Where to Kick Back and Relax - The UK's Best Spa Locations

April 27, 2016

Everyone needs some pampering in their lives - luckily the UK has plenty of blissful spa destinations, from the peaks of Scotland to the vibrant bustle of London.

From rural retreats and boltholes to urban spas and hotel hideaways, the UK has plenty of places for a pamper. Whether you're looking for a getaway with friends or a romantic trip à deux we've rounded up our favourite regions for relaxation. All you have to worry about is what massage oils to choose ... well, somebody has to.

Best for Seclusion: The Lake District

Woman relaxing in her bikini in a hot tub jacuzzi at a spa.

One of England’s most rugged and wild regions, the Lake District is home to rural green peaks, the country’s highest mountain and uninterrupted panoramas of crystalline lakes. It also has several secluded spa hotels where you can pamper in between country walks or cocktails in front of the fire. There are plenty to choose from but one of our favourites is the spa at Armathwaite Hall Hotel. The secluded location (25 miles from the nearest large town) makes this a great hideaway, perfect for escaping the daily grind; expect contemporary spa décor, champagne in the outdoor Jacuzzi and garden views from the stylish pool.

Best for Couples: Bath

A hot and steamy spa bath.

Roman built Bath in England’s south west has been a famed spa town for millennia. Home to the UK’s only natural hot spring, the thermal waters are said to have restorative and healing proprieties. Today, you can visit the ancient baths as well as indulge yourself; the city’s Thermae Baths have recently undergone a multi-million pound regeneration project. The result is a contemporary, wow-factor spa complex, incorporating three different levels including a ground floor 'Minerva' bath and four scented steam floors. The pièce de résistance however is the heated rooftop pool, which offers tranquil views of the city's Georgian chimneys and church spires. Grab your other half and get ready for a relaxed, romantic vibe – this one’s popular with couples.  

Best for Friends: London

Four girl friends pampering themselves with facials.

London is a spa lover’s dream, offering everything from purse-friendly detox deals to blow-the-budget pamper packages. With something for even the fussiest of spa-goers it’s the perfect place for a group spa day. If you’re looking to escape the city bustle with your entourage then a top choice is the spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. Suitably plush and decidedly decedent, it’s got something to keep the whole gang happy, including an amethyst crystal steam room, a vitality pool and a high-tech gym. There’s also an extensive signature treatment spa menu.  

Best for a Blowout: Cornwall

A man leaning on the edge of an infinity pool staring out towards the sunset.

Sunny(ish) Cornwall is the ultimate spa destination, with eco-friendly retreats, Atlantic Ocean views and some of UK's most luxurious (and extravagant) spas. Many are part of hotels; expect waterfront infinity pools, massage huts for couples and fireside hot tubs. Cornwall is also a popular region for detox getaways and active breaks. Many of the spas combine traditional treatments (massages, wraps and scrubs) alongside wellness packages (surfing, nutritional programmes and yoga). The swankiest are around cute-as-a-button St. Ives.

Best for Spa Loving Foodies: Edinburgh

A knife and fork on a table alongside decoration.

Scotland is fast becoming one of the UK’s top spa destinations, thanks to its Lord of the Rings worthy vistas and plush weekend break boltholes. It’s also gaining a reputation as one of the UK’s top foodie destinations so where better to combine fine dining and pampering than Edinburgh, the country’s capital? The city is home to no less than five Michelin-starred restaurants, while many of the central luxury hotels also boast several drool-worthy spas, which feature everything from bespoke Aveda treatments to tropical shower suites. Pick your favourite and combine with a decadent dinner – food and relaxation, what’s not to love?

Siobhan Brewood-Wyatt After a Masters in Comparative Literature, Siobhan worked for several big-name travel companies before joining travioor. She has been hooked on travel since her teens and her biggest adventure is booking flights from Rome to Rio after a few too many beers.