Bath area guide
Not sure where to live in Bath? To help ease this difficulty we’ve compiled a comprehensive set of area guides to allow tenants to explore Bath and its surrounding areas from the comfort of their sofa. So if you’re considering moving to, within or near Bath, or just want to enrich your knowledge, we hope these local guides can provide succinct insights into the distinctive character of each area.
Bath is a compact city with a population of 84,000, rich in history and famed for its elegance and sublime architecture. For thousands of years its Baths, fed by a unique, ever-flowing, constantly hot spring, have attracted visitors from all over the globe. The local honeyed stone inspired its Georgian architects to create some of the most beautiful urban streets in England, enhanced by elegant squares and quintessentially English crescents, which have gained Bath it's World Heritage status.
The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987, and residents of the city centre are sure to never be bored. Initially established as a spa by the Romans around AD 60, Bath city centre is now filled with various theatres, museums and other cultural events and places to visit. Many of the original Roman baths were built in and around the surrounding hills of Bath and filled with water from the Bath hot springs.
Despite a cosmopolitan range of restaurants, bars and shops, it’s only a short walk for residents to one of the city’s several public parks; the most popular being Royal Victoria Park which has received a Green Flag award. Nestled at the bottom of the Avon Valley, close to the southern edge of the Cotswolds, Bath is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the perfect mix of urban and rural. The city centre has excellent transport links for residents who work outside of the area, and is situated less than 100 miles away from London.
Developed in the early 19th century to house the city’s working population, Larkhall is located in the north-east of the city. The village has a range of local shops, hair salons and a small theatre called The Rondo Theatre. There are over 90 different companies who annually visit the theatre, bringing with them a variety of theatrical, musical and comedic shows. The Rondo Theatre also has outreach programmes, including a youth theatre for younger residents in the area. Larkhall has St Savours CofE Infants and Junior schools, and located close by is St Marks Secondary School. St Marks has been producing the quarterly local newsletter, Larkhall News, since 2007.
Current residents comment on community atmosphere, especially prominent when they work together to hold the annual Larkhall Festival, putting on games, raffles, food and a huge selection of stalls. Sportier residents can watch the village’s non-league football club, Larkhall Athletic F.C; whose home games are at Plain Ham ground. The number 6 and 7 buses run an alternate service every 15 minutes throughout the day, both going to Bath city centre.
Batheaston is one of the smaller village areas around Bath, with a population of just under 3,000. Its location is two miles east of the city centre and this is thought to be where the name originated from. Overlooked by Solsbury Hill (which is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Batheaston is linked to Bathampton on the south bank of the River Avon.
Batheaston has a strong community feel, which is influenced by the work undertaken by the parish council who take responsibility for local issues. The council work tirelessly with local police and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security and traffic in order to create a safe family environment. There are around 21 kilometres of footpath throughout the village, loved by ramblers and walkers. Batheaston has good commuter links, including the 3 mile A46 dual-carriage way which joins the main A4.
Bathampton is a picturesque village and civil parish on the southern banks of the River Avon, with a population of 1,504. The village dates back to the Iron Age, but characteristics left by visitors over the years can be easily spotted. Enthusiastic walkers can enjoy pleasant journeys along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath, and then out into the surrounding countryside. Walking over the toll bridge will bring residents into Batheaston. Similar to its neighbouring village, Bathampton also has an influential parish council who works with other authority figures to maintain a friendly village environment.
Immediately south east of the city centre is the district of Widcombe, located just a few minutes walk across the footbridge from Bath Spa railway station. Widcombe has spectacular views and several streams and springs; which in the past have provided power for two mills and cold water spa facilities. Community spirit is encouraged by other residents from Widcombe, with social events often held. There are clubs and activities for residents to join; including the Garden Club and the Widcombe Choir.
Widcombe boasts excellent eating and shopping facilities throughout the village. Residents of the area comment on its ability to uniquely blend the city and countryside. Many artists and crafts people choose to make Widcombe their home. The annual Art Trail and Craft Fair are now high profile local events which attract many visitors. Other visitors to Widcombe have a keen interest in the grand churches and historic houses.
Bathwick is situated on the opposite bank of the River Avon to the historic city centre, and became part of the urban area of Bath during the 18th century development of the Pulteney estate. The area is also home to the Holburne Museum of Art, which is filled with fine and decorative arts. The museum also provides family events, creative workshops and lectures. Bathwick borders on the National Trust’s Bathwick meadows; part of the Bath Skyline walk, giving ramblers picturesque views over Bath city centre.
