Spa festival to expand to West End and Grassmarket

The pop-up spa will offer visitors free treatments and beauty advice. Picture: Jon Savage
The pop-up spa will offer visitors free treatments and beauty advice. Picture: Jon Savage
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The stresses of finding that perfect outfit can sometimes get too much.

But help is at hand for city shoppers who need a little pampering with the return of the popular Spa in the City festival – and now it’s bigger and better than ever.

The event, which celebrates fashion and beauty treatments, has been held at St Andrew Square since 2008.

And the free pop-up spa, this year being held on May 24 and 25, is also expanding to the Grassmarket and the West End for the first time.

Lifestyle retailers will be on hand to spoil shoppers with free treatments over the event, which forms part of the ongoing This is Edinburgh campaign.

People will be able to book complimentary massages, makeovers and health and beauty consultations from brands including Boots, Chamomile Sanctuary, Neal’s Yard, Harvey Nichols and Jenners.

All pampering treatments are free and can be booked upon arrival.

Each base will focus on a different theme, designed to leave shoppers refreshed, relaxed and ready to try new looks this summer.

Visitors to the “indulge” base at St Andrew Square will have the unusual opportunity to enjoy massages, facials and deep relaxation in the midst of the city centre bustle.

Meanwhile, at the West End Plaza by House of Fraser, guests will be shown a host of new looks and new attitudes.

Beauty treatments and motivational talks are among the highlights of the “inspire” programme. This includes a flirting workshop from Karen Barr, who runs the popular “7 Steps to Love” classes for women looking for romance. And in the Grassmarket, the “invigorate” theme will see shoppers treated to refreshing and revitalising treatments to leave them feeling energised and ready for summer.

As well as free treatments and tips, event attendees will receive an offer book with exclusive discounts from participating retailers, restaurants and bars.

Goody bags will also be available to the first 100 visitors.

Founded by Essential Edinburgh in 2008 to help boost the city’s business and leisure trades, this year’s Spa in the City event supports the This is Edinburgh campaign’s goals of attracting residents and those living within a two-hour travel radius into the city centre.

Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “The return of Spa in the City highlights the health and beauty excellence available in Edinburgh city centre, with everything from world class hotel facilities at places like Balance Spa and Beauty at The Roxburghe, to independent experts such as The Face and Body Clinic and even Scotland’s only Lush spa available on our doorstep.

“It’s now a well-loved event which drives thousands of people into Edinburgh each year, and we look forward to welcoming attendees back to St Andrew Square as well as attracting new faces to the additional bases in Grassmarket and the West End.”

Registration opens at 9am each day, and treatments will be offered between 9.30am and 4.30pm.