UK spa & adventure staycation ideas: British outdoor activities & relaxation

Mar 08, 2021 BY AWE365 Team

We’re living in challenging times. So little wonder that many of us are finding salvation in exercise and pampering. So why not combine British outdoor activities and relaxation on a holiday once the Covid rules allow? Interested? Read on for UK spa & adventure staycation ideas that offer the best of both worlds.

From the Lake District to the Isle of Wight, Scottish highlands to the Cornish beaches, and Welsh wilderness to Central London. It is easy to combine adventure and relaxation all over the country on staycation that matches your needs perfectly.

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What are staycations?

Technically a staycation – or holistay – is time off from work that you spend at home but treat it as a holiday. We have written a lot about this in the past! Check out our tips for planning adventure staycations at home and some great active staycation ideas if you are looking to holiday where you live.

However, the media, travel agents and accommodation providers have latched onto the interest in staycations due to the Covid pandemic. And now the phrase is often used to mean a holiday in your home country. Staying in the UK works well as you avoid travel restrictions and quarantines etc. Meaning staycations are more popular than ever before.

While this is not a staycation in it’s original meaning, enough people are using it to mean a holiday within your home country that we’ve decided to write about UK spa & adventure staycation ideas. The idea being that you can get a good dose of British outdoor activities and relaxation all in one trip.

Best winter windsurfing in Europe Image of John Skye Balevullin by PWA World Tour in Tiree Scotland

Why British outdoor activities & relaxation?

Before the most recent lockdown began I was already fed up being at home, working out and going for walks locally. I bet that just like me, you cannot wait to spend time somewhere different. For most of us it’s not until we’ve escaped, got the wind in our sails and set aside quality time for ourselves that we really wind down.

Some people turn to the tranquility of a spa, others to the challenges of adventure sports. But why not combine the two? Get some adventure activities and relaxation to really recharge the batteries. After all it works really well in ski resorts, so why not swap skiing or snowboarding holidays for hiking or biking, kiteboarding or surfing, paragliding or rock climbing… Basically, whatever activity floats your boat.

The good news is that if you want to combine British outdoor activities with relaxation there are hundreds of getaways you can take in the UK. And if you like to visit a casino as part of your vacation then check out John Slots for places you can get free spins without having to wager.

UK spa & adventure staycation ideas: British outdoor activities & relaxation at Park House Hotel and spa in Midhurst, Sussex

UK spa & adventure staycation ideas

There are so many options it is not possible to cover them all in this article. So instead we have picked a few of the best spa breaks that can include many adventurous activities in the United Kingdom:


Scotland sports hundreds of miles of stunning coast and millions of acres of countryside. Look over the border and you’ll find many hotels specialising in luxury spa holidays that are located where you can get active.

Indoor pools, steam rooms, saunas and exclusive wellness treatments come as standard. As do the tempting tracks and trails that lead off to lowland lakes and highland climbs.

Fort William MTB Race Report British Downhill Series Round 2 Flickr CC image by Douglas cook from 2009 WC

Cameron House on the outskirts of Loch Lomond is a great five star option in one of Scotland’s most adventurous locations. You can hike, bike, sail, kayak wakeboard and so much more.

At the other end of the price scale you’ll find Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club in Fort William – the UK’s adventure capital. From here you can ski and snowboard in the winter, take on world class mountain biking in the summer, get involved in water sports, mountaineering, paragliding and many other action sports.

SW England

At the other end of the country it’s the water sports that might tempt you away from your spa treatments. The south-west of England is bathed by the Gulf Stream, a band of warm air originating from the Caribbean that keeps temperatures warmer than usual.

Cornish adventures Best watersports in Cornwall surfing St ives Flickr CC Image by Dave Hamster

Waves are also often better than expected, keeping surfers satisfied with the many breaks in Cornwall and Devon. It’s also a fantastic place to learn kiteboarding, windsurfing and other water sports. The region is also blessed with great hiking and biking plus some excellent spas.

On a headland overlooking Newquay you will find the Atlantic Hotel. With pool, spa, award winning food and great surf it is one of the best UK spa & adventure staycation ideas.

For a more upmarket option stay at Bovey Castle, a five star 275 acre estate within Dartmoor National Park. The luxurious Elan Spa is complemented by an 18 hole golf course and all the hiking and biking you could ever want on Dartmoor. Plus beaches are not far away if water sports are more your thing.

Bovey Castle Dartmoor one of the best UK spa & adventure staycation ideas for British outdoor activities & relaxation Geograph CC image by Chris Reynolds

London and nearby

If you live in London then you could do a staycation – in its original meaning – by visiting one of the many day spas and getting involved in activities. The capital is always buzzing, but is also home to a number of exclusive spas that offer islands of tranquility in our cosmopolitan capital.

It’s also perfectly poised as an adventure base if you’re looking to mix outdoors with a de-stress. You can mountain bike or hike in Surry or Berkshire, or try skiing or snowboarding on a dry slope or at the Hemel snowdome. Alternatively, get involved in SUP, kayaking, sailing, wakeboarding or waterskiing on the many lakes, rivers, docks and nearby coast in and around London.

From the Bulgari Hotel to the Four Seasons, and Harrods to the Mandarin Oriental there are more than enough day spas in London to choose from. But probably better is to escape the city into the countryside at somewhere like the Park House Hotel in Midhurst. On the edge of the South Downs National Park there are loads of activities plus a stunning spa, great food and a lovely hotel.

Where to stand up paddleboard in England London one of the best English SUP spots Flickr CC image by Matt from London

Rest of Britain

For this article we just looked at three areas and instantly found great spas and loads of activities you can do. So the truth is almost anywhere you wish to combine British outdoor activities and relaxation it is possible. From Bath to Bangor and Brighton to Belfast the quantity of UK spa & adventure staycation ideas is almost huge.

Booking adventure spa staycations

Pretty much every spa hotel in the UK will have packages that can be tailored to your needs. These can include a variety of treatments, often using the finest products, or just include access to the pool, steam room and sauna. After all, it’s your day so do it your way.

Now if you’re a couple, perhaps you can both get stuck into your action sports and plan a spa day to recover and rejuvenate? And if the thought of all that activity gets you in a sweat, just let your partner off the leash for a day. Once they’ve had their thrills, they’ll return to find you enjoying your spa day, relaxed to the max!

We hope you found these UK spa & adventure staycation ideas useful. If you are planning to combine British outdoor activities & relaxation then check out these United Kingdom activity experiences.


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