England's Best Wellness Retreats for a Better You

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Photo of Emma Lavelle
3 September 2021

Escape to the coast for a Cornish surf trip or go wild swimming in Berkshire after a morning yoga class. These wellness holidays are guaranteed to leave you feeling revitalised.

From yoga and meditation retreats to moorland adventures on horseback, the wellness scene in England is blossoming. There’s no end to the inspiring variety of mind-boosting, body-challenging holidays here. Whether you’re looking to master your warrior two pose, soothe anxious thoughts or learn a new skill, here are our favourite UK wellness retreats.

Meditation, yoga and wild swimming in Berkshire

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If you’re keen to delve into the world of meditation, this four-day Thames Valley retreat organised by Culture Trip may be what you’re looking for. Held at the stylish Swan at Streatley (which dates from the 17th century), the refreshingly varied programme kicks off with breathwork, yoga and beginner meditation classes in a soothing riverside studio, followed by a hike around the Goring Gap valley. There’s also paddleboarding and wild swimming in the River Pang, not to mention a cider-tasting session and cosy rooms for switching off.

Qigong, yoga and sound healing in Kent

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The peaceful Syndale Valley in Kent makes a blissful spot for well-deserved R&R. Over three days, you’ll work through qigong, yoga nidra and sound-healing meditation, as well as a variety of yoga classes (hatha, yin, vinyasa). Detox juices, home-cooked vegetarian or vegan meals and a raw-food nutrition class help your body reset. There’s also free time for journaling, exploring beaches, soaking in the hot tub or a deep-tissue massage. The backdrop is a smartly converted barn in Faversham, with gorgeous gardens for outdoor practice led by host Amber.

Yoga, horse-riding and ayurvedic talks on a New Forest farmstay

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Cyclists on a forest trail near Linwood, New Forest National Park, Hampshire.
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Escape to the New Forest for a three-day wellness stay at 100-acre (40ha) Warborne Farm near Lymington. The boutique-style barns provide a dreamy setting for recharging. With 10 yoga and meditation sessions, Nova Milesko’s retreat combines morning vinyasa and pranayama with evening yin, plus optional add-ons of acroyoga, ayurvedic talks or yoga nidra. You’ll also get the chance to go horse-riding, cycling and hiking. Organic vegetables from the garden mean delicious plant-based and gluten-free meals.

Embrace sisterhood with yoga, massages and mindful walks in Kent

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Tibetan singing bowl in sound meditation therapy.
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Celebrate the summer solstice, autumn equinox or International Women’s Day with a three-day mindfulness programme for women, set on flower-filled The Quaives estate, just outside Canterbury. Hatha, kundalini and womb yoga classes complement yoga nidra, massages, mindfulness walks, meditation and sound-healing sessions. There are also discussion circles around a log fire, home-style vegetarian meals, and workshops on communication, moon cycles and more. You’ll stay in a cosily styled cottage or a smart eight-bed dorm.

Practise yoga and soak in an outdoor hot tub in Yorkshire

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Mid adult woman relaxing in a hot tub with her friends.
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Based at boho-chic Deighton Lodge farmhouse, surrounded by the rippling countryside south of York, Debbie Jenkins’ three-day retreats challenge, soothe and refresh both mind and body. Expand your yoga and meditation practice with vinyasa, ashtanga, yin and yoga nidra sessions, which happen al fresco when the sun shines. The super-fresh vegetarian meals are another highlight. And in your spare time? Laze in the outdoor hot tub, roam the Yorkshire Dales or just cosy up fireside with a book.

Luxury yoga and spa retreat in Kent

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Group of athletic people keeping yoga pose during the training in the white studio
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A stylishly restored 15th-century farmhouse, Green Farm sets the luxe tone for a three-day yoga escape in rural Kent. Join Caelia Butcher’s hatha, vinyasa, yin and restorative yoga sessions in a light-flooded barn or, in warmer weather, out in the gardens, before feasting on farm-fresh meals crafted by nutritional therapist Alice Yeates. There’s plenty of time for cycling, walking, running, reading, and kicking back in the boutique spa, which offers ESPA treatments, a sauna and open-air hot tubs overlooking a glinting lagoon.

Yoga, wild swimming and paddleboarding in the Lake District

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Two women in wetsuits wading into Semerwater, England UK
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Embracing the nurturing power of nature is the focus on this Wild Times retreat in the Lake District. The setting at Nab Cottage couldn’t be more magical: a charmingly converted 16th-century home overlooking Rydal Water, which has a sauna, firepit, piano and yoga barn. Over three days, you’ll practise vinyasa, yin, yoga nidra and meditation with teacher Jen. Jump into stand-up paddleboard yoga, mountain hiking and early morning lake swimming, all fuelled by home-cooked vegetarian meals.

Cornish surf camp in Newquay

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surfing in Cornwall
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Dive into the wave-riding scene in the surf capital of England on a four-day, small-group retreat, courtesy of independently owned Base Surf Lodge. Daily two-hour group classes happen on Fistral or Towan beach, with coaching tailored to your personal level. Accommodation is in cosy dorms or private rooms, overlooking a palm-studded garden. Hosts Rob and Lou – both experienced surfers and skiers – organise wood-fired barbecues and health-focused breakfasts packed with fresh Cornish produce.
These recommendations were updated on September 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Emma Lavelle

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