The Clover Mill, Worcestershire
Reopening in the spring, this ayurveda retreat in a converted 17th-century water mill in the rolling hills near Malvern offers two-, three- and five-night retreats throughout the year that combine ayurveda treatments, meals, nutritional advice and cooking demos with yoga. Its Rest and Digest retreats in particular are aimed at helping guests to shift their sympathetic nervous system from flight/fight/freeze mode to resting/digesting/chilling out mode (next available 20-25 May). All its retreats, though, focus on empowering you to keep in balance once back at home.
• From £695pp for a three-night retreat, theclovermill.com
Arvon Writers’ Retreats, various UK locations
As well as running an array of online writing courses, Arvon aims to begin its residential writing courses again from April 2021, Covid restrictions permitting. Once lockdown lifts, it will also offer catered stays at its “Writers’ Houses”, probably for a maximum of six people, for those who need the space to write without day-to-day distractions. Houses include Lumb Bank, an 18th-century millowner’s house in West Yorkshire that once belonged to Ted Hughes; Totleigh Barton, a 16th-century manor house in Devon that was listed in the Domesday Book; and flats at The Clockhouse, playwright John Osborne’s former home in Shropshire.
• Six-night untutored retreats from £678; six-night tutored courses and retreats from £815, arvon.org
The Penninghame Process, Scotland
Intense immersive weeks of inner enquiry in a massive historic house amid woodland, farmland and gardens are on offer here. Fun, full on and wildly liberating, the process takes you on a deep journey into your unconscious, using a powerful blend of techniques and practices, from daily dynamic meditation to deep self-enquiry, ritual drama and transformative bodywork. Food is macrobiotic, vegan and comforting, and rooms are monastic-chic in vibe.
• Next courses run 27 March–2 April, 12–18 June, 11–17 Sept, £1,595pp for six nights, penninghame.org
Adventure Yogi Springtime Hiking and Yoga Retreat, Lake District
This weekend retreat features morning hatha yoga with Zoe Woodward in a purpose-built, high-ceiling yoga shala amid the fells, with evening yin and restorative yoga, and yoga nidra. There are guided hikes, massages, forest bathing and meditation, healthy feasts to enjoy, and super-comfortable accommodation – at a vegetarian retreat centre in Ambleside.
• 5-8 April, from £565pp for 3 nights, adventureyogi.com
The Detox Barn, Suffolk
Running over long weekends from 16-18 and 23-25 April, and once a month thereafter, this is a gentle detox retreat combining immune system-boosting juice and smoothie demonstrations and healthy meals. Your base is a stylishly converted barn near Stowmarket in rural Suffolk, where a mix of gentle yoga, meditation, country walks and time to chill will help participants feel a whole lot better in a supportive, friendly setting. The (female) owners are both comedians, so you’ll have a laugh, too!
• From £395pp, thedetoxbarn.co.uk
Wild With Nature, Norfolk
Run by Wildfitness, this retreat takes place among woods and wildflower meadows, with accommodation on the banks of a large lake in stylish shepherd’s huts and yurts. Feast on organic food, and put your body through its paces with three to four inventive outdoor fitness sessions a day. There’ll be an interactive workshop on wild living and eating, and time out to use the farm paddleboards and kayaks, or just relax with a book.
• 24-27 June, from £925pp, wildfitness.com
Reclaim Your Self woodland retreat, Somerset
Welcome to a midsummer glamping weekend that is held in a quiet, low-impact woodland location near Bath, with accommodation in handcrafted yurts and log cabins. Turn off your devices and experience simple living with daily vinyasa yoga aimed at all levels, with London-based Adam Husler, evenings around the fire, and wild swimming in the lake. Delicious campfire meals are created by chef Richie Tewnion in an outdoor kitchen, and soothe yourself further with country walks, a wood-fired sauna and bookable massages or facials.
• 25-28 June, from £350pp,reclaimyourself.co.uk
The Coach House, Monmouthshire
This delightful place between the Black Mountains national park and the Wye valley makes an ideal private retreat alone or with a friend or family member. Experienced teacher and owner Olivia Clarke offers private sessions of yoga and Buddhist mindfulness and there are country walks and river swimming in the Welsh hills to enjoy between times. Stay in two en suite stylish doubles upstairs, and relax in an open-plan living room and kitchen area downstairs. Arrange in-room massages, have delicious healthy food delivered to your door, and cocoon yourself until you are ready to face the world again.
