Photography by Jo Thorne

Enjoy wood-fired saunas beside the sea with Beach Box Spa

Written with Liz Watson

Whether you live in, or are visiting Brighton, one thing that draws us to this colourful city is the fact that it also has a beach. Every summer, hundreds of people of all ages congregate on the pebbles with speakers and cans, getting sunburnt and swarmed by seagulls. It is sometimes just a bit too crowded, or sometimes it’s raining! Sometimes you just want to enjoy the heat and the sound of the waves in your own bubble of serenity. That is what Beach Box Spa is for. 

Located behind Volks Railway, near the new Sea Lanes swimming pool, you will find a retreat for spa therapies and relaxation on Brighton beach.

They use horse-box converted outdoor saunas with classic European treatments to provide visitors with the ultimate wellness experience. Guests can enjoy the Sussex sea air, while being pampered. 

Beach Box Spa was co-founded in 2018 by two women who met at their childrens’ school gates.  Liz Watson had a long background as a naturopathic health practitioner, and Katie Bracher had been learning about Saunas in London. They were both intrigued by the idea of having a spa by the sea. The sauna in a horsebox idea stemmed from someone they knew turning a horsebox into a sauna for their architectural degree. Then, when Brighton Fringe 2018 came around, they  borrowed the sauna and tested the idea as an experiment. The seaside sauna was so popular that the council gave Beach Box a location so that it could stay in place. And that was the birth of Beach Box Spa. 

Now the spa is open six days a week 8am-9pm, all year round. It is the perfect spot to visit if you want to elongate a visit to Brighton, encouraging you to switch off and relax in balance with busy explorations of the lanes. But what does a visit to Beach Box Spa actually entail? 

Experience a two hour slot in an authentic European sauna. There are two horse-box saunas, and  most recently is a huge ten seater sauna with a window looking out to the sea.

This latest addition to the site named Lotta – designed in the shape of an enlarged shepherd’s hut –  is crafted and sponsored by Brighton based luxury sauna builders, Wildhut. Experience four rounds of heating up and cooling down for benefits to your blood circulation, muscles and overall mood. Also, salt scrubs, leaves and clay masks can be added to the adventure, all therapies popular in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania. 

Be exclusively looked after by hiring your own sauna master who ensures you maximise your time for the most benefits including the use of essential oils and leaves. Leaf whisking is one therapy where the warm skin gets hit with leaves for a lovely sensation and encourages blood to come to the surface, opening capillaries and inducing sweat. Your sauna master will also guide you when to get in and out of the sauna to leave you feeling especially replenished. 

Finish your stay with a plunge in the ice bath and let the chill of the refrigerated system rush over your body. It will instantly ease aches and pains and leave your body and mind on an adrenaline high. 

As if the experience at Beach Box Spa is not relaxing enough, there are also plenty of collaborations with local businesses for further wellness events and activities.

Look out for full moon parties, yoga classes, paddleboarding, sea swimming with instructors, and Wellness Wednesdays where visits the site to offer massages. This, alongside the comforting smell of embers on the campfire, is the perfect combination. Stay up to date with all events by following Beach Box Spa on socials @beachboxbtn

When you realise how much you love Beach Box Spa, you will want to bring your friends. The good news is the whole site or individual saunas are available for hire for your events and celebrations. The team asks that you not bring alcohol, but picnics by the fire and soft drinks in the stones are very welcome. They are also inviting you to have your corporate days at Beach Box Spa to raise funds for sauna spaces for charities. Any extra donations or funds given to the company will go towards providing sauna sessions for those who may not be able to afford it, including NHS Staff, certain local charities and to raise funds for the homeless charity Nightstop.  If you would like to host your corporate wellbeing day at Beach box or for any other “burning” questions email

45 minute express sessions are available for a steal of £12.50, or enjoy the full 90 minute recommended sessions from just £25. Book online at or follow them on @beachboxbtn

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