Ten of the best ghostly tours and haunted houses in Britain

Get ready to be spooked this Halloween with these spine-chilling experiences and haunted houses.

 

5 chilling experiences

 

For The Love Of Horror – Manchester, north-west England

Your nerves will be stretched to their very limit as you explore a new creepy experience from Monopoly Events, who will transfer the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester into a chilling immersive attraction that will make you quake in your boots! Dare you enter the Nightmare Zone, where you’ll be greeted by horror movies’ most frightening characters, before you attempt to battle your way through a zombie outbreak? Meet those real-life creatures that always crop up in horror films, the tarantulas and cockroaches to snakes, before you heroically move on to a ‘mad monster after party’ and experiencing all the other horror attractions. Prove to friends and family you survived it all with a snap in the interactive ‘exorcist’ photo booth.

 

Wicked Nights at Blackgang Chine – Isle of Wight, south England

Walk through a ‘land of twisted imagination’ at amusement park Blackgang Chine’s new horror event, Wicked Nights at the Cursed Mill. Pluck up all your courage as you approach hair-raising live action experiences and scream like you’ve never screamed before on the Cliffhanger roller-caster. Still feeling brave? Hop on board the sinister ghost train before keeping your wits about you as you compete in games and activities at the Freaky Fair.

 

Muncaster Castle – Cumbria, north-west England

Muncaster Castle celebrates the spookiest time of the year in a truly ghostly fashion, as befits a castle known to be one of the most haunted in Britain. Don your finest Halloween fancy dress before making your way bravely through the dark and eerie Meadowvole Maze, be prepared to jump out of your skin as you listen to scary tales of fear and terror, and who knows what you might find lurking in the Ghostly Grotto! In between being spooked you’ll be entertained by the Muncaster Monster Cabaret – a mix of conjurors, fire-eating and aerial acts. 

 

Journey to the Underworld – London, England

Are you brave enough to embark on a Journey to the Underworld? This is a journey where you’ll discover the ‘Greatest Love Story Never Told’ at Pedley Street Station in Shoreditch, east London, as Funicular Productions brings a new enigmatic theatre experience to life. Get ready to encounter a thrilling combination that takes you through a story of fantasy, danger, fear, hope and love, as well as feast on a ‘last meal in paradise’ before your journey to the underworld. It’s here you’ll try to outsmart ‘the seductive Gatekeeper, the hunched Harbinger, and the damnable Dark One’.

 

Ghoulies Haunted House – Liverpool, north-west England

After bringing a live-action scare attraction and horror-themed bar to the residents of, and visitors to, Liverpool on a year-round basis it’s unsurprising that Ghoulies Haunted House is upping the scare factor come Halloween. This year, a character that may be innocuously called Kavity the Clown will be roaming the Haunted House, but you can guarantee it will be as scary as clowns get…and with a lot of laughs thrown in. If you enjoy this, come back any time of year to experience the venue’s horror-themed cocktails and events such as Scaryoke Karaoke, the Brain Dead Quiz and Boogeyman Bingo.

 

5 of Britain’s most haunted houses

 

Chillingham Castle, Chillingham, Northumberland, north-east England

Chilling by name and chilling by nature, this 13th-century castle in Northumberland was the scene of bloody battles and eerie intrigue for centuries. Its rooms and gardens are lovely places to explore but to properly experience one of the most haunted castles in Britain, head into its Torture Chamber and join an evening Ghost Tour for a more unnerving encounter.

The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, west England

For nearly 900 years the Ancient Ram Inn has stood in the Gloucestershire village of Wotton-under-Edge and brings with it stories of a gruesome and bloodthirsty history. Not only that, there have been numerous reports of supernatural events taking place here, making it a frontrunner for spookiest house in Britain. If that doesn’t petrify you, stay overnight here – although whether you’ll get a good night’s sleep is another matter…

