Senior Director, National Country House Department
Stunning Georgian architecture, excellent schools and beautiful countryside – it’s no wonder that Bath is one of the most popular small cities in the UK
Nestled in the rolling Somerset countryside, at the tip of the Cotswolds, Bath appeals to a huge range of buyers, from families wanting to move out of London to older couples looking for a peaceful, yet vibrant small city to retire in.
There's also a strong interest from British expats and overseas buyers who are currently taking advantage of the weak pound. We look at what makes Bath so popular.
Why everyone wants to live in Bath
Small and beautiful
Bath's number one attraction is its size and beauty. Unlike other cities, Bath is well developed and unlikely to experience significant change - if you buy one of the many properties with stunning city and countryside views, you have some reassurance that it should stay that way.
Bath is well known for its outstanding Georgian architecture, particularly its famous townhouse crescents. With their light, clean, simple design, Georgian homes suit modern, minimalist décor and more traditional period furnishings.
For its size, Bath is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with plenty of independent shops, restaurants and cultural attractions. Start your day with brunch in an Artisan bakery, take a dip in Bath’s natural thermal waters at the spa and finish with a show at the Theatre Royal.
Excellent transport links
Located on the main line between London, Bristol and Cardiff, Bath is within commuting distance to all three. Increasing flexibility in working patterns means that Bath is a viable option for people who work in London but would like to move out of the big city. There are also great road links, with the M4 motorway just 10 miles to the north.
Superb choice of schools
Bath has an outstanding selection of schools including some of the best independent schools in this part of the country.
King Edward’s School was recently rated as one of the top five independent schools in the south west by the Sunday Times. Other top-performing schools include Royal High School and Kingswood School. There’s also an excellent choice of primary and prep schools.
Further up the educational tree, Bath University has worked its way up the league tables in recent years to become one of the top-performing and most popular universities in the country.
Stunning countryside and views
If you love getting out into the countryside at weekends, Bath is ideally situated. Lying at the southern tip of the Cotswolds, there’s also easy access to the Mendips and the North Wessex Downs. Bath is not the flattest city, but the hills do give many properties stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
The property market in Bath
Bath has become something of a micro-market, with the local housing market seemingly resilient to the downturn that has spread across other parts of the country.
Part of this is undoubtedly due to its popularity with a wide range of buyers from across the UK and overseas. As we know a lot of buyers looking to move into the area, it’s often possible to sell houses off-market, even above guide price.
However, it can be a fickle market and even within this small city, the saleability of a property can vary considerably depending on location and price point. It’s definitely worth having an agent who knows the ins and outs of the market.
Where to buy in Bath
The two most popular parts of Bath are Lansdown, in the north of the city, and Bathwick and Widcombe on the south side.
Lansdown has some of the grandest architecture in Bath, including its famous crescents (the Royal Crescent and Lansdown Crescent are two of the best) and the Circus. Two of Bath’s best schools, the Royal High School and Kingswood School, are on this side of the city.
On the other side of the River Avon, Bathwick and Widcombe contain a mix of Georgian terraced houses and detached villas with King Edward’s School, Prior Park College and Monkton Combe School among the nearby schools.
Is Bath the city for you?
This stunning Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse is adjacent to Bath’s famous Lansdown Crescent. Its elevated position gives stunning south-facing views across the city and countryside beyond