Written by root. Posted in Featured Article, FEATURES


Published on January 04, 2020 with No Comments

Winding through Scotland’s rugged landscape aboard the iconic Belmond Royal Scotsman is the adventure of a lifetime – but the Bamford Haybarn Spa adds another level of luxury. We talk to Haybarn founder Carole Bamford about Britain’s first train-based spa.

Words & Images BELMOND LTD


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Picture the scene. You’re meandering past pristine Highland scenery. Beyond the picture windows, landscapes of brilliant wildflowers, mirror-calm lochs and misty mountains pass by. But you’re in a cocoon of luxury, soaking up the aromatherapy fragrances as you enjoy a massage or rejuvenating body scrub.

This is the unique experience that awaits at the Bamford Haybarn Spa aboard the luxury Belmond Royal Scotsman train. It broke records when it launched, becoming the first spa experience of its kind aboard an overnight rail journey in Britain.

Crafted in natural woods and with pure white furnishings, the spa carriage is a cosy but faithful replica of the flagship Haybarn Spa at Bamford’s Daylesford farm. There, in England’s Cotswolds countryside, guests are wrapped in the softest robes and sumptuous scents such as geranium, lavender and peppermint.

Haybarn founder Carole Bamford explains that her growing collection of spas offer natural, sustainable products crafted by artisans. The treatments themselves are inspired by ancient wellness rituals and Ayurvedic principles.

What brought Bamford and Belmond Royal Scotsman together?
I have always loved travelling and am inspired by all the beautiful sights, sounds and scents along the way – so much so that they often find their way into our Bamford range of products. It was very exciting to take the Bamford Haybarn Spa on board a train that is synonymous with luxury, relaxation and innovation; Belmond Royal Scotsman shares our philosophy and so many of our values.

Fun Fact
When you think Scotland, you also think haggis, its national food. This is a savoury pudding that is made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs. The meat is minced, mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt. The mixture is then traditionally packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled. There are other versions of haggis if you don’t quite fancy its original, like a vegetarian and vegan version made from beans and lentils, and even haggis potato chips and ice cream!

How are your visits to Scotland brought to life in the spa carriage?
When I think of Scotland, walks in the Highlands, fresh air, rushing streams and beautiful heather-covered hillsides come to mind. At Bamford, nature is our greatest inspiration with its seasonally changing hues, scents and textures. These natural elements feature in the interiors of each of our Haybarn Spas and all our body and skincare ranges.

What distinguishes the Bamford Haybarn Spa Experience?
At the Bamford Haybarn Spa, we offer a holistic approach based on our heartfelt connection with nature, and this is no exception on board the Belmond Royal Scotsman. I love the idea that as you travel through the beautiful Scottish countryside, you feel a part of the surroundings while enjoying a treatment using our organic botanical products.

After a day of exploring the Highlands, guests can enjoy a deeply relaxing experience in the calm and tranquillity of the spa. The two treatment rooms have been designed using sustainable wood from Scotland and the Cotswolds, inset with our signature heart motif. They are spaces for reflection and rejuvenation.

What’s the inspiration behind the creation of your body and skincare products?
I always say that what goes onto the body is as important as what goes inside. We make all our products for the Haybarn Spa at Daylesford organic farm in the Cotswolds, using natural fragrances and ingredients. We work hard to ensure that the majority of our products are certified as organic by the Soil Association, the most rigorous testing of its kind in the UK.

Could you tell us about some of the treatments guests can anticipate?
We are delighted to offer guests on board the Belmond Royal Scotsman all the treatments we created for our original Haybarn Spa, with some slightly adapted for the train environment. It is very important that guests enjoy the full experience, and therefore all the therapists have had extensive training at the Haybarn Spa. Guests can choose from de-stress and deep tissue massages, rejuvenating facials using our award-winning skincare products, as well as manicures and pedicures.

Riding Belmond Royal Scotsman is one of those pinch-me moments. Ranking among the world’s most luxurious trains, its mahogany-clad cars marry Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country house. Ten intricately designed carriages, including the sublime Bamford Spa, form a palace on wheels.

From the moment you step onto Belmond Royal Scotsman, you are swept up in a world of myth, legend and timeless luxury. Delve into a land of soaring peaks and deep valleys, mirror lochs and looming castles. Enter the forest for an exhilarating clay pigeon shoot. As night falls, mingle with fellow guests over candlelit dinners and live ceilidhs—a fine finale to the day’s adventures.

The train first launched in 1985. Following a whirlwind five-year operation of award-winning success, the original carriages were retired and replaced by a new set of Pullman cars to be renovated by James Park Associates. Lacquer-polished wooden-panels and warm tonal fabrics perfected the Edwardian country-house appeal. En-suite cabins, complete with steamy showers, established unprecedented comfort and the birth of a luxury legend.

In 2007 the train was christened Belmond Royal Scotsman and has continued to raise the bar of style and innovation since. The recent addition of the Bamford Haybarn Spa carriage marks a world first in the pursuit of perfect pampering. A true chieftain of the rails, Belmond Royal Scotsman is an awe-inspiring way to delve into the soul of the Scottish highlands.

Experience luxury with these Belmond Royal Scotsman journeys.

Gain a wonderful insight into some of Scotland’s finest properties. Discover untold stories as you are taken on guided tours, often led by the clan and estate owners themselves.

Embark on a five-night journey exploring the wild and rugged west coast of Scotland, including Oban and the Isles of Mull and Bute.

Journey through ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs on this round-Britain itinerary.

Discover outstanding autumnal gardens as you venture on a scenic rail journey into the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and South West Scotland.


Royal Brunei Airlines flies London daily for easy connections to Scotland. Discover things to do in Scotland in

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