They didn’t merely leave behind the spa concept, but whole spa towns. Peppered across the UK they are built around the naturally occurring wellbeing properties of the surrounding areas. It sounds like our idea of heaven.
Today, those same spa towns are still all-singing, all dancing wellbeing Meccas, with a little 21st century high tech luxury thrown in for good measure. Here’s where to go and where to stay in the UK’s favourite spa towns…
Perhaps the most famous of spa towns in the UK is Bath. It’s the chocolate box perfect city where no corner is anything less than beautiful. It’s all Regency townhouses constructed from sandy coloured Bath stone, rolling hills for miles around, church spires and pretty rooftops peppering the skyline and Christmas markets in December.
In keeping with its history as a spa town, Bath is also home to some of the most beautiful modern day spas. In particular, The Gainsborough which has been making its name because of its unique spa village experience. It is the only spa in the country that uses thermal waters from the ground. It has two natural pools, and offers a pre-treatment ritual that ensures complete head to toe wellbeing.
Harrogate has been consistently named the happiest place to live in Britain, which is a wonderful attribute for a historic spa town. The picturesque location in the Yorkshire Dales made its name in the Georgian era for the health giving properties of the waters, which contain iron, sulphur and salt.
Close by, Rudding Park keeps the wellbeing name alive and kicking, surrounded by 300 acres of parkland and offering a five star service including an £8 million wing dedicated to the spa experience.
Cheltenham is probably the best known town in Gloucestershire. The Regency spa town has been a health and holiday spa town resort since the discovery of mineral springs in 1716. Although, it’s also pretty well known for its eminent horse racing.
Two miles from the town itself, Ellenborough Park is one of the beautiful spa locations that continues the wellbeing tradition. A luxurious hotel spa in a 90-acre estate, it’s wellbeing for adults only combining tranquility and indulgence in glorious surroundings.
A settlement since the Bronze Age, Malvern itself was founded in the 11th century. It was when Benedictine monks established a priory at the foot of the highest peak of Malvern Hills. Malvern became known as a spa town in the mid 19th century owing to its popularity as a hydrotherapy spa based on its spring waters.
Since then, it has understandably expanded, but it remains surrounded by verdant scenery. Close by the aptly named spa, The Malvern, continues to keep spa tradition alive. Embracing its heritage, the contemporary spa offers a beautiful thermal suite and delectable treatments using the REN skincare line. The pool is also a total treat – like something out of an art gallery.
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