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If you haven’t yet enjoyed the delights of Burnley’s award winning leisure retreat, the Woodland Spa, then make sure you save a date this year and prepare to be pampered in a truly luxurious way, as leisure and travel journalist, Nicolette Webster reports.

I want to share a secret with you. Don’t tell too many people though will you? I have found a pleasure dome of peace and tranquillity, luxury and indulgence that has blown me away.  The best part is, I know I can indulge again and again, even sharing it with my friends and family if they are very, very good. All because I am fortunate enough to have discovered The Woodland Spa.

Nestling neatly amidst acres of stunning countryside and just a stone’s throw from Burnley’s bustling town centre, The Woodland Spa is undoubtedly a rare jewel in the UK’s destination spa crown, offering such outstanding facilities and treatments that even the beauty industry itself has paid homage, bestowing The Woodland Spa with a cache of top honours and awards.

a rare jewel in the UK’s destination spa crown

In less than two years The Woodland Spa, part of the Crow Wood Leisure complex, has positioned itself as the go-to place for the most luxurious, indulgent and expertly delivered spa experiences you are ever likely to find, anywhere – and it is right here in Burnley, set against the beautiful backdrop of the stunning Pendle Hill.

So what can you expect to find behind those gleaming glass doors and through the beautifully designed entrance that leads to this palace of pure luxury? Prepare to be pampered, pummelled even if you choose an expertly administered sports massage. But above all, be ready to relax and go with the flow. This is indulgence on a whole new level.

I was to discover throughout this weekend visit, which by the way was over all too soon, that a thermal spa experience is for me. It will suit you too as I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying this unique and enriching experience. The unique thermal suite is where The Woodland Spa really wins hands-down over other UK and European spas. It is a very, very special place.

a cache of top honours and awards

The highly trained, eloquent and hugely personable Spa team give you a gentle introduction to the Thermal Suite and the whole Woodland Spa experience, beginning with coffee and mouth-wateringly delicious pastries on arrival. In the exquisitely furnished Bertram’s coffee lounge, a prelude to a lunchtime treat that proved there’s no point trying to shed calories at this place. The Bertram’s food and drink offering is just too delicious.

With more than a touch of the designer influence, it soon becomes apparent that this is a place where no expense has been spared. The changing rooms are plush, no messy key fobs to pin to your swimwear, a simple wristband with a small magnetic seal secures your – wait for it – mini wardrobe. Fluffy towels, slippers that actually fit and bathrobes that are so cosy you don’t want to peel them off. A few strides and you are on your thermal journey, the full heat and ice experience begins.

I took a few moments to survey the landscape, unsure of where to try first. It has to be the swim out thermal pool. How decadent, not to mention slightly wild!  Mid-winter and I was swimming into the open Lancastrian air and caught my first glimpse of the spa’s wonderful outdoor space. There’s more than a hint of glossy Mediterranean pool-side chic out there. First note to self of the day – must come back here in the summer. The two hot tubs were bubbling away, a group of friends had ordered cocktails, delivered straight to poolside and clearly didn’t give two hoots that the sky was covered in cloud, it was about to rain and the air was distinctly chilly.

Eventually, I tore myself away from the hot tub and headed inside. I sampled the other thermal delights, resisted the ice bucket challenge, loved the new generation sauna and steam rooms but saved what I think is the best until last. I wasn’t disappointed.

soothing warm waters of the aptly named serenity pool gently caressed away my cares

The soothing warm waters of the aptly named serenity pool gently caressed away my cares, allowing my mind to cast off any troublesome thoughts. The ambient lighting, all moody and somewhat mystical, creates an ambience of soulful peace and tranquillity, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. By now I was wholly relaxed, chilled and only really capable of nodding in agreement when my spa therapist led me into one of the aromatically scented treatment rooms.

Beauty treatments are always an indulgence and to me often a disappointment. Not this one. My lovely therapist explained the Ideal Radiance ritual in soothing tones and for the next one and a half hours I was gently pampered and polished, a Carita experience that if only I had the wherewithall to indulge in this coveted high-end treatment, I would repeat every week.  But I must confess, I couldn’t resist the tempting beauty treats on offer at the beautifully laid out Spa boutique.

All too soon, the weekend came to an end. I could have stayed longer, as long as I liked, in the thermal spa’s beautiful boutique bedrooms and apartments you could relax for a whole week or more! But home beckoned. I really didn’t want to wash off the beautiful oils used in my beauty treatment and I’ve vowed to lobby my husband and girly pals to share a weekend here with me in the fabulous suite I was shown around. There are not too many places I vow to visit time and time again but a step into the Woodland Spa is on my wish list – it should be on yours too.

Wonders of The Woodland Spa

  • Opened in 2013 with a £4.5million investment.
  • Recognised as one of the most luxurious and best equipped spas in northern Europe.
  • Winner of UK’s Best Day Spa 2014 at the prestigious Professional Beauty Awards.
  • Winner of Tourism and Leisure Business of the Year at the Red Rose Awards 2015.
  • The Thermal Experience features a hydrotherapy pool, serenity pool, steam and sauna rooms, two rasuls, an indoor to outdoor infinity edge pool, outdoor hot tubs, heated beds.
  • 20 treatment rooms offering Carita and Decleor treatments.
  • Luxury accommodation – three double guest rooms and one apartment catering for up to 8 guests.
  • The Woodland Spa also has a 120 cover restaurant, Bertram’s. Spencer Burge, head chef, holds a host of national awards including an Observer Food Award.
  • Bertram’s has recently contributed a recipe to the Great British Cookbook alongside celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Paul Heathcote, Michael Caines, Richard Corrigan.

For more information about The Woodland Spa and to check out prices please visit www.thewoodlandspa.com