In planning a recent trip to the UK, I came across a spa called The
Cowshed Spa. This I had to see. Was it in a barn? I was in for a delightful visit and a few surprises.
Cowshed Spa is actually a chain of spas. The very first spa opened at Babington House, Somerset, UK in 1998… in the old cow shed. Since then they have stayed true to their vision to offer beautiful spas. Cowshed products are organic based and designed to be effective.
In addition to Cowshed spas, they are also located in the Soho group chain in the US, the UK and Europe.
Cowshed Spa, Trebetherick, Cornwall
I visited the Cowshed Spa in the lovely San Moritz hotel in Trebetherick in
Cornwall, UK. A beautiful, coastal location, it teems with tourists during the summer. When the crowds die down, the locals book again. They have the enviable position of little to no slow season.
Cowshed calls themselves “sociable” and for good reason. Beautiful and elegant, the mood is relaxed, friendly and social. You’re invited to come with friends, have services, visit and make new friends. They’re famous for detail manicure-pedicure area invites chatting and visiting.
Purposeful with a bit of whimsey
Treatment and product names are whimsical… Udderly Delightful, Udderly
Gorgeous. But don’t let the names fool you. Each product meets a purpose. All have high levels of essential oils for therapeutic results. Botanicals come from their own gardens.
Seven different mood blends focus on client’s needs and the goal of the therapy. Tired, try Knackered Cow. Stressed – Grumpy Cow. In a well, playful mood – Horny Cow. The list goes on.
Dirty Cow, Grubby Cow or Mucky Cow wash skin clean and leave it conditioned.
The treatment menu is impressive. Face, body, hands feet, waxing and a variety of packages. Men get their own special attention treatments. The Udderly Gorgeous treatments were the most unique. Indulgent, relaxing, pampering and designed for clients that are 12 weeks pregnant or more.
They have taken every need of the pregnant client, and their safety, into consideration. Furniture, cushioning, positioning. After the first trimester, Moms-to-be may have services until the big event.
Post-delivery treatments are also available to help the new mom de-stress… and get her skin back in condition.
When you are visiting Cornwall, London, Somerset, Oxfordshire, or near a Soho property, relax and have a little fun at the Cowshed.
Restore Yourself on Amorgos – a Magical Greek Island
Experience stillness and harmony amid the mind-blowing scenery of the
Aegean. Welcome to the Greek Islands. On Amorgos, you’ll find a welcoming Five-Star Resort. Aegialis Hotel and Spa encompasses all of the hospitality Greece is known for. Here they focuses on wellness, nature and personal restoration.
The islands are connected to mainland Greece by a ferry system. A leisurely cruise allows you to enjoy views of the islands, dinner and a glorious sunset. Only a few minutes ride from the ferry dock you will be warmly welcomed by Aegialis staff.
You will awaken to a stunning view of the Aegean sea and islands beyond. Honeymooners, couples, and families all rank Aegialis a place to enjoy and come again.
Time to relax and restore…
Relax on your balcony or by the pool. Pause and take inspiration from the hypnotic blue waters. Let them lull you to tranquility.
Hike, enjoy the vistas, the quaint towns. Make the climb to the monastery. Take a donkey ride, enjoy yoga classes. You may find one of the owners teaching cooking classes. Go for a swim, sail, snorkel, or scuba.
Learn about the unique ecosystem and the plants that survive on dew. Take the botanical tour to learn about Amorgian herbs known for their quality and medicinal properties.
Ask your hosts about special adventures, extended off-season stays or personal wellness options. Join the locals for their weekly musical gathering in the classical Greek style. Learn a dance, enjoy the music.
For centuries Amorgos has been known for its healing and transformative energy. Visit the monastery be sure for a glimpse into the life of the past. While there, ask to see the place of the ancient waters.
Ambrosia restaurant offers choices. Comfortable inside dining or an outside terrace with vistas of the sea be a backdrop for your dining experience. They will delight your palate with delicious traditional Amorgian dishes as well as International ones.
