Studies show that spending time in nature promotes mental wellbeing. Forest Bathing – the act of walking among trees – can relieve stress, lower the heart rate and induce relaxation. Furthermore, being in nature has been linked to boosting the immune system*. So this summer, enhance your health with a nature-inspired spa break, taking these top tips from The Good Spa Guide.
Glorious Gardens (are good for your health)
Pick a spa where you can wander through rose gardens, breathe in the scent of herbs from kitchen gardens, and take a walk across lush green lawns through archways and arboretums. Here’s The Good Spa Guide’s top 6 UK spas with glorious gardens:
- Barnsley Spa and Skincare Centre, Cirencester – the surrounding gardens were designed by horticulturist Rosemary Verey in the 1950s, and the Prince of Wales is said to be a fan. Produce is used in the hotel’s kitchens and even herbs in the spa
- Hoar Cross Hall, Staffordshire – the herb gardens and Victorian greenhouses here both grow produce for the kitchens and inspire the menus
- Lifehouse Hotel and Spa, Essex – these listed gardens count Queen Mary, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling and JM Barrie among its fans. The space is perfect for summer walks in your robe
- Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, Wiltshire – quintessentially British, there’s rose and lavender gardens plus an arboretum of 600 trees to explore. Enjoy garden views from the outdoor pool
- The Secret Garden Spa at Congham Hall Hotel, Norfolk – over 400 varieties of herbs are grown here. Gardeners pick herbs for the chef to use in seasonal dishes and aromatic oils and vinegars
- Stobo Castle Health Spa, Scotland – the Japanese garden is part water garden with a waterfall and Japanese-style bridge. Take a longer walk around the pleasure loch or join a guided run
Garden Fork to Plate Fork
Exploring spa gardens is one thing, but the latest trend is to literally bring garden produce into the spa and eateries. Many spa cafés and restaurants already feature a garden fork to plate fork menu.
The Herb House Spa in Lime Wood features a sensational kitchen garden where you dine on the produce in ‘Raw & Cured’. At Chewton Glen and Rudding Park, enjoy a tour of the garden and inhale the aromas you’re about to eat. At Mallory Court, take the Mindful Garden Walk around their stunning kitchen gardens before enjoying a garden risotto in the café, with flowers plucked from the rose garden.
Taking a holistic approach to wellness – where sustainable, organic ingredients are on the plate, in your skin and on your hair – is Bamford Haybarn, part of the Daylesford Organic Farm cookery school and shops. The B Balanced: Cooking and Haybarn Spa Day includes yoga, cookery school and a massage. Similarly, at the Secret Garden Spa at Congham Hall in Norfolk, enjoy a facial or massage using some of the 400 varieties of herb taken from their English herb garden.
Natural and botanical ingredients have been integral to spa and wellness since ancient times. The Good Spa Guide shares their expertise on the healing power of plants, so you know what ingredients to look for when choosing your next spa treatment (or meal).
- Lavender – balances strong emotions such as panic. Used on the skin it promotes cell growth and helps treat acne, eczema and psoriasis. It also eases pain, wounds and bites
- Camomile – soothing for the skin and emotional wellbeing, also lifts the spirits
- Eucalyptus – instant relief if prone to colds, feeling tired or run down. Inhaled, it helps clear the mind, nose and chest. In massage it’s good for aching muscles and wounds
- Frankincense – in skincare, this has powerful anti-ageing properties, tones the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Inhaled or in massage it’s calming, soothing and uplifting, so great for stress and insomnia
- Jasmine – a powerful aphrodisiac, anti-depressant and toner
- Lemongrass – relaxing and detoxifying (especially for upset stomachs)
- Neem – used to treat acne, dandruff, hair loss and eczema
- Orange Blossom – good for insomnia and PMT
- Peppermint – helps with stomach upsets and digestion, breathing and circulation. Great for cooling tired feet in the summer
- Rosemary – a stimulating oil, great for invigorating dull skin and is good for the scalp. Astringent and toning, it alleviates oily or congested skin
For further information on The Good Spa Guide please visit www.goodspaguide.co.uk