Crabwall Manor Spa & Chester Zoo

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Before this weekend, I wasn’t sure how I felt about going to a spa, or about going to a zoo. The idea of a spa seemed a bit uncomfortable for a girl like me. Get a massage? You mean, have a stranger touch me? You mean have a stranger rub oil on me?! And pay for it? This sounds like incredibly dodgy territory we’re straying into… As for zoos, I wondered how ethical it was to stare at an animal in a cage and say ‘wowee, look at that elephant roaming around in a cage, I bet it’s real happy to be gawked at!’ I definitely knew I didn’t like the use of animals in the circus*, and I may have over-applied this logic to the zoo as well.

Today, I can proudly say that I went to a spa, and I enjoyed it. I got a professional massage, and it was good. I won’t say it wasn’t awkward at all, but it was so relaxing I utterly stopped caring after about a minute. I put on my swimming costume – the world may never know how much angst this swimwear situation caused me – and I flapped about in the pool. I sat in the sauna, I sat in the steam room, and then I sat in the jacuzzi. Then I put on a pretty dress and ate a three course meal. I won’t be rushing to go back to a spa, but I had a wonderful time, and I don’t feel iffy about it now. The grounds that the building was set in were beautiful, but as it rained steadily the whole time we were there, we didn’t get much chance to explore.

The zoo? The zoo was AMAZING. The animals weren’t in actual cages. I may have been imagining a set-up that was somewhat like an animal jail. Apparently most zoos nowadays, including Chester Zoo, do a lot of conservation work and breeding of endangered species. A modern zoo is not, as far as I can see, an arena of abuse. The flamingos, for example, have been taken from inhospitable environments, and their enclosure is behind one way glass so that they do not become upset from seeing people watching them. While I walked around, my brain was skipping between ‘OMG ANIMALS, CUTE ANIMALS, BIG ANIMALS, WEIRD ANIMALS, OMG’ and ‘These animals should be in the wild! What are they doing in a zoo?! Let the animals go free!’ By the time I left, though, I honestly felt very reassured about the whole situation. The entire concept of a zoo is perhaps an odd one, but they are a thing and will probably continue to be a thing, and in my opinion Chester Zoo is a good one. They seem to care about the animals further than just ‘everyone come look at them!’

The last picture is of the fridge in the sitting room in my house. That’s all there is in it – a variety of alcohol, and some posh chocolate. Well, the posh chocolate isn’t there now, because I ate it.

* Despite having issues with circus animals, one of my most prized possessions is a photograph of my younger self astride an elephant at the circus. Maybe that elephant wasn’t particularly pleased with the situation. I definitely was.

How do you feel about spas? Zoos? Circuses?

11 thoughts on “Crabwall Manor Spa & Chester Zoo

    • Thanks! Couldn’t seem to get a decent picture of it in the hotel room, but I’m glad that people can see well enough to see that it is beautiful ;) That’s lame that you have boring coloured leaves. Autumn colours in nature are amazing!

      • I’ll wait for spring–we get beautiful colors, flowers, etc. around here, plus I like that season much, much better anyway–it doesn’t mean winter’s coming…

  1. Those autumn-y photos at the end are gorgeous. Glad you had a good time. I’ve never been to a spa before and would have been angst-ridden beforehand, but you’ve convinced me!

    • Thanks :) I was completely stressing about it before I went but it was just a really nice experience. Not something I would ever have booked for myself but I would definitely go again if the opportunity arose! You should go to one if you get the chance.

  2. All of your photos are beautiful!
    It looks like you had a really wonderful time, I’d love to do a trip like that :-)
    I reckon going to a spa would be lots of fun with my boyfriend!
    I love your dress, it’s beautiful and you look gorgeous!
    And I adore going to the zoo, Tom and I go practically every summer and I love it, it’s always great fun and a really interesting trip :-)

    • Thanks :) You should look into going for a spa day! It’s quite pricey, maybe not the best thing for a student budget, but it seemed fairly reasonable considering we got full use of the facilities, a massage, a 3-course meal, a room for the night, and breakfast. Maybe look for a Groupon to get a good deal?
      Thanks so much! I would wear that dress every day if I could, so in love with it.
      Ahh cool, do you go to a different zoo every time or to the same one? I really want to go to another one some time.

  3. I love Chester Zoo – like you I always worry about the animal welfare aspect, but Chester zoo have loads of breeding programmes for endangered species and they’re looked after really well. Did you go in the bat cave? And did you see the bears?!

    • Yes I loved the bat cave! I have to admit I jumped out of my skin when one flew right past my face, but it was really cool watching them all fly around. I went to see the spectacled bears but they must have been hiding, or not there. The tigers were also hiding from me, which I was gutted about because I love tigers!

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