This is an exciting time to be living in the UK as a sauna enthusiast. Despite the favourable climate, and being home to a considerable number of Scandinavians, Russians, Central and Eastern Europeans who would assume sauna a part of their everyday lives, the public saunas in England have been difficult to come across. But initiatives like the pop-up sauna in London in 2017, and the mobile WARMTH sauna that toured festivals in the past few years have all contributed to the promotion of the sauna culture on the island.
Beach Box Brighton is one those places that feed into this new sauna revolution, and hopefully it will be an example to many more beach saunas that’ll open around the country. Actually, this is exactly what I wished for, as our sauna host Katie held out the sauna ladle in front of us for everyone to dip their finger in and make a wish.
You can come to Beach Box Brighton by booking a session online. Each session takes up to 7 people, as the sauna cabin has just enough space for that many people at a time. You’re likely to share the experience with other locals who are passionate about wild saunas and outdoor swimming. Not much privacy, but the warmth of a good community.
This was by far my most enjoyable sauna experience in this country. But what made it so? I guess it’s a combination of things. I could watch the blinking lights of the Brighton Pier, and the crushing waves on the beach while peacefully sweating and breathing rosemary oil essences inside the cosy cabin with the fellow sauna guests. And I loved using the sauna hats that our friendly host lent us for free. Keeping our heads and hearts cool, our bodies warm.
While you’re there, ask your sauna host about different body scrubs and the leaf whisks. On our visit, our sauna host was using an oak-leaf whisk, and the steam from the leaf-infused water smelt heavenly.
Of course, being right on the beach, you’ll want to take that thrilling run to the water and cool down in the waves after a hot sauna session. I personally enjoyed the cold shower more. Either way, bring a good pair of beach shoes to protect your feet from the cold.
There are also beach chairs to relax just in front of the cabin, and you can buy coffee (bring cash/coins!) on the spot to keep you warm.
Good to know
- Wear a swimming suit at all times.
- The sauna is mixed gender.
- You can come with older children, but there are not many other options for them apart from the sauna.
- Sessions available for 90 minutes or 30 minutes. Better to book in advance.
- Price: $$$$$