Overdue some time out? You don’t have to travel to India for a meditation retreat – there are plenty of opportunities for uninterrupted zen here in the UK. From luxury farmhouse getaways to walking weekends in Devon, these are the best meditation retreats in the UK…
Go off-grid at EcoYoga, a wellness retreat in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by forests, lochs and rolling hills. From here founders Nick and Rachel run a variety of yoga retreats, including beginners, Ashtanga and Iyengar, with classes taking place to the sound of waterfalls in the lovely glazed studio overlooking the gorge of the River Liever. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of ‘Sento’ (public bath houses), there are also a number of bathing areas dotted around, including natural wooden hot tubs under a dome. Hence the name, the space is an eco-hub, powered by a hydro turbine and large bank of solar panels.
When? The next retreat runs from 1-6 August
Where? ecoYoga Centre, West Scotland
From £575; ecoyoga.org
A luxury farmhouse in Somerset surrounded by 42 acres of ancient forest, Our Retreat offers the perfect setting for switching off. Across the long weekend guests will take part in mindful yoga classes, sound baths, guided walks, educational talks and workshops on topics like self-care and nutrition. Private chefs will be on hand to cook nourishing yet indulgent meals alongside daily healthy protein shakes and teas, and there’s plenty of leisure time for guests to relax on the lawn with a book.
When? 15-18 November (Yoga, Pilates & Meditation Retreat)
From £550; ourretreat.co.uk
A Place to Heal by Arrigo
If you’re looking for a retreat which doesn’t require you to stay overnight, check out A Place to Heal in London’s Holland Park. They run both one day and 28-day retreats, which both involve one-to-one consultations, meditation sessions and crystal light therapy treatment. The 28-day option offers a greater number of sessions over a longer period, including private consultations with founder Fiona Arrigo, a biodynamic medicine workshop with Mary Molloy, and a breath work session with Julie Ann Horrox.
When? Contact [email protected] to discuss availability
Where? Holland Park, London
£860 for the One Day Weekend Retreat, £1,895 for the 28-day Non-Residential Retreat; aplacetoheal.co.uk
Though it has the feel of an exotic far-away island, Tresco is located just 30 miles from the Cornish coast. Various wellness retreats take place here, including a mindfulness retreat designed to help reconnect with nature. Run by Caspar Walsh, it’s all about finding inspiration and solace in the land and sea. You’ll stay at the idyllic Borough Farm, with access to the island’s spa and gorgeous Abbey Gardens, which you can explore on foot or by bike.
When? The next mindfulness retreat is 12-17 October
Where? Tresco, Isles of Scilly
£755 for accommodation and food, and guests are invited to contribute to the teaching cost based on the value of the retreat/what you can afford; tresco.co.uk
Mindfulness for Wellbeing Weekend
Unlike some wellness retreats, at Norfolk’s Mindfulness for Wellbeing Weekend guests can choose to do as much or as little as they want. Activities include gentle yoga classes, mindful movement, and breathwork, accompanied by lots of wholesome vegetarian food. Retreaters are encouraged to turn off their mobile phones and technology during their stay, and there are limited periods of silence, designed to create space in the mind.
When? November 22-25
Where? West Lexham Estate,Norfolk
From £499; satvada-retreats.co.uk
Sharpham House’s Walking Retreats
Located on the banks of the River Dart, Sharpham House’s walking retreats will take you on long, meditative walks around the beautiful Devon countryside. A more active trip, the retreat involves daily 7-8 mile walks, many of which are very hilly, so organisers specify you’ll need good fitness levels. With breathtaking scenery and periods of silence, these walks help develop appreciation and respect for the natural world, and encourage guests to explore their creativity. There are also guided meditations and relaxation sessions throughout the retreat, and you’ll be treated to delicious vegetarian food, all sourced locally and sustainably.
When? To view the upcoming retreats schedule visit sharphamtrust.org
Where? Sharpham House, Totnes, Devon
From £385 for four nights; sharphamtrust.org
Your Ideal Fit Pilates Retreat
Plant-based chef Lauren Lovatt of the Plant Academy heads up the next wellness retreat from Your Ideal Fit, taking place at the lovely West Lexham Estate in Norfolk. A typical day involves pilates classes, guided walks and mindful movement workshops, punctuated by nutritious vegan meals. West Lexham Estate is a very pleasant place to stay, with large bedroom suites which look out onto a sun-drenched courtyard.
When? Stay tuned for upcoming dates
Where? West Lexham Estate, Norfolk
From £499pp; youridealfit.com
If you’re looking to reduce the noise in your mind, Gaia House is your best bet. One of the largest meditation centers in Europe, it offers silent meditation retreats in the Buddhist tradition, but all faiths are welcome. Set in the peaceful South Devon countryside, retreats range in length from two to seven nights, with different names such as Pathways to Happiness and The Heart of Wisdom and Kindness. Though guests are asked to refrain from engaging in all forms of verbal and written communication throughout the retreat, you can speak with the teachers when appropriate. During your stay you can enjoy picturesque strolls around the grounds, and vegan/vegetarian meals throughout.
When? Retreats are frequent, check out the schedule here
Where? Gaia House, South Devon
From £128 for two nights; gaiahouse.co.uk
A beautiful 100-acre farm situated on the Devon-Dorset border, River Cottage is the perfect escape from city life. They have been running health and wellbeing courses in their cooking school for years, but have recently expanded their repertoire by introducing a dedicated wellness retreat. Guests are invited to spend four nights in the English countryside, with activities including daily yoga, inner wellness sessions, healthy cooking and mindful eating classes, kitchen garden foraging, Lyme Regis walks, herbal workshops and nutritional discussions. Choose to stay in one of the newly refurbished farmhouse bedrooms or embrace the natural world and snuggle up in a bespoke LoveaBell tent in the wildflower meadow.
When? 2-6 September
Where? River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB
From £1600; rivercottage.net
Roger Frampton at Retreat East
Private members club and spa Retreat East will play host to movement coach Roger Frampton, who will be running a series of wellness retreats throughout the summer. Guests are invited to spend three days in the Suffolk countryside, where they will experience Roger’s training technique first-hand, The Frampton Method. This requires no gym membership, no weights and no equipment: classes are instead based around flexibility, bodyweight, gymnastics and yoga.
When? 15-18 September, 11-13 November
Where? Retreat East, Suffolk
From £700; eventbrite.co.uk
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