The best spa hotels in the north of England

Advice

The north is often associated with wild landscapes and industrial cities, and though the former can be beautiful if breezy, and the latter re-energised with start-ups and a cool arts scene, the region may not be everyone’s first choice for a relaxing spa break. Think again! Spa breaks in the north of England are there to find: tucked away in chic city-centre hotels – perfect for combining with shopping, cultural and concert trips – or cocooned amongst parkland on a country estate, these spa hotels in the north east and north west offer temptations from woodland hot tubs to rooftop infinity pools, outdoor Finnish saunas to ergonomic sleep chambers, rose quartz facials to mud rasul rituals.

The Midland

Manchester, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Midland has one of the north west’s best-looking spas. The Thermal Experience is where the fun starts, with alder wood sauna (air infused by a Himalayan salt block); aromatherapy steam room; ‘lifestyle’ shower (think ‘Caribbean storm’ and ‘Arctic rain’ fuctions); and relaxation pool. ESPA treatments include the Serene Sleep range focusing on marma points and rebalancing chakras. Nor is the excitement over when you’re ushered into the relaxation room afterwards – with its ergonomic sleep chambers and hanging pods. Book a luxurious room with city views and nab a table at The French for a menu featuring tatties, trotters and truffles.


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From


£
109

per night

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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This 100-acre boutique retreat with its own boat house is about as far from a big, blingy spa hotel as you can get. Hot tub fans are well catered for with cedarwood and ancient-style Japanese ofuro varieties, and private ones installed in several suites. The Jetty spa has a couple’s treatment room that floats in a tree canopy above the hotel’s private lake. There’s also a swimming pool, and salt snug where guests can enjoy a halotherapy treatment inspired by the practices of medieval monks followed by aroma salt scrub. Some of the bedroom suites have their own sauna and steam room.


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From


£
255

per night

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Brimstone

Lake District, Cumbria, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

A curving, contemporary state-of-the-art spa that makes the most of its Lake District scenery. The crowing glory is the Thermal Experience with Finnish cabin, ice fountain, Himalayan salt steam room and lava sauna. Treatments are inspired by Lake District flora: think sweet orchid body nourish wraps, and frangipani-soaked hot-stone massages. Facials are of the whizzy Superfood and Dynamic Resurfacing calibre. A private spa for couples has a ‘heat-and-steam’ cabin. Those committed to the cause can book the Spa bedroom; its humongous bath faces French windows that open straight onto a private terrace.


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From


£
195

per night

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Rudding Park Hotel & Spa

Follifoot, Yorkshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The fabulous spa at this luxury Harrogate hotel has its own rooftop garden with infinity pool, panoramic sauna, foot bubbles experience and herbal steam room. Treatment packages are bracingly bucolic: they can include a juniper log sauna and bucket shower. There’s also an excellent indoor pool. Facial treatments use in-vogue anti-ageing kombuchka (fermented tea); and the combined head and foot treatment with mango butter mask and acupressure is a fab alternative to a generic massage. Also on offer is, ahem, gentleman’s foot maintenance. The new spa bedrooms have their own saunas, steam rooms, and gold-tiled spa baths.


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From


£
307

per night

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The Grand York

York, Yorkshire, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

York’s only five-star property is one of the best spa hotels in the north of England. The cracking facilities include an indoor jet pool, aromatic steam room, Nordic dry sauna and mosaic-tiled whirlpool. You’ll find many of the latest signature ESPA treatments on offer here, including the Advanced Enzyme Facial with rose quartz and algae-based Detox Wrap. Spa and Stay packages starting at £185 include a one-hour treatment, breakfast and afternoon tea. Overnight guests can bed down in Egyptian cotton sheets and enjoy bathrooms with Molton Brown products. Suites have his-and-hers showers and roll-top baths.


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From


£
149

per night

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Rockliffe Hall

Hurworth-on-Tees, Durham, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This former derelict Victorian mansion is now a five-star golf resort and spa with all the trimmings. The spa garden has an infinity-edge pool with bubbles and massage jets, a second heated pool and landscaped gardens overlooking the grounds. There’s also a glass-fronted sauna and clutch of state-of-the-art self-heating sun loungers. The spa here has collaborated with Neom Organics (founded by a former Glamour magazine editor) to launch four cornerstone treatments for the stressed and sleep-deprived, drawing on everything from Thai massage and shiatsu to meditation. Book an Old Hall Suite for marble bathrooms with tubs and TVs set in the wall tiles, the finest Egyptian cotton sheets and superb countryside views.


