Bath has an ancient love affair with swimming, stretching back to the ancient Celts. The first shrine at the thermal pools was dedicated to the god Sulis and following the Roman invasion this led to Bath being named Aquae Sulis.

While you can’t enjoy a dip in the thermal waters of the Roman Baths anymore, you can have amazing swimming experiences in and around the city all year long.

Thermae Bath Spa

After seeing how the Romans bathed at the Roman Baths, treat yourself to a soak in the relaxing waters of Thermae Bath Spa. Enjoy the same waters the Celts and Romans did 2,000 years ago with the benefits of not having to keep a look out for marauding Saxons! With numerous spa packages available, this makes for a truly luxurious way to reflect on a trip to Bath.

View of Thermae Bath Spa's rooftop pool and Bath skylineImage - Thermae Bath Spa

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

The Spa Village at The Gainsborough is the only place other than Thermae Bath Spa where you can bathe in Bath's natural thermal waters, and book in as a day visitor. There are two natural thermal pools of varying temperatures, plus saunas, a steam room, an ice alcove and relaxation areas. You can also book in for additional treatments in the spa, or make your visit extra special by staying in one of the hotel's exclusive spa rooms, which are the only hotel rooms in the country to offer in-bathroom access to the steaming thermal waters.

Spa Village at The Gainsborough
Image - Spa Village at The Gainsborough

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

One of Bath's most famous locations, the pools and spa at the five-star Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is open to non-residents for half-day and full-day spa retreats. The 12-metre heated relaxation pool is gently heated to relax your muscles, while the vitality pool is equippped with massage jets.

Pool at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
Image - The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

Georgian Bathing at Cleveland Pools

Built in 1815, these are the oldest outdoor swimming pools in England and are Grade II listed. Soon, locals and visitors to Bath will be able to enjoy the same pleasures as Georgian bathers, as a huge restoration project is finishing up in late summer 2023. As well as two pools – one for adults and competent swimmers, another shallower pool for children – the original crescent buildings will reopen as the main entrance and changing rooms.  

Cleveland Pools
Image - Cleveland Pools 

The University of Bath

Part of Team Bath, which binds together all of the facilities, services and activities of the University of Bath’s Sports Department. This amazing 50-metre swimming pool at the University of Bath is home to a British Swimming National Training Centre where some of Britain’s top swimmers are based. The pool is also open for public swimming for daily swim-fit sessions, during which you might swim alongside Olympians!

University of Bath swimming poolImage - University of Bath

Wild Swimming at Warleigh Weir 

Set in the stunning Avon Valley, this weir can be reached from the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on foot or bike from Bath. The weir comes alive in late spring with a buzzing world of wildlife allowing you to immerse yourself in the classic English countryside.

The weir has a shallow bathing area and a grassy patch for sunbathing. A local farmer allows access to the weir, so make sure you ‘only leave footprints’ and remove all litter.

Follow these top tips if wild swimming:
•    Don’t swim on your own
•    Check the water quality information on the webpage
•    Avoid bathing on higher risk days such as after heavy rainfall or during strong currents
•    Cover cuts with a waterproof plaster and consider a wetsuit
•    Use sun cream even if it’s a cloudy day
•    Avoid swallowing or splashing water into your mouth
•    Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming
•    Stay calm, float and call for help if you get into trouble
•    Wash your hands with soap after swimming
•    Beware of underwater obstacles such as rocks and weeds

People paddling at Warleigh Weir
Image - Warleigh Weir, credit Tom Edgington

Read more:


The Roman Baths
Historic Site
The Great Bath at The Roman Baths, Bath

Famed for its hot springs, Bath houses the best preserved Roman Spa from the ancient world. Delve into the history of this magical monument and admire its architecture and engineering.

Thermae Bath Spa
Thermae Bath Spa

Enjoy Bath's natural thermal waters at the award-winning Thermae Bath Spa.

Spa Village Bath at The Gainsborough Bath Spa
Spa and Relaxation
Spa Days at the Gainsborough Bath Spa

Located in the heart of the city, the spa combines classic architecture with a contemporary style.

The Spa and Bath House at The Royal Crescent Hotel
Spa and Relaxation
Vitality Pool with Jets

Plunge headlong into paradise with the ultimate spa experience.

Team Bath
Sport/Leisure Centre
Team Bath photo

Team Bath offers sport for everyone - from multi-sport camps for two-year-olds up to Walking Tennis, all in the inspirational setting of the Sports Training Village.



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