Spa and Hot Springs of Bath

Bath, United Kingdom

The spa and hot springs of Bath are traditionally associated with the Romans. It is true that the Romans developed the baths and built a massive complex, with temples and administrative buildings, around them. However the site dates back to the Celtic period, and the baths have been in used almost continuously since the Romans left. The spa was revitalised in the 18th century and appears on the novels of Jane Austen. Today the Roman spa is a museum but there are still places nearby where you can take the waters.

Roman Baths

Constructed in around 70 AD as a grand bathing and socialising complex, the Roman Baths is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, where 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water, reaching 46°C, still fills the bathing site every single day. 

The Roman Baths is the site of extensive ruins and an interactive museum filled with many treasures and visual snippets that transport you back to Roman times and the lives of the Aquae Sulis people. Walk on ancient pavements as the Romans did 2,000 years ago, and explore chambers historically housing changing rooms and tepid plunge pools. 

Modern Age

In the Elizabethan era, when the city experienced a revival as a spa. The baths were improved and the city began to attract the aristocracy. In the 18th century Bath had become perhaps the most fashionable of the rapidly developing British spa towns, attracting many notable visitors such as the wealthy London bookseller Andrew Millar and his wife, who both made long visits.

Since 2000, major developments have included the Thermae Bath Spa, the SouthGate shopping centre, the residential Western Riverside project on the Stothert & Pitt factory site, and the riverside Bath Quays office and business development. In 2021, Bath become part of a second UNESCO World Heritage Site, a group of spa towns across Europe known as the "Great Spa Towns of Europe".

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Details

Founded: Celtic
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nicola Jane (9 months ago)
This is listed in the top 10 places to visit in Bath and I understand why. We tried to pre-book tickets but their allocation was sold out, so we had to buy tickets as a walk in. We got there before 9 and was asked to come back at 10:15 (when we returned another couple came and was told the next slot was 3pm). The lift was out of action over the weekend. Whilst I can move around, I find stairs tricky and had to walk up and down when I was wet which wasn’t the easiest. Everything is on a different floor. It did state this on their website and they have a sign on arrival, so they do keep you informed. The roof top swimming pool was amazing. It was relatively cold on the day, but the pool is warm and it wasn’t overcrowded. The Minerva bath was lovely and relaxing and the steam/sauna etc was enjoyable. The changing rooms are on upper ground and showers on lower ground. It would be helpful if this sign was put up in changing rooms to be clear, as it is tricky to shower on lower ground and then go upstairs to get dressed. Didn’t feel like a proper shower if I am honest, so u may want to shower elsewhere if possible (home/hotel) Either way I’m really glad I visited
Jasper Dallard (10 months ago)
Had a really special time here the spa was just so luxurious wasn't too busy which was nice staff very friendly, I recommend sunglasses if you plan on visiting rooftop pool on a sunny day! All rooms in the wellness suite are very clean and relaxing with a wonderful scent. My only small problem was our robes kept being taken by other customers I suppose this is to be expected when they're all identical. Would definitely visit again
Alex Norman (10 months ago)
Four or five years ago this had an almost luxurious feel. During latest visit last month, it's more like a leisure centre with spa features. On a nice day the rooftop pool is lovely. The massages are particularly excellent. I had the bamboo massage last time. Superb and more intense muscle massage than normal.
Yola Tariang (11 months ago)
I had a great experience! Started from the rooftop thermal pool and it was just gorgeous to be there at night. It was so peaceful and relaxing. The saunas, steam rooms, etc. were great! I loved the Starry Night room as well, very relaxing. And the last pool, which was indoors, was great. I think it’s great value for money and would definitely recommend it.
Raúl Sánchez (2 years ago)
Starting by the price, I believe the 2 hour cost is slightly high (about 38?). I understand that you have 3 floors of options and they are really nice, but for that price you can get much more in so many other places. The equipment that it is given and the changing room are really nice. The floor with all the options of dry and we sauna, relax area, ice area… it impressive and my favourite. The top floor is nice but similar to a normal warm pool, not much. The bottom floor same as the top without views. If you go for a treatment I would not take into account this review. You could spend the time better around Bath, then go to your local spa for a better price and more time spent I guess.
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La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.