Nourish body and mind on a wellbeing break by the sea – think coastal yoga, beach boot-camps and remote island retreats. Words: Alex Reece
1. FOR… A LIFESTYLE RE-SET
Yeotown, Nr Barnstaple, Devon
‘Strong in body, clear in mind’ is the mantra of the award-winning Yeotown healthy living retreat near the shores of North Devon. And during the five-day programme, there is an emphasis on mindful eating and getting active in the marine landscape, which should leave you feeling energised for the months ahead. A typical day might involve coastal hiking, meditation and yoga, plus nutritional advice and cookery sessions (the menu is free from caffeine, refined sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol and meat, to give the body a break).
01271 343803, yeotown.com.
2. FOR… A NATURAL HIGH
Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Waterford
This five-star hotel encourages guests to re-connect with nature. There are cliff walks (look out for seabirds and whales in the Atlantic), plus a range of exhilarating yet soulful pastimes – try moonlight kayaking or yoga. The hotel offers bathing therapies, such as outdoor Organic Seaweed Baths – breathe in fresh sea air while you soak. The restaurant, which specialises in regional produce, is Michelin-starred, too.
+353 248 7800, cliffhousehotel.ie.
3. FOR… A SEASIDE BOOT CAMP
Amanda Hamilton Detox Fit Retreat, Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa, North Berwick, East Lothian
TV nutritionist Amanda runs detox and fitness retreats for small groups at this seafront hotel. Her four-day programme is based around bracing beach walks plus Loaded Movement Training – which she says is like Pilates, but on the move. Expect freshly pressed vegetables and fruit, a detox broth plus raw food snacks to keep energy levels high. If you want to overhaul your diet, Amanda provides daily workshops plus one-to-one consultations during the break, and three months of menu support thereafter.
0203 1090689, amandahamilton.com.
4. FOR… AN INSTANT DE-STRESS
Lifehouse Hotel & Spa, Nr Frinton-on-Sea, Essex
If time is tight, Lifehouse in the Essex coastal countryside offers a one-night ‘De-Stress SOS’ retreat to bring you back swiftly to a calm place. The focus is on relaxation and inner wellness, combining a 25-minute massage with your choice of either Reiki, healing and balance or a nutritional tune-up. Take part in fitness classes free of charge and use the spa facilities, gym and gardens. Therapists at Lifehouse are trained by the NHS Christie Trust to adapt spa treatments for anyone recovering from cancer, bereavement or stress.
01255 860050, lifehouse.co.uk.
5. FOR… YOGA & WELLNESS
The Zest Life Retreats, Plas Cadnant, Anglesey
One of the main priorities of The Zest Life Retreats that take place close to the shores of the Menai Strait on Anglesey is getting out into nature. ‘We believe it’s fundamental to wellbeing,’ says The Zest Life founder Laura Bell. And with a number of beautiful beaches within easy reach of the accommodation at Plas Cadnant, there is plenty of opportunity for barefoot yoga on the sand along with life-affirming activities such as wild swimming, foraging and stand-up paddle-boarding. Look out for the retreats combining yoga with either fitness, nutrition, detoxing or hiking.
07989 512859, thezestlife.co.uk.
6. FOR… A WELLBEING ESCAPE
The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
If you’re in need of a mental and physical re-boot, while being soothed by a chic eco-hotel on the Cornish coast, The Scarlet’s three-night Wellbeing Escapes might help get you back on track. These include a four-hour ‘Scarlet Journey’ in the spa, with a guided meditation, bathing ritual and a therapeutic massage – plus an individual consultation based on Ayurvedic principles. You can also enjoy two privately tutored activities, such as yoga, meditation, surfing or Nordic walking through the rugged landscape. The cost of the break covers breakfast, lunch, dinner plus a sea view room, with access to a cliff-top hot tub.
01637 861861, scarlethotel.co.uk.
7. FOR… A SPIRITUAL RETREAT
St Columba Hotel, Iona, Argyll & Bute
The tiny island of Iona has long had a significance for Christians, since St Columba arrived from Ireland in AD453 to spread the Gospel. And the otherworldly beauty of this remote Hebridean outpost can reward all visitors with a feeling of serenity. For spiritual seekers, the St Columba Hotel hosts a series of specialist courses and retreats.
01681 700304, stcolumba-hotel.co.uk