The UK’s Best Spas

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While we might not get away to our favourite destination quite as soon as we thought, a spa day always makes us feel like we’ve had a sort of mini holiday. Here are some of the UK’s best – and most unusual – spas…

Turkish Baths, Harrogate

The unassuming town of Harrogate is home to the UK’s most fully restored Victorian Turkish bath house. The interior features Moorish and Islamic inspired decor, including meticulously arranged terrazzo floors, glistening glazed tiles and painted ceilings. The spa now offers a number of contemporary treatments, from massages to waxing, but the traditional Turkish bath experience begins with an acclimatisation in the frigidarium, before the heat is turned up in the eucalyptus infused steam room and three heated chambers. Lastly, a bracing dip in the cold plunge pool tones skin, flushes out toxins and improves circulation. Then, you can do the whole process all over again if you wish!

The Bath House – Russian Banya, London

While a conventional UK spa might evoke images of fluffy dressing gowns and plinky plonk background music, a Russian banya is a little more extreme… The Bath House – Russian Banya is housed in a converted bank opposite Buckingham Palace. Inside you’ll find delirium-inducing steam rooms and ice buckets that can be tipped onto your head with a pull of a chain. While you’re there, it’d be criminal not to try a traditional parenie treatment, which involves being whipped by oak, birch and eucalyptus branches. It’s said to promote weight loss and rejuvenate the skin, amongst other things. Arguably, one of the best parts of a Russian spa though, is the caviar, dumplings and ice-cold vodka that you can indulge in afterwards. If you don’t fancy being beaten with twigs though, then perhaps it could make a satisfying gift for one of your least favourite acquaintances…

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath


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An UNESCO World Heritage centre, Bath was built by the Romans around the natural hot springs that were found in the area. In 2006, the spas were restored and are now of the city’s most visited attractions. The Thermae Bath Spa is made up of a mineral-rich and naturally warm outdoor rooftop pool, an indoor lazy river with whirlpools and massage jets, and the Springs Cafe where you can enjoy light snacks and refreshments in the comfort of your robe. There are treatments available too, including a bamboo stick massage, a candle massage and a couples evening session.

The Scarlet, Newquay


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The spectacular Cornish setting of The Scarlet eco-hotel and spa has undoubtedly inspired the all-natural elements of both the treatments and the food. The Newquay spot boasts an all vegan tasting menu and the treatments use organic ingredients. The spa also makes the most of its inimitable position, and is home to a sea air hot tub that overlooks the pale sands and wild, dramatic sea. There are mud treatments available, including a traditional Arabian rhassoul ritual, plus there’s an Ayurvedic consultation on offer that helps get to the route of any imbalance in the body and the mind.

Titanic Spa, Yorkshire

Yorkshire’s Titanic Spa is the UK’s first eco spa, and it’s set in a restored 20th-century mill in the Pennines. By eco, Titanic Spa doesn’t just mean that its treatments are organic – the building itself is carbon neutral and generates renewable energy through solar panels and energy efficient lighting and appliances. There’s also a natural water spring beneath the building that provides drinking and bathing water, and the food and drink in the bistro is all organic and sustainably sourced where possible. Treatments include indulgent body wraps and mud treatments.

Lion Quays Resort, Shropshire

The Lion Quays Resort might look like a typical, luxury countryside hotel nestled in the painterly Shropshire landscape, however its spa is home to some truly cutting-edge treatments. You’ll feel like you’re on another planet in more ways than one in one of its orbit pods, which is used for salt floatation therapy. The treatment aims to relax muscles and promote mindfulness. Meanwhile, you could make like the Scandinavians and brave the snow cave, which is kept at a temperature of around -10°C and does wonders for your pores. Follow with a Finnish sauna, within which deep heat helps with joint pain, muscle relaxation, and sleep.