The Lake District National Park has long attracted visitors for its green fells, sparkling lakes and B&Bs serving a full English with a smile. Granted, the area gets a lot of rain (those lakes don’t fill themselves you know) but what’s a little precipitation when you’ve got stunning scenery to play with? And with more quirky hotels, Michelin-star restaurants and award-winning spas opening, the area looks set to stay en vogue. Here’s Stylish Spy’s pick of the best Lake District spa hotels.
Low Wood Bay is an 18th century working farm-cum-resort hotel on Lake Windermere. Despite being housed in the former stables, the spa is a world away from farming. Both the indoor and outdoor areas have some imaginative features – Coconut Steam or Aufguss (pictured above), anyone? There’s also a Dry Salt Room, Herbal Lounge, hydropool with submerged loungers and a relaxation space. Spa days include lunch at Low Wood Bay’s new restaurant, Blue Smoke on the Bay, with its watery setting and dishes cooked on open fire.
The spa at Lodore Falls occupies its own building across the river from the hotel, with 11 new luxury spa suites and bedrooms, an acclaimed Asian restaurant and a Champagne bar/deli (pictured above) - making it perfect for spa breaks. The spa itself offers treatments from ishga and Elemis and has a Rasul, Laconium, aroma steam room, herbal sauna, salt steam room, ice fountain, drench showers and heated relaxation loungers. The 16-metre outdoor hydrotherapy pool is a must whatever the weather – wallow in the warm water whilst looking across the Catbells mountain range and Derwentwater Lake.
The Netherwood is a Grade II listed Victorian Mansion standing in 15 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens. Access to Netherwood Spa’s Thermal Journey costs £20 for three hours, just enough time to get around the spa facilities and thermal suite: traditional sauna, aroma steam room, salt inhalation room, monsoon shower, ice fountain and hot tubs, of which there are three - each stylishly sunken into the ground. After a Germaine de Capuccini anti-ageing facial (highly recommended), enjoy a pampering mani/pedi in the double nail bar - glass of Prosecco in hand - or relax in The Snug with its soft beanbags, candles and light refreshments.
Armathwaite Hall is a grand Cumbrian country-house hotel with a sympathetically designed, two-storey spa extension. Configured to make the most of sprawling vistas over Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw Mountain, the spa has enough to occupy spa-goers for a full day. Swim lengths in the indoor pool; heat up in the sauna,steam room or aroma room; breathe in the fresh air in spa garden (with its outdoor hydropool and terrace); work out in the dance studio or gym; chill out in the Hush Room; try a spa treatment in one of the ten treatment rooms; or enjoy a bite to eat in the spa lounge.
Part of the 35-acre, UNESCO-protected Langdale Estate, Brimstone is a boutique hotel of just sixteen luxury suites. Reclaimed bricks, curved lines and natural wood give more than a nod to nature in the on-site spa. Long windows in the alfresco sauna bring the woodland in, while the indoor/outdoor infinity pool - with hydro jets - is a great spot to relax whilst overlooking the treetops. Snuggle down next to an outdoor wood burning stove afterwards. Treatments from Pure Alchemy ensure that only locally-sourced, organic ingredients are used.
Set on the River Leven at the tip of Lake Windemere, The Swan is a cosy, lakeside hotel with rooms, suites, lofts and nest rooms designed for family getaways – think bunkbeds, separate play rooms and Play Stations. The spa – with its authentic outdoor Finnish sauna, naturally filtered pools and cosy relaxation spaces – strives for sustainability. Treatments for menopause, peri-menopause, gut health and sleep offer a different spa experience, with products from Comfort Zone, OTO and Ground Wellbeing. Fresh, afternoon tea and seasonal food is served in Soul, the spa’s brasserie.
Located in the historic market town of Penrith, Cumbria’s Eden Valley – and part of the House of Daniel Thwaites group of properties - the spa facilities at the four-star North Lakes Hotel and Spa include a warming sauna, effervescent whirlpool, relaxing steam room, gym and a proper-sized swimming pool. Spa treatments come from French super brand Caudalie, created using active ingredients from the vine. Don’t miss dinner at the FYR Grill with its open fire for cooking burgers, steaks and Sunday roasts, and terrace with fire pit.