On a cold February morning, all I can think about is warming up and relaxing before the end of the half term holidays! Luckily for me, and all you Yorkshire folk, we have Harrogate Turkish Baths right on our doorstep. The Royal Turkish Baths building first opened in 1896 during Harrogate’s heyday as England’s leading Spa town, offering a whole range of treatments. With regular Royal visitors, the Turkish Baths interiors were given a beautiful and lavish Moorish style with great Islamic arches and screens, walls of vibrant glazed brickwork, arabesque painted ceilings and terrazzo floors, laid by the very best Italian experts. It is honestly such a beautiful building, and the refurbishment in 2004 kept all of these features, turning it into luxurious modern spa experience.
There are a range of sessions available, ranging from £15.50 to £29.50 depending on the time you visit. They also offer several ladies only slots, plus a new male only slot as well as the regular mixed one we went to. However, be warned that while swimming costumes are compulsory in the mixed sessions, they are not during the single sex sessions which took me by surprise a little! I started off in the cooler Frigidarium where the lockers and changing rooms are, which is supplied with comfy beds and magazines. However, the lure of the steam room quickly got the better of me, and I probably spent far too long in there relaxing and feeling the benefit of the steam on my poor cold-filled nose!
I then moved onto the Hot Room Chambers which are split into three by thick velvet curtains- the Tepidarium (warm), the Calidarium (hot) and the Laconium (hottest). There were plenty of recliners and benches to relax and chat on, and a water fountain for when the dry heat became a little too much… although being a California baby I don’t think I have ever found my optimum temperature!
After a while though, I did feel the need to cool down a little so braved the Plunge Pool. It was horrifically cold and made me squeal like a little baby but I guess was refreshing in a way. I decided a cool shower was maybe more for me after revisiting the steam room and hot rooms again as there was no way I was getting back in that pool!
The Turkish Baths are not only a baths facility, but also have a modern spa available which the boyfriend treated me to and got me full body relaxation massage for our anniversary! Although more expensive than other massage places in Harrogate it was absolutely lovely and a perfect way to relax. You also get access to the Jacuzzi room as a spa customer which was pretty good too, plus it has little tables where you can order food from a café linked to the Turkish Baths which we enjoyed. Clearly the best bit is the complimentary fluffy dressing gown and slippers to lounge around in, although the boyfriend reckons his personal highlight was the original Thomas Crapper toilets…. each to their own!
If you’re ever in Harrogate and feel the need for some serious relaxation and pampering, this is the place to go, and will always bring a smile to your face just by being in such a beautiful building!
None of the photos used are my own, as you obviously can’t take photos while visiting so they are all courtesy of Google images. If they’re yours, let me know if you want credit or removal.