Love Park’s Week starts on 29 July and, to celebrate, Stylish Spy rounds up the best UK spas set in beautiful parkland
We only have to look at the number of entries that come in for Best Country Retreat Spa in the Good Spa Guide Awards to know that spa-ing is now much more than a one-hour treatment during a lunch break. Whether it’s a hike with a calf massage, a round of golf with a sports massage or a family getaway with an added spa visit (more spa hotels with babysitters please), spas set in leafy parkland – with cool forests, sparkling lakes and green hills - are making a splash. Here’s our crop of the best spa + parks.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a spa positioned so close to a famous race track might be the absolute opposite of relaxing, but the Health Club and Spa at Goodwood is hidden away from the action in 11,000 acres of ancient woodland and parkland, ideal for leisurely strolls and forest bathing with some spa thrown in. Spa goers will also find a 14-metre pool, sauna, stream room and Jacuzzi, as well as a wide menu of holistic treatments and a restaurant serving fresh, farm-to-folk produce.
Escaping the city hustle for a night isn’t easy, but Sequoia Spa at The Grove – set in 300 acres of Hertfordshire parkland - offers true respite just 18 miles from central London. Overnighters can tee off for before lunch, practice their backhand on the tennis courts, play croquet on the lawn (G&T in hand) or lounge around the 25-metre outdoor pool with the Sunday papers. Treatments – from ESPA and Natura Bissé - are as luxurious as they are results-driven.
Whichever Center Parcs you choose for your family holiday, a statement spa with all the bells and whistles (and babysitters to leave your offspring with) is part of the package. So, whether you’re trying the new Forest Cavern experience at Longford, cosying up by a flickering fire at Woburn, relaxing in a zen garden at Whinfell, sitting in a treetop sauna at Sherwood or drifting off on a waterbed amongst the trees at Elveden, you’re guaranteed to be at one with nature.
Part of the Crow Wood Hotel & Spa Resort which, in turn, forms part of the Crow Wood Leisure, Health & Fitness Resort, The Woodland Spa is a destination in its own right, with seven pools, impressive thermal facilities, an outdoor terrace with its own bar and two AA rosette restaurants. Guests that can pull themselves away from the spa (it won’t be easy) will have a health club, two restaurants, a lounge, acres of rolling Lancashire countryside and seven outdoor five-a-side football pitches at their disposal.
A spa in bonnie Scotland isn’t likely to be short on space - or scenery; The Spa at Gleneagles is no exception. With acres of Scottish countryside as their playground, guests can try clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, archery, fishing, tennis, tree climbing or golf before dining in the 2 Michelin Star restaurant. The Spa at Gleneagles will impress with its garden courtyard with open fire, comprehensive thermal experiences, vitality pool, spa café and treatments that go beyond the norm – Colonic anyone?