Newton House, Dinefwr, Pembrokeshire, west Wales

The gorgeous Dinefwr Estate is a beautiful 18th-century park landscaped by Capability Brown, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tales of ghosts and ghouls roaming the grounds. Newton House, in the centre of the park, has a ghostly visitor each night in the form of Lady Elinor Cavendish. The tale goes that she was betrothed to a man she didn’t love and, when she ran away from him and escaped back to Dinefwr to her family, her suitor strangled her. Visitors should listen out for muffled voices and watch out paranormal activity from the servants’ basement…

St Briavel’s Castle, Gloucestershire, west England

Looked after by English Heritage, this castle is now a youth hostel and if you enjoy the thought of hearing all the creepy tales about this 800-year-old castle, this is the place for you. Maybe you’ll sense the spine-chilling atmosphere as you explore the castle and feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you read pleading notes carved into the walls by prisoners held here centuries ago.

Glamis Castle, Scotland

Known as one of the most haunted castles in Scotland, Glamis Castle – 20 minutes’ drive from Dundee and, incidentally, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother – is said to be home to many spirits…which makes sense when you learn it’s been standing since 1372 and was said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There’s many a spooky tale of historic dark deeds to be heard, especially around Halloween on one of its ghostly tours…

 

Road trip – England’s North West

As the autumn months roll round, thoughts turn to brisk walks in a countryside ablaze with colour, cosy dinners by log fires and exploring cities as they gear up for the festive season. And what’s a great way to experience all of this on one trip? Take to the road! It’s easy to travel by car around regions of Britain, as short journey times between urban and rural landscapes mean packing in a huge amount within a few days. Here we look at travelling through England’s north-west region, driving from the vibrant city of Manchester, through the spectacular landscapes of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks and culminating at the historic city of Carlisle.

Journey length: 120 miles

DAY ONE

Take time to explore Manchester before you head out on the road. Love football? This is the home of two of the world’s most famous football teams; Manchester United and Manchester City. Book a tour at their stadiums and then head to the National Football Museum to learn more about the history of the beautiful game. Manchester is also a renowned cultural hotspot; head to its Northern Quarter, the city’s creative hub, to spot awesome murals and visit independent boutiques, bars and restaurants. Into museums and art galleries? Check out the city’s Whitworth Art Gallery and The Lowry as well as the Imperial War Museum North and HOME, a purpose-built centre for international contemporary art, film and theatre.

Visit before the end of 2018 for: the Manchester Literature Festival in October and the Manchester Animation Festival in November.

Drive 45 minutes from Manchester to…Samlesbury Hall

You’re now in the gorgeous Lancashire countryside, home to one of the county’s most beautiful stately homes; Samlesbury Hall, a half-timbered black and white medieval house. Discover centuries of history as you explore the Victorian kitchen and schoolroom and take time to enjoy the autumnal colours in its stunning grounds.

Visit before the end of 2018 for: Spooky tours led by characters such as Witch Janey and ghost-storytellers, throughout October and November.

Drive 30 minutes from Samlesbury Hall to the conservation village of Downham

Downham is one of the north-west’s most picturesque villages and sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its main charm is the gorgeous views from the village, unencumbered by apparent signs of modern life (satellite dishes, overhead wires, road signs). Downham has regularly featured as a filming location for period pieces.

Stay: At the Grade II-listed Assheton Arms gastro pub with rooms. Tuck into hearty meals created from local ingredients in its restaurant, complete with log fire.

DAY TWO

Drive 45 minutes from Downham to Haworth

You’ve crossed over from Lancashire into England’s largest county, Yorkshire, where you’ll be captivated by views that inspired literary classics Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Head to the attractive village of Haworth, home to the world-famous Bronte Parsonage Museum, which gives a fascinating insight into the lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte.

Visit before the end of 2018 for: a true taste of English eccentricity. In November, to mark the start of the festive season, Haworth hosts the quirky Pipes, Bows and Bells Weekend and Scroggling the Holly Weekend.

Drive an hour from Haworth to the village of Malham in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

A pretty village that’s worth exploring, Malham is also a short walk from the incredible Malham Cove, once a glacier and now a gigantic rock amphitheatre with 80-metre high cliffs. Hike up the steps at this natural beauty spot and be rewarded with phenomenal views.

