Lonely Planet Writer

Warm up in London this winter in a rooftop Finnish sauna

While it’s a stunning city, London isn’t exactly blessed with tropical weather, but if you need to warm up and unwind there this winter, a new Finnish sauna experience is coming to the heart of the English capital. The Finnish Rooftop Sauna is a specially designed Nordic sauna that will sit in the picturesque roof garden of the Queen Elizabeth Hall for eight weeks, as part of the Southbank Centre’s “Wintertime” festivities. Sure to become a popular feature, it’s a collaboration with MA students from Aalto University in Helsinki, and Finnish sculptor, Jaakko Pernu.

A Finnish rooftop sauna is coming to London. Image: Miki Sordi, Aolto University

As the air outside grows chilly, the sauna huts will reach 90°C, and are specially designed with translucent walls to brighten up the dark winter nights. After you’ve sweated out all your toxins, you have the option to cool down in the open air, or with cold water buckets if you’re feeling brave, all while enjoying the view over the River Thames and London skyline. If all the heat makes you peckish, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Bar will also be open to serve prosecco, warming winter drinks and snacks.

A Finnish rooftop sauna is coming to the roof garden of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Image: Southbank Centre

Each sauna session will last 70 minutes and is made up of mixed-gender sessions hosting up to 16 people, although there are some women-only sessions available. There will also be changing and showering facilities, and sauna experts will be on hand to demonstrate steaming stones and introduce clients to the authentic sauna experience. The Sauna Sundays series will see talks, debates and performances taking place in the actual sauna.

A Finnish rooftop sauna is coming to London. Image: Miki Sordi, Aolto University

The Finnish Rooftop Sauna will be open from Friday 10 November 2017 to Thursday 4 January  2018. For further information, see here.