If you wanted any more proof that the Cotswolds is the well-heeled competitor to London not just for its lifestyle offering but for wellness too, then look no further than The Club by Bamford.
From yoga and spa treatments to the Spartan gym and farm-to-fork cuisine, here’s our review of one of the hottest health clubs in the Cotswolds, and why it is worth visiting in 2024.
WHAT TO PACK
Set in 3,500 acres of organic farmland in the Cotswolds, the iconic Daylesford organic farm shop and spa is a location that, for many, needs no introduction. For years, visitors have come from far and wide to sample sophisticated farm-to-fork style living and the most indulgent of wellness treatments. But, excitement reached fever pitch almost a year ago, when Carole Bamford’s latest venture – The Club by Bamford – finally opened its doors.
The exclusive members club is a premium 360 degree wellness destination, incorporating health, fitness, holistic therapies and spa treatments all in one place. And, it’s a place with not only health but sustainability at its heart. From the compostable slippers and organic cotton robes you are invited to wear on arrival (when not in the gym, of course) to the building that blends in with its countryside surroundings. “It’s a place that’s very personalised: somewhere for you and your wellness, where you can do what suits you and make it what you want to be,” as Caroline Bamford herself is widely quoted as saying:
The Spa and Wellness
Rest and relaxation is at the heart of Bamford as a brand – I, personally, can’t rest and relax without the Geranium Bath Salts in particular – and every aspect of The Club reflects just that. With a palette of calming pale beige and wood throughout, the spa and wellness spaces (including the changing rooms) put you immediately at ease, and you could easily spend all day just enjoying lying on the multitude of indoor and outdoor loungers.
However, there’s much more to be enjoyed than that. Adjoining the treatment rooms that already existed in the original spa space, there’s now a steam room, sauna and experience shower, plus, for keen swimmers, a full 25-metre indoor pool that’s perfect for leisurely lengths. It’s fully heated too, with the added flourish that its warmed by a sustainable biomass boiler, and is treated with minimal chlorine. Outside, the warm plunge pool with panoramic views across the surrounding orchard is a new must-try experience, and, if you are brave enough, there are outdoor ice barrels too, bringing you the mood, energy and immune-boosting benefits of cold-water therapy close to warm and cosy surroundings.
For those looking to really supercharge their wellness experience, two new treatment rooms now offer future-looking therapies as well, making room for a cryotherapy chamber and a red light therapy bed – both of which are designed to help reenergise in a single session. What’s more, in partnership with leading medical specialists Effect Doctors, you can also book in for a IV drip, blood test-based health analysis and even hormone replacement therapy referrals to ensure you leave your retreat and The Club in general as control of your health as you possibly can be.
You might think that as a wellness club, The Club by Bamford may be somewhat ‘soft’ when it comes to making you sweat, but it’s immediately obvious this is not the case throughout the whole complex – should you wish it not to be. In fact, it has equipment and workout options that will rival some of the most luxurious (and expensive) London gyms.
The gym itself is an impressive 340 square metre space (again with spectacular elevated views and plenty of light throughout), featuring the full fleet of Technogym equipment and Stages Smart Bikes in a studio that also hosts ballet-barre and reformer Pilates. With a full team of dedicated personal trainers and around 60 classes a week, plus personal training sessions and individual body composition analysis, there’s a wealth of opportunities to refine and actually hit your fitness goals. Your mental health is well taken care of as well, with sound healing, breath work and even specialised hyno-birthing classes available to support you through every stage of your health journey.
Outside, the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside plays a brilliant role in getting you moving too, from the outdoor workout space which is fully stocked with weights, a sledge push and even stationary bikes, alongside a run club to help you explore and enjoy your surroundings. Perhaps most exciting of all though is the two outdoor padel courts, which bring the world’s fastest-growing racket sport to the local community in partnership with Padel Shift. You’ll be hooked (and incredibly toned as a result) before you even know it.
Designed as a place to work hard and chill out even harder afterwards, The Nest is a beautifully-designed relaxation space, which includes a restaurant with options for both indoor and outdoor dining. Sustainability reigns supreme here too, from the panelling and interiors that provide a rustic yet cosy ambiance to the all-electric kitchen powered using renewable energy.
With a seasonal menu that uses locally sourced ingredients – in fact, at least 70% of the vegetable produce is grown on-site at Daylesford farm – you can hardly eat fresher, with pre-and-post workout shakes juiced in front of your eyes and everything from overnight oats and green leafy salads on offer to support your health and fitness goals. Secure a spot on the Bramley Terrace and you’ll get an incredible Cotswolds view too – overlooking the orchard. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink, connect with other members (and now non-members) or even catch-up on emails as you work remotely. That’s testament to the fact that the Club is specifically designed to support its guests in every aspect of their busy lifestyles.
The Little Extras
We all know that the great British weather can be somewhat changeable, but you can tell that the club has been designed with this seasonal unpredictability in mind. When the sun is out, you can make the most of the scenery that the area is known for, with lots of spaces to relax, swim and workout outdoors. However, with large windows and airy spaces throughout, even when you’re indoors as the rain pours, there’s plenty to do and beautiful views to be enjoyed, so you don’t feel like you are missing out on the fresh country air for a moment.
Plus, as well as offering full membership, if you live elsewhere but like to visit the Cotswolds frequently, The Club by Bamford offers a unique Escape to the Farm Membership. Giving you 25 visits per calendar year for £2,250 per annum plus a joining fee, it means there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the space throughout the seasons and to try out its full offering.
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