Stay: 30 minutes from Malham is the village of Austwick, home to The Traddock country house hotel, which dates to the 18th century and offers amazing views of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

DAY THREE

Drive 45 minutes from Austwick to the city of Lancaster.

You’re driving back into the county of Lancashire and heading to the heritage city of Lancaster. Explore the 1,000-year-old Lancaster Castle, the city’s secret alleyways, historic pubs and Georgian architecture before a spot of shopping in its quirky boutiques and independent art galleries. While you’re in town, journey across the Trail of the Pendle Witches, a driving trail of 45 miles that the  infamous Pendle Witches travelled from as they headed to Lancaster Castle to stand trial in the early 17th century.

Visit Lancaster before the end of 2018 for: Lancaster Live, a three-day music festival in October when the city comes alive with hundreds of musical performances.

Drive 45 minutes from Lancaster to Cartmel

In less than an hour’s drive from Lancaster you’re in the picturesque Lake District, where one of your first stops should be the ancient village of Cartmel. Not only is it famous for the 12th-century Cartmel Priory, but also for the delectable English sweet treat, sticky toffee pudding; pick up your own to take home at the Cartmel Village Shop.

Stay: Cartmel is also home to Michelin-star restaurant-with-rooms L’Enclume, where you’ll have an unforgettable meal created by chef Simon Rogan. Stay in one of its 16 bedrooms located in the village.

DAY FOUR

Drive 30 minutes from Cartmel to Bowness on Windermere

You’re now in the heart of the Lake District National Park at the towns of Windermere and Bowness and gorgeous lakes scenery. Catch those bright autumn colours from the water itself aboard Windermere Lake Cruises’ steamers. Children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was one of the Lakes’ most famous residents and all ages can enjoy the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.

Visit Bowness before the end of 2018 for: an exhibition by Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry at f Or drive 20 minutes into Kendal for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October and Kendal Mountain Festival in November.

Drive 45 minutes from Bowness-on-Windermere to Keswick

A lovely market town, Keswick is close to the lakes of Ullswater, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite; catch the beautiful autumn colours from the lake on board Ullswater Steamers. Or, if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, check out Honister, an innovative adventure attraction (also England’s last working slate mine). Climb the original miners’ route (the Via Ferrata Classic) an exposed adventure climbing course 1,200 feet/366 metres above the valley floor or take the bigger challenge by climbing the Via Ferrata Extreme!

Stay: Ten minutes from the centre of Keswick is Whinlatter, England’s only mountain forest and home to the Cottage in the Wood, a beautifully restored 17th-century restaurant-with-rooms.

DAY FIVE

Travel 45 minutes from Keswick to Carlisle

Known as the ‘Border City’, for its location just 15 minutes from England’s border with Scotland, Carlisle is a bustling city with a legendary history. Dating back to the Romans, who settled here to serve the forts of Hadrian’s Wall (just a 30-minute drive away), the city is home to artefacts of their occupation and influence, which can be seen at the Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery. And, for nine centuries, the medieval fortress Carlisle Castle has stood majestically overlooking the city; visit for a glimpse into medieval life and the castle’s turbulent past.

Visit before the end of 2018 for: the Carlisle Fireshow in November, one the largest of its kind in the north of England.

Eccentric Britain

Summer in Britain is more than picnics in the park, strawberries at Wimbledon, and drinking Pimms at a barbecue. One thing it does better than anyone else is good old-fashioned eccentricity! Adults dancing on hobby horses, faces stretched into hilarious contortions, and a festival of fools make Great Britain THE place to be this summer for tourists seeking adventure off the beaten path. From the sublime to the ridiculous, there’s an unusual activity to satiate every traveller’s metaphorical palate.

 

The Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss Festival

Padstow, Cornwall, 1st May

Head down to the Cornish port town of Padstow on May Day and you’ll find one of the most unusual British traditions where each year, thousands flock to watch two ‘Obby Osses’ (hobby horses) dancing to the beat of drums and accordions. 

 

Belfast Festival of Fools

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 4th – 8th May

Held over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Belfast gets together to laugh itself silly as a whole host of offbeat and alternative comedy acts, circus performers and street theatre combines to make the silliest summer entertainment. A free festival, those coming to Belfast for the event can expect to get their walking shoes on and pound the historic streets, enjoying events like cabaret and comedy as they go.

