Overdue some time out? You don’t have to travel to India for a meditation retreat – there are plenty here in the UK. From luxury farmhouse getaways to walking weekends in Devon, these are the best meditation retreats in the UK for uninterrupted zen…
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? Next retreat 21-24 June (Yoga, Mobility & Meditation Retreat)
From £550 ourretreat.co.uk
Escape, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
The clue’s in the name – this one’s is all about escaping. A heads up: you’ll be pushed way out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally. Upon arrival mobile devices are locked away, and each participant will be be issued with a personalised Escape kit. You’ll begin by exploring the Estate via Land Rover, mountain bikes and on foot, before settling down to an outdoor meditation session to get you in the right frame of mind for the weekend. Day two, the real challenges begin. Fitness professionals will put you through your paces in a number of exercise classes, including boot camp training from the US military trained Joshua Blackmer. Other activities on the cards include ice baths, spa treatments, adventure experiences, nutrition workshops, yoga and Thai Chi sessions. After all this, get some much-needed slumber from your luxurious room within the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, a 500-acre estate complete with a spa, outdoor swimming pool and multitude of recreational activities.
When? 14-16 June
Where? Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, Dogmersfield Park, Chalky Ln, Hook RG27 8TD
£1850 including up to 12 hours of training, three spa treatments, meals, use of the spa facilities and two nights’ accommodation fourseasons.com
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, and there are limited periods of silence, designed to create space in the mind.
When? April 5-8, 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 4 nights sharphamtrust.org
Cornwall Luxury Yurts
Meditate, surf and channel your inner yogi at Wild & Free’s long weekend retreat, which takes place on the North Coast of Cornwall. Spend three nights in a luxury yurt, surrounded by greenery and just a few minutes walk from the golden beaches of Cornwall. Don’t worry if you’re new to yoga or surfing – teachers accommodate all levels, and the point of the trip is to have fun and switch off rather than become a surf pro. Spend leisure time relaxing in the sauna, swimming in the outdoor pool, kayaking and breathing in the fresh sea air as you walk along the Cornish cliffs.
When? 14-17 June, 20-23 September, 27-30 September
Where? Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
From £480 wildandfreeadventures.co.uk
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? 14-17 June
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, the next one takes place 6-13 April
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? 17-21 June, 2-6 September
Where? River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB
From £1600 rivercottage.net
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