I visited Ramside Spa to take a dip in the brand new cold plunge pool

Reporter Owen Younger tries out the facilities at Ramside Spa, including the cold plunge pool.
Reporter Owen Younger samples a Spa Day at Ramside Hall Spa. -Credit:Chronicle Live

I had the opportunity to visit Ramside Spa in Durham and try their brand new cold plunge pool.

Having never been to a spa before, I was keen to see what it was like and make the most of the access we had for a relaxing time. Upon arrival, I was warmly welcomed by the reception staff who provided me with a wristband and guided me to the changing rooms.

After changing into my swimming shorts, I first ventured to the outdoor area to enjoy the pool and the hot weather. After soaking up some sun, I returned indoors to try out a couple of the main pools - a traditional one for swimming and another featuring a seated area and fountain in the middle.

Then came the moment I'd been both nervous and excited about - the cold plunge pool. I was advised to control my breathing as the cold would initially hit me hard but would become less intense the longer I stayed in.

As I climbed the steps and dipped just one toe in, I could already feel my temperature dropping, reports Chronicle Live. I ventured further in and when I mustered enough courage, I sat down with the water reaching just below my shoulders.

In a final act of defiance against the elements, I submerged my head and shoulders, experiencing a fresh wave of chills that eventually subsided. A fantastic method to raise your body temperature after a plunge pool or any cold water treatment is to spend some time in a sauna or steam room, which was my next stop.

This was a welcome shift after the chilling experience and turned out to be one of the most relaxing parts of the day. Next, I opted for a 25-minute back massage to alleviate some of the tension and stiffness I had been feeling. As this was my first ever massage, I was quite excited.

Jess, the masseuse, was exceptional, ensuring she walked me through the process while delivering an excellent massage that left me feeling significantly better. While on this upper floor, I made my way to the infinity pool, boasting stunning views of the Durham countryside. This was a wonderful way to unwind after the massage and I felt incredibly relaxed at this point.

My final destination was the adjoining Fusion restaurant for food, known for its exquisite Thai cuisine. I thoroughly enjoyed both my starter, a serving of vegetable spring rolls, and my main course, a delightful crispy hoisin duck wrap.

Overall, my time at Ramside Spa - which is just 40 minutes from Middlesbrough - was fantastic. The staff were all very friendly and engaging with customers, which was well received.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in all of the swimming pools, even the plunge pool felt rewarding afterwards. The massage was outstanding and as I sit here writing this, my back feels significantly more relaxed and less tense. The food was also exceptional.

I would highly recommend the experience, something for which I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to do.