23 September 2019 marks the first day of autumn, a great time to take a deep breath and inject some mindfulness into this season of change. A nation of romantic cities and bustling cultural hubs, Britain also has a more tranquil side and visitors will find relaxing retreats, yoga workshops and mindfulness studios dotted from country to coast and beyond. So, why wait? Wave goodbye to summer and spend some time falling into wellness this autumn at our pick of relaxing retreats and activities.
Sweat it out by the beach
For a taste of the Scandinavian spa lifestyle head to Beach Box in Brighton. Located right on the beach, the spa features two wood-fired saunas with the sea as a natural post-sauna plunge pool. The two saunas started life as a horse trailer and simple packing crates, but now offer a chance to unwind in glorious heat, sweat out toxins and, with the addition of fresh water bucket showers, to leave feeling utterly revitalised. Visitors can also upgrade their experience and try Beach Box’s homemade salt scrubs and leaf whisking, or combine music and aromatherapy at the weekly AUFGUSS event.
One hour starts from £15 per person with salt scrubs costing an additional £4.
Find yourself in silence
Visitors will find silent mindfulness and meditation retreats across Britain, tucked away in tranquil countryside or in the calm stillness of some of our most beautiful manor houses. These group retreats vary in focus, but a great place to start is Gaia House in South Devon’s vast countryside. Ranging from 22-nights to one or two-night courses, visitors can explore and practice mindfulness in as much or as little depth as they want. ‘Wisdom born of stillness’, ‘Liberation through kindness’ and ‘Insight meditation and yoga’ are a few of the retreats on offer at Gaia House.
Retreats vary in price, but a three-night stay costs £192, with discount for young peoples.
Get back to nature
Home to expansive National Parks, official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and breath-taking coastal walks, Britain is made for nature lovers. For travellers that want to switch off but don’t want to join a formal digital detox , these rolling valleys and dales provide the perfect backdrop against which to switch off and get immersed in nature without the distractions of technology.
A great place to start is the Peak District. Visitors can get the train to Edale, the heart of the UK’s first National Park. Here, they’ll find the Old Nags Head, a 16th-century pub that’s recognised as being the start of the Pennine Way, one of Britain’s most historical and famous walking trails.
The pub is the perfect base from which to explore the Peak District National Park. Hire a bike, walk the peaks and discover one of our finest landscapes far away from the buzz and bustle of modern life.
The Old Nags Head offers rooms and self-catering cottages to rent that vary in price.
Float your way to tranquillity
Flotation tanks are one of the most popular trends to spread across London. These water-filled pods have half a tonne of Epson salt added to them, with participants floating in the dark for up to xx. Together, these elements create a weightless floating experience combined with gentle ‘sensory deprivation’ that gives the mind a chance to clear, allowing sense of deep-relaxation to take over. Visitors can enjoy this ‘easy mindfulness’ activity at locations across London, including Floatworks in Vauxhall and Angel.
A single float session costs £55, or a four-session package is available for £180.
Channel your inner horse whisperer
Meditation is one of the best ways to improve mindfulness and overall mental well-being, and there are plenty of variations available to experience when in Britain. For a unique meditation experience, visitors can absorb the calming presence of a horse while they focus their minds and let go of everyday stresses through meditation. Said to give an extra sense of contentment, visitors are encouraged to sit in a paddock amongst the gentle giants and see if the energy of a yoga circle encourages the horses to join them. Whasdyke Farm, near Windermere in the Lake District, offers this as a day activity as part of their retreats. Although the main focus is on creativity, offering photography, pottery, painting and floristry retreats, Full Circle Retreats all include daily horse meditation sessions.
Retreats vary in price but start from £125.
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