When you need time out to relax, away from the internet and stresses and strains of life, who you gonna call? Ragdale Hall.
It was mum’s birthday and I thought an overnight trip to Ragdale Hall would be the perfect way to celebrate. It’s in Leicester, just an hour up the road from my parents house, and so one sunny day at the end of October, off we went.
Arriving at Ragdale Hall
The extravagance of the ma-hoosive driveway leading up to the scene you see above lets you know that you’re in for a serious treat. We arrived at the fancy doorway with all kinds of offers to carry our stuff for us from doorman, but seeing as it was just the overnight bag, there was no need.
We checked in, just like in any hotel, but with coffee in one of their many conservatories. We agreed to not be on the phone in public (explains everyone with phones glued to their ears outside), told about our food options for the day and were given a map to Ragdale Hall to follow, it’s that big. Most of all though, we were reminded to relax, and have a lovely time.
Ragdale Hall Review
What is Ragdale Hall?
Ragdale Hall was once a weight loss centre, well after it was set up in the 1700s. The hall was even mentioned in the Doomsday book. Now it’s been designed to be a pure oasis in the Leicestershire countryside, open to anyone who wants to either relax, work out or just have some time away from normal life.
You could definitely still lose weight there, but at the other end of the spectrum, with all the food available, you can gorge holiday style too.
Classes at Ragdale Hall
I signed up for ‘Beaming’, just because I’d never heard of it before and didn’t have a clue what it entailed. Always up for an adventure. Turns out, it was a kind of yoga on a beam. Guys, I loved it. It took extra core strength to get in those poses, and by the end my muscles were shivering. I wasn’t out of breath but I was definitely getting a sweat on.
The teacher, and the rest of the class, were lovely and we were all super supportive of each other.
After that I rented a bike and took myself off on one of the 10-mile bike routes Ragdale Hall had mapped out for guests. It was glorious. Such a perfect day for it, and from that high elevation you could see for miles, and miles across the Leicestershire countryside.
I woke up early the next morning for a HIIT cycle class. Pheweee it was brutal. The teacher said it was the toughest class on the billing. I cursed myself for signing up during, but afterwards I felt excellent. HIIT training is basically interval training and I was a sweaty mess by the end. I’d actually done it at the exercise spa in Nashville I went to in April, where I lost more than a few pounds in just a week.
There’s a whole programme of exercise to join at Ragdale Hall, but I decided that three exercise sessions in two days was more than enough. I was meant to be relaxing, right?
Thermal spa at Ragdale Hall
– Photo from Ragdale Hall
I’d actually been to Ragdale Hall before. In fact, it was my first press trip when I worked for a magazine in London. I had amazing memories of the place – of the best sleep I’d ever had, of all the different rooms in the thermal spa and of just feeling totally and utterly relaxed.
This time though, I had mum with me, who requires a lot of attention. She’s not very good at relaxing and switching off, and so there was none of that, but what I didn’t have in peaceful mind, I had in lovely chat with my best friend.
She’d been at the aqua class while I was Beaming, and enjoyed it, although apparently quite tame compared to the one she goes to where they pick a theme each week and sing their hearts out as well as exercise. One week Beatles, next Abba, you get the idea.
Anyway, she and I went round all the different rooms of the thermal spa. It was like a playground, but for adults. So many different rooms to try.
- A candle pool.
- Outdoor waterfall.
- Thought zone.
- Colourful cave.
- Volcanic salt bath.
- Scented room.
- Rose sauna.
- Cave shower.
- Huge pool.
To find out about each one, check out their website here. Or don’t, just trust that you’re in for a good surprise when it comes to the thermal spa at Ragdale Hall.
Included in our package – and most of the packages available – was a 50-minute facial and back massage. Ooo it was good. She got right in there with the knots in my upper back, from sitting at silly positions at this laptop, and did as much as she could at teasing them out.
Another minute longer and I definitely would’ve fallen asleep.
She followed with a facial using some of the super fancy Elemis products, confirming that I had dry skin and I should drink more water. I try.
You can literally have any treatment ever at Ragdale Hall. There are 140 beauty therapists doing everything from Shellacs to wraps to scrubs and floatations. Last time I went I had this wrap where they massaged me, covered me in some sort of cream then left me all wrapped up in clingfilm and blankets. Can’t actually remember what it was for, but I definitely enjoyed it.
They’d done the bedroom out all nice with pink duvets and soft touches, and then we had two single beds and a balcony. We had a huge bathroom, with two sinks, and then a TV and hanging space too.
Ours was well located just above the beauty centre and a few minutes’ walk from the dining hall.
– Photo from Ragdale Hall
As well as the spa, pool and beauty rooms there are all kinds of different areas at Ragdale Hall to enjoy. From the mind gym – where you can do puzzles – to the chill out conservatory, quiet room and outside pergola where at nights they have a fire pit.
Food at Ragdale Hall
Lunchtime at Ragdale Hall is a buffet. And whatever you like to eat, however much, you’ll be happy here. There was so much to choose from, from all different cuisines. If you want to go healthy, there are loads of options, or if you want to full on make the most of it, as it seemed most people did, you can do that too. That bread and butter pudding above was divine.
Dressing gowns are acceptable attire in the restaurant, which I definitely approve of. After a good spa session, mum and I went in our gowns to dinner, ordered a glass each of the locally produced wine and got to it. Fabulous way to spend a Wednesday evening!
Dinner was a smoked salmon starter ravioli and then for dessert deconstructed afternoon tea ice cream. Yum. Yum.
Breakfast wasn’t quite so exciting unfortunately. We decided to have it in the room – just for a treat – and between us had the birscher muesli, cheese toasty and banana bread delivered. Safe to say mum will never be having birscher muesli again – first time, last time. I enjoyed it though.
Cost of Ragdale Hall
Mum met a lady, well, two, sisters, who said they’d started coming for a day, years ago, which quickly progressed into two, and now they come every year for three days to have some serious time out.
Ragdale Hall really is the most relaxing place. Walking around it just smells like relaxation, like the floaty, peaceful fragrance of a beauticians, or somewhere that’s been carefully designed to make you destress.
If you want some time away, to relax, in the UK, I’d definitely recommend visiting Ragdale Hall.
Prices start from £98 for a day pass, with different tariffs depending on what you want included. Or you could stay for a weekend from £392.
And, they’ve just won BEST SPA IN THE UK in the Spafinder awards at WTM. Amazing!
– I was invited to experience Ragdale Hall in return for a post on my experience. Thought it was great! I’d definitely pay to go back again next year, and possibly the year after that too.
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