Luxury spa experiences
In the run up to the royal wedding, Meghan Markle is sure to be pampering herself. Luckily, Britain is home to some luxury spa experiences perfect for any bride or groom ahead of the big day.
Brimstone Spa - Lake District, Cumbria, north-west England
For exclusivity and countryside calm with a modern ‘wow' factor, discerning spa fans will love Brimstone Spa in the Lake District, Cumbria. This plush retreat sits between the Brimstone and Langdale hotels, and is only open to hotel guests. Guests can work their way through seven thermal experiences - including a Himalayan salt steam grotto and a lava sauna - and slip into the indoor-to-outdoor infinity pool. The spa is around one hour 30 minutes from Carlisle by road.
Top treatment: The spa's exclusive Pure Alchemy treatments use organic local ingredients. The Bubble is a private spa for two with twin treatment beds.
Stobo Castle, Peebles, Scotland
Deep in the countryside, yet only an hour's drive from Edinburgh, is the destination spa at Stobo Castle. Watch the sunset over the Scottish hills while relaxing in the pool. The setting might be a 200-year-old castle, but the sleek spa is an oasis of contemporary luxury offering a range of treatments and therapies using products by Gatineau, Darphin and Phytomer.
Top treatment: Reverse time with an intensive Gatineau Collagen Plumping Expert Facial, followed by the spa's bespoke Dream Water Massage treatment, where you are blasted with 2,000 litres of water but yet never get wet. Magic!
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland
Set in an idyllic woodland location alongside the River Maine is the award-winning Galgorm Spa. This watery wonderland of indoor-outdoor thermal pools, log-fired hot tubs and a post-sauna ice room is just 30 minutes from Belfast. Many of the treatments use products made from locally-farmed seaweed.
Top treatment: Go for the spa's signature Taste of Galgorm experience – a head-to-toe ritual combining five treatments: a warm organic oil back massage, a hydrating hand and arm mask, VOYA organic facial treatments with Laminaria eye compresses, a head massage and, to finish, a restorative point foot massage. Bliss!
Pennyhill Park Hotel, Surrey, England
The impressive Spa at Pennyhill Park has eight indoor and outdoor pools - one even has underwater music, and the bubbling, warm outside pool is lovely in winter. Other facilities include an ice cave, sauna, steam rooms and heated ceramic relaxation beds in a tepidarium (that's spa speak for a heated room). There is a huge menu of treatments, including hi-tech facials from Elemental Herbology. Guests can hire the brand new Acacia or Silver Birch suites for total privacy.
Top treatment: The spa's bespoke Elemental Harmoniser facial uses a combination of plant-derived AHAs and active botanical ingredients to reenergise skin and give a radiant glow.
St Brides Spa, Pembrokeshire, west Wales
Guests can gaze out at the wide, sandy beaches of Saundersfoot from the St Brides Spa infinity pool at Pembrokeshire's only spa hotel. The spa focuses on solus por aqua - meaning "healing by water" - with therapies centred on the healing powers of the sea. Treatments range from deep exfoliating body scrubs using nourishing seaweed oils to anti-oxidant marine algae facials and rehydrating sea-salt cleansing rituals.
Top treatment: For the ultimate seaside splurge, go for the 55-minute Ocean Renewal package. This indulgent hot sea mud therapy enriched with warm seawater naturally stimulates blood flow and lymphatic circulation.
The Bulgari Spa, Knightsbridge, London
For a very special spa experience in central London, descend beneath the Bulgari Hotel into Bulgari Spa, just two minutes' walk from Harrods and Harvey Nichols. A peaceful haven of understated elegance and Asian influences, it's got a marble steam room, thermal facilities and a gold-leaf vitality pool with a waterfall. The real highlight has got to be the 25-metre pool, with warm lighting and seven curtained poolside cabanas, which even have their own call button if guests want to order food or drinks. Or, those who prefer absolute privacy can hire the Onyx Spa Suite.
Top treatment: Try the spa's signature 24-carat gold naturalift anti-aging treatment, which combines the power of acupuncture with the beautifying properties of 24 carat gold, for a glowing complexion. Pure gold has been used for centuries as the secret to youthful looking skin and historians believe that Cleopatra slept in a gold mask to maintain her beauty.
ESPA Life at the Corinthia Hotel, London
Winner of ‘England's best hotel spa' in the 2016 World Spa Awards, ESPA Life at the Corinthia is a spacious sanctuary spread over four floors, located between Trafalgar Square and the River Thames. Clad in sleek black marble with a mosaic steam room, the spa's decadence matches the chandelier-studded opulence of the hotel. There are 17 treatment rooms, an amphitheatre sauna, a pool and cosy sleep pods. The spa's wellness programme is devised by naturopaths, osteopaths, acupuncturists and herbalists.
Top treatment: Renowned as the spa's ‘hero' therapy, the 120-minute ESPA Iconic Back Face and Scalp Treatment includes back exfoliation, a hot stone back massage, a facial and a scalp massage.
The Scarlet, Cornwall, south-west England
Overlooking a Cornish surf beach, The Scarlet hotel and spa is a stylish, eco-friendly, adult-only getaway. With log-fired hot tubs overlooking the sea and an alfresco swimming pool, the clifftop spa is the hotel's focal point. It's a quiet, contemplative, almost spiritual place that focuses on holistic wellbeing instead of individual symptoms. Every Scarlet Journey treatment begins with a consultation with a Tri-Dosha practitioner, including an ayurvedic diagnosis to determine body type, known in Sanskrit as a ‘dosha'. Free yoga sessions are offered daily and guests can get active with outdoor pursuits like surf lessons and wild swimming classes.
Top treatment: All treatments are centred on individually tailored ayurvedic ‘journeys'. The body is prepared with a bathing ritual - either a hammam scrub or a rhassoul experience - followed by guided meditation and a therapeutic massage or yoga session. They finish with recovery time in the deep relaxation room, where canvas sleep pods hang from the ceiling.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com