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By Rhea Cartwright
o say it’s been a testing year would be something of an understatement and while the Calm app most certainly helps to ease mild stress, we’re all searching for the best UK wellness retreats to truly rest and reset.
While there are untold benefits of a holiday, there’s nothing like a dedicated R&R getaway to tap into your path and purpose with professionals on hand to guide and support you. Whether your definition of wellness involves a 10-day silent meditation, a few nights in the wilderness or perhaps just a good nights sleep, we’ve found the best UK wellness retreats to help get your mind back on track.
Where: Rural Somerset
What: Founded by renowned biodynamic psychotheraphis and healer Fiona Arrigo, her eponymous programme is centered on deep replenishment to reconnect with your own journey. Her holistic approach to therapy almagates body treatments with coaching, psychotherapy and mentoring. With both individual or group retreats available, you’ll be guided by expert retreat leaders through breathwork, acupuncture and intense reflection to unpack everything from grief, ancestral baggage or limiting belief.
How much: Individual retreats are priced by appointment only. Group retreats start at £1,870 pp to include four nights, all meals and all activities.
Where: In Windor, just an hours drive from London.
What: The Victorian Gothic country house has recently had an upgrade thanks to the high priestess of design, creativity and curation, Alex Eagle. Sprawled across 35 acres, you’ll find 118 bedrooms, tennis courts, self-drive boats and riverside dining. With no request out of reach, expect access to private chefs, personal trainers, and al-fresco pilates.
How much: A one-night’s stay starts at £262. We’d recommend a long weekend full of nature walks, boating and copious amounts of bathtub reading.
Where: Various location across the UK, including Herefordshire, Suffolk and Cumbria
What: No yoga, no spa treatments, just silent meditation, Vipassana is a truly testing experience of mental grit. Based on ancient Buddhist principles, days begin at 4am and end at 9.30pm of which the entire stay is in silence. Relinquishing your phone, any music or anything to read, it's essentially bootcamp for your brain. After 12 hours a day of meditation, the aim is to understand that sensations and experiences, like the rest of life are all impermanent - all we have is the present moment and ourselves. It's tough but life-changing for those that can hack it.
How much: Free. Vipassana centres are run by volunteers.
Where: 550 acres of beautiful countryside overlooking the River Dart in Devon.
What: The Sharpham Trust is in fact an educational charity that connects people with nature, mindfullness and well-being. Their women-only Woodland Retreat includes staying in a bell tent and involves cultivating moment to moment awareness in the outdoors through meditation, walks and yoga. If you're in need of something more intense, they have off-grid solitary retreats for self-sufficient rest with no electricity or running water!
How much: Prices start from £335 for 3 nights and differ according to the retreat and length of stay.
Where: Four hotels in London as well as locations in Cambridge, Dublin, Manchester and Edinburgh.
What: Sometimes the peak of wellness is simply getting out of the house and having a good rest. From the makers of The Birch, Locke Living provides all the essentials one needs for a stylish few days away. The affordable aparthotels each have a different visual identity in which to be comfortable and creative. Cook in your own kitchen, order Deliveroo or try a new restaurant opening in whichever location you choose. It may not be a silent retreat but you rarely bump into other guests so you can be as unsociable as you like.
How much: A one-nights stay starts at £79
Where: Locations all over the UK.
What: If a daily schedule of journalling, breathwork and therapy leaves you with sweaty palms, plan your own retreat with Kip Hideaways. Famous for curating the best boutique rentals the UK has to offer, enjoy some real TLC in a hand-picked property with soul. From Cornish cottages to secluded stays on Scottish Isles, you'll find your dream location to decompress.
How much: Become a Kip member to see prices.
Take self-care one step further by booking a stay at the UK's best wellness retreats.
By Rhea Cartwright
The ‘Pure O’ or ‘purely obsessional’ type of OCD is characterised by distressing, intrusive thoughts and mental rituals to cope with them. Rae Elliman shares her experience of living with – and learning to manage – these hidden compulsions