A guide to moving to Somerset
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History and culture - Moving to Bath
The city of Bath is famous for being packed full of history. It is the largest city in Somerset and is named after the Roman-built baths, which in normal times are open to the public to explore.
Bath is the only city in the UK to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it has more museums per square mile than any other English city.
The city is packed full of famous, eye-catching architecture, with The Royal Crescent being one of the most famous streets in the world. It was designed by John Wood the Younger to give ‘well-off’ residents the feel of country living in the heart of the city.
The Italian-inspired Pulteney Bridge sits at the heart of the city and is quite a sight with its cascading water. It was built in the 1700s and is thought to be only one of four such structures in the world.
Bath Abbey soars above the skyline of course, a site of worship for more than 1,000 years. King Edgar, the first king of all England, was crowned here in AD973.
Of course, the Thermae Bath Spa with its treatment rooms, is a great place to wind down after a busy week and its rooftop pool offers amazing views over the city. Enjoy Britain's only natural thermal waters there, as the Celts and Romans did more than 2,000 years ago.
The best places for families to live in Somerset
Weston-super-mare has seen so much regeneration over the past two decades, but it still retains a sense of its Victorian seaside charm.
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Have an ice-cream on the seafront or pick up a kiss-me-quick hat or stick of rock, Weston is still a great traditional seaside resort for families to hang out at.
But its outlying villages like Worle, Bleadon, Hutton, Banwell and Kewstoke are that perfect mixture of rural and town living, being that little bit further out from the main hubbub. They all enjoy good primary schools too.
Burnham-on-Sea is another great option for seaside living. The main High Street offers a fabulous mix of independent shops, but you can also pick up some cockles and take a walk along the town’s promenade when you fancy something a little more laid-back.
Burnham-on-Sea is also the birth place of the fabulous eat food festivals, which are now held across the county and beyond.
The nearest secondary school to the town is Kings of Wessex Academy and it has a fantastic reputation both with locals and Ofsted. See its latest Ofsted report here.
The best place for commuters to live in Somerset
Portishead has a hip and trendy vibe, with its hyper-cool marina surrounded by restaurants and cafés. But it is also really conveniently placed for commuters, just a short distance from the M5.
The town has probably developed faster than any other town in Somerset over the past decade. At an astonishing rate it has been turned into a magnet for businessmen and women looking for a cool place to live very near to a main commuter route.
Gordano School, a local secondary school, is also among the top performing schools in North Somerset. See its latest Ofsted report here.
The best place for walks in Somerset
With two thirds of the stunning Exmoor National Park within Somerset’s borders, what better place would there be to move to if you’re a fan of walking or wildlife?
With small towns and picturesque villages across this stunning landscape, the picture-perfect surroundings are like nothing else in the world.
It is also situated a very short distance from the town of Minehead, where seaside fun can be had by all.
The best place to live in Somerset for shopping
Somerset’s county town of Taunton enjoys an eclectic mix of shops, with independents weaved in amongst High Street giants. Taunton even has its own Independent Quarter.
The town boasts a rich history, with more than 1,000 years of religious and military history, and a wide range of historic buildings, many of which are protected and listed.
The best place to retire in Somerset
The seaside town of Clevedon is a perfect place to enjoy retirement. Take long strolls along the Victorian-style seafront and take in the far-reaching views across the Severn Estuary. Or take a trip down the only Grade 1 listed pier in the country.
Spend your well-deserved ‘me time’ enjoying the town’s individual boutiques and fabulous selection of cafés and restaurants.
Hill Road is where some of the retail therapy takes place; it is lined with a treasure trove of independent shops and is very unique in what it offers.
The best place for star-spotting in Somerset
TV celebrity Sarah Beeny is the latest in a long list of celebrities to move to Bruton, a town situated on the River Brue.
Caroline Corr of the Irish band, The Corrs, lives in the town but its profile really seems to have been raised since billionaire South African internet mogul Koos Bekker and his wife bought the £12million Grade II listed Hadspen House. They have transformed it into an exclusive country house hotel and spa with beautiful grounds.
Musical theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, behind hits like Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, lives on the outskirts in a Grade I listed 13th century former priory. Fashion designers including Stella McCartney live nearby.
The latest well-known resident is the former Chancellor, George Osborne, who has bought a £1.6million five bedroom Grade II listed Georgian property.
The town has two private secondary schools, a state boarding school and a restaurant run by Merlin Labron-Johnson, who, aged 24, became the youngest chef to win a Michelin star.
But, perhaps most significantly, it has the world famous Haser & Wirth Somerset gallery, with its impressive landscaped garden, designed by internationally-renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf.