Despite Britain’s obsession with spa tourism in the late 18th Century, when hoards of society’s finest descended on elegant spa towns to ‘take the waters’, there is only one true geo-thermal ‘bathing’ source in the UK. And even Bath, Britain’s only warm water spring with over 10,000 years of bathing history to its credit, was closed in 1978 through lack of demand.
The Chieftains in Bath needed 23 years to realise they’d made a terrible mistake; a mistake which cost £30 million in funding and five years in construction to redress. Opened in late 2006, Britons are once again donning their loin cloths and re-discovering the therapeutic wonders of bathing in geo-thermal spring water.
The water which originates from deep underground, originally fell as rain on the nearby Mendip Hills. The water then passes through limestone aquifers to a depth of between 2,700 and 4,300 metres where geothermal energy raises the water temperature to between 64 °C and 96 °C.
Under great pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. Hot water at a temperature of 46 °C rises in the centre of Bath at the rate of 1.2 million litres every day from the Pennyquick geological fault.
Bath offers two very different bathing experiences. The smaller Cross Bath is suitable for groups of up to ten people and can be hired for private use. The larger Thermae Bath Spa (New Royal Bath) is a much larger facility offering two different pools, various steam rooms and a restaurant. The thermal water in both baths is cooled to the optimum bathing temperature of 33.5 °C.
The Cross Bath
The Cross Bath is an intimate open-air thermal bath. Benefitting from its own changing facilities, the Cross Bath is housed in a separate building and provides an alternative to the more extensive spa facilities at the New Royal Bath. Where the Cross Bath now stands, the Celts once revered their goddess Sul. After the Romans invading Britain in 55 BC, the Romans named their settlement in honour of Sul and called the town ‘Aquae Sulis’ or ‘Waters of Sulis’. The Cross Spring is now recognised as an official sacred site.
The New Royal Bath
Opened in 2006, the New Royal Bath is “a fusion of glass, stone, light and water”. Day or night, enjoy stunning views over the City of Bath and the surrounding hills. Relax in two spectacular baths (one indoor and one rooftop outdoor pool), fed by the naturally warm, mineral-rich water. You can also rest and relax in the multi-sensory Wellness Suite, book treatments and enjoy a light meal in the excellent restaurant.
Accommodation in Bath
Here at Stay In Britain, we feature hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in the local area surrounding Bath which offer great value for money. Uniquely, we only feature independent properties which you will not find on the major booking websites. And because the property owners don’t have to pay commission to the major booking sites, they can offer you the best prices. Book direct using the contact details supplied… it’s as easy as that! We wish you an enjoyable stay.