Bamford Wellness Spa, Cotswolds
Bamford Wellness Spa is a holistic haven based on Daylesford Organic Farm near Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold in The Cotswolds.
Daylesford has been committed to producing organic food since the 1980s and its sister brand, Bamford, has added to the sustainable offering over the years. It now has a luxury sustainable clothing range too and sells homewares and natural beauty and wellbeing products.
Bamford’s founder, Carole Bamford, is an established entrepreneur who’s passionate about wellbeing and sustainability and was promoting wellness before ‘wellness’ was even a thing. Bamford Haybarn spa, as it was then called, consisted of just a couple of treatment rooms and a yoga studio housed in a converted barn. Despite its smaller size, it already channelled the distinctive Bamford aesthetic, with a pared back luxury vibe that is still going strong today. Further treatment rooms, studios and relaxation spaces have been added, and the spa was refurbished and relaunched in 2021 as Bamford Wellness Spa.
The new spa includes The Spring, a wet spa area with a vitality pool and heat experiences. Guests can now book to use these facilities as part of a spa day package or as an add-on to individual treatment bookings.
The most recent addition to the Bamford empire is an exclusive member’s club which opened its decadent doors in 2023. The Club by Bamford, offers wealthier residents of the ‘Chippy’ community a place to work out, hang out and spa in exclusive privacy.
The Club has its own pool, Padel tennis courts, heat experiences and state-of-the-art cryogenic chamber. An on-site medi-spa offers intravenous vitamin infusions and other wellness treatments du jour, and there’s a stylish café bar if you prefer to get an antioxidant infusion via a cheeky glass of red. The Club is open to members only.
Bamford spa’s Cotswolds mothership now offers 12 treatments rooms and The Spring, with its hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room.
The Spring is centred around a good-sized hydro pool where you can kick back and relax on one of the submerged loungers or enjoy a shoulder massage courtesy of the swan pipes. It’s a lovely light-filled space with a clean and serene feel. There’s a crystal steam room and herbal sauna with view next to the pool, plus a few poolside loungers.
The unisex changing rooms are smart and have separate changing cubicles, all in Bamford’s trademark minimalist styling with wood, marble and heart motifs. There are plenty of lockers where you’ll find slippers and supersized organic robes for use during your visit. Lockers are fitted with USB chargers too, so you can juice-up your phone while you’re powering-up your body and mind.
The candlelit treatment rooms have a calming simplicity about them, as do the waiting area and relaxation room, where babbling water features enhance the relaxing ambiance.
Treatments are holistic and are based on a combination of Eastern and Western wellness philosophies. All use Bamford’s own range of nature-respecting products to help purify, detoxify, nourish and/or restore, and include elements of shiatsu, Swedish massage, Thai massage stretches, hot stone massage and reflexology, as required.
The spa also offers yoga and Pilates classes for practitioners of all levels, including reformer sessions (the ones with torturous looking, but effective, equipment). Guests and members can sign up for calming breath work classes and sound baths too. There’s a tipi for outdoor classes during summer and a crystal healing hut for the more spiritually inclined.
The spa area and treatment rooms are accessible to wheelchair users.
Bamford’s Cotswolds spa offers a great range of top-end treatments, from express facials and 30-minute back neck and shoulder massage, to holistic 90-minute signature journeys, including ones which are suitable during pregnancy.
The Bamford Grooming Department offers a signature treatment developed specifically for men, combining Swedish and Japanese massage techniques with hot stones, acupressure, and reflexology.
The spa also offers 21st century wellness treatments, including micro needling to resurface uneven skin tone and an ultrasound treatment designed to tighten and contour the skin on face and body. Hand, feet and hair treatments are also available.
I was booked in for the Bamford signature massage, a bespoke treatment that’s tailored to address specific needs on the day. In my case tight shoulders and a stiff lower back.
Once I’d completed the consultation form, the therapist led me away from the calm waiting area, to one of the simple but stylish whitewashed treatment rooms.
