Spas are super relaxing, but do ever feel like they’re just a tiny bit boring?
Well, not these ones.
From a rigorous Russian rub down to G&Ts with your massage, these are some of the quirkiest UK relaxation experiences you can try.
Banya No.1, London
At Banya No.1, a Russian bath house and spa with two London locations (in Hoxton and Chiswick), the signature treatment – parenie – is a very affordable £32.
Admittedly, it only lasts for ten minutes but this invigorating thermal treatment is great for banishing tension and stress, as well as boosting circulation and immunity.
Using fragrant bundles of eucalyptus, oak and birch twigs, superheated steam is worked around the body in a banya (sauna) in readiness for an adrenaline-inducing cold-water plunge.
Go for a Russian rub down
The result is a tingling, feel-good buzz.
Lucknam Park Equestrian Centre, Wiltshire
Horse whispering in Wiltshire
One thing the pandemic has flagged up is the therapeutic power of pets. Those physical and mental health benefits are supersized when it comes to horses so it’s no surprise that equine therapy is such a growing trend.
Interacting with horses – inherently calm, gentle creatures – is an exercise in mutual respect, helping participants to achieve a sense of confidence and emotional growth.
At Lucknam Park Equestrian Centre, sessions (£135pp) in the property’s 500 acres of parkland may involve walking with, grooming or communicating with horses through body language.
Mallory Court Hotel Elan Spa, Warwickshire
Rejuvenation awaits you in Warwickshire
Be a wellness warrior at Mallory Court Hotel’s Elan Spa, whose treatments make use of ESPA’s range of luxurious vegan skincare products.
An hour-long Inner Beauty Vegan Facial (£69) – tailored to your particular needs – will have you looking radiant for your next Zoom meeting.
Keep with the plant-based theme by following up your treatment on a mindfulness walk along the spa’s leafy garden trail, designed to stimulate the senses.
Pause for reflection at the lily pond, smell the fragrant roses and herbs, and learn about the medicinal properties of plants and trees along the trail. With a spa day quite this wholesome, there’s no need to feel guilty for pampering yourself.
Coach House Health Club & Spa, Surrey
A Surrey Druid experience
Celebrate the cycle of the seasons at the Coach House Health Club & Spa, which has a series of wellness experiences linked to the Celtic Druid calendar.
Designed to take advantage of the seasons’ regenerative ebb and flow, each of the three planned retreats harnesses the healing power of nature.
Under the guidance of two druids, participants will learn how to deepen their relationship with trees and plants through rituals, sacred singing, craftwork, storytelling and meditation. The retreats take place on the Beaverbrook estate in the Surrey Hills.
From £195pp for a three-hour guided journey, incl lunch and full spa access.
Glasgow’s Gin Spa
Gin-sipping in Glasgow
After the past year, we could all use a drink. At Glasgow’s Gin Spa (a sibling to the city’s much-loved Gin71 bars, which bills itself as ‘the first ever gin-inspired botanical day spa’), the notions of detox and retox go hand in hand.
Beyond using the same botanical ingredients that might flavour your favourite gin, the massages, wraps and facials aren’t particularly unusual but all come with a complimentary G&T from the Fever Tree drinks trolley and an afternoon tea of scones and sandwiches served with a glass of prosecco.
A Just The Tonic package (£70) includes consultation and a half-hour treatment – or splash out on an hour of Botanical Bliss (£105).