If whiling away the hours in a luxurious pool or getting a massage is your idea of heaven, the good news is that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a spa in the UK.
We’ve rounded up some of the best, from the big names frequented by the rich and famous, to quirky rural hideaways, historical wonders and those with pools with a view.
The only remotely stressful part of the experience will be choosing which indulgent experience you fancy.
The best spas in the UK
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Situated within the picturesque 1,000-acre grounds of the privately owned, award-winning Carden Park Hotel, the Spa at Carden is a luxury destination that offers superior service, world-class facilities and a seamless spa experience. The 4,500 sqm standalone spa officially opened its doors in January 2020 and it tells - everything is spotlessly clean and looks brand new. The spa is spread out over 4,500 sqm, which means you can always find a quiet spot, no matter how busy it gets.
The indoor and outdoor spa facilities are amongst the most impressive I've seen and include two large vitality pools, an extensive thermal suite, a glamorous beauty lounge and a variety of soothing relaxation spaces.
The Spa at Carden also has one of the UK’s largest spa gardens offering an expansive multi-sensory experience of wellbeing with numerous thermal experiences and an all-weather Bollinger Champagne bar. This outside space can be enjoyed in most weather conditions and plays modern music through loudspeakers. This is different from all other spas I've been to, but I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on a cocktail while sitting in a hot tub listening to Drake and Glass Animals. It's relaxing, but you don't feel like you have to talk in hushed voices.
Inside is more traditional, with a very calming atmosphere. This is where you'll go to experience the thermal suite, indulge yourself with a luxury treatment, or eat in the Elements Restaurant.
Elsewhere at Carden Park, there are Championship golf courses, the AA Rosette awarded Redmond’s restaurant, The Vines restaurant, Vertigo adventure course, two bars and an off-road driving experience. Basically, Carden Park can cater to all - I'd thoroughly recommend a stay.
If you're looking to escape the city and relax surrounded by nature, you can't go far wrong with the stylish suites at Brimstone Hotel and Spa (opens in new tab). Influenced by the spectacular Lake District landscape it's the perfect getaway where your every need is looked after by the amazing host team (who are all clad in Tweed).
All Brimstone guests enjoy complimentary Arc’teryx kit hire from the Boot Room, so you can turn up and be kitted out from head to toe, and, after a day's hiking, you can enjoy the complimentary spa access to soothe your aching limbs.
The Brimstone Spa is a sensory indulgence, with an optional 'menu' which guides you through various rooms and experiences. You can also book Pure Alchemy treatments which are unique to Brimstone Spa and use products which are made locally using natural and organic ingredients, all completely Palm Oil-free.
Should you get hungry or thirsty during your stay, complimentary beer, wine and treats are available in Brimstone’s Reading Room 24/7. There's also the Stove Bar and Restaurant, which offers modern British dishes in a relaxed and chilled out setting.
Brimstone is reserved for adults only, with an emperor size double bed in each room, but if you'd like to bring your whole family along you can stay at the Langdale Hotel (opens in new tab), which is on the same estate as Brimstone.
The Bamford Haybarn Spa is a wellness retreat in the Cotswolds, situated next to the famous Daylesford Farmshop. The spa has a holistic approach to wellness, offering treatments for the mind, body, and spirit.
The Haybarn offers a broad range of treatments, each guided by a "deep respect for Ayurveda". You can select a variety of massage, facial and stress reduction therapies, each holistic in approach.
As well as treatments, the Haybarn Spa offers a range of activities including yoga, pilates, and meditation in a magnificent yoga studio, complete with a wood-sprung floor occupies the top floor of the spa.
The Fife Arms, set within the Cairngorms National Park, is an ideal place to unwind and recuperate. The hotel’s interior is a charming blend of old and new, luxurious and eclectic. It is also home to an outstanding collection of artwork, where Old Masters are complemented by newly-commissioned murals and sculptures.
Albamhor (opens in new tab), the hotel's spa, features power showers and a bespoke sauna which can be enjoyed before a unique spa experience, made from any combination of treatments tailored to your needs. The products used have been selected to provide a unique Scottish Highland experience, respecting your health and wellbeing along with the precious environment.
When you're done relaxing you can hunt, stalk, bird, mountain bike, shoot and fish on the large neighbouring estate, all arranged by the hotel’s ghillie, or simply re-connect with nature and take in the surrounding landscape.
The Dormy House Spa is all about making you feel absolutely fabulous, and has been winning awards since the day it opened. The spa offers guests an indoor/outdoor blend of soothing therapies, serene pool, terrace hot tub, and Scandi-style thermal suite.
A range of individual spa treatments are only bookable for guests staying at the hotel, while non-resident guests are invited to book a spa day.
