As autumn rolls in, it’s time to think beyond beach holidays, so why not learn something new and weave a coastal experience break into your plans?
Holidays are for resting, relaxing and strengthening bonds with family and friends, but increasingly they are also an opportunity to enrich our lives during time off. Trips can be a window of time in which to try something new, to improve an existing practice or to gain a refreshingly different perspective on life. To satisfy this, experience breaks are on the up, with trips that revolve around an outdoor activity such as sailing, paddleboarding, surfing, walking or wildlife discovery. For those focusing on wellbeing, retreats offer instruction on yoga, pilates, mindfulness and meditation and encourage renewal in a more soulful way. Then there’s a host of creative coastal workshops and short courses to inspire or feed a hobby – seafood cookery courses, painting and printmaking workshops, learning a craft, working with textiles. Seize the day solo or go with others to dip your toe in fresh waters. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
TASTE DIVINE WINE & FOOD
Seasonal Wine Down
Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
Developed for gourmets and wine-lovers, this two-night break at one of the north coast’s loveliest hotels includes a seven-course taster menu and wine pairings at the Scarlet Restaurant, a Champagne afternoon tea, a tasting session with the sommelier and a 30-minute cliff-top hot tub session. Price from £890 for a two-night stay for two in a sea-facing room (01637 861800, scarlethotel.co.uk).
NOURISH IN NATURE
Find Your Flow Retreat
Balance + Glo, Isle of Wight
Book into this light-filled converted barn near Yarmouth to enjoy a relaxing mix of dynamic and restorative yoga in the safe hands of yoga teacher Jenny Stewart and fitness instructor Evelyn Joyce. Suitable for all levels, there’s paddleboard yoga and beach yoga in the warmer months and massage and therapies are included in the price. From £550pp sharing for three nights, including brunch and dinner ([email protected], balanceandglo.com).
Looking for the perfect holiday right at the water’s edge? Discover our collection of exclusive cruise trips and luxury yachts around the British Isles here.
COOK THE RICK STEIN WAY
Signature Dishes from The Seafood Restaurant,
Rick Stein Cookery School, Padstow, Cornwall
This one-day cookery course celebrates the delicious dishes associated with The Seafood Restaurant, opened by Rick and Jill Stein in 1975. Learn how to cook whole Dover sole, Indonesian seafood curry, Singapore chilli crab and more at the custom-built cookery school. From £225pp (01841 556072,
LEARN TO WORK WITH FANTASTIC FELT
Natasha Smart Textiles, Devon
The wonder of wet felting is turning balls of wool into bags, bowls and even lampshades using water, soap and your hands. The one-day course run by expert felter Natasha Smart, from her home in Exmouth, is a revelation and everyone leaves with something pretty to wear or put in the home. Price is £85pp, which includes tuition and all materials, snacks and drinks (07534 527737, natashasmarttextiles.co.uk).
FIND WILD FOODS IN WALES
Classic Course on Coastal Foraging
Coastal Foraging in Carmarthenshire
Brush up your wild food skills with expert Craig Evans on the gloriously windswept coastline of West Wales. On the day-long workshop, depending on location, you’ll discover sea vegetables, shellfish and crustaceans, and learn how to harvest them sustainably before putting them in the pot. Price is £80pp (07989 143868, coastalforaging.co.uk).