Come on in, the water's fine!

Our feet may be fidgeting under the desk, but our minds are wallowing in one (to be honest all) of these outdoor baths – just three of the many alfresco bathing experiences you can enjoy in Britain. Whether you fancy stretching out beside your own private waterfall or wriggling your toes in clay-rich Welsh water, be sure to add taking a bath outside to your to-do list this year.


Bemuse the local wildfowl

The Wild-de-go in Cornwall is a grass-roofed, refurbished old day-tripper, and is as romantic as Lionel Ritchie singing Hello down with the phone with a longing look in his eye. No? Oh well, it's still perfect if you've got a few days of stargazing and alfresco bathing in mind.

The boat is an Isles of Scilly ferry that once chugged around Cornish waters in the 1920s, but has now come to rest near Bude. Owners Ivan and Emma have thoughtfully restored it while keeping its rustic charm – think original old port holes and exposed beams. Inside, you do really feel like you're on a boating holiday, moored in a little harbour, calling on the mainland for supper. The real treat though is the wood-fired hot tub outside, sunken into the decking and overlooking the pond. Just you, the night sky and the perhaps the odd curious duck.

If you fancy choppier waters, close by you'll find sandy beaches at Bude, puffins on Lundy Island and gorgeous Cornish towns such as Boscastle, Padstow and Port Isaac.

The Wild-de-go, Cornwall, cabin for two from £70 per night, Canopy & Stars


Re-enact a Timotei commercial

Take a bath under the stars while listening to the sounds of your very own, private waterfall. Eco retreats don’t get much more idyllic than this one with its choice of two bathtubs in rather dreamy locations.

There's the glass-ceilinged hot tub dome for a sheltered soak with views of the starry sky and surrounding hills. The gorge bath is an outdoor, hot bubble bath right next to the retreat’s natural waterfall. All bathing is conscience-free as the power for the centre is generated from a hydro-electric power station, solar panels and a biomass pellet wood-burner.

After your bath or yoga session or hot-stone massage, you can bed down in the newly refurbished bothies, close to the café, kitchen, showers and relaxation room. The retreat nestles in the hills overlooking Loch Awe. 

If you've had quite enough of lazing around in fluffy robes and feel the need to expend some energy, the wilds of Scotland abound. Take a walk to nearby Kilmartin Glen or a daytrip to Easdale Island and get suitably muddy and worn out before your evening soak. 

The ecoYoga Bothy, West Scotland, cabin for four from £228 per night, Canopy & Stars


Splash it up with the sheep

Somewhere out in the lush greenness that is Powys in mid-Wales, you'll find a holistic retreat like no other. Eddie, Kim and their bonny baby live in complete bliss in Mellowcroft, 12 acres of land where they've built their home, shepherds huts and cabins with their own bare hands, using old pallets and coppiced wood. You can sleep in one of their yurts or cabins, or you can bring your own tent if you wish.

But what you must do before you shut your eyes is have a bath, Mellowcroft style. It may look alarmingly like Eddie and Kim want to cook you for their supper, as they stoke the fire beneath you, but just pick yourself some herbs and flowers from the array of little plants the tub, sink into the clay-rich water and let the rising temperature, the candlelight and the bleating of sheep lull you into a floppy stupor. By this point, you won't care if they've had dinner yet or not.

If you fancy making it a longer stay and you're a bit of a handy man, you can volunteer in exchange for your accommodation and food.

For prices, contact Mellowcroft via their website.

When it’s too stormy for a dip in the sea, guest blogger Laura Rollo-Smith likes to find other outdoorsy places to enjoy a swim, including Art Deco lidos and wild swim spots in the South West.