Our recent family mini break to Whitby was full of many firsts for Theo; his first holiday, his time on the beach, his first time in a swing and his first time swimming. It felt so nice to take a mini break as a family for the first time and to see Theo experience new things. If you've followed my journey this year, you'll know that my anxiety following Theo's premature birth has stopped me from wanting to travel abroad with him yet. But our trip to Whitby opened up the opportunity for a little bit of escapism and adventure, without having to travel too far from home. Our base for the break was a gorgeous little cottage in the heart of Whitby town, but we spent a leisurely day at Raithwaite Estate; Whitby's most luxurious coastal retreat.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Raithwaite Estate is an easy 5 minute drive from the centre of Whitby. Although it's called a coastal retreat, Raithwaite isn't directly on the beach. It's tucked away around 1km inland from Sandsend beach, so you're not far from the sandy beach and crashing waves. As we entered down the long private road, the estate felt very well kept and exclusive.
After a warm welcome from the front of house staff, our first activity of the day was to go swimming in the pool which is located within the spa. It was nice to learn that Raithwaite Estate is a family friendly hotel and the spa pool welcomes babies and children between the hours of 10am-12pm and 4pm-6pm. As it was Theo's first time swimming, it was also my first time working out how to get us both ready and changed in the changing room (help!) I thought ahead and arrived with my swimming costume on which made things easier, but I couldn't find a baby change so I ended up getting him ready on the bench of a cubicle. I later found out there was a changing mat in the disabled toilet but think it should be more clearly signed. After a bit of a wrestling match, Theo and I were ready to meet Daddy and enjoy the water.
The spa area itself was lovely. The temperature in the pool area was very warm, so I wasn't worried about Theo getting too cold when we got out of the water. We'd brought a little baby float along with us which was absolutely ideal for Theo to have some free movement and kick his legs under the water. I found the float on Amazon and would definitely recommend it. We only spent about 20 minutes in the pool before Theo started to get tired but it was such a positive experience for all of us and something Scott and I will remember for years to come. We didn't get to make use of the sauna and steam room but it you're visiting Raithwaite Spa without kids you'd definitely want to make the most of them.
After our swim we went to have lunch at The Brasserie at Raithwaite Estate. It was a sunny autumn day so we sat in the conservatory area which was flooded with natural light and colour. Theo fell asleep in his pram which was perfect timing and meant we could enjoy a glass of prosecco in peace before the food arrived. I wanted to try something local so I opted for dressed Whitby crab ciabatta and Scott went for a hearty burger. The crab was gorgeous, I only wished there was more of it in the ciabatta. When Theo woke up it was time for his lunch, and the waitress was very helpful in bringing over a high chair for us. Another baby-friendly tick for Raithwaite!
When we'd finished in the restaurant Theo for a walk in the pram around the extensive grounds, whilst I got to enjoy a 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage in the spa. 'Mum life' has given me such an achey back so I was so looking forward to switching off and releasing some tension in my back. My therapist was fantastic and really personalised the massage to me. She focused on getting the knots out of my shoulders so by the end of I really felt as if she'd helped my back. I didn't get to spend much time in the treatment area but the relaxation room was very tranquil and a lovely place to relax pre and post treatment.
Our day trip to Raithwaite Estate was definitely a highlight of our mini break to Whitby and it's somewhere I would love to return to for perhaps an adult-only escape when Theo is a little older.
Have you ever visited Whitby? Are you thinking of taking your baby swimming for the first time? If you enjoyed this post please leave me a comment in the box below x
Non-residents are welcome to use the spa and pool facilities at Raithwaite Estate if a treatment is booked for the minimum value of £70, or if you book a spa day package (from £70). Spa days include a 30 minute massage or facial, afternoon tea or a light lunch and use of the spa facilities. Non-residents are also welcome to dine at The Brasserie and have a drink at the bar.
+44 (0)1947 661 661
I was invited to experience this day at Raithwaite Estate on a complimentary basis, in exchange for coverage. All photos and words are my own.