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Welcome to Bath Imperial Health Spa!

Bath - Imperial Health Spa. Blessed by generations of monarchs Bath lies in a shining green valley. Steam from the bubbling hot springs rises from the Celebration Baths in the city centre: passers-by are invariably gathered on the stone gallery which surrounds these giant pools to watch the spectacle of healthful exercise which takes place at regular intervals throughout the day.

The tall, half-timbered buildings around the Celebration Baths each boast a balcony for the delight of the guests - who may sit outside and breathe the mineral-rich vapours rising from below. For breakfast carafes of the sparkling warm water are served, with the famous outsized Bath Bun.

Bath offers many places to sample its miraculous waters. Not least of these is the Fountain Bath - a spectacular construction on Great Pulteney Street, the terraces of which cascade hot water over the eager bathers and down into the new Weir behind Walcot Street. Small craft may be seen plying the bathers with restorative drinks and snacks, punting daringly close to the waterfall edges. Inside, the Bath has a strigil parlour and mineral bar.

Why not try the more modest Cross Bath, deep under the streets, for a torchlit bathing experiences? This tiny bath, recently rediscovered, is a secluded spot to take the waters, and a great favourite of courting couples.

Some Bath buildings are made of the local stone, and this always arouse curiosity - how was the building material brought to site in those ancient times? Bath boasted the world's first railway, a series of tracks bearing cars drawn along by humans or horses, brining stone from the quarries to the growing town. The river, before it was split, would have run right through the town centre.

If walking is your recommended cure, then the Bath Roofway is for you. Stroll along these delicately-strung paths, their cables linking the pinnacles and spires of this gracious town, the healthful vapours rising up towards you all the while.

What of food? Bath's wines are noted the Empire over, and its pastries no less. Or try the Abbey's special mead, poured by a genuine Monk of the Realm.

Industry is also plentiful and Bath prospers by its modern crafts - the glass furnace and iron and general foundry - and by its traditional tourist and medical provision.

Property can be rented by the month, or catered lodgings found by any number of London or Milton agents. Lodgings tend to be quite generous, high-ceilinged affairs, with balcony or at the very least a garden area. The meals brought in can be ordered for any time, and Bath's staff is known for its honesty and professionalism.

Please note though, that no long lets are available for the very central houses - Bath's central committee sees that each long resident household has the chance to stay at these addresses, by restricting continuations of their lets. Only by arrangement with a resident family can non-Bathonians reside in the Churchyard, Crescents or Combe Down Place.

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Text copyright Archsweet 1999