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Our little black book of enchanting places

Spa gardens are hot

Posted in HEALTH + WELLBEING By Maggie O' Sullivan

The latest wellbeing trend in the UK? According to Abi Wright, founder of Spabreaks.com, it’s the spa garden. So time to grab a robe and head outside. Here’s where Abi recommends.

The woodland location of the Galgorm Resort & Spa, above, on the banks of the River Maine in County Antrim, was the inspiration for this beautiful indoor-outdoor space. Here, guests are invited to experience the natural forces of Fire, Air and Water – in other words, relax around the sunken fire before hopping into the hot tub next to the river. We’re beginning to see the attraction of a spa garden. A one-night half board spa break including a 55-minute treatment and a Celtic Sauna Ritual, plus full use of the Thermal Spa Village facilities, costs from £182.50 per person.Foxhills spa garden/spabreaks.comFoxhills in Chertsey was apparently the first spa to offer a spa garden. Its version features a Finnish sauna, hot tub, hammocks, bean bags and loungers, but the pièce de résistance is its natural swimming pool, above, with chemical-free water purified by plants and minerals. This organic pool stimulates the circulation, energises the spirit and lowers the temperature. Treatments are available in eight hedged cubicles or you can take a class on the lawn. A one-night half board spa break with one 55-minute treatment and full use of spa facilities costs from £180 per person.Stoke Park spa garden/spabreaks.comStoke Park's spa garden opened last summer and features an outdoor hot tub, Scandinavian sauna, luxurious day beds, double loungers and a Manu Nest, above, which hangs from a yew tree. The point of the garden is to help guests ground and reenergize themselves through nature. A one-night half board spa break with one 55-minute treatment and full use of the spa facilities costs from £245 per person.Rockcliffe Hall spa garden/spabreaks.comThe spa at Rockcliffe Hall in Darlington is a regular award winner and the spa garden, opened in 2015, is equally impressive. There are two outdoor hot pools – one of which is an infinity edge hydrotherapy pool with massage features and a separate Jacuzzi – plus under-floor heated decking and lounging areas. Breathe in and you will discern English lavender, sweet basil, jasmine, lemon, wild mint, white neroli, mimosa and chamomile, herbs that are complemented by the special spa garden treatment menu. A one-night half board spa break with one 60-minute treatment and full use of the spa facilities costs from £210 per person.Appleby Manor spa garden/spabreaks.comNo danger of goosebumps in Appleby Manor's spa garden as it’s heated by a large fire pit. Hidden away in the hotel’s walled garden, the outdoor hot tub is surrounded by candles and cushioned chairs, flowers and greenery. A one-night half-board spa break, including full use of the spa facilities, costs from £99 per person.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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