When a heat wave hits the UK, there’s only one thing – you need to head to the nearest swimming pool. And British hotels are blessed with some absolute beauty. Some sparkle on the roof, others shine over the edges of infinity towards the sea view, and some are set in delightful English country gardens.
Whether you are a fan of juices, swimming, dips or laps, a gorgeous swimming pool can be the icing on the cake when it comes to a great hotel escape. From those with healing thermal waters to help soothe your muscles after a day of hiking to al-fresco numbers with dramatic countryside and coastal panoramas, there are plenty of showstopper hotel pools to choose from. United Kingdom.
Here’s our pick of the best hotels in the UK that offer great swimming pools as part of a great getaway.
The best hotels in the UK with swimming pools are:
For a truly transformative soak, step into The Gainsborough Bath Spa’s cobalt blue, mosaic-tiled pool. Directly fed by the city’s mineral-rich thermal waters, renowned for their healing properties since ancient times, the 35C pool is lined by Romanesque columns and set under a striking glass atrium inside the hotel’s small but beautiful Spa Village . Along with two smaller pools, an ice alcove, saunas, a steam room and a relaxation platform, it forms part of an hour-long self-guided swimming circuit. After ‘taking the waters’, there are 99 bedrooms – contemporary, with riffs on the property’s Georgian heritage – to relax in, while special spa rooms pipe thermal waters directly into the roll top tubs. The Spa offers ELEMIS treatments, and you can sip on cups of Georgian-style hot chocolate between soaks.
Price: Doubles from £290
The Scarlet’s natural outdoor reed pool is hard to beat, with views out onto the golden beach of Mawgan Porth on the Cornish coast. Enjoy catching the Atlantic sea breeze as you float, then pop into the cliff-top wood sauna, steam room, and wooden hot tubs to warm up afterward. Known for its eco-credentials, this smart adults-only boutique hotel boasts a solar-heated indoor pool, 37 rooms with a beachcomber-chic vibe and world-class Ayurvedic spa treatments. Whether you’re sinking into cocoon pods after a massage, or enjoying fine dining while overlooking the ocean from the restaurant, a visit here is sure to soothe the soul.
Price: Doubles from £255, B&B
Location: London Bridge
At 182m above ground level, the Sky Pool at Shangri-La The Shard has to be seen to be believed. This Renzo Piano-designed 10m infinity pool on the 52nd floor of the Shard is the tallest pool in Western Europe, and offers stunning views of the London skyline as you swim. Pick yourself up on the edge of the pool for a bird’s eye view of the city, marvel at trains running along railway tracks that look so small they look like toys. With a capacity of just 23 people, and hourly slots, it’s best to reserve your time before check-in, and although swimming hours run from 6am to 6pm, comfortable seating by the pool is the place to be great for sun owners from the adjacent GŎNG bar after hours. As well as the 202 bedrooms with stunning views and the service here always being on point, the hotel is ideally located for jaunts to the food haven Borough Market.
Price: Doubles from £700
Flanked by stone archways on one side and with stunning views of Glenconnell on the other, The Tawny’s outdoor pool may be small, but it’s very atmospheric. Heated all year round, it is set on a terrace that spills down from the tropical-max restaurant Plumicorn, but feels hidden and personal. On sunny days, watch flocks of birds swoop overhead from poolside seating, and on chilly days warm up in salty waters before calling a buggy to take you back to your room. A true rural inspiration, there is a 70 acre estate with bays and lakes to discover, and quirky accommodation includes luxury tree houses, Shepherd’s Huts and Boat Houses. It’s worth trading the swimming gear for happy rags for cocktails in the lampshaded Feathers Bar and gilded plum-looking suppers in The Plumicorn, and donning your walking boots for birdwatching at the nearby RSPB’s Consall Woods.
