Like the idea of leaving a festival feeling better than when you arrived? Look no further. More and more wellness-focused gatherings are popping up across the UK, proving festivals don’t have to be all about booze and mosh pits. From lakeside yoga retreats to adrenaline-fuelled fitness events, these festivals are all about nurturing mind and body. Here are the best UK wellness festivals for 2019. Get booking!
Set in the idyllic Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, Wilderness Festival is hailed as one of the UK’s top weekend wellness retreats. While it holds many of the aspects of a traditional music festival including a stellar line-up, guests can also take part in activities like wild swimming, fireside cooking sessions and mindfulness classes. Think yoga brunch clubs, foraging workshops, supper clubs and live theatre shows, alongside relaxation time at The Sanctuary & Lakeside Spa, complete with outdoor hot tubs. And with Tom Odell, Robyn, Bombay Bicycle Club and Freya Ridings all set to perform, the soundtrack’s not looking bad either.
Where? Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
When? 1-4 August
Tickets from £179.50. wildernessfestival.com
Explore some of the UK’s most beautiful coastal sights, tidal islands and ancient woodland at Love Trails, a festival which combines running, music and adventure. Taking place on the spectacular Gower Peninsula in South Wales, there are a number of organised runs taking place, ranging from trail runs to mindfulness runs to pub crawl runs. But if you’re not big into running there are plenty of other fitness activities to get stuck into, including wild swimming, orienteering, paragliding, rock climbing, surfing and sunrise yoga. Talks, debates and live interviews also take place throughout the weekend from the likes of Ross Edgley, Max Lowery and Charlie Dark.
Where: Gower Peninsula, South Wales
When: 4-7 July 2019
Weekend tickets from £149. lovetrails.com
Taking place in the lakeside setting of Warwickshire’s Park Farm, this year’s Also Festival is all about reconnecting humans with nature. The ‘Out Of The Woods’ theme stretches across wellness activities, forward-thinking discussions, workshops, art and theatre, with a number of theorists, authors and comedians hosting talks around topics such as parenthood and our relationship with technology. The 50-acre landscaped grounds also offer space for outdoor activities like forest bathing and wild swimming, while family-style dining events encourage festival-goers to meet new people and get inspired.
Where: Park Farm, Warwickshire
When? 5-7 July
Weekend tickets from £120. also-festival.com
Wanderlust London 108
Ever heard of a mindful triathlon? Apparently it’s a thing, and you can try it out for yourself in Battersea Park this summer. Get into the spirit with a sunrise meditation, followed by a 5k run or walk, a DJ-powered yoga class, and finish where you began with a final meditation. Spend the afternoon exploring the Kula Market, which sells everything from food to artisan crafts to wellness products, before dropping into an afternoon session, which range from aerial yoga to sound healing to hula hooping.
Where? Battersea Park, London
When? 27 July
Tickets from £15.75. wanderlust.com
Yoga and wellbeing festival Soul Circus is relatively new to the UK festival landscape, having launched just two years ago in 2017. Held at the picturesque Cotswold hills of Elmore near Gloucester, festival goers can try an array of different types of yoga, from aerial to restorative, as well as other exercise classes such as barre and boxing. You can also enjoy a wide selection of locally sourced, healthy food, live music and DJs, attend one of the many workshops on offer, or simply chill out in a lakeside hot tub. The gardens and woodlands make a beautiful backdrop for the festival’s many light shows and parties, which run late into the night.
Where? Elmore, Gloucestershire
When? 16-18 August
Tickets from £199. soulcircus.yoga
Fancy the best of both worlds? Head to LoveFit, a festival that fuses fitness with classic music festival vibes. By day you can take part in everything from spinning to boxing to paddle boarding, but by night it’s all about music, DJs and late-night partying. Some of London’s hottest fitness studios will be in residence, including Kobox, F45 and Fierce Grace, with an abundance of good, healthy food to fuel the weekend. The ultimate detox-retox.
Where? St Clere Estate, Kent
When? 19-21 July
Tickets from £139. lovefitfestival.com
Ultra-zen hideout-come-retreat, Green Man Festival is a haven for nature lovers, explorers and health enthusiasts alike. Not only does it offer your usual yoga and pilates, they have a dedicated Nature Nurture garden, a quiet corner tucked away in the Welsh countryside complete with gong baths, restorative hot tubs and Indian summer massages.
Where? Brecon Beacons, Wales
When? 15-18 August
Tickets from £189. greenman.net
Mind Body Spirit
Founded in 1977, Mind Body Spirit Festival was the first exhibition in the world dedicated to the pursuit of healthier and more fulfilling lifestyles. This year they’re bringing life tips, tools and inspiration to Birmingham NEC in November, following their London event in May. Expect a whole host of motivational speakers, health food brands and holistic retreat exhibitors, plus a range of experiences to try including wellbeing studios, spas and pop-up temples.
Where? Birmingham National Exhibition Centre
When? 1-3 November
Tickets from £12.25. mindbodyspirit.co.uk
Ever worked out in an area of outstanding natural beauty? Here’s your chance: VERVE festival, set in the beautiful Cranborne Chase. Activities on offer include group meditation, farm runs, woodland exercise classes and sound bathing, alongside talks on topics related to physical and mental health. There’s also a ‘wild’ spa which promises to “reconnect you with Mother Earth”, offering massages, reflexology and beauty treatments, plus plenty of activities for children and families.
Where? South Wiltshire
When? 7-8 September
Tickets from £25, kids go free. feeltheverve.com