R&R: The best UK wellness retreats

Luxury London

9 June 2022

Seeking some R&R? Relax and reboot on a wellbeing break designed to recalibrate both body and mind.

9 June 2022 Luxury London

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etween the pressures of work, family and scoial commitments, finding some respite from the pace of every day life can certainly seem like an attractive prospect now and again. The good news is you needn't travel far to find it. From yoga weekends to meditation workshops, the UK is home to a host of health and wellness retreats designed to help you find your zen, and, with Global Wellness Day taking place on 11 June, there’s all the more reason to book. Whether you’re looking to improve your vinyasa flow, try your hand at water sports or discover meditation exercises centred on Buddhist teachings, read on for our guide to the best UK wellness retreats to book in 2022.

The Detox Barn, Suffolk

Helmed by two sisters with a passion for clean, plant-based foods, the Detox Barn is a cosy hideaway in rural Suffolk where guests are invited to tune out the digital din of daily life and immerse themselves in a new world of healthy eating and positive psychology. After being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that left her wheelchair-bound before the birth of her son, Sharon Gavin eschewed the cocktail of pharmaceuticals she had been prescribed and embarked on a search for an alternative route back to heath. Following a great deal of trial-and-error, including foregoing alcohol, sugar and processed foods – a journey on which her sister Lauretta joined her, retraining as a natural vegan chef – Sharon found that what worked best for her was a diet high in plant-based foods. On a mission to share their newfound passion, the Gavin sisters run their plant-based wellness retreats out of their cosy barn conversion, where guests can expect nutritional, natural plant-based meals, cooking classes, intention setting and guided nature walks in the barn’s countryside surroundings, as well as a host of positive psychology seminars, yoga and meditation sessions, and facial and massage treatments.

From £395 per person for two nights, based on two people sharing, gavinsisters.co.uk

Gleneagles, Perthshire

As part of the hotel’s ongoing wellness evolution, Gleneagles has partnered with renowned naturopath and nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson, offering a series of three-day retreats that strive for health and rejuvenation with a combination of holistic healing, energising workouts and an immersion in nature. Focusing on three key areas: liver health, gut health and re-energising through the power of nutrition and the natural world, guests on each retreat can expect curated meals co-created by Ferguson and the hotel’s culinary teams, as well as HIIT workouts, wild swimming, sound baths and treatments from the Gleneagles spa. This autum, the hotel will be holding its final retreat with Ferguson (5-8 September) before she packs up and returns to Harley Street for good.

From £3,225 for two people sharing an Estate room for three nights, gleneagles.com

Thera-Sea, Cornwall

Combining her 13 years’ experience working as a mental health specialist and clinical support worker with her love of outdoor sports, Katy Griffen was inspired to found Thera-Sea after witnessing her dad’s struggle with alcoholism and addiction, and deciding she wanted to help others improve their wellbeing. Typically taking place over four days, Thera-Sea’s rewilding retreats are located in rural Cornwall, where guests partake in specialist stress management workshops while enjoying water sports such as wild swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. Topics covered include good sleep habits, exercise as medicine, and meditation.

From £699 per person for three nights, thera-sea.co.uk

Tresco Island, Isles of Scilly

The privately-owned Tresco Island is the second largest island in the Isles of Scilly, and although located just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, feels a world away from home. It would be hard not to feel relaxed while walking along the powder soft sand beaches, but there are also a number of specialist retreats on hand to help you refuel. This October, Tresco is hosting a Wellbeing & Yoga Retreat (8-12 October), led by island yogi Gem Hansen and guest tutor Will Harrigan, who will take you through meditation, yoga and breath work over the course of five days. Swimmers, meanwhile, can brave the ocean with the Tresco Swim Retreat (12-17 October or 17-22 October), which sees coach Keri-Anne Payne of Triscape steer a series of open-water swimming sessions.

From £1,095 per person for the Wellbeing & Yoga Retreat, based on two people sharing, tresco.co.uk

Sharpham Trust, Devon

The Sharpham Trust is an educational charity that encourages mindfulness and wellbeing through its programme of retreats, which are spread across three locations. At Sharpham House, an 18th-century estate overlooking the River Dart, retreats centre around mindfulness and walking, mindfulness for self-compassion and mindfulness for beginners, to name a few. At The Barn, which is located within the grounds of the Sharpham estate, the retreats focus on Buddhist principles, with activities including meditating and working on the land. The Nature Connection retreats, meanwhile, are held on a campsite located in the woodlands behind the main house, and include specialist meditation and canoeing workshops.

From £365 per night at Sharpham House, sharphamtrust.org

Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire

For a less regimented retreat, a luxury hotel with impressive wellbeing credentials is a great way to reboot and relax. At Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, there are a number of wellness and fitness initiatives available to guests. Unplug and reconnect with nature on an energising horseback hack through the 500 acres of verdant Hampshire parkland, slow down for a calming cruise along the Basingstoke Canal – which runs through the hotel’s estate – or head out for an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting. Fancy exercising your brain instead? Book a session with hypnotherapist Mark Williams, whose Deep Mind Massage therapy helps to improve mental wellbeing through a tailored treatment.

From £800 per night, fourseasons.com

Our Retreat, Somerset

Yogis looking to improve their vinyasa flow should book one of Our Retreat’s UK weekend breaks, which take place in a farmhouse in the Somerset countryside. Each retreat includes accommodation for two nights, daily morning yoga classes, pilates, meditation, restorative yin yang and sound healing sessions, as well as workshops, walks, meals and snacks. Fancy going further afield? The company also organises retreats abroad in Ibiza, Italy, Chamonix and Portugal.

From £595 for a room, based on two people sharing, ourretreat.co.uk

Balance Holidays, Yorkshire

Broughton Hall, photography by Soulfocus Media

Working with wellbeing experts, boutique hotels and properties committed to sustainability, Balance Holidays curates nature-inspired wellbeing retreats across the globe. This August, its UK retreat will be located on privately-reserved Broughton Hall country estate in Yorkshire. Across five days, guests will experience a rewilding programme steered by natural life-stylist Tony Riddle, with activities including woodland walks, wild swimming, moon bath rituals and tree climbing.

25-29 August, from £1,560 per person based on two people sharing, balanceholidays.com

Gaia House, Devon

One of Europe’s largest meditation centres, Gaia House welcomes around 1,500 people for group and private retreats each year. Focused on Buddhist teachings and the art of silent meditation, the retreats require guests to refrain from both verbal and written communication for the duration of their stay, with the majority of time spent meditating or walking in the grounds. Aside from personal and group meetings with teachers, retreats are held in complete silence. Each person is also asked to contribute one hour of work per day to help with the running of the house.

From £180 for a two night group retreat at standard rate, gaiahouse.co.uk

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