The Best Hotels With Pools in the UK

Courtesy of Shangri-La at The Shard / Expedia
Photo of Callum Davies
16 December 2020

Sometimes a hotel is somewhere to drop your bags before heading out into the wider world, and sometimes you want a more relaxing experience, enjoying quality time without ever leaving the grounds. A pool is a great way to do this, and happily, many of the best hotels in the UK are perfectly equipped so you can go for a dip. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor pool to splash around in during the warmer summer months, or an indoor option to get your lengths in whatever the weather, here are Culture Trip’s picks of the best hotels with pools in the UK.

South Lodge Hotel – West Sussex

Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of South Lodge Hotel / Expedia
Within easy reach of London and boasting huge 38-ha (93-acre) grounds, this Jacobean manor-turned-hotel is a great destination if you’re travelling via London, or just getting out of the city. The pool is part of the spa and includes an infinity-style window (or as close as you can get in an indoor pool) and comfy lounge chairs. Other features include two restaurants (one run by a Michelin-starred chef), an array walking trails and croquet on the lawn, so you can enjoy a full day of outdoor activity before taking a dip in the evening.
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Burgh Island Hotel – Devon

Independent Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Burgh Island Hotel / Expedia
This is one of few hotels in the world that can boast it exists on its own island, even if it is only an island during high tide. Take the sea tractor (basically a carriage with very, very high ground clearance) across to the Burgh Island Hotel and you’ll find an art deco paradise with huge glass ceilings and thirties decor. The place’s claim to fame is that Agatha Christie wrote two books here. The pool is actually a natural seawater mermaid pool just outside near the beach, protected by a sluice gate which was built during WWII. If conditions aren’t ideal, check with the duty manager to see if swimming is still permitted, and if luck isn’t on your side you can always visit the sauna, play tennis, try your hand at croquet or just luxuriate in your room – all of which have balconies with deckchairs and gin and tonic ready to pour.
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Saunton Sands Hotel – Devon

Independent Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Saunton Sands Hotel Source Spa and Wellness / Expedia
Overlooking the 5-km (3-mi) stretch of golden beach that gives the hotel its name, Saunton Sands unquestionably offers guests one of the best views in the UK. If you can draw your gaze away from the scenery, it’s also closely linked to Broughton Burrows, a biosphere reserve with a great reputation for nature spotting. But we’d forgive you if you’d rather stay in: the hotel has outdoor and indoor pools, both of which are heated and invitingly flanked by deckchairs and the adjacent spa. Other activities on offer include falconry and magic shows, and the hotel has links with the surf school if you decide to go out and hit the waves.
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Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa – Lake District

Independent Hotel
Map View
Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, Borrowdale
Courtesy of Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa / Expedia
It’s a gutsy move to take a Victorian building and update it to the 21st century; do it wrong and you could lose all of that classical appeal, but Lodore Falls manages to strike the balance beautifully. Ideally situated for anyone wishing to explore the Lake District, the hotel’s modernised interior puts the heavy emphasis on relaxation and comfort, and features a spa with a thermal suite, Asian-style restaurant, extensive gardens and, of course, the pool. It’s equipped for outdoor hydrotherapy and offers views out towards the Catbells mountain range.

Shangri-La at The Shard – London

Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Shangri-La at The Shard / Expedia
Shangri-La Hotels broke into London in 2014 and they did it in style with a hotel that occupies floors 34 to 52 of the city’s tallest building. Because The Shard gets thinner the higher up you go, the 360-degree vistas only get more impressive once you start to ascend, and guess what – the pool is on the top floor. This incredible infinity pool occupies almost the entire space, and while it’s not great for swimming lengths (or even widths), there’s nothing quite like leaning over the edge and staring out across the London night sky. The rooms are all extraordinarily spacious given the building’s size, and the Ting restaurant offers food aligned to both the European location and owner’s Eastern origins, while offering views almost as good as the poolside ones.
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Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa – Helmsley

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa / Expedia
This former coaching inn has undergone a number of transformations in its lifetime, but the most recent iteration puts the pool at its heart. The heated outdoor pool is the centrepiece, which the main building and three separate cottages are arranged around. The pool boasts a hot tub and the nearby spa offers a comprehensive range of upscale treatments and even has its own food menu. The rooms have a modern vibe – some with sliding doors and balconies overlooking the pool. Guests can enjoy a three-course seasonal meal at the restaurant.
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Portavadie Hotel – Loch Fyne

