Travel

Jump in and chill out: 10 of Britain’s best affordable retreats


Russian rub-down, London

The “banya” is the Russian cousin of the Finnish sauna and Turkish hammam, and the one at The Bath House, opposite Buckingham Palace, is a great place for a day off. Warm up in steam rooms decorated with mosaics of traditional banya scenes, cool down in an ice-cold plunge pool or under tipping buckets, then enjoy a treatment. The menu includes parenie (a leaf and steam massage) and there are scrubs, wraps and massages. After, nibble on homemade Russian morsels such as Siberian dumplings in the restaurant – and there’s vodka, if you’re here to celebrate.
Treatments from £45, russianbanya.co.uk

Go-slow at Stobo, Scottish Borders

A fairy-lit hot tub at Stobo Castle in Scotland
A fairy-lit hot tub at Stobo Castle in Scotland.

Set in the Scottish Borders countryside, Stobo Castle is Scotland’s only destination spa, and boasts a hydro-spa, sauna and steam rooms powered by a biomass boiler and solar panels. Chill out in an outdoor, fairy-lit hot tub, swim in the 25m UV-treated pool with garden views, or relax in the Japanese water gardens. The huge menu includes specialist de-stress massages with Neom candle oils, and therapies for those living with cancer.
From £99pp for a day including a 15-minute water massage, two-course lunch, access to spa and guided walks; from £159pp full board with use of spa and guided walk, stobocastle.co.uk

Herbal and hydro, Devon

Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall in Devon
The indoor/outdoor hydro pool at Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall in Devon. Photograph: Matthew Hawkey

Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall, a Grade I-listed 16th-century manor house in a quiet part of Plympton, uses its own organic products in treatments (Gemma is especially good for massage). There’s a large swimming pool, an indoor-outdoor hydro pool, hot and cold rooms (including a powerful crystal salt steam room), and both herbal and Finnish saunas. Chill on the terrace, take afternoon tea at the Spatisserie, and for overnighters the evening meals at Àclèaf are exceptional, and breakfast is served until a very civilised 11am.
Day pass with no treatments £50; half-day spa days £85, including brunch and a 45-minute treatment; spa days from £135, including a 60-minute treatment and afternoon tea. Doubles from £143 B&B, boringdonhall.co.uk

Beachside bliss, Cornwall

Food for thought at Bedruthan Hotel in Cornwall
Food for thought at Bedruthan Hotel in Cornwall. Photograph: Elliott White

The family-friendly Bedruthan Hotel, set above the gorgeous sweep of Mawgan Porth beach, has a colourful, uplifting vibe that’s carried through into the wellbeing facilities. Journey around the Sensory Spa Garden, which includes dry and wet body scrubs, a cedar wood sauna with views out to sea, and hot tubs. Finish with a herbal tea by an open fire, your feet soaking in a copper foot bath. There’s a spacious indoor thermal spa and Ayurveda treatments. Come for the day, or stay over for a deeper rest.
From £60pp for use of both spas, Doubles from £165 B&B, bedruthan.com

Feelgood Fridays, Kent

Samsara in Kent
Samsara, a 13th-century cottage in Kent, offers stylish retreats.

Day and weekend retreats are on offer at Samsara, a stylish rural sanctuary set around a Grade II-listed cottage and garden in West Peckham. The monthly “Feel Good Friday” includes yoga, a nutrition talk, a gong bath and a homemade curry buffet (£55pp, next one Friday 12 November). Weekends offer more of the above, as well as eco hot tubs and treatments. Places to stay range from cottages to glamping.
Yoga classes from £15, double rooms from £155 B&B, shepherd’s hut from £250, tipi sleeping six from £600, samsararetreatyoga.co.uk

Mindfulness on the moors, North Yorkshire

The Tree Relaxation Retreat in Yorkshire
The Tree Relaxation Retreat in Yorkshire.

The Tree Relaxation Retreat is a friendly haven in the Rosedale Valley, with a large hot tub offering views across the moors, a sauna, a reading lounge with a log fire for chilly days, and a zen lounge in the attic. Come for a yoga and mindfulness day, or stay over (rooms 6, 7 and 8 have super valley and moor views). Yoga takes place in a spacious studio in the old chapel right next door, and treatments include holistic massages, reflexology and a facial.
From £22.50 for a 45-minute massage, from £75pp for a day, including veggie lunch; doubles from £110 B&B, weekend yoga retreats from £315pp, thetree.earth

Himalayan or hammam, Northamptonshire

A shower bath at Homefield Grange, Northamptonshire
A shower bath at Homefield Grange, Northamptonshire.

Day spas at Homefield Grange, a converted sheep farm on the edge of Rushton village, include use of a hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, Himalayan salt steam and an infrared sauna bench. Afterwards, relax on a water massage bed, then have a treatment – there’s everything from holistic therapies and rituals to facials, wraps and sessions in the hammam. Weekend body detoxes are available, as well as longer wellbeing stays.
From £129 for a spa day including 25-minute treatment, use of spa and lunch; from £649 for a full-pamper, two-night body detox weekend, homefieldgrangeretreat.co.uk

In clover, Worcestershire

The Clover Mill.
The Clover Mill.

Day retreats at The Clover Mill, a restful, 17th-century converted water mill in Malvern, include an ayurvedic dosha (body type) assessment, a 90-minute full body massage, delicious Ayurvedic lunch, tea and cake, and use of the steam room and gorgeous, flower-filled grounds. For full indulgence, stay over for two nights or more to access yoga classes and take things deeper – the six contemporary, standalone cabins have gorgeous views out to nature from the baths or beds.
From £245 for the day; from £695pp for a two-night ayurveda and yoga retreat, theclovermill.com

Mindfulness and massage, Monmouthshire

Nature is your spa at this peaceful, restorative place in Penyclawdd, between Raglan and Monmouth. A Restorative Day includes a personalised, two-hour yoga and mindfulness session with owner Olivia Clarke in the open-plan living room, a guided local walk or river swim, and a treatment (Healing Shiatsu, Thai massage or Tula massage). Visitors can stay, and add more treatments or a hike in the Black Mountains.
From £110 for a day, including lunch; from £220 for two B&B (exclusive use of the two-bedroom property, with a private class included), thecoachhouseretreat.co.uk

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Happy as a pig on the Downs, West Sussex

The Potting Shed treatment room at Pig in the South Downs, Sussex
The Potting Shed treatment room at Pig in the South Downs, Sussex. Photograph: Jake Eastham

For those who crave simplicity, the new Pig in the South Downs Hotel in Madehurst, in the South Downs national park, has two cute, rustic “Potting Sheds” in the kitchen gardens for relaxing treatments, reached via a Victorian-style glasshouse. Choose facials, wraps, scrubs or massages with organic, seaweed-based Voya products, then have lunch at the elegant greenhouse restaurant (book ahead), or cosy up by an open fire in the sitting room.
Treatments £115, doubles from £145 room-only, thepighotel.com



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