London is truly a travel destination with it all. Magnificent heritage buildings, modern entertainment, world-class arts, and international dining come together to deliver the ultimate city break experience. However, England’s capital is a busy and fast-paced environment that can leave visitors feeling overwhelmed rather than well-rested. Adding these wellness activities to your London itinerary will ensure that you return home feeling relaxed and restored, while also elevating your overall experience.
Wander beautiful gardens
Although London is a major capital city, it has a wealth of beautiful gardens easily accessed from the centre. From your arrival by rail into London King’s Cross Station, you can travel a short way by Underground to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew which boasts over 65,000 plant specimens collected into breath-taking displays.
On a smaller scale is the exquisite Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, an utterly tranquil oasis within bustling west London.
Walk the royal parks
Keen to really immerse yourself in nature? You can walk the royal parks which range from central Hyde Park, conveniently set next to Kensington Palace and Gardens and home to a play area perfect for entertaining the children, to Richmond Park, a 2,500-acre area of woodland with ancient trees and herds of majestic deer.
It is well-worth heading out to Greenwich Park in east London: 17th-century landscaping and an invigorating flower garden await you, as well as the world-renowned Royal Observatory.
Get out on the water
The health benefits of being in green spaces have been widely documented, but what about blue spaces? Studies have shown that being by water boosts our wellbeing, whether that involves floating in the ocean, lake swimming, or punting down the river. Even just the visual element of water in an urban space, such as a fountain, has been shown to have calming qualities.
The main parks boast boating lakes like The Serpentine where you can commandeer rowing boats or pedalos for a smooth sailing experience. For a more active water-based activity, try a stand-up paddleboarding tour of Little Venice in Paddington. In the warmer summer months, you can head to Hampstead Heath to join the locals in a spot of wild swimming.
Indulge in a luxury spa
No wellness holiday is complete without a trip to the spa. London has a wide choice of luxury spas, most connected to the city’s high-end hotels and each offering a slightly different spa experience.
For a traditional take on wellness treatments, visit AIRE Ancient Baths which houses a series of stone caverns replete with pools of varying temperatures and a steam room and sauna. Another authentic option is the Aveda Institute in Covent Garden which specialises in holistic herbal treatments and chakra-balancing massages.
If you prefer to stay clothed and dry, experiment with a meditative sound bath where sound waves are used to relax the mind and body.