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Portavadie Hotel / Expedia
Located in an area known as the Secret Argyll, the Portavadie feels like the futuristic home of a tech mogul, secreted away in a corner of the hills of Kintyre, not far from the whisky epicentre that is the Isle of Arran. The modern Scandi-inspired architecture integrates neatly with the surroundings, and the staff are well versed in the local outdoor offerings. The pools, meanwhile come as a component of a huge £10 million spa installation, with a gym, saunas and some outdoor spa pools, as well as the 16-m (52-ft) indoor one and Scotland’s biggest outdoor infinity pool. If that’s not enough to get you in the water, all of these offer unobstructed views of the magnificent surroundings.
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Calcot & Spa – Cotswolds

Spa Hotel, Luxury
Map View
The Calcot is a converted farm in the middle of vast 89-ha (220-acre) grounds, situated perfectly for anyone looking to explore the Cotswolds – but so well equipped that you’ll have little reason to leave. There are two pools – an outdoor courtyard pool and a beautifully tranquil indoor one, as well as hot tubs and a sauna. Outdoor activities include disc golf and croquet, in case you need a break from swimming, and when all your energy is expended you can take a relaxed meal at The Conservatory restaurant or the Gumstool Inn, before bedding down in one of the spacious, elegant rooms.

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  • Sidmouth Harbour Hotel & Spa – Devon

    Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Sidmouth Harbour Hotel / Expedia
    With its mixture of red brick, white panelling and old-school nautical vibe, Sidmouth Harbour Hotel is one of the largest and most well regarded hotels in the North Devon area, nestled among the thatched roofs of Sidmouth. The spa houses a lap pool and there’s a second heated outdoor one on the terrace overlooking the sea, as well as a gym and several function rooms for exercise sessions (often geared towards the over-55 crowd). The rooms provide a comfortable perch from which to gaze out onto the Jurassic Coast, with light, chalky colour schemes and lots of nice little flourishes such as his and hers sinks. Unsurprisingly, the restaurant specialises in fish, but there’s plenty on offer in the red meat department too, including rib-eye steak and beef slow-cooked in red wine.
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    Gara Rock – Devon

    Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Gara Rock / Expedia
    Another Devonshire standout, Gara Rock sits along the South West Coast Path, delightfully secluded and replete with interesting architecture. The domed roofs and earthy colours lend themselves more to Ojai than Devon, and this extends to the pool and spa facilities. Both pools are relatively small, but the indoor one feels like a Grecian bathhouse with its mosaic and wood panelling, and the outdoor one sits on the edge of the hill, like a waypoint marker on the way down to the beach. As you’d expect, the rooms are bright and airy, and you can enjoy a nice Cornish-style meal while peering out over the coastline.
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    Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa – West Sussex

    Luxury, Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa / Expedia
    Ockenden resides in the minute village of Cuckfield, with quick and easy travel routes to London, and even quicker and easier ones to Gatwick Airport. The main building dates back 500 years, which sits curiously at odds with the Bauhaus-style spa building, but somehow the two of them manage to co-exist harmoniously. A wall of glass separates the indoor and outdoor pools, which you can swim between, and the adjacent spa has whirlpools, a sauna and even sensory deprivation tanks if you really need to find your Zen. Modern rooms overlook the pool and spa, while more classically styled ones reside in the main building, so you can tailor your experience exactly to your tastes.
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    Bedruthan Hotel & Spa – Newquay

    Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    Courtesy of Bedruthan Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Bedruthan Hotel & Spa / Expedia
    Newquay and its surrounding Cornish coast has, for decades, enjoyed a reputation as a surfer’s paradise. Bedruthan is here to prove that you don’t need to slum it in a VW camper van or crash on a mate’s sofa to get the gnarly experience the town offers. Mawgan Porth Beach is literally on the doorstep, with beginner lessons available, but if you’d rather stick with a more controlled aquatic experience, the hotel has three circular outdoor pools (only open in summer) and one infinity-style indoor pool, all of which have views overlooking the coast, so even if you don’t fancy riding giants, you can swim up to the edge and watch brave beachgoers in blissful comfort.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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