Our favourite spa gardens

The best way to get outside but avoid the crowds this summer

The most tranquil way to enjoy the great outdoors

As we get further towards summer and the prospect of travelling a bit more comes into view, we’re absolutely desperate for the chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Given the experiences of recent months however, and the need to continue to be mindful about social distancing, many of us are wondering how we can enjoy getting outside whilst avoiding any crowds as packed beaches and parks are something we all seek to limit. Spa gardens might just be the tranquil answer you’re looking for, with limited numbers and the space to relax in peace.

Browse outdoor experiences

A few of our favourite spa gardens...

Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire

This grand 17th century property is perfectly presented within exceptional formal grounds and gardens to wander in. The gardens have been used to enhance the hotel and spa experiences at every possible turn. For example, the spa combines indoor and outdoor spaces to unwind in, and Restaurant Eighty Eight is set against an outstanding backdrop of ornamental Japanese gardens. These Japanese gardens date to 1910 when they were created for Lord and Lady Furness. It includes two ponds linked by a stream set within a ravine, and is Grade II registered for its authentic design.

View Grantley Hall

Hoar Cross Hall, Staffordshire

Recently named one of the best UK spa gardens, Hoar Cross Hall is set in 50 acres of grounds; an Elizabethan manor house with many original attributes. The trees, lawns and borders are immaculately kept and it’s a treat to sit or roam the grounds, hand in hand with a partner or pondering your own thoughts quietly. There’s also plenty to do outside, in addition to the celebrated spa. Naturally, the grounds can also be enjoyed from the different areas of the hotel, and one of our favourite ways is tucking into afternoon tea with a view of the lawns. It doesn’t even need good weather to be appreciated

View Hoar Cross Hall

Ribby Hall Village, Lancashire

Ribby Hall has a spectacular Zen Garden set peacefully at the back of the spa. It features an outside hot tub and sauna, outdoor bar and beautiful seating area, a Himalayan salt sauna, an additional outdoor hot tub, and an outdoor experience shower with mood lighting and body jets. The outdoor experience shower is housed in a luxurious wooden structure, so even when it’s raining you can enjoy a warm shower outdoors. Meanwhile, the beautiful Himalayan salt sauna has Himalayan salt bricks in the walls which have several health benefits including the support of a healthy respiratory system and improved sleep.

View Ribby Hall

Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

This country house hotel is the height of luxury. Housing the UK’s first private members’ spa, Cottonmill is a luxurious sanctuary with state-of-the-art facilities and truly decadent spa experiences delivered by world-class experts. Innovative spaces provide relaxation areas post treatment, in private gardens and poolside terraces along with cabanas, hot tubs and fire pits woven into a landscaped oasis.

View Sopwell House

Luton Hoo Hotel and Spa, Bedfordshire

Set in more than 1,000 acres of gardens, parkland, woodland and golf course, and the spa in this beautiful mansion hotel offers you a terrific range of ESPA treatments to help you get ready for summer. If you fancy heading out into the great outdoors you can walk, or hire a bike and explore. On second thoughts, maybe watching the pheasants from your lounger by the indoor pool may suffice.

View Luton Hoo

South Lodge, West Sussex

Designed with sustainability in mind, the spa at South Lodge lets the outdoors in as much as possible, so you can expect spectacular South Downs views from many vantage points including the indoor pool and relaxation space. Outside, the luxury continues, with an infinity edge pool, natural wild pool and a hydrotherapy pool. Inside, the spa has a superb thermal suite and 14 nature-themed treatment rooms to enjoy massages, facials and body rituals.

View South Lodge