The therapist noted that I’d ticked ‘energising’ as my desired outcome (I had a three-hour drive home after my treatment) and she started by talking me through the treatment and my treatment goals. She then presented three heart shaped dishes, each containing one of Bamford’s signature oils, and placed a dab of each oil on to my hand to see which one I felt most drawn to. This, she explained, would be the one that would most benefit my body and mind at that time.
I was drawn to the energising Rosemary oil, which is supposed to help promote inner harmony. The other two that I could have chosen were the rest-inducing Chamomile oil and the best-selling uplifting Geranium oil.
The therapist left the room while I made myself comfortable on the particularly wide and warm couch, face down to await the start of the treatment.
The start of the treatment was signalled by an instruction to take some grounding breaths, and I was immediately transported to a sunny Italian garden by the subtle herby scent.
The therapist then applied a generous amount of oil and began to press down on my shoulders, slowly and gently at first, then speeding up and applying more pressure with faster, flowing movements. The massage felt spontaneous, confident and intuitive and was a far cry from the stilted choreographed massages that you can get sometimes with less experienced practitioners.
The therapist spent a good amount of time addressing my shoulder tension, as requested, swirling around the base of my neck and coaxing any tension out from under my shoulder blades, and targeting key pressure points. I had requested firm pressure and was delighted that this was the pressure that was delivered, which isn’t always the case.
Continuing the flowing and invigorating massage strokes, the therapist used her forearms to create additional pressure as needed. She then worked her way down my legs and included the soles of my feet, which I loved.
The therapist, then asked me to turn onto my back and supported my head with a small pillow. She also placed a rose quartz eye mask on my face, which felt like the facial equivalent of a soothing weighted blanket and put a pillow behind my knees to take any pressure off my lower back, which I really appreciated. I couldn’t have felt more comfortable, cosy and pampered.
She then continued to use using deliberate, firm, flowing sweeps along my upper body, arms and legs and concluded the treatment with some pressure point work on my face and a relaxing head massage.
At the end of my treatment I was led through to the restful Lavender relaxation room, a lovely light-filled room overlooking the orchard. A carefully curated collection of natural objects, including huge tree roots, crystals and a large stone bowl of gently trickling water added to the chilled vibe.
The therapist brought me a warming cup of herbal tea with fresh ginger, and a card with recommended skin products, available at the Bamford shop next door.
wining & dining
As you’d expect, Bamford take food seriously and there are several inviting places to eat on the Daylesford Estate.
The Orchard café/bar in the spa building offers refreshments and seasonal, nutritious food to fuel your spa day. The menu features a range of healthy brunches and lunches including Acai Bowls and Bircher Muesli, wraps, salads, noodle dishes and soups plus fresh juices, smoothies and hot drinks.
why so spavellous?
The massage I had at Bamford was one of the best I’ve ever had. The therapist seemed particularly intuitive (apparently she grew up next to her grandfather’s ayurvedic medical practise in India) and the treatment was, slick, confident and exactly what I’d asked for.
Bamford wellness spa in the Cotswolds is a great choice for if you’re looking for some self-care escapism where you can enjoy life in the slow lane for a few hours. You can enjoy luxurious natural treatments in serene surroundings, relaxing in the pool, sauna and steam room, and eating healthy organic food – all on the Daylesford Estate.
There’s a clean, aspirational feel about the place that makes you feel calm as soon as you set foot inside the spa barn. Admittedly, this kind of experience doesn’t come cheap, but you’ll leave feeling richer in spirit.
London-based wellness fans can get a flavour of Bamford treatments at the Bamford Wellness Spa at the Berkeley, or at Bamford’s London outpost in Brompton Cross. Bamford also has spas stateside in Brooklyn and Miami if you’re passing.
And Bamford’s natural products are used in several exclusive UK spas, including Lime Wood Carbis Bay and Beaverbrook – read our independent Spavellous reviews.
If you’re planning on eating at the Wild Rabbit, it’s worth booking ahead.
‘What a beautiful, beautiful place. I love the new pool area and my treatment was heavenly, if pricey.’
‘The setting is gorgeous, and we loved that you can walk to the pub across the fields.’