10 Wellbeing escapes in Devon and beyond
Wanna escape the daily grind? Book on to one of these gorgeous wellbeing holidays (including 2 in Devon) for some much needed R&R.
The wellness industry has been dominating the zeitgeist of late – clean eating is everywhere, millions are downloading mediation apps and wellness tourism is booming, currently worth a whopping £490 billion. (Then, of course there’s Muddy’s Wellbeing Month! ). It’s not enough to just flop on the beach anymore, we want added value to our holidays. Life is stressful and fast-paced, and we want to come back revived and refreshed, rather than disgustingly hungover from too many Piña Coladas.
Fancy it? We’ve rounded up 10 of the best wellbeing destinations, in the UK and abroad, perfect for escaping the daily grind. Yes, they can be expensive, but they’re all in gorgeous locations and it’s totally worth it to spend a few tranquil days focusing on your health (so start saving!).
Daylesford Organic Farm, Glos
This peaceful Cotswolds hotspot is ideal if you’re after a retreat will cater for all your creature comforts. It’s centred around the farm’s luxe Bamford Haybarn Spa, an absolute corker of a space and, like everything at Daylesford, created in the best possible taste. Daylesford hosts four night (Mon – Fri) retreats through the year which include a stay in one of the pretty converted cottages and a complimentary treatment. Or, you can opt for one of the special weekenders (13 – 15 Mar & 9 -11 Oct), which feature a programme of activities including sound healing, yoga, wellness and cooking workshops in Daylesford’s Cookery School. Prices from £1,100 for two people.
Yeotown, north Devon
If you’re looking for an opportunity to detox that isn’t a juice cleanse or only sipping water mixed with cayenne pepper and maple syrup (not joking, Beyonce actually did this) then Yeotown is a dead cert. The award-winning, rural-luxe retreat in the rolling north Devon hills offers a five day Yeotox which, rather than focussing on restriction, promotes building a healthy lifestyle with a programme of coastal hiking, cycling, yoga, nutrition workshops and relaxation. It’s open all year round with courses running Wed – Sun. From £2100 for five days.
ecoYoga, Scottish Highlands
For an off-grid, back to nature experience, head up to the remote Scottish Highlands for this eco-retreat perched on a hill overlooking the stunning Loch Awe. No camping in soggy tents here, ecoYoga is totally luxurious with an underfloor-heated yoga studio, underground sauna and hot tubs hidden in quirky glass domes. There are special yoga retreats throughout the year, or you can opt for a self catered holiday if you fancy doing your own thing. From £595 for five days.
Gaia House, Devon
This manor house surrounded by countryside and woodland in south Devon offers a welcome respite from the daily grind. It offers silent retreats that are based on Buddhist teachings, lead by experienced Dharma teachers. The silence (if you can hack it!) allows for inner reflection and contemplation, with days spent mostly meditating in the house and peaceful grounds, so if you’re looking for a little soul searching it’s a great way to get into your own head for a few days. Sounds a bit hardcore? Gaia House hosts loads of retreats over the year which all vary in length and range from beginner to experienced. Prices are super-reasonable, starting at £33 for a day retreat.
Stop reading now if your idea of a wellness retreat is total relaxation. Fitness guru Matt Roberts’ retreats combine the luxury of New Forest-based boutique hotel Lime Wood with five hours of training each day, from running and strength conditioning to yoga and pilates. But don’t worry, this isn’t a gruelling weight-loss bootcamp – the retreats aim to encourage you to change your approach to exercise and to make positive life choices, with training sessions tailored to your ability. Plus you’ll get free rein of the spa and a deep tissue massage to round off the evenings. Result. 2020 dates and prices TBC.
Have passport, will travel? Check out these further flung options.
Six Senses, Portugal
Unspoilt views, amazing spa and a fully immersive experience in the world of Portuguese wines – that should do the trick! Overlooking Duoro Valley, five star resort Six Sense has 10 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, gym and outdoor yoga deck where you can complete your salutations under the actual sun. The resort runs two wellbeing programmes (choose between three, five or seven days) with the theme of Discover Yoga or Holistic Anti-Ageing. From €612 per person.
Yoga For Bad People, various locations
I absolutely love the ethos behind New York-based yogis and cool-girls Heather Lilleston and Katelin Sisson’s Yoga For Bad People – that we’re all normal people who want to have fun and happen to like yoga. The duo organise six night retreats in luxe locations with upcoming retreats in Uruguay (16 – 22 Feb), Cuba (8 – 14 Mar), Portugal (7 – 13 Jul), Upstate New York (5 – 7 Jun), Tanzania (21 – 27 Jun). A typical day consists of yoga and meditation but, unlike your usual yoga retreats, you’re also encouraged to get out and about to experience local sites and nightlife. From $1,780 per person.
Voted as the No.1 destination spa by Conde Nast Traveller in 2019, Anada, meaning bliss, really lives up to its name and is a no brainer for a luxe, relaxing getaway. The mega 24,000sq ft spa, set in the grounds of a Maharaja’s palace, offers 80+ body and beauty treatments that integrate traditional Ayurveda practices and there are loads of different retreats and detoxes including Mind & Body, Fitness and Stress Management. I’ll do one of each, please. From £1000 per person.
Soul Shine, Ibiza
Ibiza’s not all about clubbing, you know! There are some beautiful wellness retreats on the island and Soul Shine is at the top of our list, hosted in a luxury villa with ocean views and a secluded beach accessible along a cliff path. The week long retreats run intermittently throughout the year and focus on emotional detox, healing and transformation with am immersive programme of yoga, mindfulness and life coaching. Ommmm. From €1890 per person.
Le Pélot, France
Located in a stunning rustic farmhouse in the French countryside, Le Pélot is a haven for escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life (owners Kirstie and David moved here in 2018 and have never looked back). During your stay you can book onto a number of wellbeing courses, visit the property’s vineyard (and try the wine, obviously), or simply kick back and relax by the pool. From £550 per person.