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Bath - the first SPA resort

Bath - the first SPA resort

The beautiful and compact city of Bath is set among the rolling green hills of the Avon valley in South West of England. Built for pleasure and relaxation, beautiful Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in. The Romans transformed Bath into England’s first SPA resort and it regained fame as a spa town in the 18th century.

According to legend, Bath owes its origin to the Celtic king Bladud, who discovered the curative properties of its natural hot springs in 860 BC. In the 1st century, the Romans built baths around the spring. The medieval monks also exploited the spring’s properties, but it was when Queen Anne visited in 1702-3 that Bath reached its zenith as a fashionable watering place.

Bath rose to prominence in the 18th century as one of the England’s most fashionable SPA towns, and as result the city now has some of the finest Georgian architecture in the country. At this time two John Woods (Elder and Younger), both architects, designed the city’s Palladian-style buildings. Bath has remarkable collection of museums and galleries, theatre, music and sports, and it is the only entire city in the UK to be labelled a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 Highlights  are:

  • The Circus, a daring circular “square” of distinguished townhouses and above all the magnificent Royal Crescent.
  • No.1 Royal Crescent, created in 1770s, is now a handsome museum that gives visitors a taste of what life was like for 18th– century aristocrats, such as Duke of York, who stayed here.
  • The Assembly Rooms were built in 1769 as a meeting place for the elite and as a backdrop for glittering balls. Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” describes the gossip and flirtation that went on here. In the basement is a collection of costumes from 1500s to the present day.
  • The most important places to visit are: The Roman Baths and Thermae Bath SPA.

Gradually the whole Roman Bath complex was rebuilt in noble Neo-Classical style to echo the bath’s Roman origins. The Great Bath, at the heart of Roman complex, was only rediscovered in the 1870s. While bathing is not allowed in the Roman Baths, the opening of the Thermae Bath SPA in 2006 once again made Bath a popular day-spa destination. There are three pools fed by natural thermal waters: the New Royal Bath has 2 baths including an open-air rooftop pool with superb views over the city.

The beautiful and compact city of Bath is set among the rolling green hills of the Avon valley. It’s lively, traffic-free heart is full of museums, cafes and enticing shops that well worth your visit.


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At a glance

  • Activity

    Culture, SPA, Sightseeing
  • Address

    South West of England

"Built for pleasure and relaxation, has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times"

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