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Three beautiful spa towns to visit in England
Here in England, we are blessed with a host of glorious spa towns. In the Victorian Era, these towns were busy hubs where people would flock to ‘take the waters’, hoping to cure all their illnesses and health issues. Today, many of these towns retain their magical charm, as well as offering a wealth of history, culture and intrigue for visitors.
Below we have listed three of our favourite English spa towns that we think you will love. All three towns are easily accessible by train, and you can book all of your train journeys directly with us right here.
Steeped in ancient history, Bath is a quintessentially English spa town with enormous appeal. Founded originally by the Romans, Bath is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world. Built on hot springs, the Romans believed the waters here contained healing properties, and so they built a beautiful temple in dedication to the Goddess Sulis Minerva. Today, although the Roman Baths have been modernised substantially, many of the original artefacts can still be seen there including the Temple Courtyard and Minerva.
Later, during the 18th century, Queen Anne visited Bath frequently to ‘take the waters’ in an attempt to cure her dropsy and gout. As a result of her favouritism of the town, Bath became a popular destination for the wealthy looking for healing and wellness. If you are a fan of architecture, you will appreciate the Neo-classical Palladian architecture around the town, including The Circus, Pulteney Bridge and Queens Square.
- Arrive into Bath Spa train station to start your cultural journey.
The North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate is internationally renowned thanks to William Slingsby, who in 1571 discovered the first mineral there. He believed this mineral had significant health-boosting properties and soon there was a boom in public bathing houses where people would flock to for all sorts of cures. It was a personal favourite of Queen Victoria, hence the statue of her that stands today proudly in front of the train station.
1897 saw the construction of the Royal Baths – a stunning oriental-inspired building in the heart of the town which offered visitors guests a range of spa treatments and hydrotherapy under one roof. The baths are still very popular today, although the building now has another purpose as a very well-renowned Chinese restaurant - and the interior is still as opulent as it was back then.
Another of England’s finest spa towns, Cheltenham was discovered in the 18th century for having its own medicinal waters to offer. King George III brought fame to the town in 1788 when he visited to drink the spring waters there and was subsequently followed by other legendary patrons including Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Queen Victoria
The town flourished during the Regency era, when King George was deemed too ill to rule, and much of the town’s stunning architecture was built during this period, including the Pittville Pump Room, which is one the town’s best-preserved spa landmarks today.
- Book a train to Cheltenham Spa train station to discover the magic.
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