The Spa Spy blog

Go wild in the forest (with mod cons … and a treetop sauna)

Sometimes you just need to run away to the woods and escape from it all -- there’s something so calming and soothing about being surrounded by tall trees and wildlife. If I was playing into my dramatic tendencies, I would it say it was the ultimate antidote for stressful city-life.

When I say ‘run away to the woods’, I mean hide in a cabin with wi-fi, delicious food and all the modern amenities you need -- I am a true insufferable millennial after all. This Spa Spy needs hot running water, a roof over her head, internet access, pumpkin lattes and a tree top sauna… which isn’t too much to ask, right? Well not if you’re heading to Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest.

A beautiful forest location

Woods

Set in the historic Sherwood Forest, famed for the infamous major oak tree, interesting fungi (whatever floats your boat) and tales of Robin Hood, Centre Parcs Sherwood is simply breathtaking.  As soon as you turn into the pine-lined driveway, it’s like entering another world: the trials and tribulations of everyday life slip away (so long as you’ve deleted your email app, that is.)

Whilst it feels like a real escape from everyday reality, all the everyday reality stuff you could possibly need is right there waiting for you. There’ll be no foraging in the undergrowth searching for dinner; pizza is a mere phone call away, and there’s a Starbucks (or an in-cabin coffee machine) for your morning coffee fix.

Admittedly, you could do a full-on digital detox, but think of all the opportunities you’re missing. It would be rude not to gram a few shots of the beautiful surroundings -- get you being all pure and escaping with nature (just crop out The Pancake House in the background). You could also drown out the chitter chatter of small children with the Headspace Mindful Walking series and take a wander around the lake.

Treetop saunas anyone?

Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest Treetop Sauna

There’s plenty to love about the Aqua Sana Spa, but the pièce de résistance is the Treetop Escape. Embrace your inner spa child, climb a tree in your robe and pretend this is your new fort. A large cabin perched high up in the forest has floor-to-ceiling windows offering incredible views of the forest and stream below. Sit back and watch the birds swooping above the trees as the leaves flutter to the ground, while semi-naked and warm. It’s quite surreal, but frankly, in my view, the only way to experience the change in season (I’m not a big fan of cold weather).

How green are your treatments?

Facial

When running away to the forest, you want to look like you’ve been living that wholesome life, returning with a dewy, ‘I’m so happy’ glow -- which is where a Superfood Facial comes in. Elemis Superfood range was created with millennial skin in mind. When I’m not on ‘holiday’ and treating myself, you’ll find me guzzling green juice and eating my five a day. Think of this facial as a green smoothie for your skin; the products are packed full of pre-biotic and kale and promise ‘hydrating nourishment, for a healthy out door glow.’ Perfecto.

It was certainly the perfect way of hiding the fact I’d been up late binge-watching Netflix and eating pizza. My skin felt balanced, fresh and looked radiantly healthy – I had the perfect post-retreat glow. If, unlike me, you were being slightly more virtuous with your choices and wanted to embrace you inner-Gwyneth, opt for a spot of Reflexology, instead.     

Take a walk on the wild side … or not

Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest

Choose to do as much or as little as you like. In the spa you can snooze all day, or try each and every wet and thermal experience (of which there are over 20). Hideaway in your lodge, with the open fire crackling away, or walk, cycle or run around the forest.

My personal favourite thing to do was a spot of morning yoga with the forest view. I always use the Yoga with Adrienne Five Minute Morning Yoga YouTube video (I have the attention span of a toddler so five minutes is long enough for me). Admittedly, it wasn’t my best session as I did get a little distracted by a duck and ducklings, but it was a wonderful way to wake up.

Thanks to the wi-fi, if you’re on a solo escape, you can curl up with a hot chocolate and binge watch your favourite shows in Netflix in the evening… or have a cosy night in with the Robin Hood to your maid Marion. 

Now, I’m not saying running away to the woods will solve all or your problems, but a little break should leave you feeling, refreshed, restored and rebalanced.  You never know, you may even spot Robin Hood; if he’s devilishly handsome, please pass him my number.


Spa Days at Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest Start from £89 per person, luxury spa breaks start from £169 and Lodge holidays start from £279. You can also escape to the Forest at Elveden in Suffolk, Whinfell in Cumbria, Woburn in Bedfordshire and Longleat in Wiltshire.