Cousins to open barrel sauna venture on Margate sands

The barrel sauna opens this Friday Photo Frank Leppard

A new barrel sauna is in place at Margate main sands with plans for a second to follow shortly.

Sea Scrub Sauna is a new venture by cousins Robin Bartlett and Luke Sinclair.

Dad-of-two Robin, from Whitstable, and Luke, who grew up in Herne Bay but now lives in Oslo, say they have created the business due to a passion for cold water swimming and the emerging sauna culture on the Norwegian fjords.

Robin, 41, said: “We are still very much setting up. This is our first and the vision is to have the saunas in beautiful locations and preferably where there is cold water to swim in, bringing together cold water swimming and sauna culture.

“Margate beach is a fantastic location and we had a couple of trials at the weekend. The sauna is now functional but there is a bit of extra work to do with changing rooms and working with Thanet council to get water and electric connected to the site.”

The cousins have travelled the South American continent together, jumping into Brazilian, Chilean and Ecuadorian seas, Andean and Amazonian rivers; before going their owns ways but are now teaming up for Sea Scrub Sauna.

Robin, previously a content and social media manager, and Luke, who works for Tesla in Norway, also plan to expand to sites in Whitstable and Nethergong near Upstreet.

The barrel sauna uses new technology developed in Estonia by company Saunum.

The electric sauna uses stove technology that allows equal air circulation around all of the sauna.

Robin said: “It distributes the heat equally so your toes will be as hot as your head which is very different to traditional saunas and the technology is innovative.”

The barrel sauna is built from Nordic Spruce, and fitted with a modern Huum wood fire stove. Design features include a double door entrance and an externally tended stove which keeps heat loss to a minimum.

It will be equipped with a Bluetooth connection stereo system, dimmable lighting and adjustable temperature control settings.

The barrel sauna will be opening this Friday (May 19) 4pm-9pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 8am – 9pm. The plan is to later extend openings to include Monday and Friday and then more as demand increases.

It is available to book communally (max 6 people) or for private sessions (max 8 people).

Find out more by following  @seascrubsauna on Instagram or book on

1 Comment

  1. I thought the sauna fad had died out years ago! I used to swim a mile every other day for over 20 years, but never once went in the sea! Thanet has a poor record of sea pollution, but good luck with it, if it means another visitor attraction?

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