Rebecca and Colin Wagstaffe were facing the kind of challenge growing London families know only too well: their cramped four-bedroom Victorian house in Muswell Hill had been extended as much as humanly possible, but with three children - Eve, 10, Madeleine, eight, and Cassius, four - it was still too small.
Buying a larger home was out of the question, and they were nervously anticipating the vicious north-London fight for secondary school places in years to come. So when her sister said she was considering leaving London, Rebecca was tempted to do the same. The beautiful world heritage city of Bath began to beckon.
"It was gut instinct. It just ticked all the boxes: good schools, great property, culture, shopping," says Rebecca. "Bath really does have everything."
'For commuters the peaceable suburb of Widcombe, just south-east of the city centre, is perfect'
Last summer the couple sold their London home for £900,000 and moved into a rented house in Bath while they looked around. They are now buying a stunning Georgian five storey townhouse with six bedrooms, which will cost about the same as their London home.
"It is amazing," says Rebecca, 40, a marketing consultant. "The house is fabulous, and we've swapped a 40ft garden for a 200ft garden. We say we are moving into Downton Abbey."
- © John Lawrence