Winter is for staying rest and relaxation, and if you'd rather be hunkering down in the confines of somewhere chic, where there's the chance of a treatment or two, then a spa trip is a must. There’s nothing like getting out of the city to unwind, but if you’re short on time you’ll not want to stray too far.
Fortunately for Londoners, there are plenty of charming country spas within easy reach of the capital, so you can enjoy some indulgent pampering without a mammoth journey.
These are our favourite spas near London to spend the day or a cheeky weekend in luxury.
For a day trip
Cliveden House Hotel, Berkshire
You may recognise Cliveden as the hotel Meghan Markle spent the night in before she married Prince Harry, and the spa offers a menu of treatments by the Duchess of Sussex’s go-to facialist, Sarah Chapman. The devil is in the detail here – the spa even has its own scent called Nancy (after Nancy Astor) made with notes of fruit blossom, jasmine wild mint and lily. Both the indoor and outdoor pool areas are supremely Instagrammable places to relax inbetween treatments, while the hot tubs in the garden can be enjoyed well into the winter.
Time from London: 1hr 49 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a Chiltern Railways train towards Oxford from Marylebone Station, getting off at High Wycombe. Walk five minutes to bus stop R on the high street and get the 31 towards Maidenhead Town Centre getting off at Riversdale South. From there either walk 40 minutes to the hotel or get a taxi/Uber.
Tailor-made spa days from £335. clivedenhouse.co.uk
Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton
You’ll find Luton Hoo Hotel on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, sprawling across 1,000 acres of glorious parkland, meadows, woodlands, lake, rivers and natural trails. Their ‘feel good’ spa day includes two 55-minute treatments and a two-course lunch in Adam’s Brasserie along with full use of the facilities.
Time from London: 45 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take the Thameslink from St Pancras towards Bedford and get off at Harpenden. Walk four minutes to The George PH bus stop C and get on the Sapphire 321 towards Luton for 10 minutes, getting off at Luton Hoo Hotel.
Spa days start at £180 per day. lutonhoo.co.uk
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
The Gainsborough’s spa takes a modern twist on the city’s thermal water heritage. This spa is set beneath a glass atrium and offers a number of different spa days which include a welcome drink and afternoon tea. You'll have use of the gym, saunas, thermal pools and relaxation terrace and have a personalised aromatherapy blending session.
Time from London: 1hr 35 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a Great Western Railway line from Paddington Station towards Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Bath Spa. Walk for seven minutes to the hotel.
Spa days begin at £95 per day. thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk
This romantic manor house sits within a wildflower meadow. The separate eco spa is a tranquil oasis and each spa day includes unlimited a use of the a heated swimming pool, steam room, The Spatisserie (a super-relaxing, cloud-like dining space) and a fully-equipped gym. Treatments are performed with Ishga products, created with the power of Hebridean seaweed.
Time from London: 1hr 32 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a South Western Railway train from Waterloo Station towards Reading, hopping off at Sunningdale. Get a taxi from the station to Coworth Park – or it’s a half an hour walk.
Spa days from £250 for the day. dorchestercollection.com
The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire
The Grove Hotel is set in 300 acres of lush Hertfordshire countryside – but it’s their award-winning Sequoia spa that is the must-visit. Enjoy a truly personalised treatment with either Bamford or Natura Bissé products.
Time from London: 57 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Jump on a West Midlands Train from Euston towards Birmingham New Street. Get off at Watford Junction and get the number 10 bus towards Woolside, and get off at Hollytree House. Walk for 20 minutes to The Grove or order a taxi/Uber.
Spa days start from £175 per day. thegrove.co.uk
Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire
Just 40 miles northwest of London, you can get to this luxe hotel faster than it takes most of us to commute to work. The National Trust-owned Grade 1 listed Jacobean and Georgian house is home to a stunning spa with a swimming pool, spa bath, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms.
Time from London: 47 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Get on a Chiltern Railways train from Marylebone heading towards Oxford. Get off at Haddenham and Thame Parkway, walking 13 minutes to Hartwell House.
Spa days begin at £120 per day. hartwell-house.com
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
With a host of luxury restorative and soothing treatments on offer, this five-star hotel is the ultimate spot to escape to and unwind. To feel blissed out, opt for the mindfulness massage which incorporates breathing and visualisation techniques and a deeply therapeutic full body massage to promote positivity.
