Bath locals have 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 lead to Bath being named ‘Aquae Sulis’. You can’t enjoy a dip in the thermal waters of the Roman Baths anymore but you can enjoy amazing swimming experiences all year round. Here are some of our favourites:
The Olympic experience at Bath University ‘London 2012 Legacy’ Swimming Pool
This amazing 50 metre swimming pool is home to a British Swimming National Training Centre where some of Britain’s top swimmers are based including Rio 2016 medallists Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chris Walker-Hebborn, James Guy and reigning British Champion Anna Hopkin.
Whether you just want a swim or would like to improve your technique through coaching you are spoilt for choice in this national centre of excellence. Physiotherapy and sports massage sessions are also available for a bit of essential body maintenance!
See link for more information - www.teambath.com/about/prices-bookings/swimming/
Wild Swimming at Warleigh Weir (Claverton Weir)
Set in the stunning Avon Valley the weir can be reached from the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on foot or by bike from Bath. The weir comes alive in late spring with insect and birdlife allowing you to immerse yourself in a classic English landscape. The weir has shallow bathing area and grassy area to sunbath, a kind local farmer permitting access to the weir so please ensure you ‘leave only footprints’ and remove all litter.
Georgian bathing site at Cleveland ‘Pleasure’ Pools
Built in 1815 these are believed to be the oldest outdoor swimming pool in England and Grade II listed. In 2013 an appeal to raise £3 million was launched with hopes for future visitors to Bath being able to enjoy the same pleasures as ‘Georgian Bathers’. Tours of the pools are available from ‘Visit Bath’ with all proceeds going to the Cleveland Pools Trust.
See link for more information - www.clevelandpools.org.uk
Treat yourself in the waters at Thermae Bath Spa
After seeing how the Romans bathed at the museum treat yourself to the relaxing waters of Thermae Bath Spa. Enjoy the same waters the Celts and Romans did 2000 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.
See link for more information - www.thermaebathspa.com
Open water swimming at Vobster Quay & Lake 32
If you want to get some serious swimming or training in both of these are a 30 minute drive from Bath but deliver everything you need for a quality session in the water. Vobster is a favourite of ours with its deep water and great facilities waterside including the bacon butty van!
See links for more information - www.vobster.com & www.ukwatersports.co.uk/triathlon-and-open-water-swimming/