Autumn (yes, it’s here) is the perfect time to plan a little post-summer R&R.
There’s nothing like getting out of the city to unwind, but if you’re short on time you’ll not want to stray too far.
Fortunately for Londoners, there are plenty of charming country spas within easy reach of the capital, so you can enjoy some indulgent pampering without the mammoth journey.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best spas near London to head to for a day trip or weekend of luxury.
For a day trip
Cliveden House Hotel, Berkshire
If the name of this hotel rings a bell, you'll recognise it as the hotel Meghan Markle spent the night in before she married Prince Harry, and the spa offers a menu of treatments by the Duchess of Sussex’s go-to facialist, Sarah Chapman. The devil is in the detail here – the spa has even created its own scent called Nancy (after Nancy Astor) made with notes of fruit blossom, jasmine wild mint and lily. Both the indoor and outdoor pool areas are supremely Instagrammable places to relax in between treatments, while the hot tubs in the garden can be enjoyed well into the winter.
Time from London: 1hr 49 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a Chiltern Railways train towards Oxford from Marylebone Station, getting off at High Wycombe. Walk five minutes to bus stop R on the high street and get the 31 towards Maidenhead Town Centre getting off at Riversdale South. From there either walk 40 minutes to the hotel or get a taxi/Uber.
Spa days from £185 per day. clivedenhouse.co.uk
Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton
You’ll find Luton Hoo Hotel on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, sprawling across 1,000 acres of glorious parkland, meadows, woodlands, lake, rivers and natural trails. Their ‘feel good’ spa day includes two 55-minute treatments and a two-course lunch in Adam’s Brasserie along with use of the facilities.
Time from London: 45 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take the Thameslink from St Pancras towards Bedford and get off at Harpenden. Walk four minutes to The George PH bus stop C and get on the Sapphire 321 towards Luton for 10 minutes, getting off at Luton Hoo Hotel.
Spa days begin at £180 per day. lutonhoo.co.uk
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
The Gainsborough’s spa takes a modern twist on the city’s thermal water heritage. This spa is set beneath a glass atrium and offers a number of different spa days which each include a spa treatment and two-course lunch with a glass of wine.
Time from London: 1hr 35 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a Great Western Railway line from Paddington Station towards Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Bath Spa. Walk for seven minutes to the hotel.
Spa days begin at £150 per day. thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk
Coworth Park, Ascot
This indulgent, romantic manor house sits within a wildflower meadow. The separate spa is a tranquil oasis and each spa day includes tea or coffee and a homemade muffin on arrival, unlimited use of the facilities between 9am and 7pm, a two-course lunch and access to the 240 acres of gardens at Coworth Park. While the spa has reopened, its steam room and changing rooms remain closed.
Time from London: 1hr 32 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a South Western Railway train from Waterloo Station towards Reading, hopping off at Sunningdale. Get a taxi from the station to Coworth Park – or it’s a half an hour walk.
Spa days begin at £150 for the day including one treatment. dorchestercollection.com
The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire
The Grove Hotel is set in 300 acres of lush Hertfordshire countryside – but it’s their award-winning Sequoia spa that is the must-visit. Book into one of their indulgent treatments to truly unwind.
Time from London: 57 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Jump on a West Midlands Train from Euston towards Birmingham New Street. Get off at Watford Junction and get the number 10 bus towards Woolside, and get off at Hollytree House. Walk for 20 minutes to The Grove or order a taxi/Uber.
Spa days begin at £165 per day. thegrove.co.uk
Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire
Just 40 miles northwest of London, you can get to this luxe hotel faster than it takes most of us to commute to work. The National Trust-owned Grade 1 listed Jacobean and Georgian house is home to a stunning spa with a swimming pool, spa bath, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms.
Time from London: 47 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Get on a Chiltern Railways train from Marylebone heading towards Oxford. Get off at Haddenham and Thame Parkway, walking 13 minutes to Hartwell House.
