Both England and Wales within the United Kingdom have thermal springs. The former has a few options for soaking, while Wale’s one sole spring is currently closed. Enjoy a relaxing time at one of these hot springs on your next trip to England.
List of Thermal Springs in GRB
Bath, England is among the best hot springs destinations in the United Kingdom. The main resort is Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the New Royal Spa. There are several soaking pools and amenities there. There’s also the Cross Bath, in a separate building in Bath. Or head north near Sheffield to Ensana Buxton Crescent or the Stoney Middleton Bath House.
Map of Thermal Springs in GRB
Guide to England’s Natural Thermal Springs
The land that is now England/the United Kingdom was once occupied by the Romans. Romans loved their geothermal baths and left their mark on the nation, where ‘taking the waters’ became both therapeutic and fashionable.
In the Georgian and Regency eras, spa towns popped up all over the countryside. This attracted the upper classes, including Anne of Denmark, Catherine of Braganza, and Mary of Modena, two of which visited the geothermal water hoping it would boost fertility and help them conceive an heir to the throne.
Although hot springs tourism isn’t what it was in its royal heyday, plenty of English towns still see slews of visitors venturing forth to bathe in the mineral-rich water.
We’ll outline some of the standout bathing towns below. These English spa towns feature hot springs you have to see when traveling in the area.
Geothermal Springs Locations in the UK
At the thermal baths of Buxton, Romans once both bathed in the water and worshipped the land as a shrine. Then, the Roman shrine was built over in Georgian times, though the site still used the main vein where mineral water surfaced from beneath the earth. Following this, the building was modernized in the 1920s for the stylish bather.
The most recent upgrade to the building came when the Ensana Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel took over the location. There, you can rent one of 81 luxurious rooms and experience traditional hydrotherapy with the hot springs water.
You can also visit the Bathhouse at Stoney Middleton, a leftover from Roman times that has been renovated and updated in recent years. Here you’ll find two pools, one for men and one for women. Each pool has its own small changing room and corner fireplace, which keeps the environment cozy.
The water within the pools is always 63 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter the season. The supposed miracle-healing properties of this hot spring influenced the naming of the local church in the Middle Ages.
If you’ve read any regency novels, you’ve probably heard of the town of Bath. Jane Austen visited the town, as did Napoleon III before he ascended to be Emperor of the French. Bath became such a cultural destination because of its hot springs, which are still open to guests.
Now you can visit Thermae Bath Spa and swim in the rooftop pool that’s filled with natural mineral water. There’s also a spa menu you can take advantage of that includes massage, hot stone, and facial therapies.
In the same town as Thermae Bath Spa is The Cross Bath. The structure around the hot springs was built in 1784, meaning that taking a dip in the geothermal pool is literally bathing yourself in history. The Cross Bath is an open-air venue with attached changing rooms. There’s an onsite lifeguard provided by the venue and allows children to bathe, which the Thermae Bath Spa does not.
For many years the Droitwich brine baths were the jewel of Worcestershire County. However, in the early 2000s, the hotel that owned the spring water closed the bathing site saying that upkeep was too onerous. Don’t despair; a new hotel was recently granted planning permission to begin redoing the brine baths.
A campaign called ‘Save Our Brine Baths’ called the new hotel plans a victory. They are looking forward to renewed tourism as hot springs tourist return to the town of Droitwich Spa.
Our final spotlighted hot spring can be found in Wales, in the town of Rhondda Cynon Taff. It’s the Taff’s Well Thermal Spring, located on protected land in the shadow of a Welsh mountain. The spring is housed in a stone building and often locked, though visitors to it say park rangers are happy to open the door for the interested visitor.
It’s unclear if bathing is still allowed at the site or if the spring has become more of an architectural site.
Visit the UK
So many parts of this country are layered in Western history. If that interests you, your list of ‘to-dos’ will be a mile long. Don’t forget to visit Bath and the English hot springs, where you can walk where Jane Austen promenaded and bathe in the same hot spring that rejuvenated hopeful to the throne, the Duke of Monmouth.