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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Taking the Waters

Bath Spa is renowned for its hot springs and it was these that I visited yesterday. I had bought a pair of tickets for my sister for her birthday. Fortunately she took the rather heavy hints about who she should take with her.
The Thermae Bath Spa uses the natural hot spring water for these lovely spa facilities.

You are probably aware that the water has been used for relaxing bathing pools since Roman times and visiting the remains of the Roman Baths is a must for any visitor to the city. They were popularised again in the 18th Century when Bath became the fashionable place to visit to "take the waters". Many of the iconic buildings in Bath are from this Georgian era.
I was brought up in Bath and like our father before us my sister, brother and I learnt to swim in these waters. There were treatment baths at this time but also the local swimming baths used the spa water. Beau St Baths that we attended were on the site now occupied by the spa. We reminisced about queuing on this pavement to attend the old swimming pool.

You can just see on the top of this modern  building the edge of the present rooftop pool.

By the time I was 18 the spa water was being tunnelled under the River Avon to supply the pool in the brand new sports centre. Sadly tragedy struck. A teenager died after swimming in one of these public pools from an amoeba in the water that caused meningitis. All use of the water was immediately stopped.
It was some years before it was discovered that the bug was actually in the earth through which the water came out. A way of diverting and filtering the water was found. This then led to the building of the present spa facilities.

What we didn't realise before we arrived is that it is 10 years since the facilities opened. 

This meant that the local BBC news team Points West were filming at the baths. How fortunate was that because I am able to show you our very selves relaxing in the water as seen on TV! That's me on the left of the picture with the grey hair.

Should you not be absolutely sure here we are again.

We had a fantastically relaxing two hours trying out both of the pools. We started with the indoor Minerva pool where we enjoyed the whirlpool and lazy river. Then after the first hour we moved up to the rooftop pool where we drifted in the water in the sunshine admiring the view of Bath rooftops and surrounding hills. Another hour drifted pleasantly by.
You are provided with an electronic wristband so we also spent some time out in the restaurant for some lunch. This does not count as part of your two hours. Seeing everyone dining in their white gowns was very levelling and the food was very pleasant. No money is exchanged at this stage. Everything is add to your wristband.
The whole experience was good. All the staff were helpful and were available wherever you were. The facilities were clean and well maintained. Everyone was very jovial and certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves. It may have taken me 10 years but I would be keen to go again. So if you fancy going just let me know!


  1. This was so interesting to me, I'd only ever heard of Bath in a Jane Austen movie.

  2. You are right that our two accounts of our day are very different - yours is much more detailed and informative! It was a lovely treat, thank you and roll on the next visit.. Xx

  3. It sounds wonderful! And with added tv! That's a whole extra layer of fun. I'd go back with you if I lived a bit closer

  4. How lucky the Beeb were there to record your visit! What a coup! I was right in my guess ... glad to hear you enjoyed it. I must admit I was disappointed with it when I went - my expectations were way off.