Friday, January 3, 2020

Spa Day!

I’ll say it right up front—I’m not a spa person, at least not today’s version of a typical spa. I don’t do facials; massages make me uncomfortable. But I would have loved visiting a Regency spa.

A number of cities during the early part of the nineteenth century in England had risen to the position of being considered a spa, either because of the opportunity to bathe in the sea or the opportunity to partake of mineral waters, or both. While the prominence of the city of Bath in Somerset waned as the century wore on, it was still one of the most popular. Bath had the benefit of having actual hot water baths, built in Roman times. It also boasted the Pump Room where you could drink the water and visit with friends. With assembly rooms just up the hill and parks for promenading on a sunny day, Bath would seem to have everything one could want in a spa.

Though Jane Austen is often associated with Bath, a family favorite was Lyme Regis in Dorset. The town along the seashore also had a fine set of assembly rooms and saltwater bathing. It also featured shops, tearooms, and bookstores. You can see why Jane liked it. 😊

Scarborough in Yorkshire had the best of both worlds, with saltwater bathing and mineral waters to drink. It also had a nearby castle being used as a barracks for soldiers. That red uniform can go to a girl’s head!

Other towns also made a play for the title of spa. Before he went mad, King George frequently took his family saltwater bathing at Weymouth in Dorset, and his son, Prince George, was inordinately fond of Brighton in Essex

Come back next Friday when I will tell you about one more special spa that I hope you’ll want to visit again and again, for I’m starting a new series set there!

1 comment:

QNPoohBear said...

Modern spas can be fun without facials etc. I loved visiting Bath but chose not to go in. The Thermae spa was too swanky but the cross bath looked like a little swimming pool. When I was a teen we visited friends in a spa town in the Swiss Alps. We want to a spa that has a waterpark with different types of hot and cold pools. It was tons of fun and very unique because it was snowing on top of the mountain- in August and we stood in the hot pool watching the snow fall- amazing!