Sometimes, modern life just gets the best of you and you start to feel worn out, lethargic and on edge. It’s times like this that you need to hit pause and allow your body and mind to recover, and where better to unwind than at a dedicated wellness retreat? With more and more spas, sanctuaries and yoga retreats opening up around the country, we’ve gathered a list of eleven of the very best to help to make planning your retreat as stress-free as the experience itself.
Dipping your toes into the world of wellness retreats for the first time? Why not book a long weekend at a spa hotel such as the Salcombe where you can indulge in as many treatments as you like without having to succumb to an entire programme of rejuvenating activities. Mix up energising hikes along the nearby dramatic coastline with relaxing in the hotel’s hydrotherapy pool, soaking in the hot tub and taking a break in the sauna. Ensure that you make the time to enjoy the Salcombe’s signature Ocean Spa Ritual; the experience includes a foot soak, full body brush, facial and scalp massage.
Yoga bunnies will love the low-key weekend retreats available at Trill Farm, enjoying plenty of opportunities to stretch their limbs, meditate and enjoy delicious organic cuisine. There’s no pressure to join in with every activity, but a typical weekend here includes early morning kriya cleansing techniques followed by an organic breakfast, a slow stroll and yoga classes located in the middle of the woods. There’s then opportunities to enjoy relaxing massages or to forage in the woods with evenings taken over by meditation sessions and organic meals prepared by River Cottage chefs.
Part of the exclusive Soho House collection, the Farmhouse offers the opportunity for the same luxury experience set within the English countryside. Guests and members can choose from a collection of private wooden cabins, bell tents or rooms in the farmhouse itself and are free to enjoy whichever activities and relaxing treatments they choose during their stay. Activities include boating, horse riding and swimming in the outdoor and indoor pools, while the Cowshed spa offers a variety of massages and body therapies. There’s also a steam room, sauna, hot tubs and an ice room for those seeking quiet relaxation.
The only hotel in England to boast access to natural thermal waters, the Gainsborough offers a luxurious five-star experience with ‘spa and stay’ packages available. If you’re after a short but glamorous alternative to a wellness retreat, a one-night stay in one of their elegant bedrooms followed by a full day of pampering could be exactly what you need. The bath house circuit includes bathing in three natural thermal pools, access to an array of saunas and steam rooms and a variety of relaxing and detoxifying treatments including massages, aquatic therapy, facials and body therapies.
Both new mothers and those with older children will delight in this opportunity to bond with their offspring while also taking the time for themselves with yoga and meditation sessions at Pachamama Yoga Retreats. Located in a tranquil forest, mothers and children stay in luxurious glamping tents and spend the morning apart with forest school for the little ones and vinyasa flow for the mothers. Afternoons offer free time to spend as you wish, followed by yin-yoga sessions in the evenings with massages, meditation and African dance workshops also on offer.
The shores of Lake Windermere are an excellent base for hiking holidays, but for those seeking a more relaxing getaway, the Gilpin Hotel offers luxurious bedrooms with private hot tubs and five private Spa Lodges, each boasting their own ensuite spa. The detached lodges all have access to their own rain showers, steam rooms, saunas and hydrotherapy hot tubs, making it very likely that you won’t leave your room for your entire stay. It’s also possible to enjoy treatments such as salt scrubs and aromatherapy massages in the comfort of your own room.
This adult only cliff-top retreat offers a series of spa breaks designed as a retreat from your everyday life. Retreats at The Scarlet include three-night yoga breaks, three-or-four-night spa breaks, babymoon packages and wellbeing escapes. The wellbeing retreats have been created to focus on both your mind and body, utilising Ayurvedic treatments to provide a programme that can be tweaked to work around what you want to get out of the break. A typical escape package includes a three-night stay with breakfast and dinner, a private cliff-top hot tub experience, two private activity sessions (choices include Nordic walking, yoga and even surfing lessons), 90 minutes of treatment time and the Scarlet Journey, a four-hour spa experience including an individual consultation, bathing rituals and massages.
The thermal experience at this Chester spa is a popular option for those who don’t have the time for an overnight stay or prolonged retreat. If you’re looking for a spa where you can spend the afternoon indulging and unwinding, this tranquil retreat has everything that you need. Linger in The Chester Grosvenor’s thermal suite to enjoy foot baths, a crystal steam room, a salt grotto, an ice fountain and an herb sauna. The ELEMIS spa offers a varied selection of facials, massages and more advanced treatments.
Offering weekend yoga retreats throughout the year, Tilton House regularly rotates its roster of teachers, providing a diverse variety of yoga experiences including everything from vinyasa to yin-based classes. Retreats are planned around yoga and are available for all levels, including beginners. During free time, guests can take advantage of the sauna, indulge in a relaxing massage or explore the local area. All meals are prepared using ingredients from the garden and orchard belonging to the house.
Anyone who’s worn out from a hectic lifestyle and demanding job will find calmness on a mindfulness retreat at Sharpham House. The beautiful Grade I listed mansion set in the middle of the countryside is the perfect location for letting go of your everyday woes and reconnecting with yourself. Experienced mindfulness teachers help guests to rediscover clarity and to learn to live in the moment through a series of retreats that concentrate solely on the mind or that can be connected with yoga, walking or creative writing.
These women-only retreats offer detoxing getaways focusing on cleansing your body with a diet of raw food and juices. Raw food chef and life coach Dr Claire Maguire runs the retreats, offering life coaching and yoga classes alongside a strong focus on introducing raw food to guests. The two-to-five-night Raw Horizons getaways offer private coaching to help guests understand how changing their diet could impact their general wellness, offering tips for continuing the raw food regime when they return home.