LIVING was invited to enjoy the Aqua Thermal Journey at Ribby Hall Village’s luxurious Spa Hotel during a weekend away – scroll down to read our review and browse our picture gallery
After battling through rush hour traffic mid-heatwave on a Friday afternoon, we were delighted to pull onto the car park of Ribby Hall Spa and Hotel to find an attractive complex with a relaxed, family-friendly vibe. Situated in the charming village of Wrea Green in Lancashire’s charming countryside, it was the perfect location for my partner and I to relax, unwind and forget the stresses of everyday life.
We were staying in the six-berth Poppy Cottage, which really was a home away from home. It had ample storage, modern décor, an outside space with a picnic table, and was kitted out with all the essentials a couple or family could wish for.
Included in the price of the cottage was access to the leisure pool, adults-only pool, family and over 18s’ entertainment, the Woodland Trail, outdoor and indoor play areas and a personal training session at the gym (plus much more). There was also a multitude of paid-for activities on site for a reasonable price, such as Wild Discovery.
Situated behind Poppy Cottage, Wild Discovery hosts a variety of species from farmyard animals to otters and meerkats – there is even an armadillo! Over the weekend there were plenty of educational talks and activities on offer such as the pelican feed and talk, Meet the Keeper and the enrichment activity session – perfect for keeping the little ones entertained.
Next up on the agenda was the Boating Lake. From the Island we set sail in a pedalo taking in the scenery and admiring the incredible pine lodges overlooking the water – now they really had the wow-factor. On our way round the lake we were met by moorhens, ducks and little ducklings.
Also located on The Island is the Archery Range, miniature golf, bike hire and the Giant Climbing Wall – great if you’re looking for an action-packed weekend.
Tasty tapas and fine dining
Ribby has a choice of eateries to suit all budgets and tastes, including the Bar & Grill, the Tapas Bar, Starbucks, Harrison’s Bar, the Tea Room, Papa John’s, The Restaurant and the Clubhouse.
As the sun was shining we chose to have lunch on the Tapas Bar’s terrace which has a wide selection of food on the menu. Feeling indulgent and spoilt for choice, we chose six tapas dishes between the two of us including patatas bravas, pepperoni pizzetti and meatballs. Every mouthful was delicious and it’s fair to say we devoured every bite.
On the Saturday evening we dined in The Restaurant. We began our night by sampling the cocktails while browsing the menu. My partner chose the Sticky Belly Pork to start and the Posh Bolognese Tagliatelle for main course, and I opted for Chicken Liver Parfait and the Slow Cooked Belly Pork. The presentation of each dish was amazing, and the taste was even better. The belly pork was melt-in-the-mouth and the parfait was accompanied by brioche bread which complemented the flavours.
View our picture gallery of Ribby Hall Spa and Hotel below
Road to relaxation
On arrival to The SPA Hotel at Ribby Hall Village’s reception – just a stone’s throw from Poppy Cottage – we were met by welcoming staff who provided us with towels, robes and flip flops. After an introduction and a quick change into our swimwear we were ready to begin our two-hour Aqua Thermal Journey, which comprised of nine different revitalising hot and cold experiences including the Aroma Steam Room, Balinese Salt Inhalation Room, Rustic Sauna and to finish off, the (dreaded) ice cold Plunge Bucket, which was surprisingly refreshing.
There was also the indoor hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tubs and Zen Garden to enjoy as part of the experience. The hydrotherapy pool featured different stations to work the major muscle groups providing the next best thing to a massage, and the two hot tubs meant you could sit back, relax and take in the Zen Garden’s stunning surroundings. After a dip in the hot tub we headed to the Spa Hotel’s Orangery for lunch in our robes. I chose the spinach and ricotta cannelloni and my partner opted for the BLT sandwich – both were divine and just what we needed after our relaxing morning.
Ribby caters for all, whether you’re looking for an action-packed getaway with the family or a relaxing retreat. There’s a wide range of accommodation, activities and facilities on site. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing the Aqua Thermal Journey promises to detoxify, relax and revitalise the body, and it certainly did not disappoint.
A weekend-stay at Ribby Hall Village’s single-storey Poppy Cottage costs from £509. Day spa packages start from £119 per person. Book online or call 0800 107 0336.