A UK spa break in a luxury day spa or UK spa hotel is a treat at any time of year. But in the winter, after the indulgence - and stress - of the holiday season, coming in out of the cold weather to relaxing treatments, lovely food and serenity is a wonderful way to revive flagging spirits.
The UK has its fair share of famous spas. We've visited some of the lesser-known but no less luxurious day spas and spa hotels around the country for you to try.
Have you tried a wonderful UK day spa or stayed in a luxurious hotel with a spa? We'd like to hear about it. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how to tell us.
Courtesy of Verbena Spa
Every well-designed spa venue has its own style - perhaps minimalist, Oriental or hyper-luxurious. At the new Verbena Spa, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, the style is contemporary English country house chic – and I adore it, writes Valerie France, our reviewer in the North. Attached by a covered walkway to the delightful Feversham Arms Hotel, the Verbena Spa is a complete environment for relaxation, treatments and a little indulgence.
Courtesy of Eastthorpe Hall
Everything about the award-winning Eastthorpe Hall day spa is discreet. Its location on a busy road near a light industrial area south of Leeds may even be a little surprising. Inside, this extended 17th century house is a world of its own. Offering a variety of spa packages and holistic treatments, Eastthorpe Hall aims to deliver more than physical well-being, going after the New Age triumverate of mind, body and spirit.
Matt Cardy/Thermae Bath Spa
Even before the Romans arrived, Bath's ancient Celts worshipped their goddess Sul at a spring that remains an ancient sacred site and which gave rise to the Roman name of Bath, Aqua Sulis. From those ancient times visitors have been enjoying the relaxing and therapeutic value of these waters. At least 1 million liters per day rise from approximately 2 km underground at an average temperature of 113ºF. The modern facilities, opened in 2006, are all available at quite reasonable prices. They include a variety of hot baths, waterfall showers, aroma steam rooms and a rooftop thermal pool.
Courtesy of The Devonshire Arms
If you’re staying at The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel, don’t plan on going to The Devonshire Health Spa in your slippers. You’ll need to cross a road to reach this purpose-built spa. All the usual toys are here - swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna, cold plunge and an air-conditioned gym – plus tennis courts and mountain bikes. As with the hotel, there are helpful staff on hand to make your visit what you want it to be.
Dennis Hardley/Isle of Eriska
This family-run hotel is quiet, remote and old-fashioned. It's billed as 5-star luxury but a stay, alongside a regular clientele of repeat visitors, is a little bit like joining a country house party. A short distance from the Big House, the Stables are a pool and spa complex with a gym, steam rooms, sauna and therapy rooms. There's a hot tub/jacuzzi at the end of the heated pool. The list of E'SPA beauty therapies is comprehensive and includes everything from simple manicures to facials, exfoliation and holistic body treatments. Several spa suites, adjacent to the Stables complex, are large and modern with private terraces and private, outdoor hot tubs.
One of the most famous views of the Lake District is that of the mountains known as the Langdale Pikes across Lake Windermere. Almost every room at romantic country house hotel, Holbeck Ghyll, enjoys that view from its vantage point, high over the lake. But you shouldn't need the ravishing view (hidden by mist and drizzle during the whole of my stay) to fall in love with this delightful place. The hotel spa has complimentary gym, sauna, steamroom, power shower and relaxation rooms as well as an extensive, reasonably priced range of plant based E'SPA treatments.
The Menzies Welcombe Hotel,Spa & Golf Club is a luxury country house surrounded by a stunning, 18-hole golf course. It's about mile outside Stratford-upon-Avon, in the hamlet of Welcombe. There are 78 rooms and suites, a spa with indoor and outdoor pools, thermal rooms, gym and aerobics studio. The hotel's public areas include an impressive oak panelled bar, restaurant and lounge. There are also tennis courts and facilities for outdoor sports.