Price: Wild Wood Huts from £230, B&B
Location: St Ives, Cornwall
A combination of subtropical palm gardens and views of the fine white sand of Carbis Bay, regularly voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you’ll think you’re in the Med rather than the West Cornwall as you paddle along the other side. -fresco infinity pool here. Be sure to keep an eye out for the seals and dolphins that occasionally appear in the bay. As well as decked areas to maximize sunbathing, hydrotherapy pool and barrel sauna, there is a peaceful 25 acre private Blue Flag Beach and direct access to the South West Coastal Path, with the art of St Ives a 25 minute walk away. There’s a sports club for active types, VOYA seaweed wraps and lava shell massages in the spa, while accommodation options include 36 rooms in the chandelier-filled main house and self-catering lodges for contemporary coastal cool. Go to zero waste restaurant Adam Handling, Ugly Butterfly, or Walters on the Beach for prepared seafood.
Price: Doubles from £280, B&B
Location: Whitehall, London
Black tiles, Italian marble and sultry steel lining, the 9m swimming pool at the Corinthia’s ESPA Life subterranean spa gives it plenty of James Bond appeal, while a mirrored ceiling that reflects the movement of water adds an extra layer of tranquility. When you’re done swimming, the four-floor spa spans 3,300 square metres, and there’s plenty to keep you busy, from a glass amphitheater sauna and steam room to 17 swish treatment rooms featuring everything from hydro-facials elevated to theragun percussion therapies. on offer. Close to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, this ritzy hotel holds its own – head to The Northall for the best of British fare, or The Bassoon Bar for old-fashioned coconut bars and live music.
Price: Doubles from £918
Although Cliveden’s outdoor swimming pool is perhaps best known as the scandalous location that started the Profumo affair – and John Profumo first caught a glimpse of Christine Keeler as she climbed out of the pool after an impromptu moon dive – the This pool listed inside a walled garden is as beautiful as it is historic. Bordered by roses and lavender beds, enjoy views of a gilded 19th century bell tower as you slide through the 17.9m long heated pool. Children are allowed to swim all day, and there are two sessions a day at the pool for the little ones too. The spa also has an aromatic steam room, outdoor hot tub and treatments by OSKIA and Sarah Chapman. The forty-eight-bedroom Italianate mansion with plenty of period features is named after guests of days gone by, and the Cliveden estate has 376 acres of National Trust gardens to roam.
Price: Doubles from £495, B&B
Location: Middletown, Northern Ireland
Surrounded by 132 acres of parkland in Middletown, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort has three stunning pools. Rotate between a garden pool with hydrotherapy jets, a 20m indoor lap wonder, with a polished pebble border designed to give the feet a mini-massage, and a wilder al-fresco vitality pool at the edge of the River Maine. (look out for the resident gorse rooting along the river bank). As well as its award-winning Thermal Spa, including hot tubs with dramatic waterfall views, Celtic sauna, salt room and snow cabin, Galgorm has 125 rooms lined in river and wood waste, 17 Scandi-style cottages, log cabin and Shepherd’s. Huts to fit into. For drinking and dining, there’s a 550-person Gin Library housed in an art-deco-inspired conservatory and traditional pizzas on offer at Fratelli’s Italian joints.
Price: Doubles from £195, B&B
Location: Borrowdale, Lake District
Taking advantage of its picturesque Lake District location, the 16m outdoor pool at Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa has stunning views of Lough Derwentwater and the Catbells Mountains. Cleverly blending into an interconnected infinity edge hot tub, the hydrotherapy pool is also tiered with underwater bubble lounges and powerful hydromassage neck jets – great after days spent walking around. Although it will set you back an extra £30/£35 (weekday/weekend) per person to swim here – unless you’ve splashed out on a suite level room category or above – it’s well worth it, with a glass -fronted Finnish sauna, indoor thermal rooms and beautiful spa gardens to explore too.
The bedrooms are comfortable and practical, and are ideally located for sightseeing as Keswick is around 10 minutes away.
Price: Doubles from £198, B&B, plus £30/£35 for four hours of spa access (weekday/weekend)
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