British Summer Part 3: Turkish Baths in the East End

Hello readers,

It seems that with the chilly weather, British Summer is turning into British Autumn. It feels that summer was a little short-lived and I am optimistically hoping that a surprise heat wave is on its way just to finish off the school holidays nicely… but if that doesn’t happen and you need some warmth, there is always the Thermal Spa Experience which I was extremely happy to discover last weekend.

I came across the ‘Experience’ by chance whilst looking online for ideas – Mum was visiting London for the day and had left the planning up to me. I thought it was best not to do something involving a lot of walking or anything too crowded, and somehow managed to come across a recommendation for Spa London, which is located in several different areas of the city. The website I viewed mentioned the branch at Bethnal Green (called York Hall Day Spa), and stated that you could have three hours in the thermal spa for £25.00. This sounded like the perfect relaxing day I had in mind and in just a few minutes I had booked and paid for a session for the following day. Excited, I decided not to tell Mum exactly what we were doing so it could be a nice surprise.

The Thermal Spa Experience at Bethnal Green is set in one of the oldest Turkish Baths in London and was restored into the spa as it is today in 2005. As part of the three-hour session, you have access to a sauna, two steam rooms, a Hammam (heated seating area), the Turkish Baths (a series of hot rooms: Tepidarium “warm room”, Caldarium “hot room”, Laconium “hottest room”), a Monsoon Shower, an Ice Fountain (for rubbing ice on the body after a heat treatment), a Plunge Pool (to stimulate circulation and to use between heat treatments), Bucket Shower (basically a bucket of cold water you can pour over yourself after a heat treatment) and a Relaxation Lounge (with loungers, sofas, and refreshments such as water, herbal tea and fruit). The spa provides customers with bath robes, towels and footwear. You can also book additional beauty treatments such as massages and facials, and they also offer packages for hen-dos and mothers-to-be.

On arrival at the spa, we were recommended to alternate hot and cold treatments for the best results. I loved the heat treatments, and in between them, I braved the Bucket Shower and Plunge Pool and really did feel the refreshing effects! After the three hour session my face was glowing, and I felt amazing! Mum was so relaxed that she even dozed off in the Relaxation Lounge 😉 It was a lovely day and we both felt great afterwards.

I was so surprised to discover these Turkish Baths in central London, and when you are in the spa, it is so peaceful and relaxing that you can forget where you are. I was also impressed by the history of the Turkish Baths themselves and I’m pleased that they have been restored so that they can still be enjoyed.

If you are interested in paying these baths a visit, find out more here. I am pretty sure that I will be going back again soon!

York Hall today (Hammam)
York Hall Turkish Baths c.1920

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