Some people who know me are surprised that I still live in the city and don’t have a yearning to move out to the countryside. And if you’d asked me twenty or thirty years ago, I might have said that was what I’d love to do.
But my thinking has changed since those days. I still love all the things I loved then, and enjoy doing the same kinds of things. But I’ve realised over the years that I can do all of them here in the city, and have all the advantages of city life as well.
Partly that’s because we live in a relatively small city. We chose to live in this bit of the city when we came here with young children because it’s within easy walking distance from the centre (about a mile, whichever way you go). Even when they were very young they could manage it. It’s also within easy walking distance from the edge of the city – a couple of miles, all uphill, but still much less than an hours walk. Pretty much anywhere you stand in Bath, you can see green fields at the edge of the city, and green spaces within it. Plus we have easy access to an allotment – in those days they were there for the asking.
Here in the city we have a great public library, a lovely theatre (not that we go often, but still….), an independent cinema and a big multiplex, many concert venues and local choirs, orchestras and bands, regular festivals of one kind or another, art galleries, museums, some quirky cafes, good rail links, and all the other things a comparatively prosperous city can offer.
We rarely use the car for anything we do in town. Our children grew up being able to walk to and from evenings out with friends – no chauffeuring for us (0r for them).
We may (and frequently do) complain about the ineffective and indecisive Council, and their lack of vision about what an amazing green city Bath could be, but fortunately this is in large part offset by what visionary individuals and groups have achieved – Bath Farmers’ Market, Bath City Farm, Cycle Bath, the Two Tunnels Greenway , the Bristol to Bath railway path, the river and canal paths, and community orchards to name but a few.
So the city wins hands down for me, with easy access to country walks, rides, peace, and beauty.
What’s been your experience?