• From £140pp a night for a solo traveller, thecoachhouseretreat.co.uk
Green Farm, Kent
This rural retreat south-west of Ashford offers a range of spa and yoga weekends to help promote rest and rejuvenate. They include Singing with Nightingale retreats, when you can enjoy a campfire dinner on the Saturday evening followed by a night-time walk to listen to nightingales. Extra massages, spa experiences and art classes are available. Accommodation is in a restored medieval house or self-catering barn and there are ESPA treatments, hot tubs in a pretty walled garden and by a pond, and access to a sauna.
• From £595pp for a weekend, see online calendar for live dates, greenfarmkent.co.uk
Middle Piccadilly, Dorset
A 17th-century thatched cottage hosts a peaceful retreat near Sherborne, where guests eat healthy veggie meals in a cosy farmhouse kitchen. There are five simple bedrooms, and digital detoxing is encouraged. Book daily treatments, from relaxing massages and detoxifying mud masks to extended reflexology treatments and lifestyle consultations. Tune in to yourself through meditation or an energy-shifting shamanic healing session in the stilted Star Room.
• From £120 a night full board plus the cost of any treatments, middlepiccadilly.com
The Grange by the Sea, Isle of Wight
The Grange, in the seaside town of Shanklin, is the HQ of holistic holiday company Skyros. A converted Georgian house with contemporary rooms and sea views, it offers B&B wellbeing breaks all year, and its range of Skyros signature courses will start again later this year. There are four days dedicated to radiant energy yoga (31 Aug-4 Sept) , and four days dedicated to yoga with awareness (7-11 Sept). You can expect a friendly group atmosphere and tasty food and drink sourced as locally as possible. There’s an honesty bar, too.
• From £625 for a four-night course, thegrangebythesea.com
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
This clifftop boutique retreat a mile from the beach on County Clare’s wild Atlantic coast runs wellness and yoga breaks all year round, including weekends dedicated to coastal hiking and the Wim Hof Method, complete with breathing practices and those all-rejuvenating ice baths. Meals are delicious, much of it using homegrown organic produce, there’s a beautiful wellness area for treatments and a glass-fronted yoga studio with panoramic views out to the ocean.
• From €555pp, see the online calendar for live dates, cliffsofmoherretreat.com
Yoga on a Shoestring, Portugal
On the untouristy Atlantic coast, indulge in this week-long yoga retreat near the fishing village of Zambujiera del Mar in the Alentejo region. You’ll stay at Cocoon, a coastal farm with a freshwater lake, and have two hatha yoga classes a day with UK-based teacher Jodi Boone that focus on awareness of breath, alignment and inner connection. Swim, walk, hang out in a hammock, go for bike rides or visit the beach a 10-minute drive away. Food is veggie, and includes a range of cuisines from Indian- or Japanese-inspired curries to Mediterranean stews.
• 3-10 July, from £925pp, yogaonashoestring.com
A marvellous place set on a high plateau overlooking Lake Orta in northern Italy, with heart-stopping views across to the Alps, Mandali will be offering its ongoing programme of three-, four-, five- and six-day experiences for anyone wanting to switch off and reconnect to their natural flow. On offer are several types of meditation, yoga and movement sessions with personal growth workshops and periods of silence, plus healthy food and tranquil rooms. It’s a not-for-profit venture, too.
• From €770pp for four nights, see online calendar for live dates, mandali.org
Silver Island, Greece
Between April and October, this private island in the Aegean Sea offers week-long yoga retreats led by experts from all over Europe. Come for vegetarian meals, whitewashed rooms, and yoga in an outdoor shala overlooking the sea. The island is off-grid, so it’s easy to digitally detox while enjoying gentle walks, the open art cupboard, cute pebble beaches, abundant olive trees and wildflowers. It is four hours from Athens and reached via the harbour at Oreoi.
• From €1,450pp a week, see online calendar for dates and teachers, silverislandyoga.com
Caroline Sylger Jones is the founder of Queen of Retreats