As the Easter holidays approach, the idea of escaping for a mind, body and soul 'spring clean' appeals. Look no further than a nurturing retreat here in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a bootcamp to kick-start a new fitness regime, a yoga retreat to soothe your soul or a juice fast to get glowing, you won’t have to battle through throngs of families at the airport to reach your little piece of calm. Here is the Good Spa Guide’s to the best wellness staycations this spring.
1. Best for self-discovery
The Purpose Retreat, Lucknam Park, Chippenham
Wellbeing guru Jessica Huie runs The Purpose Retreat (from £1550) in this rather special country house and modern spa. Spend three days becoming ‘your best self’ through workshops, talks, yoga and meditation sessions surrounded by 500 acres of stunning gardens and parkland. Jessica’s life story is inspiring, having gone from teen mum living in a hostel to setting up Colour Blind multicultural greeting cards, earning her an invite to Number 10 and an MBE. Her latest book, Purpose, is not about setting impossible goals and creating more stress but finding a way to ‘live in your truth’.
2. Best for mindfulness
Mindful Retreat at Champneys Forest Mere, Hampshire
If you think mindfulness is a bit woolly, but have read about its health and psychological benefits, you might find wellbeing consultant and mindfulness advocate Neil Seligman’s approach more to your taste. Neil was a successful civil law barrister and has blended his business understanding with mindfulness teachings, workshops, coaching and mentoring. He launched The Conscious Professional in 2012 to help businesses use a mindful approach. Naturally, his yearly two-night mindfulness retreats at this Champneys health resort are very popular (from £535). You will get five tailored mindful sessions but can also book a one-to-one consultancy with Neil.
3. Best for gut health
Homefield Grange, Northampton
Feeling bloated, run-down and tired? An intensive wellness retreat at this delightful boutique health and wellness spa in the Northampton countryside might be just what you need. Your week or weekend will include natural vegan food or juice cleansing (see how you feel when you check in), wellness coaching, yoga, meditation and cardio classes, daily Nordic walking, talks and food demonstrations, as well as blissful holistic treatments. You can add food intolerance testing and colonic irrigation, too, if you are that way inclined. The rustic-chic retreat, created by naturopath Suzanne Perry, has been honed to perfection for 14 years - Carol Vorderman and Mel C are fans.
4. Best for fitness
Matt Roberts Fitness, Herb House at Lime Wood, Hampshire
Luxury fitness retreats are so much more appealing than sweaty gyms. If you want high-end and exclusive, head to Herb House in the New Forest. Celeb personal trainer Matt Wood will give you 14 hours of one-to-one time on this uber-luxe fitness retreat (from £1,890), complimented with a healthy Italian inspired menu from Herb House’s acclaimed restaurant Raw & Cured. Get hot and sweaty with circuits, kettleball training, HIIT work, cycling, running, boxing, yoga and Pilates. Escape to the spa with its beautiful outdoor hydro pool whenever you can.
5. Best for yoga
Yoga Break at The Scarlet Hotel and Spa, Cornwall
You don’t need to head to an ashram in India for an authentic yoga retreat, but you might want to pack your best leggings for this stylish UK alternative. The Scarlet Spa is perched on a Cornish cliff-top with breath-taking ocean views and eco-credentials that will make you weep in your gratitude journal. Their three-night Yoga Break (from £511) blends the spas Ayurvedic approach – a traditional Indian healing philosophy – with private yoga classes, mindful coastal walks and a chance to bubble away in the spectacular outdoor hot tubs. The shape of the weekend will depend on the visiting yogi, but you will begin by settling into your room and meeting with practitioners to set your intention. Namaste.
6. Best for reconnecting
Essence of Spa break at Elan Spa Mallory Court, Warwickshire
If you and your partner feel you need a spot of TLC, the Essence of Spa Break (from £239 per person per night) at this lovely country spa is utterly cocooning. You can stay in a homely room in the spa ‘house’, which has a chic and delicious brasserie and gym attached, as well as a large pool that takes up an entire room, and an outdoor terrace with a sunken hydro pool and outdoor sauna. Enjoy mindful walks through the beautiful gardens, smother each other with mud in the rasul, and have an ILA Connect or Chakra Wellbeing treatment. The day ends with a personal bathing experience in your room and turndown products for sleep support.
7. Best for going off-grid
The Swinton Bivouac at Swinton Country Club and Spa, Ripon
If you really want to throw off your suit and go native, but without sacrificing your luxury comforts, try the Mindful Digital Detox retreat at this stylish country club (£375 per person). Stay in a tree-lodge deep in the Yorkshire dales and indulge in sound baths, forest bathing and Reiki drumming around the campfire. There’s even a Druid Temple if you want to go full pagan. If you start to get cabin fever, you can pop over to the country club and enjoy the gorgeous spa. There is a lap pool, hot tub and outdoor natural pool, three relaxation rooms, as well as outdoor loungers with blankets, hot water bottles and hand knitted slippers to cosy up in all year round.
8. Best for recovery
Remedy Retreat, Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, Clacton-on-Sea
This two-night relaxation retreat is aimed at people who are in recovery from cancer, have suffered burn-out or bereavement, or people who just need to take time to heal. Therapists at this modern spa set in peaceful surrounds have had specialist training and will deliver treatments in the best and kindest way possible. The resident naturopath will give you a call beforehand to tailor your break, which will include two Made for Life Organic treatments, a Reiki session, and full use of the spa, gym and beautiful award-winning gardens.
For further information on The Good Spa Guide please visit www.goodspaguide.co.uk