Beauty and Spa

5 Best UK Spa Breaks for Solo Travellers

5 Best UK Spa Breaks for Solo Travellers

Nothing beats a spa break for a refresh and reset, some time away from the daily grind, or a slow-paced trip with your closest friends and family. Whether swimming laps or lounging by the pool, lavender-scented thermal suites, hydrotherapy soaks in a private garden, or high-tech massages and bespoke facials, these luxurious locations offer serious spa credentials. 

To round off a hectic day of pampering, most spa hotels provide many great dining options in the evening, with some even boasting a Michelin star or more.

Dormy House Hotel and Spa

If you’re looking for a comfortable environment, Dormy House is the place for you. This historic 17th-century farmhouse-turned-39-room boutique hotel is just outside Broadway Village on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate and offers Cotswolds conviviality in such plenty that you can’t help but depart with a spring in your step. Flagstone-floored lounges with blanket-draped sofas and log fires welcome guests to kick off their wellies and relax with a cup of tea. It’s a great place to relax after a trip to the Broadway Tower. The House Spa features a candlelit indoor infinity pool, a hydrotherapy hot tub surrounded by pots of violet foliage, a gym, and a thermal suite with a Finnish cabin, salt steam room, lavender-infused number, and experience shower that simulates being caught in a rainforest downpour in the most beautiful of manners. 

Many treatments using Temple Spa products are available, ranging from a sugar buff scrub and warm oil massage combination to full body massages using a technique developed by expert Beata Aleksandrowicz that utilises firm, slow strokes for deep relaxation. Besides a spa cafe with a sun patio, the slow-food Back Garden restaurant serves cosy truffle and parmesan cream gnocchi and apple terrine with cinnamon brioche. Bedrooms have Scandi-style décor with wooden beams, floral fabric walls, and gleaming roll-top baths. While the Temple Spa toiletries in the rooms smell wonderful, a transition to refillable seems long overdue.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Bath is as famous for its honey-hued Georgian architecture as it is for the historic thermal waters on which it was built. It makes for an excellent wellness retreat. The Gainsborough Bath Spa, with 99 suites in monochrome, is the only hotel with a spa fed directly by Bath’s mineral-rich spring water. A few spa guest rooms even have thermal water piped directly into roll-top bathtubs, and for group vacations, there’s a four-story Georgian townhouse next to the hotel.

The Spa Village’s main attraction is a stunning mosaic-tiled thermal pool placed beneath a glass atrium and wrapped by Romanesque columns. The Gainsborough Spa provides a more boutique experience than the city’s famed Thermae Baths, with two smaller soaking pools, an ice alcove, and a relaxation terrace that forms an energetic self-guided bathing circuit. Unknotting aromatherapy, Swedish essential oil, and thermal candle massages are available in ten treatment rooms, as well as refreshing lime and ginger scrubs; the gym and complimentary weekend yoga knowledge will keep energetic guests satisfied.

Lime Wood

Lime Wood, in the New Forest National Park, where wild ponies meander through woods and violet-tinged heather scrub, is the perfect rural escape. The 13th-century lodge, now a country house hotel with beautiful gardens, offers lounges with blazing fireplaces, an Italian restaurant run by Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, and 33 rooms decorated with botanical artwork, antique furniture, and bloom-festooned pillows as well. 

 The peaceful three-level Herb House spa’s facilities highlight calmness, with a 16m indoor lap pool (floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide dappled sunlight and woodland views), two hydro pools, an outdoor hot pool beneath olive trees, and ten treatment rooms. 

Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort

The 154-room Gal gorm, located 40 minutes from Belfast and surrounded by 380 acres of parkland along the serene River Maine, has a pleasantly quiet and merry environment. Accommodation options include business-style guestrooms, Scandi-style cottages, and rustic log cabins. All are dog-friendly. There are four restaurants, including Fratelli, a laid-back AA Rosette-awarded Italian restaurant, and Gillies Grill, which features thrilling live music every night. 

The property’s award-winning Spa Village is one of Europe’s largest thermal spas, with six acres for guests to unwind in, including three gardens (alpine, walled, and riverside) and an array of services, including an outdoor infinity hydrotherapy pool, riverside hot tubs, an indoor pool, snow cabin, salt room, aroma grotto, and herb caldarium. Massages use Aromatherapy Associates oil or CBD-infused OTO products, while Gal gorm offers an exclusive Domè Detox Therapy, a touchless treatment that rejuvenates skin with colour and plasma therapy. 

 Elements, a timber-dome restaurant, serves poke bowls and virgin watermelon margaritas as post-relaxation nourishment. Golfers will like the neighbouring Galgorm Castle Estate’s par-72 championship course, six-hole pitch and putt, and golf academy.

The Scarlet

A coastline vacation is a refreshing experience, and the adults-only Scarlet, with its Cliffside location above Mawgan Porth’s butterscotch sands, eco-architecture, and superb spa, is a breath of fresh air for the soul. Each of the 39 rooms, with pale wooden floors and painted in mossy green and dark blues influenced by wildflowers and sea mosses, has a view of the sea, whether full-facing from a balcony or an upper-level sitting area. Popular with couples, the spa promotes wild-at-heart romanticism with blue-on-blue seascape panoramas from the indoor pool, an outside natural pool (water number filtered by a living reed bed system), and two clifftop hot tubs. Ayurvedic therapies such as shredder and Mukhabyanga facial massage provide a taste of longer, four-hour ‘journeys’ (solo, couples, and pregnancy), as well as hot herb and oat-filled plaster massages and Tula facials. Hands-on DIY hammam treatments for two, which involve slathering each other with mineral mud and an aromatic scrub on a heated ceramic bed, are enjoyable and leave skin silky smooth. 

 After that, relax in slumber-inducing hanging canvas pods, do outdoor yoga and tai chi, or go surfing. A visit to the restaurant is necessary because chef Jack Clayton runs it, noted for his focus on sustainable, sustainably sourced cuisine, and good-natured sommelier Nick Bryant. Select among seven-course fine-dining suppers and afternoon cream teas; just remember to stack jam before clotted cream, as is traditional in Cornish.


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