Fancy a deluxe chocolate wrap in a Victorian bathhouse or what about a full body polish in a roman city famed for its pampering credentials? Here are our recommendations for some of the most distinguished spas in England.
No holiday in this part of the world is complete without a stop off at the Turkish Baths. The 19th-century baths are a true Victorian icon and the most historically complete baths of their kind in the UK, with key-hole arches and Moorish-style tiles covering the floors and walls. The indulgent treatments match the exotic interior, with Turkish aromatic massages, candle oil massages and even deluxe chocolate wraps all on offer. Once you’ve dipped into one Victorian pastime, move on to another with a sugary session at Bettys Tea Room, a Yorkshire institution with an extensive tea list and desserts that include heart-shaped cakes and macaroons stuffed with raspberries.
Bath is synonymous with wellbeing and relaxation, and the Thermae Bath Spa is one of its therapeutic icons. Take a dip in the UK’s only natural thermal waters overlooking the Bath Skyline adorned with the majestic Bath Abbey. The natural thermal springs were first discovered around 863BC by Prince Bladud, who was ‘cured’ from his skin disease after bathing in the waters. The waters have since
washed away the cares of Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians and now 21st-century spa lovers can indulge in a full body polish or a Moroccan body wrap.
This lovingly restored Victorian lido is a real retro treat with its candy-striped curtained changing rooms lining the outdoor heated pool. After you’ve finished a few laps, head inside and treat yourself to a hot stone massage, an exotic rainforest rejuvenation facial or simply sink into the hot tub and then kick back in the sauna. If you really want to push the boat out, book a table at the on-site restaurant. Looking over the lido, it’s one of the best eateries in the city, serving up the likes of wood roast quail and homemade salted caramel ice cream. Carry on your indulgent break in the nearby boutiques of Clifton before finishing off with a sunset stroll over the awe-inspiring Suspension Bridge for views across Bristol and beyond.
Heard of the Soho House Group? Well, this country estate nestled in the heart of Somerset’s luscious countryside is where it all began. Babington House was Nick Jones’ first venture and continues to be one of the coolest country house hotels that’s just perfect for an indulgent getaway. You’ll find Cowshed spas in all of Soho House hotels, so-called because the first one was opened in Babington House’s old cow shed and made good use of the estate’s Victorian wall garden to grow herbs that are infused into all of the treatments here. Opt for signature mud soak or treat yourself to a Cowgroom where two therapists pamper you from head to toe.
The fact that the infamous hedonist and romantic poet Lord Byron got married here in 1815 pretty much says it all, but we’ll go on as a lot has happened at Seaham Hall since then, including the addition of an awarding-winning hotel and a sumptuous Serenity Spa. Choose from 40 deeply indulgent treatments, including the Elemis Exotic Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap, or the sensuous Indian Head Massage. Once you’re fully recuperated and glowing from head to toe, make for Durham’s Heritage coastline, just a few minutes’ walk away, to soak up a good dose of sea air, ramble along windswept coastal views and an undisturbed nature reserve along an 11-mile footpath.
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