Yoga, spas, meditation and more: 10 of the best UK retreats for 2023 | Health and fitness holidays

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Hotel getaways, various locations

Seven of Warner’s country house hotels offer wellness breaks once or twice a year, with sunrise and sunset yoga, meditation and mindfulness, qigong and pilates, sound baths and health seminars. The retreats include access to the spa, pool and gym and have nightly live music. Locations are the newly renovated Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire, Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire, Nidd Hall in North Yorkshire, Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire, Cricket St Thomas in Somerset, Littlecote House in Berkshire and Studley Castle in Warwickshire (pictured).
From £404.25 for three nights, next retreat 10 February (Studley Castle), warnerleisurehotels.co.uk

Phone-free, Cumbria

Guests hand in their phones on arrival at the Digital Detox retreat at Blencowe Hall, a fortified manor house near Penrith, just outside the Lake District national park, and don’t get them back until they leave. (Don’t worry, there’s a landline for emergencies.) The property, which dates back to the 14th century, is the ideal place to switch off from the modern world, without forgoing comforts such as four-poster beds, roll-top baths and log fires. The food is plant-based and there are five yoga classes, suitable for everyone, and lots of time in nature, from garden strolls to fell walks in the Lakes.
From £495 for three nights, 10-13 November, reclaimyourself.co.uk

Outdoor adventure, Monmouthshire

Paddleboard yoga on the Wye

Guests get back to nature on this Wild Wellness retreat, staying in Persian alachigh tents (similar to yurts) in three acres of semi-ancient woodland in Llanvair-Discoed, near Chepstow. Days are filled with outdoor yoga, paddleboarding on the Wye (even yoga on paddleboards, pictured) and foraging walks. Nights are spent around the campfire: cooking, toasting marshmallows, listening to Welsh storytellers and stargazing. No experience of the activities is needed and, like on most retreats, solo travellers are very welcome. The only prerequisite is that participants are happy to spend most of their time outdoors.
From £630 for three nights, adventuretoursuk.com

Beach break, Cornwall

people swimming in cold sea

Cold-water therapies are all the rage, thanks to the popularity of “the Iceman” Wim Hof. His disciples – and the cold-curious – can take the plunge on a three-day retreat at Three Mile Beach in Gwithian Towans, St Ives Bay. The Wim Hof Method workshop involves alternating between an ice-filled oak barrel and a cedar-wood sauna, followed by a sound bath on the beach and a yin yoga class. The break also features a two-hour surfing lesson and a three-hour coasteering session. Accommodation is a beach house with a chill-banishing log burner, hot tub and barbecue.
From £403pp for three nights, year-round, threemilebeach.co.retreat

Men-only, Devon

Group of men hiking on Dartmoor
Photograph: Men’s Living Project, Dartmoor

There are lots of women-only retreats, but comparatively few aimed at men. Enter Living Project’s Men’s Wild Weekend on Dartmoor, an adventure open to anyone who identifies as male. It is based at a rustic barn and includes hiking, outdoor yoga and wild swimming. But beyond mere physical exertion, it aims to create a safe space for participants to listen to each other, share stories and try to become the men they want to be: for themselves, their families and the planet.
£325 for two nights, 20-22 June, thelivingproject.life

Seaside reset, Gwynedd

Sunset beach yoga

Partners Maggie and Graham host regular wellbeing retreats at their converted chapel in the seaside town of Tywyn, on Cardigan Bay. Their next events, in March, are called Spring Forward, and are designed to reawaken the body after winter. The programme includes twice-daily yoga, morning beach walks or runs, cycling, sea swimming, a waterfall dip, a sound bath, meditation and massage. After all that, guests can relax in the chapel’s zen garden, which has a hot tub and a firepit, and refuel with three vegetarian or vegan meals a day, plus snacks and afternoon cake.
From £675, 9-12 and 13-17 March, sunsetbayretreats.com

Healing, Highlands

light therapy session

This intensive healing retreat is suitable for those looking to recover from stress, anxiety or trauma. Guests can camp or stay in glamping pods or a cottage in the crofting hamlet of Oldshoremore, near Kinlochbervie in the far north-west of Scotland. The retreats are tailored to individuals, but therapies could include EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing), hypnosis and/or CBD, combined with yoga classes, sound baths, breathwork, meditation, beach walks and journalling. It is open to any over 21, and applicants must complete a questionnaire and have a telephone discussion to determine their suitability.
From £460 (camping option) for four nights self-catering, oldshoremoreretreats.co.uk

Women of colour, East Sussex

Group of black women in rural garden

OYA runs supportive, celebratory retreats for women of colour. The next event, at Fair Oak Farm in Mayfield in early March, is called Moving Into a New Season. The first half of the weekend, Going In, uses silent meditation, circle sessions, movement, mindfulness and contact with nature to explore the inner self. The second half, Stepping Out, is focused on going back out into the world, and culminates in a fire ceremony. The whole experience is designed to help participants embrace where they are now and navigate their next steps.
From £550, 10-12 March, oyaretreats.com

Swim and meditate, Perthshire

buddha statue in shrine room

Dhanakosa, a Buddhist retreat centre on the banks of Loch Voil in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs national park, runs retreats themed on activities from tai chi to hillwalking, all with guided meditation. This summer, two week-long Wild Swimming retreats include several daily swims in lochs, burns, rivers and waterfalls – both quick dips and longer trips (the minimum requirement is the ability to swim two lengths of a pool unaided). Food is vegan and rooms are shared with one, two or three others.
£100 booking fee plus donation (£400-£600 suggested), 16-23 June and 21-28 July, dhanakosa.com

Island escape, Isle of Wight

Women on beach with yoga mats

Balance + Glo’s Find Your Flow retreat near Yarmouth in the west of the island offers participants workouts on land and at sea. There is a mix of dynamic and restorative yoga – some on the beach or on paddleboards – and fitness classes. Other activities may include foraging, horse riding, walks or runs and art classes. Massages and other treatments are also included. Guests stay in a converted barn with sea views and footpaths to Colwell Beach, and dine on seasonal island produce.
From £550 for three nights, 21-24 April, balanceandglo.com

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