Top 5 Retreats in the English Countryside
One of my favourite retreats in the UK, Yeotown is a rare find because it mixes lush, contemporary interiors with a genuine, open-hearted holistic approach to health. Its award-winning health and fitness detox programme, the Yeotox, takes place over five days from Wednesday - Sunday each week and combines outdoor activities, yoga, fitness classes and a detoxifying menu for busy professionals. You can expect gorgeous interiors, power showers, underfloor heating, decent beds, a sauna, good treatments with local therapists and delicious food. The diet is dairy, wheat, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and meat free and is aimed to aid detoxification in the body and to rebalance your blood sugar levels. From £1870 per person for a 4 night retreat.
For AyurvedaEssential Ayurveda, Licolnshire
Ayurvedic practitioners Andy and Laura Shakeshaft are genuine and full of integrity, and have created a real haven of calm next to their family home. They taught me to stop living on an overdraft of energy – that it was very important indeed to stop travelling, stay still and replenish more often than I was doing - and it’s a message I’ve carried with me for years. A comfortable, 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside, their retreat offers bespoke stays lasting 3, 5 or 7 days. Cleanse body and mind with daily oil massages, steam therapy, one to one yoga and qigong sessions, optional cranio-sacral sessions, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling, cooking demos, simple meals - and total peace. From £825 per person for a 3 day retreat.
For juice detoxing, The Sanctuary Somerset
Who’d have thought you could do a serious detox in a Georgian mini-pile with a baby-Babington vibe? Little sister of The Sanctuary detox/retox resort in Thailand, this is a stylish yet super-soulful retreat where groups are small and easy-going and the in-house support is warm and nourishing. They run five or seven day fasts using classic detox techniques. Results are great and side effects are few thanks to a well-planned programme of grounding yoga, qi gong and meditation. There’s plenty to do but you also get time to muse by the open fire, wander in the grounds or simply snooze in the quirky yet mega comfortable bedrooms. From £600 for a 5 day detox.
For fitnessApples and Pears, Scotland, Cotswolds & Devon
Awarded 'best mixed boot camp’ for three years running by the Boot Camp Guru, Apples and Pears run intense fitness breaks in Scotland, Devon and the Cotswolds aimed at anyone who wants to kickstart a fitness regime, lose weight or de-stress through exercise. Whatever your fitness level, it will gently push you out of your comfort zone towards your personal limits. Activities are varied, ensuring that your body is worked from top to toe, and friendly trainers make sure you’re doing everything correctly and safely. You can book 4, 7 or 11 day retreats, in three venues across the UK. From £699 per person for a 4 night retreat.
For simply relaxing, Botelet Farm, Cornwall
My husband and I stayed in the simple, stylish meadow yurt here and were particularly struck by the total peace and quiet of the whole place. It’s a very easy place to relax - as a B&B guest in one of two farmhouse rooms, or self-catering in a cottage, yurt or your own tent. Hosts Tia and Richard are friendly and laid back, and you can book relaxing hot stones treatments, therapeutic massage, reflexology and various beauty treatments with capable local therapists. We especially love the grounds, with their wild gardens and flowers. Quirky, individual touches such as a Victorian street lamp, traditional red phone box, outdoor wall clock and storage barns with painted doors make you feel you’re in a tiny village. From £40pp per person, per night bed & breakfast.