Fresh and locally sourced ingredients abound. The chef specializes in traditional Greek foods. He incorporates recipes from owner’s grandparents. In 2016 Alpha Guide listed them as one of the best restaurants in Greece.
Lalon Idor Spa takes its’ name from the story of the ancient water oracle dedicated to god Apollo. Here visitors came seeking clarity and answers in prophetic water readings.
Today you will find peace of mind in a nurturing and peaceful atmosphere. Tranquility and well-being are easy to attain.
Let their therapists work their magic. Their nurturing hands will guide you to a state of stillness and rest. Let the voice of the sea soothe your mind away from your daily routine.
The treatment menu offers a generous selection of Spa Journies. They combine Eastern and Western healing arts with classical spa treatments. They will invigorate you and help you unwind. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and restored.
Go, play, restore
Choose active or quiet, adventure or pampered. The sheer beauty and magic of this place is balm to your soul. Go, play, restore.
Aegialis Hotel and Spa is waiting for you. Contact them directly for the very best rates. Want to save? Ask about off-season specials. http://amorgos-aegialis.com/
Want to visit the land of your heritage? Just love Scotland? Here are some
tidbits you might enjoy.
The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae is the oldest in Britain. It’s the oldest building, located on Orkney Island dates to 3100 BC. Orkney is one of about 790 islands in Scotland located to the far north of the country.
Roman invasions marked the beginning of modern history. Unable to defeat the locals, they finally withdrew and settled for building the Antoine wall to keep them in out of England.
The Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded in the 6th Century. In the next century, an Irish missionary founded a monastery and introduced Celtic Christianity to the pagan Scoti and Picts.
Places to visit in Scotland
Like tall places? Visit Ben Nevis, the highest point at 4406 feet. The ancient Scottish mountains have been glacially sculpted. You’ll feel like you are in an alien landscape, majestic and stark.
Prefer fishing? You’ll find more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes. The deepest is Loch Morar at 1077 feet. Legends still exist of giant sea monsters lurking in the deep lochs.
Don’t miss the distilleries making Scottish whisky. Whisky is synonymous with Scotland. It’s who they are. Currently, there are 98 active distilleries. They employ over 10,000 people and account for 85% of the Scottish food and beverage exports.
Did you know? Scotland didn’t invent whisky. It was invented in China. The Irish monks started distilling it in the 1400s and it reached Scotland about 100 years later.
Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe. You can discover the twisted yew in Fortingall where it has grown for 3000 years.
Over 2000 castles were built in Scotland. Many now are only historical documents or ruins. Others remain in private ownership. Historic Scotland cares for over 300 properties including 65 castles. These are open to the public. Be sure to take a raincoat or umbrella as it rains frequently in Scotland.
Be sure to take a raincoat or umbrella when touring here as it rains frequently.
Where to live
Most of Scotland’s 5.2 million people live in the lower 30% of the country. They account for 8.5% of the total UK population.
What’s in the upper 70%? Glacially sculpted mountains and valleys, hardy farmers, lots of heather and sheep.
Did you know?
Keep meeting Americans with Scottish ancestry? Not surprising. There are as many Scottish people in America as in Scotland with about 5 million claiming Scottish ancestry.
You’ll hear not one but three official languages spoken. English, Scottish and Scottish Gaelic.
Kilts, tartans, and bagpipes are an integral part of Scottish culture. But history notes evidence of them in Central Europe dating to the Bronze Age. Bagpipes may have come from ancient central Asia.
Is traveling internationally on your bucket list? Don’t let the dream slip away. International travel is life-changing. It’s an adventure. Faraway places, new cultures, different accents, not to mention the food. You’ll experience broadened horizons, great memories. Britain is a great place to start.
The first wagon train crossed the US heading west in 1841. That’s 175 years ago. No original wood structures are still standing. In Britain 175 years of age is nothing for a building. You can stay in a castle built in the 11th century, or an inn built in the 1700s. Look and you will find evidence of people living there for over 2000 years.