 

Blackawton International Festival of Worm Charming

Blackawton, Devon, 27th May

Starting back in 1983, ‘Worm Master’ Nat Lowson and his team of worm-charming officials preside over the annual event each May, where people compete for the dubious accolade of who can charm the worms out of the ground the fastest.

 

Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill

Brockworth, Gloucestershire, 28th May

An event harking back to the 1800s, cheese-rolling is as bonkers as it sounds. Contestants chase after a speeding wheel of Double Gloucester cheese as big as a newborn baby, and the first to reach the cheese (which can go as fast as 70 miles an hour) is the victor.

 

The Highland Games

Various venues, Scotland, May – September

Quintessentially Scottish, the Highland Games have been an important annual event for centuries. Taking place across several cities, towns and islands across the country, they attract thousands of excited spectators from around the world. 

‘Expect the unexpected’ is an unofficial mantra, as sports such as Caber Toss and Tug ‘O’ War stand alongside best-dressed pet competitions and, of course, Highland dancing.

 

World Bog Snorkelling Championships

Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, 26th August

Over a weekend at the end of August, plucky snorkelers race against each other in the murky Waen Rhydd peat bog – they can wear wetsuits, snorkels and flippers but can’t use any recognisable swimming stroke.

Hundreds of participants compete each year in the event which Lonely Planet described as one of the Top 50 “Must Do” activities in 2014.

 

Egremont Crab Fair and World Gurning Championships

Egremont, West Cumbria, 14th – 15th September

Held every September in beautiful Cumbria, the historic Crab Fair has been running since 1267 to celebrate the season of crab apples of September.

Alongside street-racing and ‘The Cuddy’, aka horse racing, the fair plays host to the famous World Gurning Championships where folk compete for the title by contorting their faces through a horse collar. A truly strange tradition, it’s thought to have started as a way to “mock the village idiot”, but is now simply a fun competition to see who can pull the most grotesque or silliest face.

Looking for love in The Lake District, Cumbria?

Frequently voted as the UK’s most romantic destination, The Lake District, Cumbria is renowned for its wild and emotive scenery, providing the perfect place to spend Valentine's Day or a romantic break away any time of year. Choose from luxurious hotels with state of the art spas to centrally located city chic apartments or remote retreats tucked away to relax, unwind, and enjoy some extra special time together.

 

1. Fulton’s Lakes Jewellery Works (Keswick): Choose the most important diamond of your life at Cumbria’s first Jewellery Works - If you are looking for a diamond ring in time to pop the question this Valentine’s Day,  then look no further than Fulton’s Lakes Jewellery Works, who opened its doors in October 2017 and is looking forward to their first Valentines season and welcome customers to not only buy a ring of their dreams - but to help design it, see how it is made and meet the skilled craftsman behind the scenes himself - Brain Fulton. The brand-new attraction is headed up by husband and wife team Brian and Zoe Fulton. Brian has been designing, making and selling exquisite bespoke jewellery to both the trade and public for 35 years since his training began at Openshaw College in Manchester.

2. The Leathes Head Hotel (Borrowdale): For an Edwardian Country House Hotel - This magnificent award winning 11-bedroom Country House Hotel situated in the unspoilt Borrowdale Valley, just four miles South of Keswick is set amongst three acres of private grounds and is surrounded by stunning scenery and meandering rivers. This February enjoy a two-night Valentines break including a 7 course tasting menu by award winning Head Chef Noel Breaks - with matching wines whilst listening to beautiful harp music. Valentines break start from £500 for 2 nights from the 16 to 18 February. 

3. The Boathouse, Pullwood (from Heart of the Lakes): For a romantic room with a view - There can be few more idyllic locations in the Lake District than this stunning boathouse right on the shores of Lake Windermere in the heart of the Pullwood Bay Estate. Built in the 19thC this charming detached boathouse was once used by the owners of the original mansion house, now it has been beautifully renovated with all modern facilities and everything you need for a unique break away. Perfect for that special occasion or even just for a treat - this is truly a place to relax, unwind and take in the beautiful surroundings. If you are looking to get away to somewhere truly special this Valentines, then we are sure you will love The Boathouse.

