Wood-fired Sauna and Fresh Water Swimming in Surrey

On the first weekend of November, I have finally completed my first sauna explorer mission of 2020. Having survived a year of restrictions and lockdowns, I was grateful as well as excited, to have the opportunity to pack my bag, and set on the road again to discover a new sauna.

My destination was the Nature Spa in Diver’s Cove, Godstone, which is an hour drive away from London. I made use of good public transport connections.  A short train ride from London Bridge to Redhill, then a pleasant bus ride and a 10-minute walk on the leafy road heading up to Diver’s Cove.

Diver’s Cove is already frequented by open-water swimmers. Surrounded by a lush, leafy forest, the turquoise waters of this quarry lake is alluring and inviting for all nature lovers.  What better place to enjoy a few hours in an authentic, wood-fired sauna!

Upon arrival to Diver’s Cove, the lovely owners of Nature Spa welcomed me with a warm hello and offered me a hot beverage while I checked myself in. The layout of the venue was simple. Two large shelters to get changed and drop bags and clothes. Just outside, the mobile sauna stands on its wheels behind a few benches to rest in between sessions. A few yards away, an earth pathway leads down to the lake where guests can enjoy the cold shock effect after sauna.

While it is common to go with swimwear for public sessions, the reclusive nature allows for full nudity during private hire sessions. It can be a great opportunity to experience nature in nudity, away from prying eyes and more importantly, self-judgement.

The mobile sauna can accommodate up to 20 people in one session, although much less are currently allowed as part of the measures to make the whole experience Covid-19-safe. On the outside, the sauna master feeds the wood-burning stove regularly, keeping the temperature at 70-80 degrees. Combined with steam inside, a 15-minute session in the sauna gives one enough conviction to get out and dip in the cold lake.

I have only booked 1 hour for my visit, and I followed this schedule:

15 minutes inside the sauna

10 minutes cooling off, including a lake dip

15 minutes back in the sauna

15 minutes cooling off, including a longer lake dip

5 minutes warming in the sauna

This was a very efficient hour, as I managed to enjoy 2 cold plunges (the second one is always better) and warmed up a little bit just before leaving.  For my next visit, I will plan 2 hours to enjoy it more, and perhaps to socialize with other guests.

The Nature Spa and their Mobile Sauna is unquestionably a gem for this part of the UK, with its unique location and loyalty to authentic sauna experience. As we anticipate a few more weeks of lockdowns and restrictions, those who have a garden can hire the mobile sauna for private use. Otherwise, follow my advice (follow them on Facebook) and book your slot as soon as they are open for public visits again.

Good to know

  • Nudity allowed for private hire, otherwise wear your swimming suit.
  • The sauna is mixed gender.
  • Bring your own towel.
  • Sessions on site start from 1 hour up-to full day hires. You can also hire the sauna for your own garden.
  • Price: $$

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