How city could benefit from seeing double. But suffer from a lack of loos!

Bath could benefit from a rare double-listing as a World Heritage site as part of an international Great Spas of Europe project– boosting tourism and global awareness of the city.

roman baths
The Roman Baths.

It has been identified among eleven top European spa towns to potentially gain additional recognition by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

A report before Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet asks to endorse a submission to UNESCO by the Great Spas of Europe, which represents the eleven spa areas.

(But see below –  in the comments section – how a group of tourist guides feel lack of toilet facilities and sensible coach drop off points could well threaten the submission)

The report says Bath is now one of the highest ranking spa towns in a group of eleven across Europe – including Spa in Belgium, Vichy in France and Baden Baden in Germany which form the nomination to UNESCO.

UNESCO World Heritage status remains the most prestigious and highly coveted accolade bestowed on any heritage site and marks a place as being of global significance.

The UNESCO symbol of Bath’s World Heritage status



If it was approved then Bath would be a rare double-nominated UNESCO World Heritage site, alongside cultural icons such as Bruges and Barcelona.

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for development and regeneration, said: “This nomination, if successful would give global recognition to Bath as a leading international spa destination and be a huge shot in the arm for tourism. Tourism provides thousands of jobs in and around the city and it also brings in millions of pounds every year and so being able to say Bath is a doubly-inscribed UNESCO World Heritage site is something only a very small number of places worldwide can make.”


The report says in addition to status and marketing potential a successful nomination would also have great international networking potential.  Baden Baden hosted the G20 Economic summit in 2017 and it would enable the council to take advantage of any possible European funding streams which require partners.

It notes that the cost of the project since its inception in 2013 has been approximately  £210k  less than a third of the £1m spent by the English Lake District which was, in 2017, the last UK inscription.

Cabinet meets on October 31 and is being recommended to endorse the proposal ahead of submission to UNESCO in January 2019.


  1. And yet in spite of all this, they make it ever more difficult for a coach to stop in the centre of Bath and they provide no toilet facilities for the visitors whose numbers they wish to boost.

  2. So BANES are aware of the value of visitors after all. If we get double UNESCO recognition, please may we have public toilets and a staffed coach drop-off point. If the UNESCO inspectors arrive in a coach the bid may not go well.

  3. In order to secure this request surely Bath City Council needs to assure the provisions of safe drop off/pick up places combined with adequate toilet facilities at the point of arrival . This is in place at the railway station but sadly lacking at the coach station . At present the toilets at Riverside are closed with no prospect of ever opening again . Alternative suggestions for available facilities are totally unrealistic for the amount of visitors already arriving by coach especially during the main season . Equally so are the distances of locations involved for large groups of various ages . The imminent threat of closure of the Coach Park altogether after Christmas is highlighting the alarming dangerous alternative of providing various stops around the city . Virtually all of the numerous foreign coaches with their left hand drive would be discharging passengers into the road – not to mention their circling around while trying to find empty discharge places . In short : Bath needs to be able to assure UNESCO of the provision of an adequate coach park dropc with proper facilities to accommodate the tourists if their request is ever going to be taken into consideration

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