Saunas by the sea

Boost your health and wellbeing this winter

About this article

  • Published on
  • Area Dover, Sandwich
  • Category Seasonal, Experiences, Health & wellbeing

Embrace the Scandi approach to health and wellbeing this winter and enjoy a relaxing and invigorating sauna by the sea. Rebels Dover and Steam Punk Sauna, both on Dover seafront, are the brainchilds of local artist Tim Smithen who has created two authentic sauna experiences within earshot of the harbour waves. His latest venture - a sauna at Rebels Cafe - comes complete with changing rooms, an indoor plunge pool and shower, plus the benefits of a cafe serving good coffee and great local produce. Further along the promenade next to Dover Seasports Centre you'll find a converted horsebox sauna with outdoor plunge pool for a more open-air, on-the-beach sauna experience. 

Seaside saunas amplify the benefits of traditional sauna therapy. The combination of heat and sea air enhances the experience and helps to promote deep relaxation and reduce stress, and the benefits of taking a regular sauna are well documented. In Tim's words: "The idea of creating an oasis, sauna spa inside a cosy, fun coffee shop seemed a good thing to do. We are planning on hosting many sauna events and wellness activities too. Sauna is a powerful and beautiful way to spend time with yourself and others in a safe womb-like environment, so I wanted to give this opportunity to local people."

Rebels is open daily from 7am to 8pm. Memberships are available for the sauna, as well as one-off visits. The cafe serves locally sourced products from kombucha to kimchi, plus a range of vegan cakes from Cakesmiths, delicious Docker bread toasties, locally roasted Harbour Coffee and a selection of craft IPAs from Docker Brewery in Folkestone and much more.

Steam Punk Sauna has unfortunately left Dover (May 24) for a new location.

To find out more and how to book sauna sessions or to buy memberships, please click on the links at the bottom of the page. 

If you are a seasoned sea swimmer, acclimatised to cold water temperatures, there's an open water swimming lake outside Sandwich where you can get your open-air swimming fix throughout the winter when the sea conditions are too rough. Whitemills Wake & Aqua Park has a swimming lake open daily from 8-10am throughout the winter (apart from 22 December to 15 January when the site will be closed) until the inflatable obstacle course is reinstated in spring. Keep an eye on their social media channels for updates. 

Together, saunas and cold water plunges or open water swimming can form a beneficial health and wellbeing regime. The sauna's heat primes the body for the refreshing plunge into the cold water, intensifying the circulatory benefits and boosting the immune system. In addition to the physical benefits, saunas by the sea and outdoor swimming can give you a profound sense of connection with nature. The therapeutic benefits extend beyond the physical, including improved mental clarity, better sleep and a heightened sense of wellbeing. Why not book a seaside sauna and find out for yourself?