The Spa Spy blog

Top five spas with beautiful surroundings

If you enjoy fresh air, pretty walks and glorious gardens, there are some beautiful spas that offer gorgeous grounds to explore on your spa day. From Japanese water gardens to wildflower meadows, the Spa Spies love to be spirited away by the exteriors of some the UK's most stunning spas. Here are our top five spas with beautiful surroundings:

Cowley Manor

Cowley Manor grounds, lake view

Cowley Manor is partially responsible for our obsession with finding wildlife on spa trips. The manor house is set on the edge of a lake which, on our last visit, housed swans, moorhens and coots. The upper lake also has brown trout and crayfish which apparently sometimes make it onto the restaurant's menu. Grab some wellies and a picnic and go wandering around Cowley Manor's 55 acres.


Stobo Castle

Stobo Castle exterior

Stobo Castle was built in the early 1800s and the grounds are included in a listing of significant parks and gardens in Scotland. Set in 3,000 acres around a picturesque loch, the area is as wildly beautiful as you get in the UK. Visit the Japanese water gardens, listen to the rhythm of the waterfall and enjoy this parcel of beautiful Scotland.


Armathwaite Hall

Armathwaite outdoor pool with views of the grounds

Armathwaite Hall is set next to Bessenthwaite Lake and has beautiful views over Skiddaw mountain. There are 400 acres of woodland and a deer park on the estate to explore. The hotel will pack a lunch and equip you with a guide of recommended Lakeland walks. As an extra special treat, Armathwaite will pack a hamper style lunch and send it out to you in a vintage car!


Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen lawn

Chewton Glen is set in 130 acres of grounds in the New Forest. Wander the walled garden, drink Pimms on the croquet lawn or venture on a 20 minute walk down to the Hampshire sea front. We think it's the perfect way to get some fresh air before wiling the afternoon away in the fantastic spa.


Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill grounds

If you can tear yourself away from the award-winning spa at Pennyhill Park, set out and discover the 123 acres of Surrey woodland, lake fronts and gardens. There's a 600 year old cedar tree on the grounds and estate manager, Neil Caldicott, has discovered a whole host of wildlife including Canadian geese, red deer and two badger setts.