Imagine we are friends and I invite you to my house. You expect coffee, maybe a brownie, and to sit on the sofa fully clothed and that is completely socially acceptable to everyone.
Alternatively what if I told you I’d left my bath water in for a few days. Suggested we take our clothes off, get in together in our underwear and I’ll throw in a little cap of bleach and some more hot water to sanitise it. Then once we are in I leave the vacuum running in the hall for some background noise so we have to shout a little bit to hear each other.
That is how I feel about hot tubs. The thought of being outside in hot water is a nice idea but the reality of it is actually all a bit gross and socially awkward.
Now I understand that there is always the option of only using hot tubs with someone you are quite happy being naked with anyway and the option of only using a freshly cleaned hot tub of clean water. But I have trust issues.
Does every self catering holiday let offering two night stays bother taking half an hour to empty it, faff around cleaning it, four hours filling it and another four hours heating it in between check out at 11am and check in at 4pm? Do they commit to the effort of doing this every other day? I’m skeptical.
Now some places probably do, for example look at this fancy set up with an outdoor hot tub which I would absolutely get in.
If I had £850 to spend on one nights accommodation.
Which I do not.
However I found this cool little hut with an outdoor bath. A log burner powered outdoor bath with a field of sheep looking on. So rustic, so nostalgic, this is definitely how Cumbrian sheep farmers have kept clean and relaxed for centuries. I was very excited.
You can see from the image the lovely clean, non-chemical, water we put in ourselves.
The water goes in cold and the log burner had a little inlet to let the water circulate through to heat and go back into the tub so it stays hot as long as the log burner keeps running.
There is quite a lot of very cold water in the tub there. The guide says the tub takes “two hours” to heat up so as soon as we arrived at 6.30 we got it heating straight away. We nipped out to get some fish and chips, got the fire pit on and enjoyed some champagne in the sun and it was gorgeous:
I got a little bit drunk and left my guy that I am seeing to be the responsible fire manager. Not that I can’t work a log burner but purely because I am a lazy drunk and preferred to get settled with a blanket and demand chocolates and prosecco be brought to me instead.
After two hours the top two inches were appropriately warm and everything below was bloody freezing.
After four hours it was warm enough to get in but we had to huddle around the water outlet flow to stay warm. It took another hour before it was hot enough to lie back and relax by which point it was nearly bedtime.
I did get a nice bit of chilling out looking at the stars time. But also the post prosecco regret then kicked in and I started to get a bit headachey.
Was it worth it?
The novelty factor of being tipsy in an outdoor tub with little lambs playing in the background was fun. On the basis of someone else doing all the work while I got drunk, yes it was worth the almost no effort I put in. However the second night we definitely could not be bothered with doing it again.
Fun factor 10/10 for the ten minutes of enough warmth when I could lie back and managed to spot a shooting star which made it pretty special
Effort factor 7/10 lots and lots of (someone else) adding logs to the tiny log burner to try and get the fire hot enough
(we stayed at The Stag booked through Canopy and Stars, it was gorgeous – more photos below. The £850 place is Gilpin Lodge, also in The Lakes)