Heaven of earth

Heaven of earth

Combine a luxurious spa break with the latest well-being trend, ‘forest bathing’ in Yorkshire’s top rural retreats.

You don’t need to travel halfway around the world to experience ‘forest bathing’ – a Japanese therapy known as shinrin-yoku.

There’s nowhere better than Yorkshire to benefit from the healing power of trees and lush meadows. Research has shown that even as little as 15 minutes spent immersed in greenery can boost the immune system, lower cortisol levels and reduce anxiety. It can’t harm, either, to combine forest bathing with a bit of indulgence and pampering at some of the best spas in the UK. Just remember to switch off your phone before you go and, if you must use technology, just take a camera for the fabulous scenery...

World class Wellness

Swinton Estate, Masham, North Yorkshire

Surrounded by lush countryside, this is the last word in spa luxury. There are 20,000 acres of stunning parkland in which to wander, take part in mindfulness walks, hike or even run. Do some forest bathing in the spa garden, with its alfresco sauna and shower.

Enjoy the green view from the 10-metre outdoor natural pool with environmentally friendly bio-filtered water. Weather a little inclement? Bask in verdant views of the garden from the 18-metre indoor pool, cleanse your pores in the steam room, take a Finnish sauna and check out the three zoned relaxation rooms and eight treatment rooms including two couples’ suites.

Green Body Boost

Rudding Park, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire

This spa, surrounded by greenery, recently came top in a survey of the country's classiest hotel accommodation. The rooftop garden (a woodland glade in the sky made for forest bathing), chillout areas, glass-fronted sauna and indoor pool filled with natural spring water are all created with recovery from the fast lane in mind.

Enjoy an indulgent afternoon in the new roof top spa garden, a 'Relax Head and Foot Heaven' treatment, followed by dinner in Horto restaurant (even the plush velvet seats are green and forest-themed) and a good night’s sleep in the sumptuous surroundings. Make use of the mind and sense experience zones after your treatment: Visual, Relax, Audio and Mind. Visual consists of comfortable seating facing a huge screen showing some of nature’s finest elements. Relax is a darkened room with comfortable beds for a bit of peace and quiet. Audio is an area with little booths, where you can hire personal headsets and listen to meditation and personal healing tracks. Mind uses puzzles, books and games to take your mind far away from the daily grind.

Back to Nature and Luxury

My Little Farm Spa, Liversedge, West Yorkshire

Where better than a farm in the middle of a beautiful Yorkshire valley to bathe in greenery? The benefits of forest bathing are down to ‘phytoncides’ – the oils and molecules thrown off by trees, grass and plants to repel insects.

These are great for our immune systems. Urban living means we don’t get as many of these as we should. So, as well as enjoying the view, you’re walking through an invisible mist of goodness. My Little Farm Spa is surrounded by far reaching views, big skies and lush fields and trees. Nature and the seasons surround this little oasis of calm. The emphasis is very much on enjoying the countryside and using it to re-energise mind, body and soul. Everyone who books in gets privacy and a feeling of exclusivity, every treatment aims to make you feel special and as if it’s tailor-made for you.

Ancient Oaks and Verdant Vistas

The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, North Yorkshire

Just staying in the green tranquillity of the Yorkshire Dales should be enough to restore your equilibrium. Remember to indulge your senses, slow down and observe what’s around you; mint green lichen, cool wet grass, gnarled branches and damp soft earth. Touch the rough bark of trees and smell flowers. You could also squelch through rich, full-bodied mud in the fields, or, to be über indulgent, try the mud therapy at the Spa of the Devonshire Arms Hotel instead. Special mineral muds are smoothed over your hair skin and face, then you’re taken to sit in a personal steam chamber to intensify the mud properties. Rinse them away after 30 minutes and you’ll have super-soft skin. The accommodation and restaurant are top notch and there’s a fabulous pool, steam room, sauna and relaxation lounge too.

This article was taken from This is Y 2018