Saturday, August 23, 2014

Turkish Baths in Harrogate

One of the items on my bucket list before leaving Harrogate was a visit to the Turkish Baths. Dan very thoughtfully gave me a gift certificate for Mother's Day. Initially I planned on going by myself, but when my friends said they were available to join me, I knew the experience would be that much better. Rachel, Becky, Vicky (not pictured) and I made a morning of it. No photos are allowed during the session, but we managed to sneak one in after the fact.

I've been to an authentic Turkish bath in Istanbul; I still maintain that was one of my top-ten most interesting life experiences. It was so unexpected and wonderful. Of course a lot of that had to do with the hamam we chose--if you are ever in Istanbul, you MUST visit Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami.

These baths were significantly different than the ones in Istanbul, but it was still relaxing and wonderful. This was more like a spa than a bath house. Bathers go through a series of rooms to open their pores and release toxins. First you visit the sauna, then the Tepidarium (warm room), then the Calidarium (hot room), and finally the Laconium (hottest room). In between each room you shower and take a dip in the plunge pool. It was freezing! It was really interesting how different the pool felt after each room. I thought that it would feel less cold after visiting hotter rooms, when in fact it was the opposite. The hotter the room I was in, the colder (and less pleasant) the plunge pool.

Plunge pool [source]

Before we knew it, our two-hour session was over. I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The Turkish Baths are just one more thing to love about Harrogate.


  1. What a wonderful experience. I've never been to a Turkish bath, but it looks so relaxing. I do though have an outdoor pool that I love. It is fairly new and was designed and installed by my friendly local pool company. If you don't have a pool at home, I highly recommend one for relaxing in.

    Bernice Cunningham @ Guardian Industries

    1. Hi Bernice,
      It was a wonderful experience aND makes me miss living in England (and Harogate) terribly. I'm back in Washington, DC with no pool, sadly. Maybe one day!