The Best Al Fresco Spas To Book For Summer

Whether you’re looking for a way to unwind on a sunny weekend, or are tempted to swap your summer city break for something that feels more like a proper holiday, a relaxing spa trip should most definitely be on the cards. That’s why we’ve teamed up with to bring you SL’s official edit of the UK’s best offerings, complete with gorgeous al fresco spaces – from picturesque outdoor pools, to quintessential British gardens…

Swinton Park

Where: Swinton, Yorkshire

Why we love it: This luxury castle hotel is set amidst tranquil woodland and lakes populated by fallow deer. Having only launched last summer, the hotel and spa are as contemporary and luxurious as they come. World-class spa facilities include an al fresco sauna and shower as well as a 10-metre outdoor natural pool filled with environmentally friendly bio-filtered water. Inside you’ll find a beautiful 18-metre lap pool surrounded by glass, a classic steam room, an aroma steam room using seasonal natural fragrances and a Finnish sauna. In addition to the gym, fitness options include a series of outdoor parkland programmes such as boot camps, mindfulness walks, running and hiking.

The best bit: The spa’s very own ‘beauty cottage’, catering to all your pampering needs with a private treatment room and a dedicated manicure, pedicure and blow-dry bar.

Spa days from £49pp, book now at

The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village

Where: Preston, Lancashire

Why we love it: Set in the wider surroundings of Ribby Hall Village, this is a spa for adults-only (so expect serious serenity). The resort as a whole is family-friendly, and offers a variety of activities including golf, racquet sports, and a Health Club with two swimming pools, while the spa – set back from the rest of The Village – allows over-18s to enjoy an ‘Aqua Thermal Journey’ experience, including an aromatherapy room, herbal sauna, Balinese salt inhalation room, and saunarium.

The best bit? We’ll be heading straight for the ‘Zen Garden’ – a blissful outdoor space with hot stone loungers, an energising salt sauna with panoramic views of the surrounding Lancashire countryside, a refreshing monsoon shower and a second hot tub boasting even more stunning views.

Spa days from £34pp, book now at

Rudding Park

Where: Harrogate, Yorkshire

Why we love it: Following a spectacular makeover, this spa is now one of the UK’s most beautiful. Set over three floors, it’s a real feast for the senses, using natural spring water from the countryside grounds. Expect an indoor pool, juniper log sauna and rasul room (an exotic body treatment harnessing the power of mineral-rich mud, along with heat and steam), plus four ‘Mind and Sense Zones’ designed to offer relaxation through visual stimulus, sound and mindfulness.

The best bit? When the sun’s out, the adults-only ‘Roof Top Spa’ is the place to be. Here you’ll find a hydrotherapy infinity pool, panoramic sauna, herbal bath steam, luxury steam room, foot spa, experience shower, spa bath and garden sauna cabin.

Spa days from £48pp, book now at

Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa

Where: Bagshot, Surrey

Why we love it: Voted England’s ‘leading spa resort’, this breathtaking spa and hotel is housed in a Tudor mansion, set in 123 acres of private picturesque Surrey countryside. The spa is genuinely unparalleled – filled with a wealth of facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, experience showers, a tepidarium, hot tubs, an ice cave, herbal sauna, laconium, aromatic schnapps steam room, relaxation lounge and a ballroom pool with underwater music.

The best bit? A £1.2 million refurbishment in 2015 brought some seriously cool new features to the spa – that you’ll rarely find anywhere else. Enjoy giant treatment beds, 11 heat experiences, two level floating DROM saunas, an ice igloo experience and a two-person rasul chamber.

Spa days from £140pp, book now at

Galgorm Resort & Spa

Where: Ballymena, Ireland

Why we love it: Set in 163 acres of lush parkland, with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate, it’s not hard to see why this magical resort won last year’s Irish Tatler Spa Awards. Just 30 minutes from Belfast, the spa is described as a ‘thermal village’ – there’s a pool, orangery, Celtic sauna, snow cabin and sanarium, as well as the River House for classes – raised on stilts and with views over the cascading river. Outside, you’ll find a ‘snail shower’, an infinity hydrotherapy pool, hot tubs and multiplicity of saunas.

The best bit? You can’t visit Galgorm Resort without trying the ‘Beltane Experience’ – spend an evening relaxing with friends around a sunken fire before enjoying late-night dip in the 12-man hot tub.

Spa days from £45pp, book now at

The Coniston Spa

Where: Skipton, Yorkshire

Why we love it: Set beside a beautiful 24-acre lake in in the rolling Yorkshire Dales, this spa/hotel has a spectacular setting. The state-of-the-art spa includes an outdoor infinity edge pool, a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, a Himalayan salt sauna, an aromatherapy steam room, an indoor bubble pool, a Finnish sauna and an ice fountain. It’s also a haven for hearty outdoor adventure, with activities ranging from off-road driving, clay pigeon shooting, archery, fishing and falconry.

The best bit? Foodies will be spoilt for choice by the hotel’s three restaurants, which span healthy bites and afternoon tea to decadent à la carte menus filled with locally sourced-produce (and boasting more of those beautiful countryside views).

Spa days from £69pp, book now at


The Bath Priory Spa

Where: Bath, Somerset

Why we love it: This is the first and only spa by L’Occitane in the UK, as well as being a five-star hotel just a short stroll from the centre of Bath.  Facilities include an indoor pool, outdoor pool during the summer months, a sauna and elliptical steam pod. Treatment rooms are decadent – complete with fireplaces and cosy blankets, taking you on a sensory journey with relaxing music and herbal teas inspired by Provencal traditions.

The best bit: A must-visit for beauty lovers, from the moment you enter ‘The Garden Spa’, you’ll be transported by fragrance – everything is drawn from the L’Occitane grand herbarium, a resource of hundreds of essential oils and natural ingredients, and treatments make use of the brand’s cult products.

Spa days from £110pp, book now at

Langdale Hotel & Spa

Where: Ambleside, the Lake District

Why we love it: A luxurious spot ideal for couples, enjoy romantic features like four-poster beds and a peaceful adults-only spa area. Situated amongst the scenic Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, much of the hotel and spa is inspired by its stunning location – from the colours in the bedrooms to the materials that make up the light and airy spa. Expect even more views of the rolling hills in the hotel’s restaurant and bar.

The best bit: The elegant Brimstone Spa offers guests all the trimmings – including complimentary robes, aromatherapy crystals and flip-flops you can take home. It also boasts seven different thermal experiences, a nine-metre indoor/outdoor relaxation pool and five different indoor and outdoor relaxation areas.

Spa breaks from £180pp, book now at

QHotels Mottram Hall

Where: Cheshire

Why we love it: Set in 270 acres of gorgeous Cheshire countryside grounds, this Georgian estate retains much of its 18th-century grandeur, complete with its own ornamental lake. Following a recent renovation, the hotel bedrooms have been given a fresh, modern update, while the spa and leisure facilities now boast a 13-metre pool with separate splash area for kids, plus a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, stream room, jacuzzi and state-of-the-art Technogym, including an aerobics and spinning studio.

The best bit: The ‘Alfresco Thermospace’ – an innovative outdoor area offering the spa’s signature range of holistic treatments in the fresh country air, alongside a ‘Brechlebath Experience,’ a ‘Mineral Stonebath’, and relaxing loungers and swing chairs to doze off in.

Spa days from £75pp, book now at

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