Spa star: Ruthin Castle, North Wales


King Edward I of England, nicknamed Longshanks on account of his 6ft-plus stature, was a fearsome and by all accounts, irritable sovereign. Perhaps when he ordered the construction of Ruthin Castle in the 13th century he should have had the foresight to convert a portion into a relaxing spa, as its current owners have recently done.

The Moat offers an "indoor and outdoor spa experience" at what is now a decadent hotel with 59 rooms and the two AA rosette-awarded Berties restaurant.

Then Edward could have soothed his temper in the log-fired Sauna Tent, had a foot scrub with local sea salt, and indulged in a Soothing Seaside Body Wrap with local mineral-rich seaweed.

The Moat, Ruthin Castle, Ruthin, Denbighshire, North Wales LL15 2NU (01824 702664; The Soothing Seaside Body Wrap starts at £65. Double rooms from £115, B&B.