MY life is one long to-do list - and taking care of body and soul is so near the bottom it rarely gets ticked off the checklist at all.

So I relished an afternoon at the Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, taking time out to replenish mind, body and soul. Just a half-hour drive away, on the Bolton Abbey Estate, the historic country hotel

Following a makeover earlier this year, the spa has an extended changing facility and a new range of treatments, Temple Spa. With spa packages including a light lunch or afternoon tea, you can make a relaxing day of it

Housed in an old barn opposite the hotel, the spa is a fabulous rustic space, with exposed stone walls and high wooden beams. Light pours through a tall arched window, creating a sense of ‘oneness’ with the surrounding Dales landscape. Being immersed in water, or steam, in there feels like being close to nature. It’s a homely, intimate environment, with more of a personal touch than some of the bigger spa resorts.

After taking a dip in the pool and Jacuzzi, I rinsed off in the ‘Heat Experience shower’ which has a variety of settings - tropical, cool, misty - each one accompanied by changing coloured lights. It felt like stepping into different climates - depending on the setting you choose, it’s refreshingly cool after a stint in the sauna, or a warm welcome on a chilly afternoon.

Other spa facilities include a sauna, steam room, mud rasul chamber, a gym and therapy rooms.

Prior to my treatment I reclined, wrapped in a fluffy robe with a pot of tea, in the lounge area, where a spacious terrace and tennis court overlook rolling hills. It felt like being a million miles away from the relentless pace of city life.

What was to follow was even more relaxing. With the winter months leaving my skin dry and dull, I opted for a ‘Totally Quenched and Drenched’ facial - a rehydrating, anti-ageing treatment for thirsty skin. “You could call it a facial iron”, said the blurb, which was enough to convince me that this was the treatment I needed.

It was an hour of heaven. The therapist, Juliet, selected various Temple Spa products to suit my skin, which is dehydrated and sensitive, with patches of rosacea. She started with cleansing and toning, using In the Beginning, a deep cleansing balm with exfoliating beads - I was so impressed with the results I treated myself to a tub afterwards - then moisturised and exfoliated, before applying a cooling double layer hydrating mask, using Quench and Becalm creams.

The face mask is the piece de resistance of this rather luxurious signature face and decollete treatment. Lying in the peaceful stillness of the treatment room, with my face covered in the soothing mask, I could have happily floated off to sleep.

The Quench rejuvinating mask was like a drink for the skin, leaving it soft and radiant. The Becalm soothing mask soothed the skin, leaving it feeling firmer.

While the face mask was working its magic, Juliet moisturised my arms and hands in Drift Away, a relaxing bathing and massage oil, and wrapped them in warm towels, and gave me a blissful soothing neck, shoulder and scalp massage.

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she needs something to “lift” the neck, and Exalt firming neck gel did it for me.

The facial also included Be Clear, a serum that tackles skin tone, shrinking open pores and leaving it smoother and brighter, and a specialised eye massage with Windows of the Soul gel cream, which stimulated circulation and muscle tone, cooling, refreshing and toning the skin around my eyes.

The Repose aromatherapy resting cream was hydrating and soothing, with a blend of calming essential oils that sent me on my way to a restful sleep that night.

This was a divine treatment - the best facial I’ve had - that left me with a boosted sense of wellbeing, as well as softer, hydrated skin for days afterwards.

Emma Clayton