England's Best Wellness Retreats for a Better You

The Gainsborough, in Bath, is the only hotel in England that has thermal pools
The Gainsborough, in Bath, is the only hotel in England that has thermal pools | Courtesy of The Gainsborough Bath Spa / Expedia
Photo of Emma Lavelle
22 December 2020

Sometimes, life just gets the better of you and you start to feel worn out, lethargic and on edge. It’s at times like this that you need to hit pause and allow your body and mind to recover, and where better to unwind than at a dedicated wellness retreat? Here are Culture Trip’s top places to recharge in England.

Salcombe Harbour Hotel, South Devon

Spa Hotel, Hotel
4.4/5 (175 Reviews)
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Salcombe
Courtesy of Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa / Expedia
Dipping your toes into the world of wellness retreats for the first time? Why not book a long weekend at the Salcombe, where you can indulge in as many treatments as you like without having to succumb to an entire programme. Mix up energising hikes along the dramatic coast with relaxing in the hydrotherapy pool, soaking in the hot tub and taking a break in the sauna. Don’t miss the signature Ocean Spa Ritual for a foot soak, full-body brush, facial and scalp massage.
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The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
Courtesy of the Gainsborough Bath Spa / Expedia

The only hotel in England with access to natural thermal waters, the Gainsborough offers a luxurious five-star experience, with spa and stay packages available. If you’re after a short but glamorous break, a one-night stay in one of the elegant bedrooms, followed by a full day of pampering, is just what you need. The bathhouse circuit includes bathing in three natural thermal pools, access to the saunas and steam rooms, and a variety of relaxing and detoxifying treatments to choose from, including massages, aquatic therapy, facials and body therapies.

The Gilpin Hotel, Lake District

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Gilpin Hotel, Windermere
Courtesy of Gilpin Hotel and Lake House / Expedia
The shores of Lake Windermere are an excellent base for hiking holidays, but if you have a more relaxing getaway in mind, the Gilpin Hotel offers luxury bedrooms with private hot tubs and five Spa Lodges, each boasting its own ensuite spa, including a rain shower, steam room, sauna and hydrotherapy hot tub. You won’t ever want to go out – especially as you can have salt scrubs and aromatherapy massages in the comfort of your own room, too.

The Chester Grosvenor, Chester

Spa Hotel, Hotel
4.7/5 (1000 Reviews)
The Chester Grosvenor, Chester
Courtesy of The Chester Grosvenor / Expedia
No time for an overnight stay or prolonged break? The thermal experience at this Chester spa is a popular option for an afternoon indulging and unwinding, a tranquil retreat with everything you need. Linger in the thermal suite, where you can enjoy foot baths, a crystal steam room, a salt grotto, an ice fountain and a herb sauna. Meanwhile, the Elemis spa offers a selection of facials, massages and more in-depth treatments.
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The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

Hotel
Map View
The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall
Courtesy of The Scarlet Hotel / Booking.com
This adult-only cliff-top retreat offers a series of packages, including a three-night yoga break, a three- or four-night spa break, a babymoon package and a wellbeing escape, which focuses on your mind and body, using Ayurvedic treatments to provide a personal programme tailored to you. A typical package includes a three-night stay with breakfast and dinner, a private cliff-top hot tub experience, two private activity sessions (choices include Nordic walking, yoga and surfing lessons), 90 minutes of treatment time and the Scarlet Journey, a four-hour spa experience including an individual consultation, bathing rituals and massages.

Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton

Spa Hotel, Cottages
Map View
Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton
Courtesy of Soho Farmhouse / Expedia
Part of the exclusive Soho House collection, the Farmhouse offers the opportunity for the same luxury experience set within the English countryside. Guests and members can choose from a collection of private wooden cabins, bell tents or rooms in the farmhouse itself and are free to enjoy whichever activities and relaxing treatments they choose during their stay. Activities include boating, horse riding and swimming in the outdoor and indoor pools, while the Cowshed Spa offers a variety of massages and body therapies. There is also a steam room, sauna, hot tubs and an ice room for those seeking quiet relaxation.

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  • Tilton House, Lewes

    Building, Yoga Studio
    Map View
    Offering weekend yoga retreats throughout the year, Tilton House regularly rotates its roster of teachers, providing a variety of yoga experiences, from vinyasa to yin-based classes. Retreats, planned around yoga, are available for all levels, even if you’re a beginner. During free time, you can take advantage of the sauna, have a relaxing massage or explore the local area. All meals are prepared using ingredients from Tilton House’s own garden and orchard.

    Sharpham House, Devon

    Building
    Map View
    Worn out from a hectic lifestyle and demanding job? Calm awaits on a mindfulness retreat at Sharpham House. This beautiful Grade-I-listed mansion, in the middle of the countryside, is the perfect place for letting go of your everyday woes and reconnecting with yourself. Experienced mindfulness teachers can help you to rediscover clarity and to learn to live in the moment through a series of retreats that concentrate solely on the mind or that can be connected with yoga, walking or creative writing.

    Raw Horizons, Yorkshire

    Yoga Studio
    Map View
    These women-only retreats offer detoxing getaways focusing on cleansing your body with a diet of raw food and juices. Raw food chef and life coach Dr Claire Maguire runs the retreats, offering life coaching and yoga classes alongside a strong focus on introducing raw food to guests. The two- to five-night Raw Horizons getaways offer private coaching to help guests understand how changing their diet could impact their general wellness, offering tips for continuing the raw food regime when they return home.

    Trill Farm, Lyme Regis

    Yoga Studio
    Map View
    Yoga bunnies will love the low-key weekend retreats available at Trill Farm, enjoying plenty of opportunities to stretch, meditate and dine on delicious organic cuisine. There’s no pressure to join in every activity, but a typical weekend here includes early-morning kriya cleansing techniques, followed by an organic breakfast, a slow stroll and yoga classes in the middle of the woods. You’ll then have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing massage or to forage in the woods. In the evenings, you get to enjoy meditation sessions and organic meals prepared by River Cottage chefs.
    These recommendations were updated on December 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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