4 hot-tub breaks to get away from it all 

hot-tub breaks view from Whitby pierIf you read my last post (which was all about body image if you fancy a peruse), you’ll know that I spent last weekend pretty much sat in a hot tub, and since I got a few questions on my Instagram stories about where we’d gone, I thought I’d share a little guide featuring the four hot-tub breaks we’ve been on (it’s become an annual tradition!)

As I didn’t think of doing this until now, I’m wishing I’d taken more pics of the lodges over the years but I’ve included all the links so if you want to see what the accommodation is like inside, you’ll be able to on the websites. What I can give you are some unbiased reviews and info all about the best things to do in each place.

1. Limestone Lodges 

  • Location: Bothel, Wigton, Cumbria
  • When we stayed: April 2015

hot-tub breaks view of the Lake District from balcony of Limestone Lodges

Overview

Limestone Lodges is situated in the Lake District and that means gorgeous views. The cabins are on stilts, meaning you get a great view from the balcony (ours pictured above) and one of the major plusses was that our hot tub also faced this view, with a overhead cover so that you could still enjoy it if it rained. The cabin was fairly basic compared to some other, more luxurious ones we’ve stayed in since, but it was clean and comfortable and great for what we needed. The single best thing about this place is your stay includes access to the spa at Armathwaite Hall which is an incredible perk – it’s got to the be the nicest spa I’ve ever been to! The only thing I would mention is that they were a little funny about us being a single-sex group – I hadn’t realised this when booking and it was a bit awkward when we first arrived. Perhaps they’ve had bad experiences with hen do’s or something in the past, so if you do want to go as a group it would be worth contacting them before booking.

What to do

Spa, spa, spa! Having access to the spa was so great that we spent several hours there over the weekend. The lodges are also close to the gorgeous market town of Keswick which was fun to explore, and full of lovely little shops and cafés.

Show me the money

We stayed in the Rusko Lodge and paid £393 for three nights, working out at £98.25 each, which was hugely reasonable for what we got. As this was back in 2015 I suspect the rates may have gone up a little, so worth checking!

2. Ribblesdale Park

  • Location: Gisburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire
  • When we stayed: March 2016

hot-tub breaks afternoon tea

Overview

We went quite fancy for our second trip: Ribblesdale Park is a 1,000 acre private estate with beautiful grounds and its own gourmet cafe. Since our stay, they’ve also added an outdoor pool which is seriously making me want to go back! Our lodge was really cosy inside with lots of greenery around it, which was lovely if not quite the crazy idyllic view of our first trip. The hot-tub wasn’t covered overhead although still secluded enough; one stand-out memory has to be the um, noises we heard from a neighbouring couple’s tub, which was frankly hilarious. That said, I think they were just loud, because it was overall a really peaceful place to stay!

What to do

We visited a petting farm which I loved, it was the month before I got my own bunnies so holding cute little fluffballs was very exciting, and there were lots of gorgeous cows, sheep, donkeys etc. I didn’t note down the name at the time but I’m fairly sure it was Thornton Hall Country Park. Somehow it’s become a tradition that we go for afternoon tea every year, and this particular time we went to the onsite-cafe at Ribblesdale. The best afternoon tea I’ve ever had, modelled above by my friend Laura!

Show me the money

We stayed in one of the Darcy lodges and paid £439 for three nights, so about £110 each.

3. Darwin Forest

  • Location: Matlock, Derbyshire
  • When we stayed: May 2017

hot-tub breaks view from Heights of Abraham Matlock

Overview

Darwin Forest is in the Peak District, in 48 acres of mixed woodland, and was definitely the most luxurious lodge we’ve stayed at, with a gorgeous open plan interior. There was lots to do on-site with a restaurant, pool, gym and spa facilities, which we were able to use with the package that we bought. Some of us also went extra fancy and paid for a beauty treatment – they have a range available at the spa. If you’ve got children it seemed like there’d be quite a bit for them too with things like an indoor play centre and and crazy golf.

What to do

We were proper little tourists on this weekend and went off to Matlock Bath, where we took the cable car up to the Heights of Abraham and went on a tour of the caves. The town is also a nice little place to wonder around with lots of knick-knack shops and cafés.

Show me the money

We stayed in an Elite Vogue lodge and paid £661.35 for the three nights, working out at about £165 each.

4. Forest Holidays

  • Location: Keldy, near Pickering, North Yorkshire
  • When we stayed: August 2018

hot-tub breaks girl eating ice cream

Overview

Keldy Golden Forest is quite literally in the forest, in the middle of nowhere down lots of windy little country roads, which made it very peaceful (perhaps until we got there, oops). It seemed like a fairly small complex compared to Ribblesdale and Darwin but there was still plenty going on with outdoor activities you could pay extra for, like archery and cycling, and if you wanted to you could also book spa treatments to have in your lodge. We didn’t actually do any of that and spent a really chilled weekend buying food to eat in, and just sitting chatting in the hot tub. One thing I really liked at this place was the relaxed feel – at other places we’ve been told to be out of the tub by a certain time but here we seemed to be left to do as we pleased and all the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful.

What to do

We spent the Saturday in Whitby, which is about an hour’s drive away from Keldy, where we had fish & chips on the pier, went on a boat trip, climbed up to the Abbey and ate ice cream! It was a pretty great day. A bit closer is the market town of Pickering, which makes for a good wonder and has a few different places offering afternoon tea. We enjoyed one at Elizabeth Botham’s Tea Room.

Show me the money

We stayed in one of the Silver Birch lodges and paid £665 for the three nights, working out at £166.25 each.

So there you have it – 4 lovely little hot-tub breaks to get away from it all. If you haven’t gone on one before and just want a bit of a de-stress without going abroad, I’d thoroughly recommend it. Have you got any recommendations for where we should go next year? I’d love to hear people’s tips! 

hot-tub breaks

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