Upgrade your staycation: 7 UK hotels with heated outdoor pools
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2020 is the year of the staycation.
With our great British summer weather unpredictable at the best of times, outdoor heated pools are essential when trying to replace that European hotel break with a stay on home turf.
So, here’s a round-up of some of the best we found.
1. KING STREET TOWNHOUSE, Manchester
If you’re looking for a boutique city break, then look no further than the King Street Townhouse in Manchester. Located right in the heart of the capital of the northwest, a stay there is a luxury escape close to bars, restaurants and the high-end shopping of King Street.
While the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool isn’t quite big enough to do your morning lengths, it is the perfect spot for an afternoon dip after a day of exploring. High up on the seventh floor, its relaxing waters and panoramic views of the city are strictly reserved for guests staying in the hotel’s 40 individually designed bedrooms and suites. Rooms in August start at around £180 per night.
As of 25 July, the pool will reopen to guests with new health and safety measures in place. However, the steam room will remain closed for the time being.
Getting there: British Airways operates daily flights from London (LHR) to Manchester (MAN) but with fewer flights since the pandemic started. There are also domestic flights from other cities around the U.K. Otherwise, the West Coast Mainline provides direct and fast access from cities like London, Birmingham and Glasgow.
2. WOOLLEY GRANGE, Bath
The Woolley Grange Hotel, near Bath, is a luxury family-friendly property set in 14 acres of stunning Wiltshire countryside. There’s even a kids club so that parents can have some real staycation rest and relaxation. Special family deals for this summer start at £774 for three nights including breakfast, two evening meals and Pimms on arrival. Four-legged friends are welcome, too.
The 12-metre, heated outdoor swimming pool is open from May to September. If the weather is not on your side, there’s an indoor pool, too.
Both inside and outside pools as well as spa facilities will reopen from 25 July.
Getting there: The nearest airport is Bristol, which has direct flights from several U.K. destinations including Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA) and Newcastle (NCL).
3. THE NED, London
In the heart of the City of London, The Ned is a 250-room, 1920s-inspired hotel with distinctive charm and lots of Art Deco touches.
The hotel boasts an impressive number of restaurants with menus from all corners of the globe. From a traditional French café to a healthy Asian Pacific restaurant, there’s sure to be something to suit every palate. Because of COVID-19, not all restaurants have fully re-opened yet, so be sure to check where you’ll be able to eat before you book.
When booking directly with the hotel you get access to The Ned’s gym, spa and rooftop pool. As these facilities are part of a private members club, access must first be requested and can be done via the hotel website. Rooms in August start at around £226 per night.
4. THE NARE, Cornwall
The five-star Nare hotel is a quintessentially British country house and spa on the Cornish coast, just metres away from the idyllic Carne beach. Its indoor pool and spa are great for when the weather isn’t good enough to go outside. However, the crowning glory is its glorious outdoor pool with views over Carne Bay. It’s open between May and October.
It’s also a points hotel. As a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World programme, it’s a Category 7 property with Hyatt, meaning you can expect to pay between 30,000 and 39,000 points per night. Room rates for July and August start at £232 per night.
Getting there: The closest airport is Newquay (NQY) and the nearest mainline railway station is Truro.
5. SAUNTON SANDS, Devon
Perfectly located on Saunton Sands beach on the north Devon coastline, the Saunton Sands hotel is a firm favourite for families and couples as well as surfers. There’s also a spa, an indoor pool and a gym.
The heated outdoor pool has a spectacular view over the Atlantic ocean and is surrounded by sun-loungers. The pool is open to hotel guests from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is definitely big enough to do a few laps. The hotel is currently only allowing 12 guests at the pool at any one time as per the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
The hotel is pretty much fully booked this August, but nightly room rates start at around £183 per night.
Getting there: The nearest airport is Exeter (EXT), which is served by several domestic routes around the U.K. including Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA) and Newcastle (NCL). When travelling by train, the closest station is Barnstaple.
6. LODORE FALLS, the Lake District
Hidden away at the southern end of Derwentwater Lake in the heart of the Lake District, the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa is the perfect waterside retreat.
The 16-metre hydro pool, complete with neck jets and underwater loungers, is part of the hotel’s spa. Indulge yourself in a treatment followed by some time relaxing by the pool while taking in the breathtaking views of the lake and the Catbells mountain range.
Rooms in August start at around £210 per night.
Getting there: The easiest way to reach the Lakes is by road or rail. The nearest railway station is Penrith, on the West Coast Mainline.
7. PORTAVADIE, Loch Fyne, Scotland
Infinity pools might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Scotland, but they do exist and the infinity pool at Portavadie is definitely worth daydreaming about.
Portavadie is a large resort with an excellent variety of accommodation. There are luxury holiday apartments, exclusive couple’s hideaways and guests can even berth their boat, pitch up a tent or park up their motorhome there.
Unfortunately, due to guidelines in Scotland, the pool and other spa and leisure facilities are currently closed but this is definitely one to add to your list for when restrictions are lifted.
Related reading: Wisky, walking and wonderful views: The ultimate Scottish road trip
Getting there: The closest airport is Glasgow (GLA), which has connections to cities up and down the U.K. including Birmingham (BHX), London (LCY/LHR/LGW/LTN/STN) and Southampton (SOU) as well as smaller regional routes within Scotland.
It is indeed possible to have a holiday in the U.K. and swim in an outdoor pool but stay warm while you’re doing it. Who needs the Mediterranean when you’ve got an infinity pool in Scotland, right?
Featured photo courtesy of Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa
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