Top 10 UK spa weekends
Visit the best spas in the UK
If you want to get away for a spa weekend, you will be looking for more than just the selection of therapies. It’s the whole package that you’ll be after, from the elegant accommodation and relaxed setting, right through to the range of other activities.
Today spas are integrating cosmetic treatments like facials and manicures into holistic approaches to well-being. You can still have a pedicure, but your spa visit will also include fitness, health, relaxation and even spirituality. With this in mind, the team at realbuzz.com have chosen 10 of the best spas in the UK, excluding spas in London which are covered in another feature.
St. David’s Hotel, Cardiff
A five-star hotel and spa situated on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay near to many other attractions in Cardiff, which makes it ideal for visitors. The spa’s speciality is its water-based treatment thalassotherapy, but there is also a range of other treatments using aromatherapy, marine and other natural products, meaning that programmes can be tailored to the need of each individual. In the water treatment rooms you can book an exhilarating jet-blitz water massage or hydrotherapy with underwater massage.
The Balmoral Spa, Edinburgh
The Balmoral Spa is a retreat in the heart of the city, located on Edinburgh’s main street Princes Street, yet it is a sanctuary of total escapism in which to relax and rejuvenate. The spa offers five treatment rooms with a wide range of treatments; a 15m swimming pool; a sauna and steam room; a relaxation suite; a fully equipped cardiovascular gymnasium; and air-conditioned exercise room. Treatments available include ESPA aromatherapy, facial and body treatments, alternative therapies such as Reiki, and a unique Brazilian toe therapy which works on the body’s six energy meridians in order to tackle insomnia and headaches.
Champneys, Tring, Hertforshire
The original Champneys resort underwent a spectacular £14 million refurbishment in 2003, which restored the mansion to its former glory. Its setting within 170 acres of parkland also makes it an idyllic location. New additions include a 25m pool and spa area, new treatment rooms including a couples treatment room, and a new 150 square metre gym and studios. A wide range of over 100 treatments and therapies are offered from advanced facials and manicures/pedicures, to relaxing aromatherapy massage and slimming, shaping and toning treatments. And to fill your time there’s even a range of activities to do – including aerobics, arts and crafts, croquet, guided country walks, Pilates, Tai Chi, tennis, and yoga.
Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire
Ragdale boasts grand Victorian architecture, vast grounds and state-of-the-art facilities. Ragdale Hall Health Hydro has received many ‘Health Spa of the Year’ awards since 1999, and is a top spa resort for health and beauty advice, relaxation, pampering and beauty treatments. The spa is also surrounded by beautiful scenery, making it a great location for relaxing on a weekend break. There are a range of treatments on offer here, including holistic therapy and health advice, and beauty treatments from leading skincare companies Clarins, Elemis and Decleor.
The Spa at Turnberry, Ayrshire
Golfers will love this venue, which provides its guests with two championship golf courses the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy and the superb nine-hole Arran Course – in addition to an outdoor activity center and the award-winning spa itself. The spa’s centerpiece is a magnificent 20m pool, which provides breathtaking views across the Irish Sea to Ailsa Craig. Inside the spa there are luxurious individual treatment and relaxation rooms, a hydrotherapy suite, a range of heat experiences, and a fully equipped fitness studio. Turnberry offers an excellent his-and-hers experience, where you can offset a day of outdoors activity – such as golf, fishing, and riding – with full-body pampering.
Bodysgallen Spa, Llangollen
Situated within its own 200 acres of parkland and providing spectacular views of Snowdonia, this spa is housed in converted farm buildings and features sauna and steam rooms, a swimming pool, and a club room and terrace for light lunches and drinks. The ancient castles of Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech and Beaumaris are also all nearby. Residential guests have full use of the Bodysgallen Spa, including an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool spa bath, gymnasium, tennis court, and club room. There are also five beauty salons on-site, which are staffed by qualified therapists who provide treatments using Molton Brown, Clarins, E’Spa, Jessica, and St. Tropez products.
C-side Spa, Cowley Manor, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Crowley Manor Grade II listed building was inspired by Rome’s Villa Borghese, is set on 55 acres, and is surrounded by beautiful countryside that features lakes, cascades, ponds and formal gardens. In the spa there are both indoor and outdoor pools, plus a gym, a sauna, a steam room, and four treatment rooms. If you’re planning a family holiday, the hotel offers playroom facilities as well as nannies by request. And if you want to chill out, the padded leather billiards room and the funky cocktail bar here are great to stay in for an hour or three! Treatments on offer here include ESPA and Clarins treatments – with ‘the Crunch’, a blissful hot-stone massage, being a favourite.
Serenity Spa, Seaham Hall, Northumberland
The former home of Lord Byron is now an award-winning hotel and spa and is surrounded by beautiful Northumbrian countryside. Serenity Spa is inspired by Feng Shui, and there are over 50 different treatments on offer here. The spa has a distinctly oriental theme and provides you with traditional Japanese and Thai massage therapies – plus there’s a hydrotherapy pool, which has wonderfully invigorating jets and massage streams, and an outdoor jacuzzi, which can be enjoyed no matter what the weather is like. Also, if you decide to leave the spa at any point, you can visit the beach nearby or follow in Byron’s footsteps on one of his favourite walks through Seaham Dene.
De Vere Carden Park, Cheshire
A complete hotel, golf and spa resort. This 750-acre estate’s location means it is surrounded by both the Cheshire countryside and the Welsh Hills – and there’s even a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course here if that is your thing. There are extensive health and spa facilities at De Vere Carden Park, including a wide choice of holistic therapies. These are complemented by a steam room, a sauna, a 20m indoor pool, a whirlpool spa and a plunge pool. And if you are looking to get a little more active, then the outdoor pursuits centre here offers a range of activities – including archery, quad biking and 4x4 off-road driving. Alternatively, you could hire a mountain bike and go for a gentle ride along one of the dedicated cycling trails.
Babington House, Somerset
A Georgian country house surrounded by gardens and lakes. The Cowshed Spa here is home to the hotel’s gym, sauna, steam room, indoor swimming pool and outdoor swimming pool – and this range of facilities is added to by seven lakeside cabins, which offer massages, facials, manicures, aromatherapy, and reflexology. Families can also make use of the cricket pitch, croquet and bicycles available for hire, and there’s even an on-site crèche. If you’re looking to explore further afield, though, the hotel can organise off-site jaunts such as ballooning, golf, horse riding or rock climbing. There is even a substantial DVD library collection to help you occupy some of your time when you’re tired after all your activities!
Information correct at the time of writing but is subject to change and should be checked with each venue.