Time from London: 1 hr 40 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a GWR line towards Bristol Temple Meads, getting off at Chippenham. Get the 635 bus from outside the station towards Marshfield, hopping off at Valley Way Shelter and walking seven minutes to the hotel.
Spa days begin at £175 per day. lucknampark.co.uk
For a weekend stay
Cowley Manor Experimental, Gloucestershire
This classic country house hotel had a stunning, eclectic refurb last summer courtesy of a design collaboraion with Dorothée Meilichzon and De Matos Ryan. With a 300-year history it has been an inspiring destination to authors and creatives for centuries — once owned by Edward the Confessor.
The award-winning C-side spa has also had a chic interior refurb, maintaining its stunning post-modern exterior. Take in the stunning surrounds from the indoor and outdoor heated pools and enjoy a soul-nourishing treatment using natural products from Monu Skin. Unwind after in the sauna or steam rooms and don't miss the chance to try local fare at the new hotel restaurant, where the team is led by renowned chef Jackson Boxer.
Time from London: 2 hrs 51 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Jump on a GWR train from Paddington towards Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Swindon Station. Get the 51 bus from there (bay 16) towards Cheltenham and hop off at Cowley Turn where it’s just a 9 minute walk to the Manor.
Rooms start at £250 per night with spa access and breakfast included. cowleymanor.com
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury
Set on 12 acres of pristine Cotswolds countryside, this hotel is a stunning place to escape. The honey stone spa building is the ultimate relaxation space, kitted out with an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite and salt scrub showers.
Time from London: 2 hrs
How to get there on public transport: From Paddington, get on a GWR towards Bristol Parkway, hopping off at Swindon Station. Then jump in a taxi to Malmesbury.
Spa days from £160 for a half day with smoothie and 90-minuute spa treatment . A one-night stay starts at £386. whatleymanor.com
Dormy House, Cotswolds
A rustic country house with modern edge, this hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds has an indoor-outdoor Scandi-look spa spanning several floors. It boasts the Cotswold lavender sauna, rhassoul mud room, nail parlour, infinity pool and outdoor hot tub. Choose from relaxing float tank experiences, CBD treatments or one of the spa's top-to-toe body treatments designed to renergise and restore peace. The House Spa will reopen on January 22 2024 following renovations, though treatments can be booked during the closure period.
Time from London: 2 hrs 40 minutes
How to get there on public transport: A GWR line towards Weston Super Mare from Paddington will take you to Swindon Station where you need to transfer to the 51A bus towards Stratton from bay 16. Stay on this bus for an hour and get off at the Park View stop where Dormy House is a three minute walk.
Dormy House Spa days begin at £125, hotel rooms from £309 per night. dormyhouse.co.uk
Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
Calcot’s spa is situated in a quiet corner of the hotel grounds and on a quintessentially Cotswolds' manor estate. There is a dreamy outdoor hot tub, steam and sauna room and a number of treatments available using products from cult brands such as Elemis and Aromatherapy Associates.
Time from London: 3 hrs 3 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Get a GWR train from Paddington towards Cheltenham Spa, jumping off at Stroud. Get the 63 bus towards Wickwar from Stop N outside the station and get off at Calcot Farm where the Manor is a three minute walk.
Spa day packages begin at £175 per day, rooms are from £314 per night. calcot.com
Lime Wood Hotel, Hampshire
Like something out of a Jane Austen novel, Lime Wood Hotel is the place to live out your lady of the manor fantasies in the heart of the New Forest. It is home to the Herb House Spa, which is inspired by its forest surroundings and dedicated to an atmosphere of serenity. Covering three levels, there is a sauna, indoor hydro pool with forest views, a mud house and outdoor hot pool. Spa days include a holistic bespoke package and perfectly pampered extra special option including two treatments.
Time from London: 2hrs 19 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Leaving from Waterloo, take a South Western Railway train towards Weymouth and get off at Southampton Central. Change trains theres to get a South Western Railway train towards Poole, stay on this for 10 minutes until you reach Ashurst New Forest. From here it's best to grab a cab
Spa days begin at £240 per person, rooms begin at £495 per night. limewoodhotel.co.uk