Bath: The UK’s Happy Capital?

An in-depth survey by Visit Bath in January this year found that visitors to Bath are more relaxed than anywhere else in the UK.

The survey’s results showed that the city made visitors feel genuinely happier, and for those of us who live, work or regularly spend time in Bath, it isn’t difficult to see why.

Of course, Bath has been a place of relaxation and indulgence for centuries, since the Romans built the spa of Aquæ Sulis (the waters of Sulis) in c.AD 60, but this founding tradition is making a resurgence. Bath is fast becoming a major national hub of wellbeing and happiness.

Just take a walk through the city’s parks and open spaces on a warm summer’s day, and you will almost always meet people practising yoga, meditating alone or in groups, or just enjoying the space around them. For more serious mindfuls, a wealth of mindfulness groups have popped up in Bath in the last twelve months, where residents come together to focus and contemplate.

But aside from the formal practices, as the VisitBath survey shows, our beautiful city is an ideal place to reconnect with oneself, think, feel, find quiet and enjoy peace. With a population of fewer than 90,000, and (thanks to the city’s status as a World Heritage Site) some of the finest Georgian architecture and visible history in the world, Bath is pretty much the archetypal model of the perfect place to relax and unwind.

While the survey’s findings obviously speak well for the city’s tourist goals, they also ring true for local people. There are a breadth of relaxing activities on the doorstep of those living or staying in Bath, from the thermal spa in the city centre to hiking on the stunning skyline trails. The truth is, it’s hard to find yourself in this lasting snapshot of history, set in the bottom of a beautiful Somerset valley, and still feel up-tight.

Is it any wonder Bathonians are such a happy bunch?