The best places in the UK for a luxury wellness staycation
The north of the United Kingdom is far from short on captivating national parks and active adventures. Among the sweeping fells, glistening lakes and craggy moors, each region boasts its own unique charm.
Reconnect and experience something new with swimming in waterfalls and learning ancient survival skills out in the wilderness. Embark on an expert-led wellness retreat that inspires a healthier you or simply give your mind some space with luxury lodgings and hot tub evenings under the stars.
With lockdown lifting, summer plans are quickly shifting from optimistic hope to a post-pandemic must. So dust off the cobwebs, take in that reviving fresh mountain air and reset the soul with a rewarding adventure at one of the top three UK luxury staycations.
Wild adventure holidays in the Scottish Highlands
Where to stay in the Highlands
The Scottish Highland has become the last great wilderness of Great Britain. Almost otherworldly, the rugged moors and lochs of the Scottish Highlands create a true sense of remoteness. Idyllic for wildlife spotting, journeys through the valleys and rivers are abundant with red squirrels, dolphins, otters and osprey gliding across the skies. Whilst the places to visit, including Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, the Isle of Skye, Ben Nevis and Glencoe have become familiar, for us, Cairngorms National Park in the south-east region of the Highlands is simply unmissable.
Wild Wellness in the Scottish Highlands: A unique adventure holiday
Health Travel recently launched ‘Wild Wellness in the Highlands’, a 4-night luxury wellness adventure set in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Here, you will be staying in a beautifully understated boutique farmhouse, far from the beaten track.
This unique trip remains in tune with the traditions of ancient Scottish culture whilst deeply reconnecting with the wild. Experience once-in-a-lifetime moments, from wild swimming in waterfalls and learning the ancient art of bushcraft as you build shelters and fires with a trained wilderness guide. Embark on a thrilling canoeing adventure along the nature-rich River Spey before exploring hidden hiking trails and private yoga classes out in the woodlands.
Throughout your time away, our expert private guide will be there giving you a unique insight into the hidden wonders of the Highlands.
The best luxury wellness retreat in Scotland
Pair your adventure with a highly unique 2-night luxury wellness retreat at the spectacular Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire. The 850-acre estate creates boundless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors among the beautiful Ochil Hills and beyond.
Created in partnership with the hotel, our exclusive wellness experience deepens reconnection with yourself and the natural world. It’s a fantastic way to improve mental health through ancient techniques.
Train the breath to calm the mind with a private pranayama class with a yoga specialist. Set out into the woodland for a forest bathing meditation, drawing on the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku. Experience a morning of mindful nature walks and fly fishing before returning to Gleneagles’ award-winning spa for some soul-soothing treatments.
Find out more about this retreat here.
Best time to visit the Scottish Highlands
Whilst each season has its unique enchantment, June to August brings in the warmer summer temperatures, longer daylight hours and far less rainfall than throughout the rest of the year. This makes it a particularly popular time to visit, so to avoid the crowds and still enjoy warmer weather, we also recommend the spring and autumn months. May and September welcomes beautiful colourful landscapes, perfect active adventures such as hiking, wildlife spotting and mountain biking.
Luxury wellness lodge with private hot tub in the Lake District
Where to stay in the Lake District
Windermere has become the tourist hub of the Lake District. A fantastic base for restaurants, shops and starting your mountain getaway. We’re a fan of visiting Ullswater, the Langdales and other areas that are slightly removed from the crowds. However, the Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse manages to combine the best of both worlds. Centrally based, yet beautifully remote among 100-acres of surrounding woodlands and private lakeside.
The best things to do in the Lake District
The renowned Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is a staple visit, with its roots dating back to 1854 by Sarah Nelson who created the spicy-sweet chewy treat. Work it off with a hike over one of the fells or cruise alongside the villages and hillsides by electric bike. One of our favourite routes brings you along the Langdales visiting Skelwith Force, into the woodlands to see Colwith Force and then into the geological wonder that is Cathedral Cavern before eventually finishing with a rewarding meal in Elterwater. Take to the water with an afternoon of discovering one of the best lakes for kayaking, including Windermere, Coniston, Wastwater before watching the sun set over the valley.
The best luxury wellness retreat in the Lake District
There aren’t many retreats that could rival with the level of relaxed luxury as our favourite 3-nights at the Gilpin Lakehouse. Experience an irresistible boutique wellness getaway at Gilpin Lake House in the Lake District. The six-bedroom lodge hides among 100-acres of surrounding woodlands. Each suite boasts private hot tub, lakefront view and access to the intimate spa, swimming pool and boathouse.
Starting the retreat with a private spa consultation, you’ll find out what personalised treatments would suit you. After a day of exploring, return to a soul-healing massage and rejuvenating salt scrub before heading to HRiSHi, the Gilpin's Michelin-star restaurant serves up a spectacle. At the end of the night, unwind under the stars in your private hot tub with a bottle of champagne after a rewarding day in the Lakes.
What months to visit the Lake District
Like most places in the United Kingdom, the Lake District sees far more days of warm sunshine throughout the spring and summer months with clear, far reach