Heat it up

Woman relaxing in the sauna
Heat it up

Are you still recovering from the onslaught of all that snow? It looks so pretty on the day it falls and I have to confess to going for a little stomp in the park when it was fresh, but as soon as it freezes, and turns the pavements into a no-go area, I’m quite happy to stay indoors until I can see green where the lawn should be again. Not only that, but most of the time I am resolutely not a cold person, and daydream of summer as soon as the nights start drawing in through October.

It’s great to inject a bit of summertime heat into a long, cold winter and one way to do that is – you guessed it – get yourself down to a spa and soak up some deliciously warming heat…

You could just book in for a simple spa day, without any added treatments, and you will still find that you can warm up beautifully in a sauna or steam room. The variations on both are just fantastic – for example you can bask in a deliciously scented Rose Sauna at Ragdale Hall, experience twinkling lights in the steam room at Clarice House in Colchester, or if you prefer, enjoy a bit of aromatherapy in a scented steam room at Champneys Tring.

You can stick with what you know and get hot and heavy in a standard steam room, but why not experiment with the other areas of a thermal suite that you might not have tried before? Can you tell your Laconium from your Caldarium? What’s a Tepidarium? Would you prefer a Hammam or a hot tub? It’s great to experiment with hotting things up.

If you like dry heat – you’ll enjoy the sauna.

If dry heat is a bit much for you, but you want to feel the heat (and still get a sweat on) go for a steam room. Particularly good if you have a cold, as they are great for unblocking your sinuses.

Temperature wise, if you like your heat extra hot, head for the Caldarium. It will be the hottest part of the spa, a posher version of a steam room, often with a spa pool and essential oils to spice things up a bit.

Not so keen on the hot, hot heat? You could downgrade and spend some time in the steamy Hammam, or Turkish Bath where you might also opt for a mud wrap or a body scrub. Or you might just like sitting around in a gently steamed room and contemplating.

For a gentle heat that’s more like a sauna on a low setting, a Laconium would be the place to hang out. It’s ideal if you find the intense heat of a sauna too much but don’t really fancy the wet heat of a steam room or Hammam.

The Tepidarium is as it sounds; and it’s the ideal place to relax in-between spa treatments. Warm and cosy, rather than hot, you’ll probably find yourself dozing off if you stay in the gentle warmth for too long!

All of these areas of a spa are ideal for helping you forget the cold and bliss out in the warm. Just avoid the Frigidarium…

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