Feeling frazzled? You’re not the only one.
Weeks of panic-buying, sleepless nights spent ticking off the mental ‘still-to- buy-for’ list and frenzied supermarket trips in the countdown to Christmas are bound to take their toll on even the hardiest souls.
In January we are bombarded with new year resolutions, keep-fit regimes, fad diets and a wealth of other ideas to improve our ‘well-being’.
If you’re really good, you could give up booze, cut out sugar, or run 10k every morning before breakfast.
But when it comes to giving your batteries a much-needed recharge there is nothing quite like a spa day.
A visit to a spa is the ultimate in self-indulgence.
When it comes to getting a bit of peace and quiet, there’s nowhere quite like the Lake District.
That’s why Centre Parcs in Whinfell Forest, a glorious slice of Cumbrian woodland, came top of the list for desirable destinations.
While Centre Parcs might be associated with offering action-packed breaks filled with sports and activities, it also offers a haven of tranquility in the form of its Aqua Sana World of Spa.
Unlike so many modern ‘spas’ which turn out to be little more than a steam room and a swimming pool, there are a wealth of different experience rooms to choose from here.
From the soft, floral notes of the Indian blossom steam room to the sinus-clearing powers of the Japanese salt steam bath, it’s an around-the-world adventure for the senses.
Each room has its own temperature and is designed to give your body different benefits. The result is the sort of healthy glow which usually comes after a fortnight abroad.
There’s also a fantastic outdoor heated pool. Going for a dip and hearing nothing but the sounds of nature is a truly sublime experience. Make sure you test out the water beds, too – just don’t doze off and disturb the peace with snoring like my aunt did.
After a good hour it was time for a treatment. I’d booked a Madagascan red island exfoliating ritual at the very reasonable price of £62.
In a one-hour slot, you’re scrubbed from head to toe using exfoliating spicy fruit seeds, after which my exfoliated skin was enriched with warm, fragrant oils during a full body massage.
Afterwards, my skin was so soft I’d give a Johnson’s baby a run for its money. I spent the next week ordering others to ‘feel how smooth my arm is!’.
All that relaxing requires refuelling and luckily Aqua Sana caters for that too with the Vitale Cafe Bar.
There’s something thrilling about tucking into a gorgeous grilled salmon salad in your dressing gown and slippers.
The beauty of Aqua Sana is that you don’t have to be a Centre Parcs guest to enjoy any of the spas in resorts across the UK. You can visit for a day and be on your way.
And there are good deals to be had, so stop punishing yourself for munching a few more toffee pennies than usual and call it a well-earned break.
Whinfell Forest, Penrith, Cumbria
Indulgent Chocolate and Treatment Spa Day for two
Calling all chocoholics – this could be the perfect day for you.
Aqua Sana is offering visitors the chance to bring a friend, relax in the welcoming and friendly surrounding the World of Spa and as an extra indulgence enjoy a delicious luxury hot chocolate drink and a selection of fresh fruits to dip into a warm chocolate fondue.
The price includes entry into the World of Spa from 9am until 6pm, chocolate fondue to share and a hot chocolate drink each, along with complimentary towel and robe hire.
The cost is £79 for two people, from Monday to Friday, and is available from 9am to 6pm until January 31.
There is also a half-spa day for two people on offer for £65.
HOW TO BOOK
Call 08448 266205 or visit the website Aquasana for more details.