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From


£
261

per night

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Seaham Hall

Seaham, County Durham, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This luxurious, cossetting Georgian mansion has a huge Feng Shui-inspired spa. There’s an ozone-cleansed pool with massage jets, hammam, salt sauna, amethyst crystal steam room, outdoor hot tubs, ice fountain, plunge pools and roof terrace. An aerobic studio and hydrotherapy pool complete the offerings. If you don’t come out of the Ultimate Serenity signature treatment feeling like a Duracell Bunny just out of the box, something has gone very wrong; the collaboration with trendy Ytsara products includes a foot massage, body polish, body wrap, scalp massage and bamboo back massage. Colourful, vivaciously-patterned bedrooms are a delightful change to moody, bland spa suites. One has twin slipper baths.


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From


£
380

per night

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Carden Park

Cheshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The hotel tagline of ‘Cheshire’s country estate’ conjures up images of a traditional property, but the original timber-framed hall burned down in 1912 and today’s incarnation is a modern development. Jewel in the Carden crown though is its new £10 million spa, which is out to compete with the best in the country. The feel throughout is lavish and luxurious, with high-spec finishes, lashings of white orchids and super-comfy treatment beds (this is the only spa in the North West to offer treatments from Elemental Herbology and Oskia). Indoors, there’s a pool, thermal experiences, glamorous beauty lounge, three relaxation rooms and a restaurant


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From


£
149

per night

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Grantley Hall

Ripon, Yorkshire, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This sprawling Palladian-style hall (17th-century origins) set in parkland and formal gardens has a sweep of distractions, from a Japanese garden, wellies to borrow (walking routes are available) and 30 acres of parkland to a wine-tasting room and a choice of restaurants including that of Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. The most impressive is perhaps the two-level spa with thermal experience and snow room, 18-metre pool, indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pools, outdoor terrace and hot tub area, treatments by Ila and Natura Bisse, two gyms plus altitude training facilities, and slumber-inducing relaxation areas including an outdoor terrace.


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From


£
500

per night

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Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa

Borrowdale, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

With its superb position overlooking Derwentwater and the fells of Skiddaw and Catbells, this landmark hotel has moved into the 21st century with a swanky spa – with the star of the show being the breathtaking outdoor hydrotherapy pool (pictured). Another highlight is the Champagne bar located in the spa, perfect for a post-treatment tipple on a lounger. Though there are plenty of places to relax, including a conservatory and long terrace plus gardens with views of the waterfall after which the hotel is named.


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From


£
189

per night

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Swinton Park

Ripon, Yorkshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

You’ll need a whole weekend to do justice to the multi-million-pound spa in this staggering country pile once owned by a Bradfordian mill owner. Come in summer for the outdoor sauna fire pit. The dipping pond is fabulous on sunny days – though relaxation beds topped with heated canopies, and furnished with sheepskin rugs and gloves allow guests to enjoy these spaces in winter too. An 18-metre lap pool, smaller hydrotherapy pool, and nature-scented and salt steam rooms provide further pampering. Opt for a 60-minute therapy in one of the many treatment rooms. Highly recommended is the Elemis Garden of England Rose Restore Wrap with poppy seeds; the deep tissue massages also hit the spot.


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£
172

per night

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Ramside Hall Hotel

County Durham, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The smart Espa spa at this sprawling, 350-acre country estate is the ideal escape for those wanting an ‘away-from-it-all’ setting. It boasts 14 treatment rooms, a relaxation area with sleep pods, a private suite with outdoor infinity pool, saunas, steam rooms and one of the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pools. Treatments are tailored and wide ranging; golfers will love Golfer’s Tonic, a massage that soothes aching muscles after a day on the greens; while shoppers will enjoy the invigorating foot massage. There’s plenty on offer for couples too, including the Mud Rasul Ritual, involving earthy handfuls of mud and your own private steam chamber.


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From


£
108

per night

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Contributions by Hattie Garlick, Suzanne King, Helen Pickles, Cathy Toogood

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