Spa days begin at £136 per day. hartwell-house.com
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
With a host of luxury ESPA treatments on offer, this five-star hotel is the ultimate spot to escape to and unwind. For all the good vibes, opt for the positivity treatment which incorporates rose quartz crystals as part of the scalp massage.
Time from London: 1 hr 40 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Take a GWR line towards Bristol Temple Meads, getting off at Chippenham. Get the 635 bus from outside the station towards Marshfield, hopping off at Valley Way Shelter and walking seven minutes to the hotel.
Spa days begin at £165 per day. lucknampark.co.uk
For a weekend stay
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury
Set on12 acres of pristine Cotswolds countryside, this hotel is the perfect place to escape. The honey stone spa building is the ultimate relaxation space, kitted out with an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite and salt scrub showers.
Time from London: 2 hrs
How to get there on public transport: From Paddington, get on a GWR towards Bristol Parkway, hopping off at Swindon Station. Then jump in a taxi to Malmesbury.
Spa days begin at £90 for use of the facilities or £160 for an added treatment. Hotel rooms begin at £249 per night. whatleymanor.com
Dormy House, Cotswolds
A rustic country house with a Scandi edge, this hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds has a spa spanning several floors. Included in this is a Cotswold lavender sauna, rhassoul mud room, nail parlour, infinity pool and outdoor hot tub. While individual spa treatments are available only for hotel guests, non-guests can book one of their spa days which include multiple treatments.
Time from London: 2 hrs 40 minutes
How to get there on public transport: A GWR line towards Weston Super Mare from Paddington will take you to Swindon Station where you need to transfer to the 51A bus towards Stratton from bay 16. Stay on this bus for an hour and get off at the Park View stop where Dormy House is a three minute walk.
Dormy House Spa days begin at £195, hotel rooms from £215 per night. dormyhouse.co.uk/
Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
Calcot’s spa is situated in a quiet corner of the hotel grounds and on a quintessentially Cotswolds manor estate. There is a lavender-lined outdoor hot tub, steam and sauna room and a number of treatments available.
Time from London: 3 hrs 3 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Get a GWR train from Paddington towards Cheltenham Spa, jumping off at Stroud. Get the 63 bus towards Wickwar from Stop N outside the station and get off at Calcot Farm where the Manor is a three minute walk.
Spa day packages begin at £160 per day, rooms are from £209 per night. calcot.co
Cowley Manor, Gloucestershire
A classic country house hotel with a grand Italianate exterior and bold interiors. The award-winning spa is inspired by the Cotswold countryside and includes heated indoor and outdoor pools, steam and sauna rooms and four treatment rooms where you can have therapeutic massages and advanced facials.
Time from London: 2 hrs 51 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Jump on a GWR train from Paddington towards Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Swindon Station. Get the 51 bus from there (bay 16) towards Cheltenham and hop off at Cowley Turn where it’s just a 9 minute walk to the Manor.
Spa day packages begin at £125 per person, rooms begin at £205 per night. cowleymanor.com
Lime Wood Hotel, Hampshire
Like something out of a Jane Austen novel, Lime Wood Hotel will transport you back to a time gone by. Inside Lime Wood you’ll find the Herb House Spa, which is inspired by its forest surroundings and is dedicated to natural wellbeing. Covering three levels, there is a sauna, indoor Hydro Pool with forest views, a mud house and outdoor hot pool. Spa days include unlimited access to Herb House and all of its facilities along with a set lunch.
Time from London: 2hrs 19 minutes
How to get there on public transport: Leaving from Waterloo, take a South Western Railway train towards Weymouth and get off at Southampton Central. Change trains theres to get a South Western Railway train towards Poole, stay on this for 10 minutes until you reach Ashurst New Forest. From here it's best to grab a cab
Spa days begin at £220 per person, rooms begin at £385 per night. limewoodhotel.co.uk