9 Spa Escapes Within Easy Reach Of London
9 Spa Escapes Within Easy Reach Of London

9 Spa Escapes Within Easy Reach Of London

A spa break is always a good idea. Whether you’re after a laid-back day with friends or a full weekend escape, here are the ones that guarantee a serious dose of R&R – all within easy reach of the capital…
By Tor West
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Image: CLIVEDEN HOUSE
Beaverbrook
Beaverbrook

@BEAVERBROOK

Sopwell House

Spa Ethos: Set in tranquil gardens designed by an RHS Gold Medal winner, the Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House has facilities – think thermal rooms, salt and steam rooms, and the UK’s largest panoramic sauna with outdoor views – so extensive you’ll need to book a full day to make the most of them. If you live locally, consider joining the Club at Cottonmill, which gives access to the botanical steam room, quiet zones and cabanas around the fire pit. 

What To Book: Thanks to partnerships with Elemis and Aromatherapy Associates, the treatment list is comprehensive. The Signature Inner Harmony is a massage with a difference, combining Swedish and neuromuscular techniques to relieve tension, with lymphatic drainage, along with a choice of 12 plant and flower oils to promote deep relaxation. 

How To Get There: Sopwell House is two miles from St Albans station (around five minutes in a taxi), with trains to/from St Pancras International taking just 20 minutes. The hotel is a ten-minute drive from junctions of the M25 and M1. 

Visit SopwellHouse.co.uk

Beaverbrook

Spa Ethos: Tucked away in the Surrey Hills, Beaverbrook is the Victorian mansion where Lord Beaverbrook entertained everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Winston Churchill. The modern Coach House Spa is recognisable for its bold design – the stained-glass windows and tilework were created to mirror the surrounding countryside. There are botanical nods throughout – therapy rooms (named after plants on the estate) have private gardens and a resident naturopath is on hand to concoct bespoke remedies. 

What To Book: Holistic healing lies at the heart of the treatments here. Book in for the seasonal special: the Autumn Nourishment package includes a breathwork session, hot stone treatment, and a full-body massage. 

How To Get There: Direct trains from London to Leatherhead take around 45 minutes. From there, it’s a ten-minute taxi. By car, it’s around an hour from west London. 

Visit Beaverbrook.co.uk

Sopwell House
Sopwell House

@SOPWELLHOUSE

The Grove

Spa Ethos: Eighteen miles from London, The Grove is a serious five-star retreat. Over the last few years, the hotel has undergone extensive refurbishment, and the recently revamped Sequoia Spa is the destination to know for serious pampering – think rituals, massages and facials from British brand Bamford. The black mosaic-tiled pool and heat experience rooms are the perfect antidote to the British winter, while the gardens and plush loungers are made for the summer months. 

What To Book: Book a spa day for the full experience. For a more affordable option, book a midweek escape – the De-Stress Experience includes a Bamford full-body massage and full use of the facilities from 9am to 9pm.  

How To Get There: From central London it’s 15 minutes on the train to Watford Junction, followed by a ten-minute taxi. 

Visit TheGrove.co.uk

South Lodge

Spa Ethos: This impressive spa has it all. Sleek, modern and polished, the contemporary facilities encompass indoor and outdoor spaces, with a natural, 18m-long heated wild swimming pool at the centre of them all. You’ll also find 14 nature-themed treatment rooms, a thermal suite with infused sauna, a marble-lined salt steam room, jasmine herbal steam rooms and a multi-level terraced sun deck and outdoor hydrotherapy pools for warmer days. 

What To Book: Whether you struggle with insomnia or want to quiet a busy mind, the Comfort Zone Pro-Sleep Treatment is one of the most relaxing treatments we’ve experienced. It all comes down to the soft brushes, which are used in place of a therapist’s hands – they’re designed to activate sensorial receptors on the skin that aid healing and deep sleep. 

How To Get There: Between Haywards Heath and Horsham, South Lodge is easily reachable from London by car in under two hours. Horsham station is a 13-minute drive away, with trains to London Victoria taking 50 minutes. 

Visit Exclusive.co.uk

South Lodge
South Lodge

Cliveden House

Spa Ethos: Set in 376 acres of magnificent gardens and parkland (now owned by the National Trust), Cliveden is the ultimate in luxurious privacy and escapism. Its recently renovated spa is open to members and hotel guests – unwind by the indoor pool or head into the garden where you’ll find the Profumo pool, the last remaining listed outdoor pool in England. All treatment rooms feature water mattresses – the perfect tonic for tight muscles. 

