Where once your typical English holiday would likely revolve around a few cerveza, a spot of sunburn and perhaps a ruck to end the evening, in 2023 the concept of the Great British wellness retreat is well and truly on the rise.
Indeed, back in 2021 it was reported that interest in wellness retreats had surged by an enormous 1’605% in the five years prior, and we can only expect that number has risen further still in the troublesome, turbulent two years that have followed.
But with such an explosion in popularity comes a somewhat saturated market. And with so many options available, it’s only natural to be gripped by the paradox of choice.
Being frozen with fear at the options available? That’s not what a relaxing holiday is all about. Instead, we’re here to help you get chilled, zen and properly healed. Whether you’re seeking a digital detox, a teetotal getaway, or a holistic healing experience, there’s a retreat that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the best wellness retreats in England.
Ideal For A Digital Detox: The Sharpham Trust, Devon
In the heart of Devon’s idyllic countryside, The Sharpham Trust offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature. The retreat encourages mindfulness and meditation, with programmes designed to help you unwind and focus on the present moment. With no Wi-Fi or television, you’ll have ample time to explore the stunning 550-acre estate, take part in guided meditations, and enjoy wholesome, locally-sourced vegetarian meals.
Ideal For Staying Teetotal: The Raw Retreat, Cornwall
If you’re looking to cleanse your body and mind, The Raw Retreat in Cornwall is the perfect choice. This retreat specialises in detoxification and weight loss, offering juice cleanses, raw food diets, and a completely alcohol-free environment. The retreat also offers a range of therapies, including nutritional consultations, yoga classes, and infrared sauna sessions, to help you achieve optimal health.
Ideal For Yoga Enthusiasts: Our Retreat, Dorset & Somerset
Our Retreat offers immersive yoga retreats set in the idyllic British countryside at the award-winning luxury venue, 42 Acres. Guests can escape the daily hustle and bustle and indulge in a transformative weekend filled with a variety of activities. The retreat includes a two-night stay at a stunning farmhouse, daily yoga and Pilates classes, guided meditation, breath-work sessions, guided walks, wild swimming, evening bonfires, and nourishing meals. The retreat aims to provide a sustaining experience for the mind and body, equipping guests with the knowledge and tools to continue their practice at home.
The retreat schedule is meticulously planned to ensure a balanced and enriching experience. The day begins with morning meditation and yoga, followed by a nutritious brunch. Guests can then choose to relax or engage in activities such as swimming, sunbathing, or walking in nature. The afternoon includes pilates or other workshops, followed by a restorative yoga class in the evening. The day concludes with a communal dinner and bonfire.
Ideal For Mindfulness & Meditation: Gaia House, Devon
Gaia House in Devon is one of the largest meditation centres in the UK. Offering silent meditation retreats in the Buddhist tradition, it’s the perfect place to deepen your mindfulness practice. The retreat is set in a beautiful old convent, with tranquil gardens that provide the perfect backdrop for contemplation and introspection.
A charity and meditation retreat that offers silent meditation retreats in the Buddhist tradition, the centre is inclusive, welcoming individuals of all ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, socio-economic groups, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Gaia House is committed to removing any barriers to inclusion. The centre provides an opportunity to explore Buddha’s teachings under the guidance of experienced Dharma teachers from around the world.
Retreats at Gaia Hosue range in length from just a single afternoon session to a whopping 33 days. Do be aware that some of the longer retreats have lengthy waiting lists.
Ideal For Holistic Healing: Grayshott Health Spa, Surrey
Surrey’s Grayshott Health Spa Hotel offers a holistic approach to wellness, with a focus on nutrition. Their 7-day health regime includes a personalised diet plan, therapeutic treatments, and educational health lectures.
The retreat also boasts a range of facilities, including an indoor pool, gym, and tennis courts, allowing you to tailor your stay to your wellness needs. What’s more, Grayshott boasts an onsite CQC-registered medical clinic, with all spa guests given access to medical appointments during their stay.
Well, that’s certainly one way to get seen by a GP…
Ideal For Fitness Fanatics: Champneys Tring, Hertfordshire
Champneys Tring is the go-to retreat for fitness enthusiasts. Offering a range of fitness classes, from high-intensity interval training and aqua aerobics all the way to bike rides in the resort’s expansive grounds and even tennis tournaments, this retreat ensures you stay active throughout your stay. Champneys also offers nutritious meals, spa treatments, and wellness workshops, providing a well-rounded approach to fitness and wellbeing.
Ideal For Stress Relief: Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, Essex
The Lifehouse Spa & Hotel in Essex is a contemporary wellness retreat that specialises in stress relief. The retreat offers a range of treatments and therapies designed to help you relax and unwind, including aromatherapy massages, reflexology, and Reiki. The retreat also boasts a modern spa, a gym, and a swimming pool, as well as beautiful gardens where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll. With its focus on relaxation and rejuvenation, Lifehouse Spa & Hotel is the perfect place to escape the stresses of everyday life.
Ideal For Nature Lovers: The Clover Mill, Worcestershire
Worcestershire’s Clover Mill is a unique eco-retreat that offers Ayurvedic spa treatments, yoga classes, and delicious organic meals. Set in a restored 17th-century mill, the retreat is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it the perfect place for nature lovers. You can spend your days exploring the surrounding countryside, relaxing in the hot tub, or simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful retreat.
The Bottom Line
England’s wellness retreats offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to disconnect from the digital world, cleanse your gut, or deepen your mindfulness practice, you’re sure to find a retreat that suits your needs. So why not take a break from the stresses of everyday life and invest in your wellbeing at one of these fantastic retreats?