London has a wealth of wellness activities to discover, from calming gardens to stress-busting spas. To celebrate the best bits of the London wellness scene, Culture Trip has teamed up with British Airways, the nation’s flag carrier, to take you on a wellness warrior’s adventure. With convenient flight times to centrally located airports, you’ll get more time to spend exploring.
Fancy a totally tropical experience? Take a visit to London’s finest botanical gardens. Explore the impressive exotic foliage in the iconic Palm House and the newly reopened Temperate House, ogle at the orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, climb up the Treetop Walkway to see the view from up high and learn about the life of bees in multisensory experience the Hive.
There are plenty of places to get tasty vegan food in London but Essence takes plant-based dining to the next level. The brainchild of raw-food pioneer Matthew Kenney, Essence strives to make nutritious dishes that look as good as they taste, serving up beautifully crafted and totally delicious raw, animal-free takes on pad thai, lasagne, cacio e pepe and sushi. There’s even a memorable nut-based cheese board.
The world’s finest athletes graced Zaha Hadid’s elegantly designed aquatic centre during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and it remains one of the most spectacular indoor public pools in the city. With two 50-metre swimming pools and a 25-metre diving pool, you can channel your inner Tom Daley or Ellie Simmonds before taking a stroll to explore the rest of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Take some time to have a moment of zen at this independent yoga studio (best known for bringing bikram yoga to London in 1994). Stretch out your muscles and your mind at one of eight yoga classes on offer at any of the six studios across London. There are carefully crafted classes for all levels, from 90-minute intense hot yoga sessions to 75-minute SOB rehabilitation classes for the “stiff, old or broken”. Namaste!
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The Porchester Spa | Courtesy of The Porchester Spa
If pure relaxation is what you’re looking for, grab your swimsuit and head straight to this beautiful Turkish bath near Paddington. De-stressing Londoners since it opened in 1929, the Porchester Spa claims to be London’s oldest and still retains many of its charming original features. Spend an afternoon sweating out your worries in the old sauna, steam and hot rooms and dozing in the lounge. Pure bliss.
If you truly want to escape the bustle of the city, there’s no better way than indulging in a spot of wild swimming on Hampstead Heath. There are three separate freshwater ponds where swimming is allowed (men’s, women’s and mixed) in peaceful, verdant surroundings, and open all year round for a bracing dip. Once you’ve braved entering the chilly water, do some gentle laps and bob around with the resident ducks.
Looking for flights or a great flight and hotel deal for your wellness tour of London? Check out British Airways for convenient flight options and carefully selected hotels in the heart of London to combine and save. Book your trip now with the nation’s flag carrier.
Eccleston Square Hotel
Eccleston Square Hotel | Courtesy of Eccleston Square Hotel
Reconnect with your inner self and unwind at the adults-only Eccleston Square Hotel. This stylish boutique has been carefully designed with wellbeing in mind, providing a friendly and intimate service to all its guests. Each room has an electronically adjustable Hästens bed, fine Italian linen and L’Occitane aromatherapy products. Overlooking a park garden, the hotel offers green space in busy, cosmopolitan London, yet is still close to sights such as Buckingham Palace, which is just 10 minutes away. For a mid-range option, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge offers Europe’s only Mandara Spa, with a selection of beauty treatments and a relaxation lounge to get away from the bustle of the city outside. If you’re feeling restless, take advantage of the fitness centre and or have a dip in the pool. If relaxing in London on a budget, the Holiday Inn Express London Stratford has a gym and spa, offering a complete de-stressing package!