Forget London, I’m moving to Bath
It’s better in every single way
There comes a point in every Londoner’s life when the romance ends, the scales fall from your eyes and the magic trick no longer works. The city you loved living in transforms before you into a hot, seething mess. Your commute is now unbearable, roof-top parties aren’t any better than normal parties and you never want to have to queue for anything ever again.
Some people call it growing up, others label it as selling out. Whatever term you prefer, it’s unavoidable. Even the most ardent pill-popping, Dalston-loving, club membership-owning socialite isn’t immune. One day, they’ll come back from a two-week luxury holiday on a remote island, look at the world of unfeeling grey outside their bedroom window and think: “Fuck it, I’m moving out of London.”
I’ve lived in London for over two-and-a-half years now and the scales are beginning to fall. For years I’ve always thought I’d move back to Bristol, where I went to uni, but as I get older it’s the neighbouring city of Bath which tempts me west. Here’s why.
I’ll be able to live somewhere with more than a couple of rooms
Enough column inches have been dedicated to the dire housing situation in London that I don’t really need to explain why it’s so crap. All you really need to know is that I could swap my one-bed flat for a three-bed house in Bath without breaking the bank. You get used to living out of one room as a student but those days are well and truly over now, it’s time I had enough space for everything I own (at the very least it will free up storage space at my parent’s house).
No building in Bath looks crap
Practically everything in the city is built with Bath stone which means even the grottiest council house still looks pretty beaut from the outside. It also means that, even if you live somewhere surrounded by buildings, the view out your window of the gorgeous Georgian city won’t be anywhere near as depressing as any London cityscape.
Your favourite thing won’t be ruined by being too popular
This may make me sound like an insufferable hipster, but one of the greatest lies about London is you can find a “great little place” that nobody else knows about. We have over 8.5 million people in this city, nothing is going to remain undiscovered. Every bar is crammed, every boutique shop has prices driven up by demand and every park is so full of sunbathers you can barely see the grass. None of those things are a problem with Bath where the population is one-hundredth the size.
You can walk almost everywhere
I can’t drive, which isn’t a massive problem in London because having a car here would be idiotic. It’s likely to be more of an issue if/when I live somewhere else but Bath is small enough that I could still just about survive by walking/taking public transport until I’ve remembered how to parallel park and passed my test. Here’s hoping anyway.
The shopping is amazing
I say this as someone who doesn’t even like shopping that much. That’s how much better the experience of shopping in Bath is compared to London.
It’s much friendlier and has a West Country accent to boot
The myth all Londoners are unfriendly, unspeaking automatons is a bit exaggerated, but it’s definitely true that the big smoke isn’t as friendly as other places in the UK. The more relaxed pace of life in Bath means everyone’s more chatty and open, which can only be a good thing when the locals have a West Country accent so smooth it’s like listening to butter melting on toast.
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Bath knows how to celebrate
There are so many festivals, galas and parties in Bath I think people must lose track after living there for a few months. Moving there from London wouldn’t mean sacrificing my social life and relying on Netflix to keep me entertained every weekend.
Yeah the nights out aren’t great but Bristol is on your doorstep
One of the first things anyone will tell you about Bath is that all the clubs are underground so as not to ruin the city’s aesthetic. This is usually said with a sneer, as if to say that being underground automatically makes all Bath nightclubs rubbish (overlooking the fact most cities have clubs which are at least partly underground). Even if the nightlife is a bit naff though, Bristol is about ten minutes away on the train. All of those “big city” events you might think you’d miss by not being in London will still be close enough to get to, whether it’s a big club night at Motion or a gig at the O2 Academy.
You can relax by having a bath in Bath
If that’s not heaven, I don’t know what is.