Lux­u­ri­ate in hot Bath

Mod­ern lat­eral flats be­hind a clas­si­cal Ge­or­gian façade tempt Lon­don­ers to this her­itage city. By Cathy Hawker ‘Per­fect blend of coun­try and city’

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Second Homes -

ROYAL CRES­CENT in Bath, the fa­mous sweep of honey-coloured stone ter­race houses, is 250 years old this year, while the Ge­or­gian city it­self marks 30 years as a Unesco World Her­itage Site. Bath’s rep­u­ta­tion for beauty and his­tory makes it a huge draw for ex­it­ing Lon­don­ers and com­muters.

It has long at­tracted Lon­don­ers to Som­er­set in search of a slower pace of life, says Giles Har­ling, 38, who works in sales and left the cap­i­tal two years ago for a one-bed­room ground-floor flat in Cam­den Cres­cent, one of Bath’s five Ge­or­gian cres­cents.

“I knew I wanted to leave Lon­don at some point and re­turn to the West Coun­try where I grew up,” he says. “I have a 10-minute walk to work and for me that is price­less. My part­ner and I start the week­end with a boot camp fit­ness class in Vic­to­ria Park, play ten­nis in the af­ter­noon and meet friends in the evening. Ev­ery­thing is on our doorstep.”

At 11 square miles, Bath is easy to walk around as long as you are pre­pared for its seven steep hills. Tourist buses add to traf­fic queues that are se­vere at times, with park­ing also a headache. The 88,000 pop­u­la­tion is swelled by stu­dents at two uni­ver­si­ties, there’s a world-class theatre, a good mix of high street and bou­tique shop­ping and a flour­ish­ing schedule of fes­ti­vals and Christ­mas WRITER Vishaka Robin­son and her com­puter an­i­ma­tor hus­band Dean, in their thir­ties, moved to Bath from Lon­don last year. They live in the city cen­tre with daugh­ters Olive, four, and Ruby, one.

Says Vishaka: “We just fell in love with Bath. It has the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of a laid-back coun­try­side vibe and the charms of a small, bustling city. Su­per-friendly lo­cals, dreamy ar­chi­tec­ture, tons of in­de­pen­dent shops and great state and pri­vate schools. I don’t know any­one who didn’t get their first choice of school this year. And the city has a strong cul­ture of mar­kets. El­e­gant Bath has al­ways been so­phis­ti­cated but now it’s more cul­tural, too.

That also goes for prop­erty choices, with some in­ter­est­ing new build . Fitzroy House, launch­ing this au­tumn, is in Great Pul­teney Street, the long­est, widest and most pres­ti­gious Ge­or­gian res­i­den­tial street in cen­tral Bath, lined on both sides by ter­races of stately Grade I-listed homes built in 1789. De­vel­oper Lon­gacre has turned five en­tire houses into 28 one-, two- and three-bed­room flats priced from £495,000 for 505sq ft.

Be­hind the clas­si­cal Bath stone façade the flats are all dif­fer­ent, some with gar­dens or roof ter­races, some with their own front door and most in­clud­ing park­ing. “Many peo­ple love Ge­or­gian ar­chi­tec­ture but want con­tem­po­rary and com­fort­able in­te­ri­ors and lat­eral space,” says Anna Fair­man of Sav­ills Bath. “That’s al­ways been a rare com­bi­na­tion to find.

“Fitzroy House has lifts, park­ing and sleek open­plan in­te­ri­ors with Bulthaup kitchens and clas­si­cal mould­ings and shut­ters, un­der 10 min­utes’ level walk from the train sta­tion and two from the city cen­tre.”

Ser­vice charges are £750 a year and homes are on a 999-year lease.

Sav­ills: sav­ in­de­pen­dents, mak­ing it a vi­brant place to live.” Dean works in Lon­don so Vishaka ap­pre­ci­ates be­ing cen­tral, with cock­tail bars, cof­fee shops and the Royal Cres­cent all within five min­utes’ walk. “For a small city Bath hits above its weight cul­tur­ally with reams of cool fes­ti­vals and in­ter­est­ing mu­se­ums and the­atres. We visit Egg, the chil­dren’s theatre, ev­ery month.”

The canal path from Bath to Brad­ford on Avon is a favourite, ei­ther by boat or bike, and Frome and Bru­ton, home to Hauser & Wirth art gallery, are “bril­liant quirky towns nearby”.

In love with Bath: Vishaka and Dean Robin­son, with daugh­ters Olive and Ruby, quit the cap­i­tal for Bath last year

From £495,000: flats carved from five en­tire town­houses in pres­ti­gious Great Pul­teney Street, Bath

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