This is my first post ever and i’ve been looking forward to writing it for some time. Back in January I visited Bath in England for my friend’s birthday. I’ve been to Bath quite a few times but was looking forward to this trip as me and my friend had planned a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa, I’ll be telling you more about this later on in this post.
Being in Cardiff, Bath is quite near, only about an hour away on the train and is definitely one of those places that you could make a day trip of easily. I guess you could consider Bath quite local. I always travel by train when I can, especially as I have a 16-25 Railcard which gives you a third off train travel in the UK. I got a train from Cardiff Central to Bath Spa which took me 1 hour 4 minutes to be exact. Any anytime return with the Railcard cost £17.10, compared to £25.90 without a card.
This was going to be an overnight trip and my friend met me at Bath Spa station where we drove to the Bailbrook House Hotel. This hotel is set on 20 acres of land and is actually a Georgian country mansion. It’s not in the center of Bath and is located about 2 miles from the city center. While some rooms are located in the actual mansion, many of the rooms are in a different building altogether in a new wing located just outside. It would have been nice to have been staying in the actual building but the rooms are still quite nice in the new part. Bailbrook House Hotel is owned by Hand Picked Hotels. You can check out their website here.
After unpacking we decided to get a cab into the city center. The main purpose of our trip was to experience the Thermae Spa. For those of you who don’t know Bath is home to natural thermal springs that were discovered hundreds of years ago. The waters have been enjoyed by Celts, Romans, Saxons, Georgians and many people today. In the waters you can find over 42 different minerals. In 2006 the spa was restored and over 1 million litres of the water flow from the springs every day and are used in the Thermae Bath Spa. The water is nicely heated to 33.5 C.
The Thermae is award winning and there are over 40 spa treatments and packages available. You can bathe in the Minerva bath, the open air rooftop pool and go in the steam rooms too.
The spa is located right in the middle of Bath and is very easy to find. On arrival you are given a robe, towel and slippers to wear around the spa. There are plenty of changing rooms and free lockers available. A word of warning, the spa is really strict about people taking in phones, so for all you selfie lovers out there be careful as you will get told off. Me and my friend did actually manage to take a couple of photos of us in our spa robes. It wasn’t easy and as we sort of expected, one of the staff politely told us off and insisted on putting our phones back in our lockers.
We went for the Thermae Treat package which was £72.00. You get 3 hours in the spa, which includes a back massage and facial or back massage, head and foot massage. I had a back, foot and head massage, which was very relaxing. It was so relaxing I nearly fell asleep. Other treatments you can have include hot stones spa therapy, body wraps and hot bath treatments.
I really enjoyed going in the spa pools. The water is naturally heated and is so nice and warm. The roof top pool was my favorite. It’s basically an outdoor pool on the roof. It felt really weird going in an outdoor pool in the middle of January. The cold air outside never bothered me either and the water was nicely heated. Be careful when getting out, the cold really does hit you then. Fortunately inside wasn’t that far away. I definitely recommend going to this pool in the evening as watching the sunset over Bath is something you don’t want to miss.
We went in the Minerva bath too which was just as good. I’m pretty sure it’s the same temperature as the rooftop one but for some reason it felt warmer. It might be due to the outdoor air making it feel cooler. If you don’t fancy going for a spa treatment, then it is possible to just visit the baths and steam rooms. I definitely advise checking out their website for prices.
The Thermae Spa is definitely an experience I enjoyed and the highlight of my visit there was the rooftop pool. Like many different attractions they also have a gift shop selling a range of different spa items you can take home with you.
The next day we decided to head on into Bath and do a bit of sightseeing. A popular tourist attraction is the Roman Baths. Located right in the middle of Bath, the baths were a popular site for Roman bathing. Before you get to the actual baths there is a small museum you go through explaining the history behind it all. There are also many Roman artifacts to look at.
I definitely recommend a visit to the baths if you are visiting Bath. I really enjoyed learning about them and actually seeing the baths themselves. On the way out you can even have a taste of the spa water.
Entry for adults is £15.50 and includes an audio guide too. There are also child and family tickets available. Full details and opening hours are available here
We finished off with the Bath Sightseeing open top bus. I always enjoy going on these open top buses as they are a great way of seeing all of the sights. I’ve been on them in London, New York and San Francisco and they never disappoint. Being able to hop on hop off is really important too as if you see somewhere you want to explore, you can just get off have a look around and when you are ready just get back on the bus when it comes.
The Bath Sightseeing bus offers two different tours included in the ticket. The tours are ran by City Sightseeing which offers bus tours in many cities worldwide. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and costs £14.00 per adult and £8.50 for kids. The bus offers the City tour and the Skyline tour. We didn’t have time to do both and decided on the City tour which goes all around the city center and shows you places like Bath Abbey, The Royal Crescent and Queen Square. A full tour takes around 50 minutes. The bus tour website offers full details on both tours.
I really enjoyed my visit to Bath and had a great time. Bath fortunately is one of those places that can be enjoyed all around the year and offers something for everyone.