Stonehenge is the most famous of the standing stones. Other standing stones are much older. Some date back to the Neolithic age and you can walk freely among them with no fences or restriction. Hidden gems you can seek out. They will inspire you.
Right now, it’s a great time to visit Britain. The rate of exchange from dollars to pounds is the best ever. British pounds have always been worth more against any other currency. Right now instead of being near $2.00 to 1£, it has been hovering around the $1.33 range. That means your dollar goes a lot farther.
Two other benefits? They speak English. And more Americans have British ancestry than any other group. You can trace your roots; walk the soil of your ancestors. Or, just enjoy the people and places.
How to get around Britain…
A little planning will help your trip be a success and memory maker. Do you want to stay in the big cities? It’s easy to take the train to get between them. In 4-1/2 hours, you can get from London to Edinburgh. Or maybe you want to focus just on one city. Public transit can get you around like a local.
Maybe you want to get out into the countryside. Meet the locals. Experience the charm of the villages. Just like in the US, get out of the big cities and you will find the people more friendly and relaxed. Visit castles, standing stones, manor houses, quaint inns. Stop into a pub for a cup of coffee, tea or brew. They are happy to share their stories, their history.
You could take tour buses, many people do. You and a group of 40 are loaded up and shuttled off to see the sites. Going with a crowd not your idea of fun, you could rent a car. Renting a car in the UK is a bit of an adventure. You will be driving on the opposite side of the road. It’s easiest done with a driver and a navigator. The driver can focus on the road and the navigator can guide the turns.
Country maps are handy but often they don’t give you road detail. A good sat-nav is helpful. Rent a car with a sat-nav, or take a device like a Garmin with you. Smartphones have navigation ability but it is going to be using your data feed. Prices for data in foreign countries can be steep. Investigate before you go. You may only want to use your device where there is free Wi-Fi.
What to do?
Do you want to get the flavor of Britain? Maybe this is a family heritage trip. Maybe you want to try hiking. Traveling Hadrian’s wall, in the beautiful Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales are popular with the locals and visitors alike. Do it for a day, or take one of the routes that include overnights along the way.
Horse lovers can do day rides between bed and breakfasts and see the country in a unique way. Identify your goals and you are a giant step closer to getting the experience you want.
Plot out where you want to visit and pick destinations. For the best prices, check Trip Advisor or other online booking agency. Other traveler’s reviews can help you select the place that meets your needs and budget. Once you have your list, contact the property directly. Ask about their specials. Hotels and inns have to pay those booking companies a commission, up to 15% of the room cost. Typically, if you call direct, you will save.
Peak season in the UK is August. Loads of locals take their vacations then. If you can avoid it, you will save money and find your destinations less crowded. You won’t typically find that much difference in weather from spring to summer. Many people claim that like Oregon, autumn can be the best. If you are interested in winter sports like skiing, winter is the season for you.
How much to see?
England, Scotland, and Wales are bigger than they seem. Yes, you can take the total square miles and put it in the state of Oregon. But the island is longer and narrower. The route from the traditional extreme end points of Land’s End to John o’ Groats is 814-838 miles depending on route. Driving time without traffic just under 16 hours. There will be traffic, count on it. Also, lots of interesting places in between. Don’t miss them.
Selecting one or several areas to focus on. Stay several days. Explore from your base camp. It’s more relaxing than living out of a suitcase. Castles, manor houses, Inns and Bed and Breakfasts all across the UK offer accommodations. Chain hotels with names you will recognize are also available. They may not look like the ones back home. Camping, yurts, glamping and recreational vehicles called Caravans are popular with the locals. Pick your experience.
If driving, allow for the roads. Going a distance of 135 miles in a day sounds easy. It is on a freeway. But if is on two-lane roads there are lots of curves more as they cross the undulating lands. A two-hour freeway trip can easily take four on secondary roads. Take time for photo opportunities. They will be around every bend.