Autumn (yes, it’s here) is the perfect time to plan a little after-summer R&R.
There is nothing like getting out of town to relax, but if you lack time, you will not deviate too far.
Luckily for Londoners, there are plenty of charming spas within easy reach of the capital so you can enjoy some relaxing pampering without the mammoth journey.
Below we have rounded up the best spas near London for a day trip or luxury weekend.
For a day trip
Cliveden House Hotel, Berkshire
Time from London: 1 hour and 49 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Take a Chiltern Railways train to Oxford from Marylebone Station, and get off at High Wycombe. Walk five minutes to bus stop R on the high street and take the 31 toward Maidenhead Town Center, where you get off at Riversdale South. From there either walk 40 minutes to the hotel or get a taxi / Uber.
Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton
You will find the Luton Hoo Hotel on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, which spreads over 1,000 acres of glorious parkland, meadows, forests, lakes, rivers and nature trails. Their ‘feel good’ spa day includes two 55-minute treatments and a two-course lunch at Adams Brasserie along with use of the facilities.
Time from London: 45 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Take the Thameslink from St Pancras towards Bedford and get off at Harpenden. Walk four minutes to George PH bus stop C and stand on Sapphire 321 towards Luton for 10 minutes, and get off at the Luton Hoo Hotel.
Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
Gainsborough’s spa takes a modern twist on the city’s thermal water heritage. Located under a glass atrium, this spa offers a variety of spa days, each including a spa treatment and a two-course lunch with a glass of wine.
Time from London: 1 hour 35 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Take the Great Western Railway line from Paddington Station to Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Bath Spa. Walk for seven minutes to the hotel.
Coworth Park, Ascot
This indulgent, romantic mansion is set 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 9 and 19, a two-course breakfast and access to the 240-acre gardens at Coworth Park. While the spa has reopened, its steam room and changing rooms remain closed.
Time from London: 1 hour 32 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Take a South Western Railway train from Waterloo Station to Reading and get off at Sunningdale. Get a taxi from the station to Coworth Park – or it’s a half hour walk.
The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire
The Grove Hotel is set in 300 acres of lush Hertfordshire countryside – but their award-winning Sequoia spa is a must-visit. Book one of their indulgent treatments to really relax.
Time from London: 57 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Hop on a West Midlands train from Euston towards Birmingham New Street. Get off at Watford Junction and get on bus number 10 towards Woolside, and get off at Hollytree House. Walk for 20 minutes to The Grove or book a taxi / Uber.
Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire
Just 40 miles northwest of London you can get to this luxury 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 swimming pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and treatment room.
Time from London: 47 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Get on a Chiltern Railways train from Marylebone to Oxford. Get off at Haddenham and Thame Parkway, and walk 13 minutes to Hartwell House.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
With a wealth of luxurious ESPA treatments, this five-star hotel is the ultimate place to escape to and relax. For all the good moods, opt for the positivity treatment that incorporates rose quartz crystals as part of the scalp massage.
Time from London: 1 hour and 40 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Take a GWR line towards Bristol Temple Meads, get off at Chippenham. Get the 635 bus outside the station towards Marshfield, get off at the Valley Way Shelter and walk seven minutes to the hotel.
For a weekend stay
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury
Set on 12 acres of pristine Cotswolds countryside, this hotel is the perfect place to escape. The Honeycomb Spa building is the ultimate relaxation room, equipped with an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite and salt scrubbers.
How to get there by public transport: From Paddington, take a GWR toward Bristol Parkway and get off at Swindon Station. Then hop in a taxi to Malmesbury.
Spa days start at £ 90 for use of the facilities or £ 160 for an extra treatment. Hotel rooms start at £ 249 per night. Night. whatleymanor.com
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this rustic country house with a Scandi edge features a multi-storey spa. Included in this is a Cotswold lavender sauna, rhassoul mud room, nail salon, infinity pool and outdoor hot tub. While individual spa treatments are only available to hotel guests, non-guests can book one of their spa days, which includes several treatments.
Time from London: 2 hours 40 minutes
How to get there by public transport: A GWR line to Weston Super Mare from Paddington takes you to Swindon Station, where you will need to transfer to the 51A bus to Stratton from Bay 16. Stay on this bus for one hour and get off at the Park View stop where Dormy House is a three minute walk.
Dormy House Spa days start at £ 195, hotel rooms from £ 215 per night. Night. dormyhouse.co.uk/
Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
Calcot’s spa is located in a quiet corner of the hotel grounds and in a typical Cotswolds mansion. There is a lavender-lined outdoor hot tub, steam and sauna room and a range of treatments available.
Time from London: 3 hours 3 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Get a GWR train from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa, which drops off at Stroud. Take the 63 bus towards Wickwar from stop N outside the station, and get off at Calcot Farm, where the manor house is a three minute walk.
Spa day packages start at £ 160 per person. Today, rooms cost from £ 209 per person. Night. calcot.co
Cowley Manor, Gloucestershire
A classic hotel in a country house with a magnificent Italian exterior and bold interior. Inspired by the Cotswolds countryside, the award-winning spa includes heated indoor and outdoor pools, steam and sauna rooms and four treatment rooms where you can get therapeutic massages and advanced facials.
Time from London: 2 hours 51 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Hop on a GWR train from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads and get off at Swindon Station. Get the 51 bus from there (bay 16) towards Cheltenham, and get off at Cowley Turn, which is only a 9-minute walk to the manor house.
Spa day packages start at £ 125 per person. Person, rooms start at £ 205 per person. Night. cowleymanor.com
Lime Wood Hotel, Hampshire
Like something out of a Jane Austen novel, the Lime Wood Hotel will transport you back to a bygone era. Inside Lime Wood you will find the Herb House Spa, which is inspired by its forest surroundings and is dedicated to natural well-being. Covers three levels, there is a sauna, indoor hydropool overlooking the forest, a mud house and outdoor hot pool. Spa days include unlimited access to the Herb House and all its facilities along with a set lunch.
Time from London: 2 hours 19 minutes
How to get there by public transport: Leave Waterloo, take a South Western Railway train towards Weymouth and get off at Southampton Central. Change trains there to get a South Western Railway train towards Poole, stay on this for 10 minutes until you reach Ashurst New Forest. From here it is best to take a taxi