4. The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa (Grasmere): Nestled in the enchanting village of Grasmere and surrounded by some of the region’s most iconic scenery this hotel is simply made for romance with all the necessary elements to celebrate the most romantic time of the year. Stay in a luxurious superior room where you’ll find a chilled bottle of Champagne and locally handmade chocolates waiting on your arrival. Head out for a walk taking in some of England’s finest scenery before enjoying a phenomenal 4 course dinner with canapes in the award-winning Signature Restaurant. A Bucks Fizz breakfast will be delivered to your bedroom the following morning making it the perfect start to the day. Valentine’s breaks start from £229 Sundays to Thursday and £249 Saturdays and Sundays.

5. Askham Hall (Askham): A rural retreat fit for royalty - Dating back to the late 1200s, this Grade I listed hideaway was previously home to the Earls of Lonsdale and has open roaring fires, comfy sofas and intimate areas to create a warm, relaxing and luxurious feel. Couples can stroll hand-in-hand in the 12 acre gardens and enjoy a candlelit meal in the award-winning restaurant - menus are prepared using an abundance of fresh produce from the hall’s extensive kitchen garden, vegetable gardens and orchards.  Room rates start from £150 per night for 2, including breakfast.

6. The Belsfield, Laura Ashley Hotel - Overlooking England’s longest lake and with beautiful Laura Ashley interiors The Belsfield oozes romance inside and out and with flowers, chocolates and fizz ready in the room on arrival the fuss is taken away and couples can encapsulate themselves in each other’s company. With perfectly designed bedrooms, lake-view restaurant and idyllic gardens The Belsfield has romance in the Lake District to a tee. Valentines Weekend Packages start from £237 per night or for Valentine’s Day itself from £299 per night, but on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

7. The Lodges at Artlegarth - In the peaceful Yorkshire Dales, Artlegarth’s brand-new log cabins are perfectly designed and styled to provide modern and original valentines get away. Each with their own private hot-tub and a concealed cocktail bar the three lodges also have extensive glazing to ensure the spectacular views, of open countryside and fells, can be enjoyed inside as well as out, with a log burning stove to snuggle up in front of too. Guests can also choose for a range of exclusive extras including fresh flowers, hampers of local and artisan foods and spa and beauty treatments to be enjoyed from the privacy of the lodge.

8. The Halston - Experience the best of a serviced hotel with the privacy of your own apartment at The Halston Aparthotel in Carlisle. Cumbria’s only five-star apartments are the perfect city/country get away this valentine’s day. Only a short distance from the Lake District and from Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Sites whilst having original bars and restaurants within walking distance The Halston offers the best of both worlds. The Ultimate Romance overnight stay for two in a one bedroom luxury apartment, complete with a pair of mini Bottega bottles and rose petals is £225, including a 3 course set menu for both in brand-new tapas and lounge bar Penny Blue, and breakfast in Bartons Yard.

9. The Cottage in the Wood - Cottage in the Wood is a 17th century restaurant and inn located in the heart of Whinlatter Forest and provides a secluded get-away for the foodies. The three AA Rosette, Inspectors Choice, restaurant provides breath-taking views of the mighty Skiddaw mountain range and the surrounding forest and offers a daily changing menu using local and seasonal ingredients. With Bassenthwaite, Derwentwater, Buttermere, and Crummock Water all near-by 'The Cottage' provides a tranquil and relaxing ambience and is the perfect base for exploring the magic of the Lakes. Rooms are from £110 a night with three course meals starting from £45 per person and with their January Sale, guests can save up to £60.

 

For more ideas and inspiration on romantic escapes to the Lake District, Cumbria, visit: www.golakes.co.uk

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hnin2op357vxn5s/AADAAlVmDGPITmGPyDq70wxJa?dl=0 

 

1. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and support around 61,000 jobs. 

 

2. For more information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit: www.golakes.co.uk.

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.