The 'place to be' village between Bristol and Bath where 'everyone knows each other'

A pretty spot along the riverbank -Credit:Sophie Grubb/ Bristol Live
A pretty spot along the riverbank -Credit:Sophie Grubb/ Bristol Live

The quaint village of Saltford, nestled between the bustling cities of Bristol and Bath, is more than just a passing point along the A4 Bath Road. Despite its location on a key route, it boasts a tight-knit community where "everyone knows each other and feels like they belong".

Once perceived as lacking identity, Saltford has transformed into a thriving hub for families, couples, and young people. Over the past decade, the village has embraced numerous changes, evident in the 'sold' signs dotting almost every street corner. Its prime position along a busy A-road and the scenic Bristol Bath railway path make it an attractive place to settle down.

Saltford offers a diverse range of homes, from luxury properties with expansive driveways and mechanical gates to charming cottages adorned with plants and flowers. It also houses hidden architectural gems like the grade II listed Saltford House, believed to have been built in the 1700s by architect Thomas Bennett for his personal use.

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Like any desirable location, house prices in Saltford reflect its growing popularity. However, data from Rightmove indicates that the overall average price of homes there was £492,222 over the last year, marking a 10 per cent decrease from the previous year, reports Bristol Live.

According to Rightmove's records, "The majority of sales in Saltford during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £487,400. Detached properties sold for an average of £571,500, with terraced properties fetching £425,000."

Saltford offers easy access to Keynsham's town centre with a mere stroll, and city centres and rural pubs are just a short drive away. The public transport system is quite capable, with two primary services between Bristol and Bath, the X39 and 39, still running every half hour into the pre-dawn hours, despite the 2023 bus cuts that affected other areas. Additionally, there's the A4, an hourly airport service.

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Saltford Marina near Bath on a sunny day -Credit:Sophie Grubb/ Bristol Live

Saltford also boasts places like The Riverside Inn on the banks of the River Avon and Thai Cafe on Bath Road offering delectable meal options. Though Thai Cafe primarily serves scrumptious Thai food in the evenings, it has become such an integral part of the community that it invites people in for a daytime cuppa.

During a 2022 visit, Nikki, the proprietor of Thai Cafe, shared: "Saltford has become the place to be. Everyone knows each other and helps each other out."

"I have been here for about 20 years. It used to be mostly retired people who lived here, but we are getting more families and young people now."

Nikki, pointing to the restaurant's interior, expressed her gratitude for local support: "People around the village have helped to make the restaurant what it is today. If something is broken, someone will help and fix it."

She continued to praise the community spirit, saying, "People in the community helped me to get the restaurant up and running when we had to shut for eight months. Everyone is so nice and so helpful. That's what makes the village so great, the people in it. I feel like I belong."

Highlighting the perks of village life, Nikki added, "In Saltford you have things like parking space. You don't get that in most cities. I also know that if I walk home at 10pm from work I will be safe. You don't get antisocial behaviour around here."

Overlooking the bustling Bath Road, Thai Cafe benefits from the traffic calming measures. "Luckily traffic is slowed down because of the traffic lights," Nikki remarked.

"We do get a lot of cars go by but people have to get to work and we understand that. Those people, the people that drive through the village, aren't the people that live here."

As the warmer months roll in, Saltford becomes a haven for wild swimmers, kayakers, and paddleboarders, boasting a picturesque marina and the Bristol Avon Sailing Club, making it a perfect destination for water enthusiasts.

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Nikki and Mackee work at Thai Cafe on Bath Road

Salford Parish Council is at the helm of addressing local concerns in the village. A spokesperson for the Parish Council shared with BristolLive their pride in the community, stating: "Many people who live and work in the village make Saltford a great place to be through their voluntary contributions, which are celebrated annually through the Saltford Parish Council Community Awards. Much of the community activity is centred around Saltford Hall, run by the Saltford Community Association."

"Saltford is fortunate to have a community run Post Office and library on the A4 Bath Road, as well as many active commercial businesses based around the village. Saltford is surrounded by green belt land which preserves its rural setting; care of the local environment is a matter close to many villagers' hearts, as shown by the many members of the Saltford Environment Group and Saltford Wombles."

"The village is served by the Bristol to Bath Railway Path which is popular with walkers and cyclists alike. As a rural community Saltford Parish Council welcomes considerate visitors who follow the countryside code, who leave no trace of their visit by taking their litter home or use one of the many bins around the village. Saltford's residents appreciate considerate parking by visitors, and use of public transport is strongly encouraged due to limited parking in the village."