Bathwick also has the striking Church of St Mary the Virgin, built in the early 19th century. Interestingly this church was used by Muse to record the organ sections on Origin of Symmetry. The area is within easy walking distance to the array of shops and amenities which can be found in the city centre. A variety of recreational facilities are available for individuals and families. There are also good transport links for commuters, as Bath Spa station is less than a mile away.
Claverton Down is a woody suburb on the south east hilltop edge of Bath, and is linked by Bathwick Hill to the area of Bathwick. Despite being only 3 miles away from the centre following Widcombe Hill, Claverton Down has a more rural than urban feel. The area has fewer properties in comparison to other areas in Bath, and they tend to be detached, and overlook a large expanse of fields and trees. Claverton Down is home to the University of Bath, and hosts the popular Ralph Allen School and Monkton Preparatory School.
The village suburb of Combe Down lies approximately 1.5miles to the south of Bath city centre. ‘Combe’ is a West Country word meaning a steep-sided valley. Above the Combe Down village are redundant stone quarries, which were used to build the 18th and 19th century Bath stone built villas, terraces and workers’ cottages. The area is predominantly residential, enjoying more green spaces than other areas of Bath as it’s away from the city centre. The properties found here are mostly semi-detached or terraced houses, with many featuring garden spaces.
A selection of shops and local amenities can all be found on Bradford Road, with local pubs and a cricket club within walking distance. There are several societies for residents to get involved with including the Combe Down Art Group, and a branch of the Women’s Institute. This area is particularly popular with students who attend the University of Bath, as it’s a 30 minute walk or 10 minutes by bicycle. There are buses running every 30 minutes daily direct from the village to the city centre. There is also the Bath Circular bus which operates along the main road and into the city centre; catering for students travelling to the University.
South of the city are the residents of the peaceful Odd Down community. The streets of semi-detached properties, with most featuring spacious gardens, are lined with trees which help create Odd Down’s pleasant neighbourhood atmosphere. Residents have access to local amenities, like Sainsburys, the Co-Op, a local butcher and bakery. Odd Down is set upon a hill, giving residents idyllic views across Bath, with plenty of green spaces and safe play parks for children, set away from busy main roads. St Philip’s Primary School is in a central location for school children as is Bath Community Academy for pupils of secondary school and sixth form ages.
In the south west of Bath is Southdown, a lively community, where many families and students choose to live. Southdown has stunning views for residents as it looks down over the city of Bath. The area has several stretches of green spaces dotted between a wide range of shops. Mount Road parade has the biggest variety of shops and amenities for residents to use.
On the outskirts of Bath lies the family friendly area of Twerton. The grassy and hilly area is to the west of the city centre but in close proximity to the city for commuters. Twerton is the home of Bath City Football Club and every Thursday an open air market is held in the club’s car park. Dotted around the area are pretty pockets of cul-de-sacs and rows of terraced houses, overlooking Bath’s charming scenery. Residents have easy access to amenities; Morrisons Local, Co-Operative and a Boots Pharmacy.
Oldfield Park grew as a result of the railway developments in the early 1900s, when the land value was lower than that of existing urban areas. Builders bought small plots of land from farmers and built rows of identical houses. Now, a diverse community of young professionals, families and older people can be found in Oldfield Park.
At the heart of the area is Moorland Road, with all the amenities needed by residents; public houses, banks, supermarkets, butchers and fruit and vegetable shops. There are community centres in the area which hold weekly activities for residents to get involved. The area also boasts a number of large green spaces for summer days. Oldfield Park railway station creates fantastic commuter links to Bristol, Cardiff and a wide range of destinations in other directions.
Corston is a small village less than 5 miles west of the city centre. With a population of fewer than 500 residents, Corston is certainly Bath’s smallest community. The area has a very rural atmosphere, with many farmhouse style properties, Corston is close the River Avon and Bath Spa University and has easy commuting links to the A4. There are important local amenities close by, like local shops, a post office, and Corston has a thriving village hall.
Located in the north west of the city, is the suburb of Weston, nestled into the hilly landscape. Initially a separate village, Weston’s inclusion into Bath came primarily through much local authority housing being built there after World War II. Weston’s ability to retain its village charm despite being so close to the city centre of Bath is one characteristic which makes it an ideal area in which to live.
This cheerful area has a number of facilities close at hand for its 5,000 residents; including supermarkets, restaurants, a coffee shop and public houses. Alongside this, more active residents can make full use of the two recreation grounds, and the archery field in Weston Park, which also boasts a full size football pitch. Parents can find a range of reputable childcare services, as well as two good primary schools. After school, children will never be bored as The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy meets at the Methodist Church. Young residents can also get involved with martial arts, and the Boys Brigade. Weston has fantastic transport connections to Bath city centre, with three regular bus services.