Getaways with outdoor baths
Headline The Romans were on to something with their passion for alfresco bathing. Although communal baths in columned courtyards have gone the way of the Holy Roman Empire, bijou copper tubs for one – ideally with meadow views – are very much in.
Thirty per cent of rentals from Kip Hideaways now have an outdoor bath or shower, which founder Liz Simpson says have ‘grown hugely’ in popularity since 2020.
Frontline Boutique hotels and stylish self-catering boltholes are spearheading the charge, the latter being more affordable. Check out The Cargo Cabin at Trelan Farm in Wales, where cows peer over the fence as you wallow in outdoor suds with views of the Flintshire countryside (from £117 a night, coolstays.com).
The Journeyman Treehouse at Brook House Woods in Herefordshire has a cosy bath on the covered terrace – perfect for enjoying an open-air soak without getting pummelled by rain (from £399 a night, brookhousewoods.com).
SOAK UP THE COUNTRYSIDE VIEWS AT THE CARGO CABIN IN NORTH WALES
Meanwhile, Instagram’s favourite hideaway, the Aller Dorset shepherd’s huts, features a deep outdoor bath that every influencer wants to be snapped in (from £185 a night, allerdorset.com).
Skyline They’re not restricted to a bucolic setting. Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell, East London, has a roll-top bath with hot pink claw feet from which you can take in the City vista – book one of the rooftop rooms (from £299, thezetter.com).
Next in line Devon’s hip country house hotel The Pig is unveiling its first outdoor bathtub this summer. It will sit alongside one of the newly converted sleep-in Stream Wagons in a private garden a few hundred yards from the main hotel in Combe (£370 a night, thepighotel.com/at-combe).
‘There’s a trend in the tropics for outdoor bathrooms, and we decided to take full advantage of our lengthening British summers,’ said founder Robin Hutson of the optimistic decision to introduce an alfresco tub.
Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire launched the Lazy Lake earlier this year, with four Japanese-style onsen baths sunk around the lake so members can indulge in the circulation-boosting benefits of alternating hot and cold bathing.
A two-hour experience of boiling in a bath/steam room/sauna, then freezing in the ice room costs £60 per person, sohohouse.com.
Dateline The Old Piggery might not sound romantic, but this Devon (again) cottage has a twin rooftop bath so you can wallow side-by-side with your amour (from £115 a night, canopyandstars.co.uk).
Prefer a lake view? Croft 103’s Hill Cottage features a two-person bathtub on the shores of Lock Eriboll in Scotland (from £2,200 a week, croft103.com).
THE TUB ON THE TERRACE AT THE JOURNEYMAN TREEHOUSE IN HEREFORDSHIRE
Online The hashtag #outdoorbathroom has over 18.5 million views on TikTok; videos range from sunken baths in luxury hotels to backyard DIY projects. Sheffield-based gardening influencer Danni bought a £50 clawfoot bath from Gumtree and installed it in her allotment last year – for wholesome bath scenes, follow her on @plot.81. Other top bathstagrammers include @thehutathopscotch and @the.tin.shed.glamping.
Lifeline Followers of TV presenter Angela Scanlon will be familiar with reels of her garden ice-bath dips. However, you don’t have to go down to Wim Hof temperatures to feel the benefits of an outdoor dunk. From helping reduce blood pressure to relieving muscle pain, improving immunity and aiding sleep, there are multiple benefits to bathing (even in warm water), and the alfresco bath trend combines this with the mind-boosting gains of being outside. Plus, you can enjoy a glass of wine and a book while you do it. Who can say that for wild swimming?