By: Blonde Two

Blonde One is more versed in the art of spa days than I. I am however always willing to learn, so when we were invited to the most excellent Ilsington Country House Hotel on Dartmoor to try out their spa facilities, I put myself in her capable hands.

This outing, I found out, led to an entirely different type of packing experience. Instead of waterproofs, woolly hat and gloves, B1 told me to bring a swimsuit and a book. She was right of course, about the shortened list, upon our arrival, we were presented with soft towels, cosy dressing gowns and slippers.

The Ilsington Country House Hotel provides its own special escape-from-the-world feeling as soon as you arrive, but when you enter the spa area, you are transported even further into escape and find yourself in what I can only describe as a warm, watery nest of comfort, relaxation and languor.

Whilst we were there, we Blondes did plenty of being comfortable, relaxing and languishing, but we did find time (of course) to have a bit of fun as well.

We avoided the well-equipped gym, but had a swim in a pool that was big enough to enjoy, but not actually feel like exercise.


Then we had some water massages from the bubbles and showers in the spa pool. I had no idea that water jets could soothe tired feet, aching shoulders and stiff backs as much as they did. We hadn’t been walking, but if we had, the spa pool at the Ilsington Country House Hotel would be the perfect antidote to a long day out on Dartmoor.


Once we had heated up in the sauna and admired the tiles and mesmerising ceiling lights in the steam room, I decided to be brave and experiment with the ‘Kubel Dusche’ (literally bucket shower) a cold bucket of water which is the spa equivalent of jumping in the East Dart in January. I have to say that, like jumping in rivers, a bucket of cold water at the right moment in the day can be a marvellous thing.

Because we were a bit sleepy after all of this pampered excitement, we retired to our loungers with some suitably selected Devonshire magazines.


We had a lovely day, and would like to say a big thank you to Richard and his staff. We are going to return soon and choose from the extensive treatment menu. If you are planning visit Dartmoor, we would thoroughly recommend a visit to the most excellent Ilsington Country House Hotel and its thoroughly relaxing spa. You won’t regret it.