Renowned for its honey-coloured stone and curative hot springs, the beautiful City of Bath graces rolling countryside in the county of Somerset. Once named Aquae Sulis, the Romans came and built baths and a temple over the area’s natural hot springs and these buildings, unique in their preservation, still draw visitors today. During the Georgian period Bath became popular as a spa town and many of the city’s most iconic neoclassical Palladian buildings remain from this period and have earned the city “World Heritage” status.
It’s famous too for its links with Jane Austen – but Bath is much more than a living stage set. It’s home to many galleries, theatres and museums and has a lively art scene and a successful film and fringe festival. As for sport, there’s the rugby club, a racecourse and football at Bath City. The streets brim with brands and boutiques and the rolling Somerset countryside is right on your doorstep.
From Bath Spa station trains take 10-20 minutes to Bristol, leaving every 15 minutes; 90 minutes to London, and 26 minutes to Swindon, leaving every half-hour. The M4 is only eight miles away, Bristol Airport 20 miles away and it’s a 90 minute drive to Heathrow.
Bath has a wealth of primary schools both in the centre; Bathwick St Marys being one of the most popular, and on the outskirts; Swainswick being worthy of mention. For secondary education Norton Hill Academy, Beechen Cliff and Hayesfield hold the top position.
King Edward’s is the best independent day school in Bath. Offering both primary and secondary education, classes are mixed. Kingswood School is a good co-ed and offers education for children aged 11-18 years with day, weekly or full boarding options. Bath’s Royal High School is also up in the top three, a girls only establishment for children aged 3-19 years on a day, weekly or full boarding basis.
Bath has three main hospitals; the NHS-led Bath Royal United and St Martin’s Hospitals and the private Circle Bath Hospital on the edge of town.
The University of Bath’s magnificent £30m Sports Training Village is open to the public and offers a huge range of world class sporting activities for over 50 sports.
The City’s Sports and Leisure Centre also has a variety of fitness and leisure facilities; a 120-station gym, 25m pool, leisure pool and sports halls with swimming, Pilates, Zumba and circuit classes.
Bath Race Course hosts a round of festivals and events up on its Lansdown site, while if you’re a rugby enthusiast, Bath has a professional, rugby union club that play in the English premiership. Footballers may also wish to support Bath’s semi-professional association football club The “Romans”.
For those who love retail therapy, Bath is a great shopping destination. Set against its majestic Georgian architecture the streets team with upmarket high street brands while its quirky, picturesque alleyways host plenty of independent shops that you won’t find anywhere else.
It’s only a 20 minute stroll from one end of the city to the other so nothing is too far apart. Walcot is the hippy, artisan quarter and head to Green Park Station to find vintage furniture, clothing and art. Here too there’s a Farmer’s Market, the first in the UK, which every Saturday sells local produce from the surrounding area.
A stroll down Milsom Street will bring you to Southgate Centre with its array of over 50 shops, many favourite brands, and lively cafés, bars and restaurants. Whatever you are looking for you’re bound to find it here.
If you head to Bath during the festive season, you’ll discover Bath’s award-winning Christmas Market with 200 twinkling chalets selling tantalising festive gifts.
Bath is foodie heaven with plenty of top restaurants, cool cafés, stylish bars and gastro pubs. Whether your choice is to dine at one of the city’s Michelin star establishments, try out one of the city’s many independent restaurants or hunker down by a roaring fire in one of the local gastro pubs, Bath has plenty to boast about.
Quintessentially English, afternoon tea is popular in Bath with many establishments offering variations on the theme. The locals take their food seriously here, they launched the first ever Farmer‘s Market (which still runs every Saturday) and there is even a “Great Bath Feast” food festival every October.
If you want to get to know the Roman, Regency and Georgian foundations of Bath better, then there are a raft of museums, monuments, exhibitions and of course, The Roman Baths to discover. The many museums also offer visitors: a journey through fashion, a peep into life in Georgian times and a view of Jane’s Austin’s Bath, as well as the only museum of Americana outside the United States.
Taste the spring water and admire Beau Nash’s Bath at the Pump Room, walk along the majestic Circus, take a tour of Bath Abbey (you must include the clock tower), bathe at Bath’s unique Thermae Spa and a take a canal boat along the River Avon. Outside the city there’s plenty to keep you busy – racing thrills at Castle Combe, iconic Stonehenge and Longleat safari park to name but a few.
Bath’s Theatre Royal gets many West End productions, plus musical events and comedy gigs and is worth a visit just for its attractive interior.
The Little Theatre, dating from 1935, shows arthouse and mainstream films and has a café/bar. The Ustinov Theatre (named after Peter), has a diverse performance programme while Komedia Bath is an atmospheric club venue staging live comedy and music gigs, with a cinema, café/diner and gallery.
For cinema goers there’s an Odeon for films in 2-D or 3-D format.
Bath’s year round programme of festivals and annual events attract visitors and famous names from all over the world. There’s a Film Festival, Literary Festival, Jane Austen Festival, Mozartfest, The Great Bath Feast and the magical Bath Christmas Market, plus many other smaller events besides.
“Bath’s grandiose neoclassical Palladian crescents, terraces and squares, spread out over the surrounding hills and set in its green valley, are a demonstration par excellence, of the integration of architecture, urban design and landscape setting”. This was the verdict that gave Bath its “World Heritage” status in 1987 and paints a vivid picture of Bath’s style in terms of setting and architecture.
In the centre of town you’ll find apartments in Georgian town houses, elegant period town houses or column fronted homes in some of Bath’s most celebrated locations such as The Royal Crescent. Somerset Place is a pretty Georgian crescent with nine recently developed town houses and 20 apartments.
In contrast, Bath Riverside is a relatively new development and offers apartments and penthouse apartments on the south bank of the River Avon, only a few minutes’ walk from the centre.
Bath, because of its situation amongst rolling hills, is limited to vast new suburban property developments. Be warned too that because of its UNESCO status, property renovations are strictly controlled (“For Sale” signs are even banned in the centre). Consider looking outside Bath to some of the very attractive neighbouring villages, Combe Hay, Wellow and Priston to name a few.
Craig Fuller is the buying agent covering all of Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, Bath and South Oxfordshire. Craig has an great knowledge of the whole area – with an intimate knowledge for the areas around the South Cotswolds and North Wiltshire.
Craig can help you find your perfect property by using his relationships to your advantage. Estate Agents will inform him of property they have valued or that is being marketed quietly and allow him an early viewing or details, immediately giving you a head start and putting you ahead of the competition.
Time is money. Craig can save you considerable time during the search process only showing you a selection of properties that match your requirements. From Craig’s evaluation of the property he can give you his professional opinion on its true value in the current market and submit a serious offer accordingly.
A price agreed does not necessarily mean a property secured. Craig is there to steer the purchase as smoothly as possible through to Exchange and Completion by liaising closely and maintaining a constant dialogue with the solicitors and estate agents to overcome any problems along the way.
Why they came to Stacks: Our clients were an overseas family. They had children studying in the UK and had a two-week break to find a property. At Stacks, we could help them with uncovering properties and setting up viewings ready for when they arrived. What they were looking for: The clients needed a flat […]
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