For the ultimate feel-good factor this autumn, head outside for a spa experience enhanced by nature. The Good Spa Guide – the UK’s leading authority on the spa industry – has unveiled its top picks for retreats surrounded by a natural environment.
Recent studies* suggest that being in nature can reduce stress and anger, while engaging with a natural environment can positively contribute towards an individual’s overall wellbeing. Another recent survey by Mind found that 95% reported an improvement in their mood after spending time outside in nature, changing from a depressed state to feeling more balanced and calm. What more impetus do you need?
Here’s The Good Spa Guide’s top 10 recommendations:
Barnsley House Spa – The spa is surrounded with award winning gardens by celebrated horticulturist Rosemary Verey. There are beautifully designed lawns and a kitchen garden which supplies the restaurant. The spa is small but has an outdoor hydro pool and a garden area. An unusual feature is the thermal facilities, called the Herbarium, where fresh herbs from the gardens are hung outside the sauna and steam room to create herbal aromas.
Aqua Sana Sherwood – Located at the New Forest Center Parcs, this spa is in a 400 acre pine forest with a lake and wild meadows. The New Forest Spa uses open-air terraces, balconies and facilities to bring a sense of the outdoors in. Their showpiece is the new Treetop Sauna, perched 10 metres above the ground in, of course, the treetops.
Bamford Haybarn – Set on Daylesford Organic Farm, the rustic-chic Bamford Haybarn is a day spa within their eco-luxe community. The spa is a wellness retreat that cleverly creates a spa effect without any need to get wet. Treatments use products from the Bamford Body Collection, a range of botanical skincare all made in England.
Chewton Glen- Chewton Glen’s 130 acre gardens provide the vegetables, fruit and herbs needed for The Kitchen and cookery school. The Good Spa Guide recommends booking in for tree house treatments to spa among the treetops.
Galgorm Resort and Spa – Galgorm offers extensive outdoor facilities. The Thermal Village is located on the banks of the River Maine where there’s a sauna, steam, relaxation lounge and hot tub by the river. Top tip – book one of the four private hot tubs which overlook the river as it flows into rapids.
Armathwaite Hall – Offers a range of skincare products using 100% natural products made in The Lakes. The spa overlooks the hotel grounds, Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw Mountain. The outdoor hydro pool is also a great setting to look out for wildlife.
Rudding Park – Has an impressive rooftop spa and spa garden as well as an outdoor hydro pool, sauna and shower. Sit among the tree tops on the loungers and soak up the sun. Fresh herbs, plants and edible flowers grown in the Kitchen Garden are available in dishes in the spa café.
Congham Hall – This spa is located in the heart of the herb garden (with 400 varieties of herbs) at Congham Hall. The Herb Garden signature treatment uses herbs from gardens and the outdoor hot tub has decking looking over the fields.
Herb House at Limewood – The spa has a roof-top herbary sun deck with loungers and meditation areas. Ideal for taking in the panoramic views and the fragrant smells of fresh herbs. The Herbary also supplies ingredients for Raw & Cured and Hartnett Holder & Co restaurants.
The Scarlet – The Scarlet is cliff-top so although you can’t get your feet in the sand, you do have Atlantic views from the clifftop hot tubs. The outdoor pool is naturally filtered by reeds, too. As so many of the treatments are based on Ayurveda, they use a lot of herb poultices and even Cornish muds in the rasul.
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For further information on The Good Spa Guide please visit www.goodspaguide.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
Offering a directory of the best spas in the UK, The Good Spa Guide provides an expert guide as well as in-depth reviews, spa features, expert advice and competitions on its website. The company operates the trademarked bubble rating system, which is the UK’s only national spa rating system, and which feeds into the prestigious annual Good Spa Guide Awards.
*according to Kelly Biedenweg from from the College of Agricultural Sciences