Five secret spas in the South West

Refresh yourself at the finest places for pampering body and soul in Bath, Bristol, Devon and more

Thermae Bath Spa


Many hotels build a spa as an afterthought but The Gainsborough, with its hotline to Bath’s world famous natural spring waters is a relatively new addition to the Thermae Spa complex.

Guests have a choice of several pools – the breathtaking roof top location is the most popular –and an eclectic range of treatments, including some especially designed for men.

There is a new infrared sauna and an ice chamber, as well as a starry relaxation area inspired by local boy turned Astronomer Royal, Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus.

The spa is extremely popular at weekends, so time your visit for quieter midweek days. By avoiding the queues you’ll have time to take in the city’s architecture, old and new.

Coworth Park


If you’re short on time but are willing to splash out on a luxurious day spa experience, Coworth Park – the country outpost of London’s  Dorchester Hotel – is as sleek and shiny as the glossy coats on the hotel’s polo ponies.

The Lido


Local entrepreneur Arne Ringer has taken a dilapidated outdoor pool in the Clifton area of the city and turned it into the place to swim, meet and eat.

The Grade II-listed building now boasts a mini-spa offering a choice of massages and other treatments. The Lido also welcomes visitors who just fancy sampling the pool’s award winning solar heating system, or taking a meal in the gallery restaurant.

Bovey Castle


Kids of all ages love the facilities at this rambling resort, which has spacious lodges in the grounds and bedrooms in the main building.

Outside there are acres of woodland, with ponds and mini-golf. Inside, a small spa and pool offer total tranquillity.

Tons of free and paid for activities for kids (including ferret cuddling and den building with the Bovey Rangers) make Bovey Castle the place to turn over a new leaf, safe in the knowledge that there is something for everyone.

St Brides Hotel


The relaxed atmosphere at this light and airy cliff top hotel has won a legion of admirers who love the seaview bedrooms and the spa treatment room overlooking the bay below. Very small children love St Brides too, although the Good Spa Guide’s Best Spa in Wales is an adults only space, and as guests pre-book spa and hydrotherapy pool time, you can happily lie back on the underwater beds and drift off knowing you won’t be disturbed. The hotel can arrange babysitting and tee times at nearby Tenby Links.

Thermae Bath Spa
Coworth Park
Lido, Bristol
Bovey Castle
St Brides Hotel