Set within 100 acres of Lancashire countryside with its rolling landscape, The Woodland Spa has a sense of intimacy and peace. The Thermal Experience Journey includes a range of heat rooms, plus a hydrotherapy pool, outdoor infinity pool, and a tranquil "serenity pool" in a low-lit relaxation room. Allow two hours to enjoy the facilities before heading off for treatments. The treatment menu includes face and body therapies from Carita and Decléor, manicures and pedicures from OPI, as well as Fake Bake tanning and extensions from Lash Perfect.
Outdoor infinity pool
Salt steam room
Roman foot baths
Our Spa Spy review
The Woodland Spa is part of the Crow Wood Leisure Centre just outside Burnley. The spa, opened in 2013, is a destination in its own right. The well-maintained spa is extensive with seven pools, five thermal facilities, and an outdoor terrace with a Mediterranean feel.
What's on offer?
The spa reception at The Woodland Spa is double height, so bright and airy. Windows show through to the indoor hydro-pool and upstairs are the restaurant and treatment rooms. My friendly receptionist asked me to take a seat while I filled out the consultation form. She also explained The Woodland Spa rules (ie, no bagsying poolside loungers) and gave me a map of the facilities; there are lots of them, so this was very welcome. She then took me through to my locker.
The changing rooms are for the exclusive use of spa guests, so they never felt busy during our spa day. They were spotlessly clean and we saw attendants regularly tidying up. The changing area is divided into sections, each with long white seating along the side; this gives plenty of privacy, or you can head to the two private changing cubicles. The six vanity areas had hairdryers and large well-lit mirrors. The showers and bathrooms were well-stocked with NEOM and Neal and Wolf products. Our large locker had a fluffy robe, two towels and The Woodland Spa flip-flops.
A bubbly hydro pool with airbeds, swan pipes and Jacuzzi-style seating is at the centre of the indoor facilities. To one side is the very hot wooden sauna, aromatic steam room and salt steam room; each would comfortably seat eight. The five experience showers include a bucket shower if you need to cool off. Try the glass-sided saunarium, which would take ten or 12, deliciously warm tepidarium beds, or rub flakes from the ice fountain onto your skin.
The serenity pool forms the main relaxation space at The Woodland Spa, a dark room which is lit up by a firewall. There's a warm pool in the centre of the room and comfortable loungers around the edge; this is where people come to chill out and perhaps have a nap.
The spa space extends outside with an indoor/outdoor pool; step into the water and swim outside. There are two Jacuzzis, lots of lounger seating and, new for 2016, a fire pit with soft seating on two sides, a bar area which serves drinks and tapas, and two infinity edge hot tubs.
If you are in need a treatment after all the exploring, head upstairs to the pre-treatment waiting area with comfortable but upright seating, and help yourself to teas, coffees and water. There's also a post-treatment relaxation room which has comfortable loungers with blankets and cushions.
If you're interested in fitness, check out the leisure facilities. The extensive gym, large lengths pool and class schedule is worth putting on your to-do list.
Tell us about the treatments
I had the Decléor Aroma Blend Bespoke Massage (60 minutes, £65).
My therapist, Jane, met me in the waiting area and took me through to our treatment room, decorated in dark browns and very low-lit. She explained that the massage would be more unusual than the normal Swedish or Aromatherapy massage. She asked me to pinpoint my biggest dislike about my body – I’m a pear shape so my hips and thighs – and the massage would focus on it.
I settled on the wide and comfortable treatment bed. Jane started the treatment by massaging my hands. She then raised my hands to my face and asked me to take three deep breaths, inhaling the essential oils. I turned onto my back and Jane began the almost Thai-style massage. She used lots of different techniques: short sharp movements, long stretching movements, pinching, even fast frictions warming my skin. Jane worked her way up my back, then down the backs of my legs. I turned over and Jane cleansed my lower legs and feet with a hot cloth. She then massaged the fronts of my legs, stomach, arms and décolletage. She moved my legs and arms into stretching positions and massaged the muscles. I sat up and Jane stretched my spine in rhythm with my breathing. To finish the treatment, she massaged my neck and scalp.
The treatment was a very unusual blend of Thai-inspired massage, aromatherapy oils, and relatively gentle pressure; I didn't feel at all sore as I tend to when I've had a traditional Thai massage. I felt energised and nicely focused rather than sleepy.
Lunch and dinner is served in Bertram's Restaurant, upstairs from spa reception. We were comfortable eating in our robes. If you visit for a spa day, you can choose a main course, a dessert, and a glass of wine. We opted for the feta and beetroot salad then a big fruit salad (we were feeling virtuous). Both courses were a great size and delicious. If you're feeling less virtuous, the menu also includes steak, burgers, pasta, sandwiches and soups.
If you visit The Woodland Spa for a spa break, breakfast is served in the leisure centre lounge.
We loved / we didn't love
The pools: There are seven in total -- a water baby's heaven -- and the serenity pool is an unusual and lovely take on a relaxation room.
The sociable outdoor space: Order a drink or some tapas, dip in and out of the pool, and soak up the sunshine (or the heat of the fire pit on an overcast day).
The well-balanced treatment menu: The Woodland Spa offers everything from haute-couture facials to aromatherapy massage and well-being treatments.
We didn't love
There isn't much not to love at The Woodland Spa. If we were picky, the pre-treatment waiting area is a little noisy as it's next to the restaurant. The seating is also very upright; this isn't a place you can slob out before your treatment.
Who do you think would like it?
The younger spa-ista: The Woodland Spa feels quite fashionable; we saw lots of 20- and 30-somethings enjoying themselves during our visit. The outdoor space feels as though it could be in the Mediterranean -- if you catch it on a sunny day.
Friends and groups: We stayed overnight in The Apartment and felt it would be perfect for friends or two sets of couples who wanted to enjoy the spa together.
Waterbabies: You can swim your lengths in the main leisure pool, then explore the many and varied spa pools.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Woodland Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of Five Bubbles. The wet and thermal facilities are excellent, the customer service was constant but never intrusive, and the treatment menu offers something for even the most seasoned spa-ista.