Last weekend, my good friend Charlotte came to stay. Having had more than a few trips to the spa during our many years of friendship, there was no-one better suited to accompany me on a trip to the mother of all spas: Bath Spa.
The city of Bath is famous for its naturally hot spa water, having been a well-known bathing spot for the Romans. Nowadays, the public can once again come to take the waters at the Thermae Bath Spa, which combines the historic, Georgian Cross Bath with a contemporary building, housing the main spa area.
Being a sunny afternoon in May, we were expecting to queue to get in – bookings are only allowed for packages and groups – so it’s important to allow plenty of time. And the queue certainly did speak for the spa’s popularity; it was snaked all the way around two sides of the building when we arrived, and grew steadily longer as we moved forward.
Once we were in, we got changed into our complimentary robes and slippers (and left our phones in our lockers; sadly no photos are allowed!), and headed straight for the rooftop pool. Stepping out of the lift, it was hard not to stop and stare at the incredible view of the Bath hillside and the historic buildings around the spa. The pool itself was gloriously hot, warmed by both the natural springs and the sun, and a cool breeze on your face reminds you that yes, you really are sitting and chatting in a rooftop pool in England, wearing sunglasses and feeling like an absolute boss.
We could have quite happily stayed up there all day, but after 40 minutes we begrudgingly went back inside to explore the rest of the spa. The steam rooms were great, offering four pods with different infusions, and a waterfall shower to cool off with afterwards. We also stopped into the Springs Cafe Restaurant on our way down the building, as you get an extra hour’s spa time if you’ve had a bite to eat, and had a lovely cream tea. We finally ended up in the Minerva Bath, on the bottom floor, gently floating around the naturally moving waters.
When our three hours came to an end, we walked out onto the sunny cobbles of Bath feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready for the rest of our weekend. For most of the way back to Bristol, we talked about how amazing it would be to be able to go to the spa once a week, what treatment we would get next time and how we’re definitely coming back after doing our first Bristol 10k next year. I definitely can’t recommend Thermae Bath Spa highly enough, and I’ve already persuaded another friend to come and try out their Twilight package later in the summer…that rooftop pool is just to tempting!