Ragdale Hall wet spa
Ragdale Hall’s wet spa is impressive and beautiful. Two large swimming pools - one 12m exercise pool complete with aqua gym and one 25m leisure pool with massage jets - lead out into the Thermal Spa.
Five separate heated thermal spa rooms, a wonderfully romantic candle pool cave and several experience showers face a large glass wall overlooking a lazy river pool connecting the inside with an outdoor pool and waterfalls.
On the wintery day we visited it was gorgeous to look at: the steam rising from warm water outside in the cold. Bikini clad swimmers huddling under warm waterfalls, the snow falling gently on their shoulders.
Unfortunately, and I really hate to say it, this is where Ragdale Hall was a bit of a let down for us. The thermal spa area should be kept hot and humid like a tropical jungle. Instead chilly spa goers, scuttled on tiptoe between one sauna and the next never fully escaping the winter chill seeping in from the river pool outside.
The water in the river pool is also disappointingly tepid. Not the expected bath-like 38 degrees or so but more like a cup of tea you forgot about.
The candle pool was also disappointingly chilly - it was impossible to truly bliss out as we huddled together trying to warm ourselves on each other's body heat while keeping our shoulders under to escape the nip in the air.
The saunas and steam rooms feel pleasant enough - our favourite was the Volcanic Salt Bath - but not sweat-inducing. As none are protected with double doorways as soon as someone comes or goes the temperature plummets.
The main pool-side sanarium and sauna fair a little better - but the pool itself is again, too cool for contentment. You get used to it as you swim about, but that’s not really the point, is it?
At any other time of the year I don’t expect you’d notice. The spa area is probably a complete delight in spring, summer or early fall. Skipping from a hot steam room to a cool pool would be marvelous. But if you want to ease your tension and relax during a snowy spell – you’re best off curled up in the cozy heated rooms of the main hall instead.