturdays for the seniors. It is rather constrained at the moment, due to all the rules and regs.

We still have plenty of friends with children at Ralph Allen, Beechen, Hayesfield and Royal High and Monkton (fewer at the other schools) and I think they are all happy with the choices.

If you can manage it I recommend a few days in an Airbnb in various bits of town/country to get a feel of the place.

I'll try to watch this thread but feel free to ask away.


AliTheMinx · 14/04/2021 11:39

[quote AppletonP]@AliTheMinx How long does the school run take from Corsham? It's great to hear you love the school. [/quote]
@AppletonP It's about 20/25 minutes on a good day, but you have to time it right. We leave at 07:35/07:40 and get there at 08:00. If you leave any later, the traffic is much heavier. We drive over the Bathampton toll bridge and have a monthly pass (£20). It's a very pretty drive. My son goes to after school club (which is great, and runs until 18:00). I pick him up about 17:00.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?