The House Spa is made up of The Bathing Room, housing 16m indoor infinity pool illuminated with candlelight; The Thermal Suite, a set of Scandinavian inspired rooms designed to soothe, cleanse and invigorate; and The Spa Terrace, housing a hydrotherapy hot tub where warm-water jets massage away stresses and strains on even the frostiest winter days.
In the grounds of the impressive country house sits this timber and glass spa, topped with a ‘living roof’ of thyme and lavender. It's an impressive building, housing a blue-lit pool with underwater music, steam rooms, mood showers and a gym.
There are eight light-filled treatment rooms which offer a nicely edited treatment list by the likes of Carol Joy London, Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates.
The Spatisserie serves up light lunch snacks such as salads and wraps, or, if you'd prefer something more substantial, you can eat in the one Michelin-starred restaurant at the hotel.
Built around a 20-metre indoor pool, Ned’s Club Spa is a space in which Londoners can unwind without leaving the city. Complete with a sauna, steamroom, traditional Moroccan hammam and eight Cowshed treatment rooms, it's a one-stop-shop for women's and men's beauty and grooming.
The beauty and grooming spaces at The Ned bring together a range of men’s and women’s services in a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. Here, you can book in for treatments from the signature Moody Massage to Dermalux LED Phototherapy, VitaDrip® infusions, and our exclusive Urban Warrior pollution proof facial from de Mamiel.
The Ned offers a day spa, whereby members of the public can access Ned’s Club Spa when they spend £200 per person on any treatments in Cowshed.
This five star hotel comprises two separate estates in the beautiful Lake District, with a luxury country house on each. At Gilpin Hotel all of the 25 bedrooms have lovely Lakeland views, most leading directly onto the gardens – including six Garden Suites with their own cedarwood hot tubs, and five fabulous detached Spa Lodges.
The Spa Lodges are cedar-clad with king size beds, gorgeous bathrooms and a fabulously private en-suite spa each, with a convertible treatment area, steam room, rain maker shower, free standing oval stone bath, outdoor sauna and hydrotherapy hot tub surrounded by a walled garden. Add this to the mood lighting, fires, electric blinds and a state-of-the-art music system, and all of the senses are invigorated.
In the evening chauffeurs bring you to the hotel in the evening to dine, either at the Michelin starred main restaurant, 'Hrishi', or in 'Gilpin Spice' a new informal restaurant focussing on dishes from the spice trail.
You can thank the Romans for spa culture. And Bath's Thermae Spa is one of the original and best. The day spa lets visitors bathe in Britain's only warm mineral-rich waters just as the Celts and Romans did 2,000 years ago, but while the site may be ancient, the facilities in the spa definitely are not.
Guests can dine at a swanky restaurant, choose from numerous treatments in plush private rooms, take a dip in the Minerva Bath or take in views of the beautiful city of Bath from the rooftop pool.
There's even a Twilight Package that lets you enjoy a light meal and evening at the spa, taking in a spectacular sunset from the pool (if you're lucky).
If clinical modern surrounding do nothing to relax you, why not consider Harrogate’s beautifully restored Victorian Turkish Baths. Visitors can start their visit in the Frigidarium, surrounded by a beautiful mosaic floor, Islamic arches and Moorish design while they get used to the temperature of the baths, then make their way into the equally stunning steam room, which is designed to relax the muscles, open the pores and let visitors kick back in eucalyptus-infused steam.
Braver visitors can take the plunge in the cold plunge pool then warm up again in the steam room. (Some say this is invigorating and good for you.) But for those who prefer more pampering, the spa also offers an array of treatments as well as complementary and alternative therapies.
Located on a stretch of stunning coast, with over 100 years of heritage and history, the Turnberry (opens in new tab) is home to three exceptional golf courses, five restaurants/bars, and a luxurious, recently-renovated spa.
Guests at the Turnberry can enjoy the perfect spa break in an environment of pure relaxation, with access to twelve serene treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy suite, heat experience, and luxurious lounges for unwinding before or after your treatments.
At the heart of the spa is a 65-foot, heated indoor swimming pool with breathtaking sea views, underwater lighting, and ambient music.
The Spa at Turnberry uses products from ESPA and Ishga, with treatments aimed at creating mind-body harmony.
If you’re looking for more than a day spa experience, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort might be for you. There’s a luxurious hotel, restaurants, ample grounds to wander around as well as a golf course, not to mention the thermal spa village. The spa offers all the usual massages and facials as well as a riverside bathing experience where guests can relax in a hot tub and take in the scenery, and Rasul.
To the uninitiated, this is the ancient art of cleansing where the skin is exfoliated with Dead Sea salt to remove dead skin cells, then a mineral-rich mud is applied (by the visitor rather than a therapist).
