My list of hidden gems in Brighton continues to grow and here’s another that I’m going to share with you today. It might just be my favourite yet…
You’ll find it tucked along Madeira Drive towards Kemptown (not far from this unusual discovery), past the old and crumbling Madeira Terraces and the mysterious enclosure filled with sculptures made of flint (see here).
Welcome to the Beach Box Sauna, a unique outdoor bathing and authentic sauna experience here in Brighton. With an its cosy beachside setting and a distant view of the Palace Pier, this is where you’ll find hardy locals and visitors in the know hanging out. Open all year round, this little hidden gem is guaranteed to invigorate and refresh you in sunny months or warm the chilly cockles in winter.
Quick heads up: those after a typical fluffy robe and slipper type of beauty spa experience should look away now. Those intrigued to discover a new way of life, follow me…
Walking through the gate, it feels like you’ve been transported to another world, and the stress immediately melts away. I guarantee you’ll feel so at home here you’ll want to secretly move in. With its various cabana cubby holes it’s totally possible (I checked!).
Once you’ve got over your incredible surroundings for the next two hours and regained composure, you choose your cabana, settle in, put your swimsuit on, and get ready to sauna like a Scandinavian.
Approved by the Swedish Sauna Academy, Beach Box Sauna replicates the traditional Scandinavian-style sauna experience. It features three wood-fired saunas – two set inside converted horse boxes and a new one made out of upcycled materials, a plunge pool, cold showers and a fire pit. You can also enjoy various natural body treatments, try leaf whisking – a treatment which involves hitting yourself lightly with birch and oak twigs – ‘whisks’ – to promote better circulation, or take a dip in the sea. I feel invigorated just typing this.
How it works: Sessions last two hours and you start with a cold shower* before hitting the sauna, which you stay inside until you feel like you want to cool down – you’ll know when. At this point you come out, take another cold shower, then either a dip in the plunge pool or the sea. Repeat as many times as you can fit in to your session! Around about your second sitting, your sauna master will bring you any treatments you fancy. You need to save about 30 minutes of your two hours, to get changed and enjoy a bit of a post-sauna sit down.
* The first one’s a bit of a take-your-breath-away shock, but by the end of your session, you won’t know what all the fuss was about.
All you have to do is bring a towel, gown, beach shoes, swim gear, any post-sauna munchies and non-alcoholic drinks you’d like to enjoy after your sauna experience.
Heads up: ask your sauna master for a glass of Prosecco. They might just have some on sale…
Find the incredible Beach Box Sauna at 299 Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1EN. Saunas are currently available for private hire in your social bubble while public sessions are on hold due to Covid. Find out more here and book here.