Thermae Bath Spa in Bath, England, is the perfect place to relax and soak up the warm mineral waters. Photographer: Philip Edwards
Thermae Bath Spa in Bath, England, is the perfect place to relax and soak up the warm mineral waters. Photographer: Philip Edwards

It was a cold and windy day in March when we visited Bath, England. We spent the morning on a walking tour and by 1pm, we were chilled to the bone. The few minutes we spent inside were welcomed, so we could warm up our numb hands. We knew that we just had to make it until our appointment time of 2pm, when we could climb into the thermal pool at Thermae Bath Spa and spend an indulgent two hours soaking and steaming until we were waterlogged.

At exactly 2pm, we entered The New Royal Bath, the multi-storied building we’d been eyeing all day. It is located right in the center of town, within sight of The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. You can see the steam rising from the pool that sits atop the building.  You sign up for a 2-hour, 4-hour or daily session (no advanced booking is available), that includes a towel, robe and slippers, plus access to the open-air rooftop pool, the aroma steam rooms, the minerva bath and the cafe.

The line moved quickly and we were able to get our wrist bands within a few minutes. Then we were off to the changing rooms. We were told there is sometimes a wait to get in, especially during the busy summer months, so it’s probably best not to go in the middle of the day on a weekend.

Thermae Bath Spa uses the very same spring water that supplies The Roman Baths. There are three springs from which the water rises from deep within the earth, full of minerals and naturally heated. In all four baths inside, the water is kept at a very agreeable 92° F. It’s not too hot to enjoy for longer periods of time. We wanted to spend most of our time in the pools, so we were glad it was cooler than a typical hot tub, or we wouldn’t have been able to spend so much time there.

Minerva Bath (photo by Dave Saunders)
Minerva Bath (photo by Dave Saunders)

The first pool we tried was the minerva bath. It is the largest of the thermal baths and is located on the lower floor. There’s a massage jet that pours down onto your shoulders, a lazy river whirlpool that you can float around and a lot of open space to just hang out and enjoy the relaxation.

The Steam Room Photographer: Grimshaw/Edmund Sumner
The Steam Room Photographer: Grimshaw/Edmund Sumner

Before we ventured up to the rooftop pool, which I was very excited about, we stopped off at the aroma steam rooms. Each room is infused with an essential oil like lemongrass or sandalwood. In the center of the room is a large waterfall shower you can stand in to rinse off, and you’ll need it after spending even one minute in the steam rooms. We tried all of them, to see what the different scents are like. You definitely have to find the one you like most. Some of them were too overpowering for me. I liked the lemongrass the best. It was fun to sit in there and sweat for about 5 minutes, but any longer than that would have been too much for me.

Rooftop pool by day. Photographer: Matt Cardy
Rooftop pool by day. Photographer: Matt Cardy

Up on the rooftop, we had to stash our towels in a hurry and get into the water because the wind was blowing and it was cold out there. It felt a little like soaking in a huge hot tub on a blistery day. It was just what we needed to warm up. The pool fills the entire upper deck and has one of the most incredible views of the city. You’d definitely want to go up there at night if you had the chance.

Cross Bath. Photographer: Edmund Sumner
Cross Bath. Photographer: Edmund Sumner

There is one other pool that we weren’t able to get in. It’s called The Cross Bath. It’s an 18th-century open-air bathing pool that is open to small groups, who can reserve the space with a per-person fee. It looked like a fantastic place to have a birthday or bachelorette party. It’s located in a stand-alone building outside the Thermae Bath Spa and is fed by its own spring.

In addition to bathing, which is all we did with our time, you can sign up for spa treatments and packages. They have Watsu, a Vichy shower, body wraps, massages, hot stone therapy, facials and other body treatments. If you participate in one of the spa treatments, the time is tacked on to your normal spa session, so you still have plenty of time for soaking.

Couples Massage. Photographer: Marko Dutka
Couples Massage. Photographer: Marko Dutka

When our two hours were up, we made our way back to the great changing room, unlocked our stuff from the electronic locker and got dressed. I was very happy to see that they provide hair dryers for you, so you don’t have to walk around with wet hair the rest of the day. They also have a swimming suit wringer to dry your suit. And the time it takes you to get dressed is also not included in your 2 hour session.

If you’d like to go to Thermae Bath Spa, you can check out their hours and learn more about it on their website.

A big thank you to VisitBritain for hosting our visit to Thermae Bath Spa. See all the coverage of our trip to the south west of England.

(As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest reflection on our travel experiences).

11 thoughts on “Soaking in the Warm Waters of Thermae Bath Spa (Bath, England)

  1. Wandering Carol says:

    I went to the Cross Bath! And I had it all to myself. At night. So atmospheric. I went to the rooftop pool, too – what a location. Insane. Personally, I don’t think the water is hot enough, though – EU regulations apparently, but the history and the minerals are red hot. I LOVED Bath. Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful trip.

  2. sarah says:

    We visited Bath last spring and loved it. Unfortunately we decided not to attend the Baths themselves though and I can see now that was a mistake.

  3. Mindi Hirsch says:

    I have never been to Bath. Now I want to go and check out the Thermae Spa – it sounds like my kind of heaven between the aroma steam rooms and the rooftop pool.

  4. Christina says:

    Missed out on this when I visited Bath. The Essential Oils room sounds so relaxing. But I can see how some of the scents can be overpowering. I would definitely like to try this the next time we are in England.

  5. Karilyn says:

    Wow! Looks so beautiful and sounds like a perfect relaxing experience. We are heading to England this summer and trying to get off the beaten path a bit. This looks like a perfect addition to our itinerary!

  6. Lauren says:

    Oh my goodness, I must go here! I love spas like this. They always smell so amazing, and your skin feels so great afterwards! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. Jenna says:

    Ok, this place looks amazing! I would love to sit in the aroma steam rooms and get a massage. Thermal pools like this are always so nice, especially on chilly days. I’m definitely going to have to check the Thermae Bath Spa out one day–I would love to relax there for an afternoon!

  8. Christopher Rudder says:

    I think this is the second post I’ve commented on about hot baths. All right already, I’ll take the hint…lol. What a funny coincidence Bath, England…Awesome. I love the view of the castle from the water, what a beautiful place. Oh I remember why I don’t visit places like this……I’ll never leave…lol

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