What To Book: Oskia heads up the treatment menu, meaning you can expect holistic massages and facials that combine acupressure, specialist bodywork, reflex and lymphatic drainage with results-driven formulas. For brighter, more radiant skin, an Oskia bespoke facial comes highly recommended. 

How To Get There: Cliveden is 45 minutes west of London by car and 20 minutes from Heathrow. 

Visit ClivedenHouse.co.uk

Ockenden Manor

Spa Ethos: Entering the sublime grounds of this Elizabethan manor house feels like stepping back in time, although it’s a different story over at its state-of-the-art spa. Between the in-and-outdoor heated swimming pool, eight luxurious treatment rooms and a flotation tank, we defy you not to feel restored after a day at Ockenden. The spa itself is within a 19th-century walled garden, with the pool fed by the hotel’s own natural underground spring. 

What To Book: The Elemental Herbology Rebalancing Ritual is a standout treatment, incorporating hot Thai compresses to release tension, stretches and acupressure to boost energy, and a foot scrub followed by a brightening facial. It’s two hours of bliss. 

How To Get There: In the pretty village of Cuckfield, Ockenden Manor is a ten-minute taxi ride from Haywards Heath station, which is on the mainline between London and Brighton. The hotel is around an hour’s drive from central London. 

Visit HSHotels.co.uk

Heckfield Place

Spa Ethos: Five years in the making, The Bothy at Heckfield Place is a vast space that’s raising the bar for UK hotel spas. Only open to hotel guests (so it never feels crowded), this is a serene retreat, designed to be a space where you can realign and rebalance. Treatments – which range from reiki and reflexology to massages – all incorporate Wildsmith Skin products, and sessions are at dawn, noon and dusk to help you tune into your circadian rhythm. To encourage relaxation, there are no clocks in the spa and phones must be left at reception. 

What To Book: Clear your afternoon for Wildsmith Time, a heavenly 135-minute treatment. Weak spots are first identified with kinesiology, followed by craniosacral holds to soothe tension, then a top-to-toe massage with Wildsmith products. Afterwards, you can slowly come back to life in the sauna and sun room.  

How To Get There: The closest station is Winchfield, which can be reached from Waterloo via Farnborough. The drive along the M4 from central London takes around 1 hour 15 minutes. 

Visit HeckfieldPlace.com

The Langley
The Langley

JAMES BALSTON

The Retreat at Elcot Park

Spa Ethos: The recently opened Retreat at Elcot Park is already a popular spot for a quick-fix rural escape. While the spa is on the smaller side, the treatments are second-to-none and the facilities extensive – think hydrotherapy pools, sauna and steam rooms, a salt flotation room and mud rasul. Treatments are open to hotel guests, members and non-residents, so there’s nothing stopping you booking in for a spa day, which includes afternoon tea, a treatment and use of the facilities – prices start from £140 for a full day. 

What To Book: The Gaia Jade Facial will leave skin glowing thanks to healing crystal wands that stimulate lymphatic drainage and blood flow.  

How To Get There: Around 1 hour 45 minutes from London. Newbury station is 15 minutes in a taxi, with a direct service to Paddington taking 40 minutes.  

Visit RetreatElcotPark.com

The Langley

Spa Ethos: The former country estate of the third Duke of Marlborough, The Langley is one of Buckinghamshire’s best-kept secrets following a million-pound renovation. Forbidden to build up, an impressive subterranean spa was created, complete with 16m marble-lined swimming pool, hammams, vitality, pools, Himalayan salt-walled sauna and an amethyst steam room. If you’re feeling active, book in for a session with PT Matt Roberts, who heads up the cutting-edge fitness suite, offering bespoke wellness programmes. 

What To Book: With treatments from Sisley, La Sultane de Saba and Margaret Dabbs on offer, you’re spoilt for choice. The Sisley Supreme Facial will leave skin restored, while signature Spa Journeys are blissful, two-hour treatments inspired by native wellness traditions. 

How To Get There: Central London is a 40-minute drive, or direct trains from London Paddington to Slough take 13 minutes, with a ten-minute taxi to the estate. 

Visit Marriott.com

Heckfield Place
Heckfield Place

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