Where looms once hummed and clattered and hundreds of women toiled, now there is peace and tranquillity and the space is reserved for the privileged and pampered few.
Welcome to the country’s first eco-spa, housed within an imposing Victorian cotton mill set at the secluded heart of the glorious Pennines, the renowned ‘Backbone of England’.
"Wool to the east of those brooding moorland hills, cotton to the west" was the rule of thumb we learned at school. Here’s one mill that broke the convention – it’s a cotton mill that’s in Yorkshire rather than Lancashire.
Titanic Spa (www.titanicspa.com) is sparklingly new but its name – derived from that worn proudly by the mill for two centuries – pre-dates the majestic but ill-fated ocean liner we all know about.
It’s a great place for taking some ‘me time’, and even better for a romantic weekend with your partner.
Those opting to overnight or spend a few days will find the apartment-style accommodations spacious and uncluttered, with high ceilings, huge windows and spacious private balconies and a lot of white and cream paint, creating a fresh, light-infused ambiance that puts you straight into a relaxed frame of mind. Breakfast baskets await in the kitchenette. Beds are big and exquisitely comfortable. This all makes an irresistible excuse for a self-indulgent breakfast in bed.
Minimalism works well here, with cosseting sheets and duvets and plump pillows made from luxuriant textiles of the high quality once manufactured in this very building,
The intimate spa oozes a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere that had me slipping in and out of snooze mode and the sweetest of dreams as highly experienced therapists smoothed away my tensions.
Using products from Decléor of Paris, aromatherapy and phytotherapy experts create treatments that work in natural synergy with the skin, body and mind. Carita, Elemis, Jessica and Neom are other premium products used.
Treatments and relaxation period over, it's time to sample the bistro-styled restaurant. This is no carrot and two sticks of celery health farm but provides real food in sensible portions and at reasonable prices, using healthy high-quality products that are locally sourced wherever possible. As throughout the complex, the staff members ere young, ever-smiling, friendly and helpful though a little lack of experience did occasionally peep through, reminding me that this is a young business that is still in a settling down period.
Should you feel the need for exercise to complete the circle of your spa break, there’s a gym filled with all the latest kit and a generous sized indoor pool, while off-site mountain biking is available for guests.
Two and a half hours from London and just 40 minute from Manchester, Titanic Spa is located at Linthwaite, a few minutes southwest of Huddersfield,
It’s just a short cross-country run to Holmfirth – home of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ – while Hathersage and Bronte Country are to the northwest.
Spare time for some worthwhile local exploration too. Huddersfield has a wealth of fine buildings from the golden age of its woollen industry, including an imposing railway station with Greek temple styled portico.
Halifax is another once extremely wealthy woollen town, It escaped the Blitzkrieg bombing that devastated so many of it neighbours and as a result, much of its grand High-Victorian architecture remains unscathed to this day. Not to be missed is the Peace Hall, a massive UNESCO World Heritage listed arcaded square first developed in mediaeval times.