As our world seemingly gets busier and more complex with each passing year, many of us find it increasingly difficult to find time to relax and properly unwind. The pressures of work, family, socialising, exercising and everything else we try to fit into a day often seem to use up every single second. However, having some time to slow down and centre yourself can be as important to your mental and physical health as exercising and eating right – it has a positive effect on everything from blood pressure to sleep patterns and can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

One of our favourite ways to schedule in time for ourselves is to indulge in a luxurious spa break. It’s not necessary to travel abroad to unwind – there are some lovely spa destinations within the United Kingdom that are perfect for a quick escape from the realities of everyday life. If you’re planning a weekend away and need a bit of inspiration, here are a few of our favourite UK spa breaks:

Champneys Forest Mere

Champneys is one of the UK’s foremost spa brands, and for good reason – with highly trained therapists performing a wide selection of pampering treatments, you’re spoilt for choice at any of the Champneys resorts. The great Forest Mere retreat is located in an historic hunting lodge, tucked away on the shores of a peaceful lake in Hampshire. In this fairytale setting, you can relax and savour the sauna, steam room and whirlpool, or enjoy a treatment in the thalassotherapy pool or Rasul mud chamber. Even better, Vitality members get a discount on packages at Champneys resorts – so you can even lay your money worries aside for a time.

Blythswood Square Hotel

If you’d rather combine your spa time with a fun-filled city break, you can’t do better than booking some time at the elegant Blythswood Square in the heart of Glasgow. With stylish boutique rooms and an innovative restaurant (complete with delicious cocktail menu), this five star property is a great base for sightseeing and shopping, but what really makes the experience is the cavern-like, atmospherically-lit spa, featuring nine distinct chambers in which to escape from everyday hassles – including a vitality pool, aromatherapy sauna, crystal steam room and hydrotherapy spa pool. You can also indulge in a range of organic face and body treatments from luxury brands such as ila.

Stoke Park

Conveniently located just a half hour outside London, this is definitely the place to be for some outright luxury. A firm favourite among celebrities, the vast grounds of Stoke Park have a bit of everything  –  swanky rooms and restaurants, a Championship golf course, private members’ club, 13 tennis courts, extensive gardens and – of course –  an award-winning spa. A bright and airy fusion of Italian marble, warm wood and sparkling glass, the spa features a heated indoor pool, thermal rooms, and even a 5-metre tropical aquarium set in one wall – plus world-class treatments from the likes of Thalgo, Terraké and CACI International.

Stobo Castle

Set in the rolling countryside of the Scottish Borders on the edge of a stunning loch, there is something undeniably romantic about Stobo Castle. The sumptuous interiors perfectly complement the wild beauty outside, and with opportunities for fine dining and savouring the peaceful side of nature in the Japanese Water Gardens, there’s much to tempt visitors – but it’s the world-class hydrospa that is the real highlight here. Relax and unwind in the torch-lit outdoor hot tub or chill out indoors in the crystal steam room, aroma rooms and laconium, or try out Stobo’s latest offering – a Dream Water Massage on a unique massaging water bed that doesn’t even get you wet!

St Brides Spa Hotel

For those who prefer a spa with expansive views of the sea, the award-winning St Brides Spa Hotel in lovely Pembrokeshire is the ideal place for a getaway. With spacious, well-appointed rooms and a restaurant and bar with outdoor decks overlooking the dramatic coastline, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend beside the sea. What’s more, the marine-inspired spa takes full advantage of the spectacular setting with full-length windows and an infinity pool that lets you drift off to sea in your mind. Enjoy the peaceful thermal suite, which includes such delights as a salt infusion room, sensation shower and herbal rock sauna, or indulge in one of the ocean-based treatments from brands such as VOYA.
What is your favourite destination for a spa break?

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