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Spa Guide

The Best Festive Spa Breaks in the UK

If you’re in need of some serious rest and relaxation in the run-up to the hectic Christmas season, there’s no better way to destress and unwind than with a festive spa break.

While these eight spa breaks can’t guarantee a white Christmas, you are promised cosy treatments, festive-inspired food, and unique experiences to help you celebrate the winter season.

Read on to discover some of our favourite places for a festive spa break in the UK – each ideal to enjoy in the run-up to Christmas. Or to brighten up your January…

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House Windemere

You don’t even have to leave the cosy cocoon of your room on a festive spa break at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House (a Relais & Châteaux hotel); a stay in one of the spa suites brings all your pampering needs to you. Perfect for wintry stays come rain or shine, each suite, which appears to ‘float’ over a surrounding pond, has a statement bath, steam room, sauna, infrared lounge bed and massage chairs, as well as enough space for your spa therapist to perform in-room facials and body treatments. The result? You can relax in total privacy, undisturbed throughout your stay – although we would suggest emerging to sample the hotel’s Michelin-star dining at least once; it’s just as indulgent.

THE HIGHLIGHT: Each spa suite has a large, outdoor hot tub from which you can soak up the spectacular Lake District views, preferably with a glass of champagne in hand.

Cameron House Resort Loch Lomond

Set in 400-acres of rolling Scottish countryside on the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, the Cameron Spa makes full use of its mystical setting – and also really gets into the Christmas (and Hogmanay) celebrations. Located three miles north of Cameron House, you’ll want to stay forever admiring the golf-course views from the rooftop infinity pool – especially if you go for sunset to enjoy an ESPA glow-boosting facial and to feast on some hearty and authentic Scottish cuisine, before nestling down at the end of the day in your suite in the historical 17th century Baronial mansion.

THE HIGHLIGHT: If you know someone in real need of a pamper due to a cancer diagnosis, for example, the spa offers organic ‘Made for Life’ treatments that will help them relax and unwind safely as they recover.

Heckfield Place Hampshire 

There’s something a little magical about Heckfield Place at all times of year, especially as you step through the secret door of the walled gardens to The Bothy By Wildsmith wellness centre (it’s so much more than a spa). A country stay at Heckfield gives you access to a treatment menu of soul-enriching activities, ranging from indulgent Wildsmith massages to reiki and wild swimming (if you’re brave enough), and the programmes are designed to help you reconnect with nature. This is the slower pace that busy minds need, both before-and-after the Christmas season.

THE HIGHLIGHT: The process of relaxation really begins when you choose your lounger next to the statement pool, as a glass wall allows the British weather outside (even if it’s frightful) to peacefully envelop you.

Manor House Alsager Cheshire

The Spa at the Manor Houses’s new Snowfall Slumber spa day will truly get you into the festive spirit. Designed to melt away your mind and body stresses, the limited edition experience includes an hour-long ritual where tired muscles are eased with warm balms and soothing pressure-point massages, a 30-minute session in the site’s unique Salt Shed – a chamber infused with salt and essential oils, and the option of guided meditation. Guests can then indulge in a seasonal afternoon tea, get comfortable in the new relaxation lounges, or enjoy the heated pool – which is connected to the UK’s first swim-up bar.

THE HIGHLIGHT: Head to the new alpine-inspired Woodshed to cosy up next to a delightful wood burning fire with a seasonal hot chocolate or cocktail. Consider it a pre-Christmas treat.

Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Staffordshire

From the crackling, poolside fire to the twinkling lights around the heated vitality pool (where you can book a private time slot for additional romance), Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat feels like it’s designed for cold, wintry nights. A year-round highlight is the high-humidity steam room infused with skin-softening Eucalyptus milk, and now, for the festive season, you can get even cosier with the Winter Sparkle package. That includes numerous sweet treats, a two-course dinner at the restaurant, and the festive Comfort and Joy treatment, which combines a back-buffing ritual with a candle oil massage, all while you are wrapped in heated blankets.

THE HIGHLIGHT: Stay overnight in one of the spa’s ten luxury suites and you’ll be given even more hours to enjoy the spa facilities the next day too.

Cashel Palace Ireland 

Designed to help you rebalance after the festive season, an escape to Cashel Palace in Tipperary, Ireland will ensure your 2024 gets off to a calm, relaxing start. The latest spa package from the Relais & Châteaux member hotel includes a private meditation class in the beautiful house library; time in the thermal suite to soothe and warm tired muscles; and multiple treatments, including a foot bathing ritual and a stimulating, crystal-infused body pressure massage, followed by sound therapy. The outdoor seaweed-bathing experience is another must-try.

THE HIGHLIGHT: If you fancy a spa escape over the Christmas period that is filled with music, Cashel Palace is offering not just carol singing with mulled wine, but a ‘knees up’ in its traditional Irish bar too.

Chewton Glen New Forest 

Giving even more appeal to Chewton Glen‘s award-winning spa is its growing array of tailored wellness programmes, which includes therapies aimed at achieving a peaceful ‘silent night’, however stressful the Christmas period might become. Called Sleep Soundly, our favourite treatment is in partnership with leading CBD-brand OTO and features a CBD-oil massage, Himalayan salt stones, sound therapy, plus relaxing mandarin and ylang-ylang scents to help reset your sleep patterns and provide deep relaxation.

THE HIGHLIGHT: Experience a post-treatment stay in Chewton Glen’s iconic treehouses and you’ll find an OTO Sleep Kit, featuring sleep drops and an indulgent body oil, balanced on your pillow.

The Newt Somerset

Always decked in the prettiest garlands (and with special Christmas packages on rooms available too), The Newt in Somerset offers a cosy bolthole for the festive season, with its indoor-outdoor pool, steam room, sauna and extensive list of treatments, which includes stress-relieving couple experiences. The place you really want to be though (coupled up or otherwise) is the warming traditional Turkish hammam – where you can be buffed, polished, massaged and moisturised from head-to-toe, including a particularly indulgent scalp massage.

THE HIGHLIGHT: The spa’s limited-edition winter treatment menu also includes the signature Warm Candle Massage for even deeper relaxation when the weather is cold.

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Lead photo credit: Cashel Palace

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