I couldn’t agree more. Germans have a healthy attitude to nudity unlike some Brits. Very annoying to be told I must wear trunks on a Men Only day. The small changing room is an insult. Also, so much wasted space and uncongenial design of the baths.
Ironmonger Row Baths
Old Street, London
1-11 Ironmonger Row, London EC1V 3QF
- Old Street Station (0.4 km)
- Old Street Tube Station (0.5 km)
- Contact us:
020 7253 4011
- Opening hours:
Weekdays: 6.30am - 9.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am - 6.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 6.00pm
10 reviews of Ironmonger Row Baths in English
There is a cardio room on the first floor with rows of treadmills which is often boiling hot and poorly ventilated - this is a big negative for me so I rarely use it.
Upstairs, the main gym has treadmills and steppers etc - they aren't the newest ones where you can plug in your iPod, like they were in the Camden branch. They have radio/TV connectors of which about half work. It also annoys me that you can't pre-program intervals onto them, except intervals of incline. Row of TV channels at the front. It's pretty standard. Usually not too busy - I've never had to wait for a machine.
Round the sides are some mats for stretching and free weights - these areas are quite cramped as they are literally down the sides of the gym, so there's not a proper mat area.
The other side has a cardio bike place, that I've not tried, and all the big weights machines.
I don't go to classes here, but I've heard their quality varies.
For a premium gym, I would hope to find a Powerplate or more modern machines. It's a gorgeous light airy building, but the gym feels like an after-thought. Will report back soon on the spa.
GLL, Tower Hamlets Council, and Islington Council DIDN'T BOTHER TO REPLY.
I also patronise Turkish Bath and Spa complexes in Germany and across the Continent and at every single one the wearing of costumes is BANNED / VERBOTEN.
The reasons are simple. In the heat and steam bathing costumes trap bacteria and germs which are then deposited upon the sitting surfaces and in the water of the facilities. Also the costumes being usually made of man-made fabrics and coloured by artificial agents can leach chemicals and dyes into the waters. THIS PUTS EVERYONE'S HEALTH AT RISK.
And it is impossible to soap up and wash down when wearing a costume.
So I asked why are costumes compulsory at York Hall and Ironmonger Row? Why are the managements of these places putting their customers health at risk, especially when costumes are banned on the Continent?
As I said they DIDN'T BOTHER TO REPLY.
Not good. Avoid these places.
Comment 1 comment on this review
petertegel, 7 hours ago:
Lovely staff, basic but clean and cheap. They have a tv and books, cheap drinks and simple snacks.
Very hostile and racist atmosphere though. I went on a Friday which is ladies only and enjoyed the steam room, a treatment and relaxing on a lounger until I was shouted at by another customer for sitting on "her bed" despite it being unoccupied for at least half an hour. The regulars lay their towels out like the Germans do on sun loungers and think they own the place. She followed me round shouting until I asked her if she had a problem with me being there. I couldn't relax and the experience was ruined. I will never visit again and wouldn't advise going there if you're a white person.
I visited the Sanctuary in Covent Garden which is much more expensive but has a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere where I felt much more comfortable.
PatriciaDavis, 29 August 2011:
Next time Hun, go mob handed with lots of friends! Don’t be intimidated, that’s exactly what someone wanted. If it’s local then go there, let others move over not you. Apart from that it’s great to get you up to date with your washing and ironing, especially your bed sheets nicely pressed. Take advantage if the facilities, not others taking advantage of you. Have the philosophy after me….your first lol.
carols9995, 30 August 2011:
Thanks a lot Hun for your lovely comments. You’re very kind!
Funnily enough I’ve returned today from a long weekend in London for the Bank holiday (I live in Wales but regularly visit London). Might visit the baths again and be a bit more prepared as you very kindly suggest. In fairness the staff are very friendly and you’re right, you do get a lot for the money.
Hope you had a great weekend!
