The newly refurbished Inside Spa is a day spa in the town of Nelson, Lancashire, offering a full range of body and beauty treatments from massages, facials and manicures, to anti-aging remedies. You can also enjoy a 2 hour journey through the thermal suite's 8 heat experiences, including a vitality pool, herbal sauna, salt inhalation steam room, aroma steam room, vitality sauna, foot spas and experience showers.
- Single sex facilities
- XXL robes available
- Women only days
- Family swim times
- Swimming pool
- Vitality pool
- Herbal sauna
- Vitality sauna
- Salt steam room
- Aroma steam room
- Ice fountain
- Experience showers
- Foot spas
- Mud chamber
- Relaxation room
- Double treatment room
- Spray tan booth
- Juice bar
- Nail bar
- Dance studio
Our Spa Spy review
A small day spa in the Lancashire town of Nelson, Inside Spa is a hidden gem. The setting is not the most promising -- the spa is in a leisure centre and surrounded by a car park -- but one step inside and all is forgotten (and forgiven).
What's on offer?
Walk past the attractive Moroccan lanterns to the reception desk for a warm greeting. Doubling up as the cafe area, the reception is decked out with flickering candles, little Buddha statues and jewel-hued décor; think emerald greens and deep purples.
Staff gave us fluffy white robes, slippers and a door code for the thermal facilities before showing us to the changing rooms. Large wooden lockers with hanging hooks line the walls; you'll need to fish around for a £1 coin to operate them. In the centre are benches for getting changed, or you can nip into a private cubicle. Toilets and showers are around the corner, each with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner; we also found plenty of bags for wet swimwear (but no spin dryer) and a small vanity bar with mirrors and hairdryers (no moisturiser).
Several thermal facilities are clustered together in a softly lit area, where the lights gradually change colour. A horseshoe-shaped mosaic-tiled Vitality hydro-pool with seating forms the focal point; push one of the buttons on either side to activate the jets. Four foot spas and a heated stone bench are nearby.
We began our spa journey at the gently-heated herbal sauna with its copper tray giving off a menthol aroma. Eucalyptus wafts out at regular bursts in the salt therapy room which has a salt crystal at its centre. The aroma steam room is both hot and exhilarating. Lie down on one of the wooden benches in the sauna afterwards and let the dry heat envelop you.
We loved the mellow "tropical rain" setting of the experience showers as a way to cool down when the heat got a bit much, as well as grabbing handfuls of crushed ice at the ice fountain.
Inside Spa also has a mud chamber (£29 per person for 30 minutes) and, in case you're seized with a sudden desire for a swim, a door at the back of the spa opens onto the leisure pool.
Time to calm down? Pour yourself a glass of cucumber or lemon water in the Asian-inspired relaxation room -- with its Buddha statues, paintings of elephants, and candle --and leaf through a magazine on one of eight comfortable chairs.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Mediterranean Light Massage (55 minutes, £40).
My therapist, Julie, led me to a softly lit, modern room and asked about any concerns before beginning the treatment. As I lay face down on the treatment bed, Julie gently walked pinda (hot herbal compresses) up and down my spine, starting to relieve any tension. This massage involves a specially designed candle from Germaine de Capuccini, which pours warm candle wax directly onto the skin. I was a little nervous at the thought, but the wax felt surprisingly soothing and deliciously smooth.
Julie massaged my back and the backs of my legs, combining the heat from the wax and the pressure from her hands to work on my knots and sore shoulders. She asked me to turn over so that she could concentrate on the front of my legs, arms, neck and shoulders. She paid special attention to my neck, where I carry a lot of tension. The combination of the fragrance from the candle, the warmth of the wax, and the gentle massage helped me unwind, relax and unknot. I certainly felt more serene and supple afterwards.
Inside Spa also offers facials including Caci treatments, massages, manicures and pedicures, treatments for teenagers, wraps, and finishing touches including waxing and spray tans. They also offer packages for special occasions, pamper days and exclusive private hire.
After our treatments, we had afternoon tea in the cafe in the reception area, where you can eat in your robe; the tea is included in the day-spa packages. Choose a sandwich filling (ham, cheese, chicken and so on), then help yourself from a stand of quiches, salad, cakes, and warm scones with jam and cream. Lunch comes with either a glass of Prosecco, a smoothie or a hot drink.
Inside Spa can also cater for you if you are gluten- or lactose-intolerant.
We loved / we didn't love
The reasonable prices: Treatments at Inside Spa are affordable and there are discounts for regulars, too. It currently costs £18 to use the thermal facilities for two hours.
The friendly staff: They went out of their way to make sure my lactose-intolerant spa companion didn't miss out on any aspect of the afternoon tea.
The styling: We loved the Eastern-style soft touches.
We didn't love
Inside Spa is a public-sector spa, which we think is a fabulous thing. The spa brings affordable, accessible treatments to people of all shapes and sizes who might normally never set foot in a spa. This means, however, that the changing rooms are basic, with no moisturiser, for example.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples, friends, people of all ages and all-women groups (there are regular women-only and couples-only sessions in the thermal facilities).
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Inside Spa a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 4 bubbles. The thermal facilities are varied and enjoyable, everywhere was clean, the staff were helpful, and the afternoon tea so vast we couldn't finish it. Inside Spa is a great addition to the spa landscape, bringing an accessible and affordable spa experience to all.
Afternoon Tea is served with selected Pamper Day packages.
Spa Wellness Experience
Tuesday: 10am- 4pm
Couples who spa
Ladies only session