Star rating - 10/10
Imagine an Edwardian palace of bathing beauty - largely intact minus the water, in the centre of Manchester. Well in truth you don't have to imagine it, as the jewel that is Victoria Baths is alive and well and available for you to visit. Today was a Heritage Open Day, and after hearing about the place for years, and shamefully never having been inside, I made my first visit there today, and it will definitely not be my last.
The building is an architectural gem from outside, but inside it is a wonder of times past; gorgeous stained glass; and light and green tiles to die for. You can imagine all the people having a ball in there from the time it was opened in 1906, right through to when it last closed its doors to active swimmers in 1993.
The was a first and second class entrance for men, only one for women, I'm not sure why but there you go. And the rooms of the Turkish baths are still there to see in all their glory. This wonderful building has featured in many films and TV programmes, from an obscure film with Bee Gee Barry Gibb and Michael Hordern that we watched a clip from today; to Prime Suspect, and Sherlock.
This building is still there to marvel at thanks to the tireless efforts of the Friends of Victoria Baths, after several years of neglect and decay. And today we were treated to the wonderful sound of Ordsall Acappella Singers performing in one of the pools. Acoustics to die for indeed.
My soul was truly fed by this visit. It is an awe inspiring place. If your soul is ever in need of a spot of nourishment - I urge you to visit.