PatriciaDavis, 31 August 2011:
Thanks for the reply. Enjoy the facilities. And if all gets too much in the big smoke (London that is), then you at least have beautiful Wales to return to. I had a welsh cob horse and she was the love of my life, so Wales certainly turn out some beautiful horses…in fact the best. I miss her so much xx
carols9995, 3 September 2011:
Thanks a lot and you’re welcome. It’s emptying down at the mo! Sorry to hear about your horse, they’re like one of the family. Just glad she had a great home. xxxx.
I thought I would also add to all the reviews here that apart from being a leisure centre with turkish baths, this place also has a laundrette!
When my kitchen was being fitted, I had to come here with my dirty washing to get it all scrubbed up. The laundrette is just to the left of reception and has a number of large washing machines, dryers and 4 huge roller ironing machines. You have to pre-book your slot, which can be done online, and then pay at reception for a token.
While you wait, there is a TV (the reception was always pretty bad) or you can go and sample the delights of.. Old Street?
As Laundrettes go, this one is brilliant because a) it’s so large and b) they have the roller irons, which make ironing a breeze!
A really relaxing place to spend the afternoon. Go with friends, or take your mum for a special treat. Enjoy the range of hot and cold pools and then sit and chill out in the relaxation rooms. The only annoying thing is that it is men’s only on a saturday, so that does limit somewhat the times you can go.
wonderfully relaxing turkish baths, with 3 hot rooms increasing in temperature, and a hard to handle steam room-rewarding though if you can bear it.
Body scrubs from £8 and massages from £12 and a free relaxation room with beds and sun loungers. Its not a massive place so try not to go when its too busy, and there is only 1 day when men and women can go at the same time- so its a single sex event mainly, which makes for quite a nice atmosphere.
Many women go naked, but swimming costumes are also worn.
Generally a beautifully relaxing place, time to read or daydream or relax as you wish. allow yourself 2hours to fully relax and then slowly recover- getting dressed seems a trial after all the lying down.
(great vietnames restaurants near by on kinglsland road too to finish off the cheap, relaxing day)
Comment 1 comment on this review
thecatalanway, 29 January 2013:
It is such a shame but these lovely baths have been spoilt by the recent changes and it no longer has the atmosphere that I remember from years ago. The main change and for me the most sad is that you are now not allowed to go naked on the womans day or the mens either I imagine but don’t know). Going to the baths used to be a wonderful place where all women – black/white, fat/think, old/young were able to relax and feel ok about their bodies. Now with the bathing costume rule we are back to feeling we have to cover ourselves in case anyone is offended. I went a couple of weeks ago and after being told off by the attentdants for being naked, I would never go again. Kate
Yea, this is a great pool. This is really the only aspect of the complex that I feel qualified to review. Basically, I'm a dedicated lane-swimmer - from one lane-swimmer to any others - this is a good long pool to swim lengths. Plus, if have similar unfortunate circumstances as myself of not having working washing machine -you can wash your clothes in the launderette while you take swim. Two birds one stone. Great
Located just a few minutes from Old Street station, this place is great: it offers a gym, pilates and yoga classes, as well as two swimming pools, a sauna and Turkish baths where you can get professional body scrubs and massages.
My favourite is their Wednesday water-aerobics classes with a great teacher named Sara. Rates range from £4 to 6, depending on whether you drop in at peak or off-peak hours. They also have memberships to match your own requirements.
This is the best alternative to other better known wellbeing franchises.
As one of the older public baths around, this one is a little different. It’s a listed 30’s building with high ceilings, making for a lovely airy place to swim. Like most baths it can be overrun with school kids during the holidays, but at other times it’s a nice relaxed place to put in some serious lengths. It’s also a little quirky. Besides the standard gym, sun beds, sauna and snack machines in the lobby, this place also boasts a laundrette and Turkish baths with massages and scrubs available, both open since it was first built. Another quirk is the pool itself: rather than the standard 25m public bath or 50m Olympic length pool, the pool here is 30.5metres long! I like it, it’s nice to be able to go a little further before each turn, but don’t forget to take it into account if you are used to swimming lengths of a standard pool!
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