For 120 years Harrogate has been attracting people from far and wide to its Turkish Baths. The baths are part of only a handful left in the UK, dating back to the 19th Century. The ritual of a Turkish Baths is a journey of heating, cooling, and cleansing the body, with the aim of creating a sense of calm and well being on your mind and body. So, after years of not visiting the spa, I went to see what it had to offer.
Turkish Bath Sessions
The Turkish Baths in Harrogate can be enjoyed as single-sex sessions or mixed. The single-sex sessions do not require a bathing costume if you so wish. The session times can be found here and start at £19.00 per session. I went along with my sister, Kirstie, and two cousins, Emma and Laura in March 2018. Each year we do something special together as a gift from our parents at Christmas and this year it was the Turkish Baths. Emma and Laura have recently become mums, Laura, for the first time with baby Rory and Emma for the second with Rosie, she also has Harry, my Godson. This was a real treat for them both and it was a treat for Kirst and myself as we don’t spend enough time together as a family.
If you have a treatment you can have access to the Jacuzzi room, which is where we started first. I’ve only ever been in this room with the people I’m with, it’s a lovely place to natter away and not worry about other people.
Once our fingers had started to turn prune-like we decided it was time to head to the main room and start our Turkish Baths experience. You are given a towel so there’s no need to bring your own.
Experiencing the Turkish Baths in Harrogate
You have to approach the Turkish Baths like you would an obstacle course. You start with one obstacle and once you’ve overcome it you move onto the next. You’ll get the gist as we move through the six stages below:
Start steady at the Turkish Baths in Harrogate
First, you start by relaxing the body. The steam room has high levels of humidity, combined with eucalyptus-infused steam, allowing your body to relax, melts away tension in the muscles, and opens pores helping to eliminate toxins.
Time to get chilly
Once you feel suitably warm it’s time for the biggest obstacle of all – the plunge pool! Prepare yourself, it’s certainly mind over matter when you submerge your body into the cool waters. The invigorating pool is said to improve circulation, flushes out toxins in the muscles, and provides a toning effect. I found if you swam the length of it and then stood still it wasn’t so bad, although it felt way colder than 20 degrees! And the bad news is this obstacle (the plunge pool) is repeated after every other obstacle.
Hotting up again
Feeling chilled, it was time to sit in the first of the three heated rooms. Called the Tepidarium (Warm Room), a gentle heat of 45 degrees warms the body in preparation for the hotter rooms. Here people read books, chat with friends and even take their own hair and face masks in to apply themselves (make sure you wash it off before you enter the plunge pool or steam room).
After a plunge, you can enter the second room called the Calidarium (Hot Room). You should start to feel a sense of relaxation and calming feeling in the body. This intermediate heat of around 55 degrees should warm your body and have a therapeutic effect deep within your muscle.
The final of the three hot rooms is called the Laconium (hottest Room). The ultimate relaxation room has an average temperature of 75 degrees but this less intense on the body than a sauna. The Laconium purifies and detoxifies the body by opening the pores and stimulating the circulation. Watch out, it can get hot underfoot!
Regulate, I said regulate!
Before the session ends there’s just time to spend 20 minutes cooling down in the elegant Frigidarium room to round off the Turkish experience. This room helps to regulate your temperature before leaving the baths.
Turkish Baths Spa Treatment
The baths offer a range of relaxation and cosmetic treatments using [Comfort Zone] and Neom products. For a full list see here.
Prices of the Turkish Baths in Harrogate
PRICES AS AT February 2021: The price of the Turkish Baths starts from £19.00 mid-week but can be as much as £32.00 for peak weekend times. Please check as I know they regularly increase the price. For me £19.00 was worth the time I spent there, however, I do remember when it was only £7 admission. I just wonder if their peak price of £32.00 is worth it. Also, don’t forget your £1 for the lockers (which you’ll get back at the end).
We are so lucky to have such beautiful baths on our own doorstep. The interior is something to behold; a work of art itself. The whole experience took a good two hours and was a wonderful way to spend quality time with my family. Upon leaving the baths I felt a sense of total relaxation and almost euphoric in the mind. That evening I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in awhile; just what was required when I’ve been feeling so under the weather recently.
Have you had a Turkish Baths experience before? What did you think of it? Let me know by commenting below.
If you enjoyed this post, then you’ll love my other spa reviews here.