The city of London as you can probably tell from our previous posts was quite a tiring experience. Our plans were jammed packed filled with sight seeing, eating steaks, roller coaster riding, attending a few music events, and other adventures. We were highly anticipating our time together in London, so much so we even posted about our plans a year ago. Well, due to previous travel weariness from our past non-stop adventures, being surprised by how expensive the UK was and then sharing a tiny hostel room with a snoring Scott just a mere few feet from all of our ears I think it created some ups and downs for us all. We all had a great time finally experiencing our long made plans in the city where Drum & Bass comes from, but at the same time we were all very tired and couldn’t wait to find some time to just relax and not be so much on the go all the time.
Enter Bath. What sounds more relaxing than a Bath? It was the perfect plan! Spend some days relaxing and recharging in a Hot Spring before we head down to Italy to party for a week at Sun & Bass… Located right by Bristol and giving us an easy access to visit Stonehenge, a must see on all of our lists.
We hopped off our train arriving before check in time at the Travelodge. Having already stayed at the Travelodge in Bristol, we were prepared knowing you have to pay an extra cost to check in early. So, we arrived to Bath with wine and cheese in our bags and scouted out an area to enjoy ourselves. We found the perfect spot right behind the train station where a beautiful canal runs through the city and we choose to pass a couple hours enjoying our wine and cheese before we check in. It was the perfect start to our relaxation stop.
Bath is a great little city. It reminded me much of Baden-Baden in Germany. Filled with beautiful old architecture, cobble stone walking streets, shops galore, fancy restaurants, smiles from happy locals, and a luxurious Hot Spring. The only difference I found was of course the language, and Bath locals seemed much younger then in Baden-Baden.
We really did enjoy our time here, but were a bit disappointed by the only “true” hot springs in Britain, the Thermae Bath Spa.
- The price is high. 2-hour session: £22.00, 4-hour session: £32.00, Full day session: £52.00
- We had coupons via our train tickets from London giving us 2 for 1 access into the Thermae Bath Spa. What we were not told and told very rudely by was it’s not a 2 people get in for the price of 1. Instead, each person still has to pay. You just get a 4-hour session for the price of a 2-hour session. When we arrived there was only 2 hours left until they closed. So we could not use our coupons
- There is no uniqueness to it and I’m beginning to think all public hot springs in Europe are designed the same. More emphasis on the “Roman Bath” style. So, it’s just like going to 5 star spas with swimming pools. Sounds nice… but in my mind this is not what a hot spring is. It is a place to be therapeutic and relaxing much like a spa, and having those services at a hot spring is great. But when the entire place looks like this you get removed from what it really is, therapeutic waters provided to us from nature.
Radium Hot Springs, B.C., Canada
If you really want to experience a hot spring like it should be experience, come to the Rocky Mountains of Canada (even better if it’s the winter!). Enjoy a hot spring in its natural element for a much cheaper price that gives you all day access even if you don’t want to stay all day. You can choose from pools based right beside mountains with views of lakes, inside caves with dripping stag-mites, or free ones at the end of hiking trail inside a rocky pool, or a series of natural pools leading you down to the ocean. The variety is endless with an first and foremost emphasis on the nature of the area, and if you really want those expensive spa treatments there is always this option available to you inside the spa area.
In conclusion, Bath is a great little city to visit to get away from the busy city of London with the bonus of a visiting the only hot spring in Britain. It is a nice relaxing spring once you get past the cranky lady at the till. The rooftop pool has a great view of the city but watch out depending on the day as the water can be cold up there. If you do plan to check it out, make sure to arrive 4 hours before is closes if you have the “2 for 1” coupon from your train ticket or check out this twilight special for £37.50 to make an entire evening of the experience. (Includes dinner)