For Christmas last year my sister and I bought Viv (our mum) vouchers for a relaxing spa day at Headlam Hall, with the intention of going with her as a girly spa day out. This is a great idea for one of those win-win presents everyone benefits from! As it happened the only weekend we all had free was Mother’s Day in March, so from one present we killed two birds with one stone!
We booked up for a Secluded Sunday Spa package, which included a welcome drink and brunch on arrival, a half hour spa treatment, and full access to the spa and facilities. We all added extras in the form of an hour long full body massage. I was so excited for this, I’d previously had one the year before when I went with all my cousins for a pamper day and hadn’t forgotten how amazing it was.
We arrived at Headlam Hall mid morning and the weather was glorious, so we had a leisurely walk around the house and grounds. We must have been there way too early actually as we also sat in the lounge by the fire reading the newspapers and coffee table books. I distinctly remember the chairs being the squishy, comfy kind you just sink into, and it was a bright morning with the sun beaming through the windows. I was relaxed already and hadn’t even set foot in the spa.
The spa is a separate building to the main country house, so we made our way over and checked in at reception. While the main house is the old hall, the spa building is much newer and I would say more ‘airy’. With full length windows from the brasserie looking out over the grounds, it’s a beautiful setting that immediately makes you feel away from it all.
At check in they informed us that two of their staff had called in sick, and the cynic in me assumed this was blatantly due to it being Mother’s Day, so our full hour massages had to be cancelled so they could fit everyone in throughout the day. I’m not going to lie we were all pretty gutted about this, it’s what I had really been looking forward to and hour long treatments are just that bit better aren’t they? If it wasn’t for the fact that I had previously been so knew how good the rest of the facilities were, and that it was a special occasion so we didn’t want the day ruining it really would have put a downer on our day. Instead we accepted the £100 voucher each (pretty good compensation actually) for a return visit, and went through to the brasserie for brunch.
The food was lovely, and we did forget our disappointment pretty quickly. After we’d ate we were shown through to the changing rooms and given our individual lockers, slippers and robes. Our treatment times were on a welcome note inside the lockers too – nice touch. I do love their changing rooms, the heated tiles don’t give you that awful cold shiver when you walk across barefoot, and there are both private and public changing areas and private showers. Hairdryers a provide too – a big plus for me I hate carrying one they’re so heavy.
As the weather was so nice we began our relaxing by sitting on the sheltered terrace outside the spa building, something I’ve so far found to be unique to Headlam Hall. The loungers are under heaters, but it’s a small little sun trap too so warmer than you might think, and there’s something very luxurious about padding around outside in a robe and slippers. The three of us lay there for ages, no noise or worries just enjoying doing nothing except the occasional dip in the hydro pool/outdoor jacuzzi.
One by one we sloped off for our treatments, mine was a neck, back and shoulder massage. While it wasn’t the full body hour long dream I’d hoped for it was still really relaxing and exactly what I needed after sitting at a desk all week. That’s why I always choose massages at these places. The treatment area is quite small, as it’s not a huge spa, places are limited but this really does add to the experience. There’s not loads of people about, it’s quiet and calm and at times you really do feel like you have the place to yourselves. The therapists are very friendly and helpful, and take the time to find out how they can tailor your treatment to suit what you’re after.
Once we had all finished we lay on the loungers inside by the pool, dipping in and out, and seeing how long we could last in the steam room and sauna. You can order refreshments from the brasserie menu directly from the phone by the pool, so as it was an occasion we ordered prosecco, which we toast to Mother’s Day.
When our spa time came to a close we got changed and went back through to the welcome area. We weren’t quite ready to leave just yet so relaxed in the lounge with a cup of tea, before heading home, full of chat about how nice it would be to stay over when we return to use our vouchers.
I have previously done a spa day at Headlam Hall that ended in afternoon tea, which was lovely as well. There’s a bit more pressure to do yourself up nice after your spa session for afternoon tea as it is served in the main Hall lounge, not the spa building. It was delicious though and I do love a good afternoon tea.
Despite the mishap and cancelled treatment on this occasion I definitely recommend Headlam Hall for a spa day, especially if you’re in the North and can make the drive easily. I’ve had two great experiences of different spa days – one secluded Sunday and one midweek afternoon session. Staying over is always an added bonus to this sort of trip and something I will look to do here in future too. Remember we did this as a Christmas present, which also turned into a Mother’s Day occasion too, a great alternative to flowers and chocolates that everyone benefits from!