Then, it’s a matter of setting back and relaxing the Arabic-inspired chamber while heat and steam dry the clay out and leave your skin glowing (apparently). The spa caters to groups and this is one experience that’s ideal for friends.
Cowshed’s spa lies in the heart of trendy and idyllic Primrose Hill in London and is a favourite amongst celebrities. Homemade cakes, herbal teas and fizz are available in the farmhouse kitchen before treatments begin and the spa offers signature manicures and pedicures in a retro-tastic room with old fashioned TVs.
There are six tranquil rooms for individual treatments, but the spa also caters for groups of between 12 and 20, making it ideal for parties. There’s also a shop selling its signature products so you can carry on pampering from home.
For a spa retreat that caters for the whole body, Herb House Spa at the Limewood hotel is a great choice. Nestled in the New Forest, the spa has a massive Sauna and indoor Hydro Pool with stunning views, a mud house, a steaming outdoor hot pool, eight spacious single treatment rooms and two magnificent double treatment rooms.
The spa will soon offer Sarah Chapman facials. There’s also a state of the art rooftop gym, a 16-metre ozone treated indoor lap pool with glass doors overlooking the garden and a workout studio where you can get stuck into a fitness class, personal training session or fitness MOT.
After all that exercise and pampering you’ll probably be hungry and the Spa has a Raw & Cured food bar offering natural and healthy food, including freshly made salads, cured fish and meat from Lime Wood’s own Smoke House; as well as fresh juices and smoothies.
If you’re after sparkles and glamour this one might not be for you, but its Instagram-friendly surroundings, treatments and food make it one of the trendiest spas around at the moment.
A stone’s throw from one of London’s busiest railway stations and the Eurostar, lies St Pancras Spa in the original underground kitchens of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London. The spa takes its styles from the breathtaking Victorian architecture of the Hotel, as well as around the world.
As well as an incredible variety of massages and treatments, the spa offers ‘journeys’ or collections of treatments inspired by a particular part of the world. There are also day passes for people who want a break from the city or a relaxing day before hopping on the train to Paris.
If it’s super facilities and top treatments you’re after, as well as incredible accommodation including luxe treehouses Chewton Glen may be for you. For those who like keeping fit, there are
tennis courts, a dance studio, gymnasium, nine hole golf course and a 17m indoor pool, and for those who like to relax, there’s a hydrotherapy spa pool, nail studio, aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms and twelve individual treatment rooms offering 50 different treatments and therapies.
Visitors can enjoy a treatment or two featuring quality products from the likes of Natura Bissé, Mama Mio and Oskia, take a stroll on the beach and enjoy pretty much any healthy food they like as the Pool Bar even offers an Alkaline Buffet.
Lucknam Park is an unspoilt country house with 42 individually styled rooms and a choice of fine dining featuring local produce in the Michelin starred Restaurant Hywel Jones or a more relaxed meal in The Brasserie. There are 500 acres of parkland you can explore on horseback (if you like) as well as a cookery school and last but not least, the spa.
The facilities are amazing, with the spa boasting a 20metre indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, outdoor salt water plunge pool, eight treatment rooms and thermal cabins featuring Japanese salt, amethyst room, aromatic steam, sauna and Tepidarium.
Then of course there’s a gym, rooms for fitness classes and personal training sessions, tennis courts and even a football pitch (really).
With its luxury tented treatment rooms lit by lanterns and its far-reaching views over Mawgan Porth, the Scarlet Spa does things a little differently. Its focus is about visitors’ holistic wellbeing and it offers treatments including slathering yourself in rich mineral mud in the rhassoul, experiencing a traditional bathing ritual in the hammam, or even learning how to give massages.
There’s also a big focus on the great outdoors and the spa has a cliff top hot tub allowing users to watch a sunset or even stargaze. Plus, there’s a chemical-free swimming pool too. The relaxation room has cocoon-like pods hanging from the ceiling, letting its users can drift to sleep following a treatment and there are loads of other features too. Visitors can check in for the day, or stay in the hotel and dine in the restaurant too.
Little White Alice’s Wild Spa is a little different to the usual swanky set ups in country houses. Instead, it’s part of a 28-acre sustainable sanctuary set in an ancient granite landscape in Cornwall.
There’s a natural reserve, veggie garden and rare breed farm to get back to nature and guests can stay in eco-cottages and arks. The spa itself is powered by the sun, wood and wind and has a sauna, hot tub, and bucket shower for brave types who love getting freezing then warming up again.
The south-facing sanctuary is perfect for yoga and spa treatments, as well as being the perfect spot to unwind with a book. Accommodation is geared up for families, so this set-up may be perfect for parents looking to get a few minutes peace while having a family holiday at the same time.