Relax and unwind amid the leafy surroundings of Middleton Lodge’s enchanting Forest Spa near Richmond.

Middleton Lodge is set within a 200-acre Georgian estate close to the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales national parks, just an hour’s drive down the A1 from Newcastle.

I stayed here in the mid noughties on a press trip and also enjoyed a sneak peek of their Coach House restaurant under construction some years later. It’s been great to see how this magnificent estate has evolved under owner and visionary, James Allison. 

Now, Middleton Lodge is a luxurious destination for weddings, overnight stays, top culinary experiences and, as of summer 2023, people who like spa days!

About the Forest Spa

True to its name and Japanese-inspired ethos, the Forest Spa is surrounded by trees, plants and wildflowers – the most tranquil of backdrops. 

There’s something captivating about lounging around outdoors and gazing at the leaves gently swaying against the sky, while small birds chirp their cheery tune and the wind softly kisses your skin. Nature at its finest and most serene.

As spa settings go, this has to be one of the best in the North of England.

Forest Spa

Luxurious amenities

The pool house is where your spa journey begins. This plush space has lots of comfy sofas and a log burning stove for a dose of extra cosy vibes. On arrival, we were seated here with a berry smoothie to ease us into relaxation mode.

Stepping outside, the 15-metre long pool undoubtedly brings the wow factor to the Forest Spa. It’s heated, meaning you can enjoy a swim or a soothing soak whatever the time of year, even during those nippier colder spells!

Forest Spa experience
Forest Spa pool
Forest Spa at sunset

There’s a sheltered outdoor hot tub which overlooks the pool and this was the most coveted spot on our visit, with spa-goers keenly eyeing it up and waiting patiently for their dip. 

Retreating indoors, you’ll find the thermal spa featuring a sauna with countryside views, a tadelakt steam room and a stone-arched plunge pool. A relaxation area and fireplace complete this perfectly-designed haven.

But, there’s more; six treatment huts hidden in the woodland where you can enjoy everything from a seaweed body buff to an indulgent mud mask. And for a totally blissed-out experience, two have tin baths and wood-burning stoves inside.

Everything has been carefully thought out and the attention to detail in every nook and cranny is stunning.

The staff were also attentive, popping over to the pool to take our drinks order and ensuring there was plenty of fresh water to keep us hydrated during our visit.

Forest Spa outdoor hot tub
Forest Spa outdoor seating
Forest Spa plunge pool
Forest Spa sauna

Spa packages

We booked the evening spa experience, arriving at 5.30pm and enjoying just over two hours access to the facilities. Robes and flip flops were also provided. It was perfect timing, as we could enjoy the last glimmer of sunshine as the sun set over the estate, with fairy lights sprinkling an aura of twinkly magic across the outdoor setting.

Our spa session included a reduced tasting menu at The Forge, the estate’s fine dining restaurant which now boasts a Michelin Green Star. Head chef, Jake Jones, also recently received Michelin’s Young Chef of the Year award, testament to the quality of the food they serve here. (I’ll be dedicating a separate blog post to our meal very soon.)

Other spa packages include half day spa, day spa, and day retreat, with various treatments and food options available.

Forest Spa indoor space

The Forest Spa was exceptional. And it’s no surprise this boutique hotel and country escape has made the cut on several lists compiled by travel connoisseurs from The Times and The Telegraph.

To quote my post over on Instagram: in a word, this place is gorgeous!

For more information about the Forest Spa at Middleton Lodge, including current packages and pricing, visit