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Raw Horizons review | holistic hideaway, UK

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Wellbeing breaks for women in Yorkshire

The Quick Read: Raw Horizons runs a range of beautifully put together holistic health retreats combining yoga, meditation and life coaching with fabulously tasty raw food meals. The group retreats are for women, but private retreats for women, men, friends and couples can also be arranged. Run at Split Farthing Hall, a beautifully renovated farmhouse a short drive from the picturesque village of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, you will instantly feel relaxed, calm and at ease.

End of Year Offers for Queen of Retreats readers

Raw Horizons is offering Queen of Retreat readers a free one hour holistic massage when they book a 5 night retreat, or a free Indian Head Massage when they book a 2 or 3 night retreat. Just mention Queen of Retreats Year End offer when booking at Book any 2016 retreat before 31 Dec 2015, and you’ll get the current Special Offer prices too – from 1 Jan 2016, Raw Horizon’s prices are going up, so book now!


A life coaching session at Split Farthing Hall.

A life coaching session on a wellbeing break at Split Farthing Hall in Yorkshire

More on the wellbeing retreats: The programmes use a mixture of approaches and activities covering mind, body and spirit, and are ideal for anyone who wants to explore her inner self, resolve some unanswered questions, deal with her stress or just come away to be pampered and spend some time just on herself – read a word from the queen on her retreat in Yorkshire.

There’s a 2 night yoga weekend, a 3 night Find Your Passion retreat or the 5 night Balance Your Life or Confident You retreat. Private, bespoke retreats for you alone or you and a friend or partner can be arranged outside group retreat times.

Each retreat pivots around a schedule of yoga, meditation, life coaching, fitness and a raw food diet, with time for reflection included. The activities feel truly holistic – your left and right brain, conscious and subconscious, are both engaged, and your body feels just as well attended to by the yoga, relaxing meditation and healthy diet.

Life coach and raw food expert Claire Maguire.

Life coach and raw food expert Claire Maguire

More on your hosts: The retreats are run by Dr Claire Maguire PhD, an intuitive coach and yoga and meditation teacher who is also a whizz in the kitchen, devising and preparing the meals and snacks. Her and her family live nearby in the grounds of the Hall. With an uplifting energy and a good sense of fun, Claire has been coaching since 2008 and was inspired to set up the retreats at Split Farthing because she loves the intensive and experiential nature of retreats and believes they can inspire profound and lasting changes. Claire’s step-mother Andrea Maguire is a welcoming, organised and hospitable host, making sure you’re comfortable and your needs are met.

More on the coaching: Coaching activities come from a range of approaches and include visualisations, an assortment of written exercises designed to stimulate and challenge, and some creative activities. Coaching activities take place in different rooms in the house, while all yoga and relaxation session take place in the carpeted attic.

Yoga in the attic at Split Farthing Hall

Yoga in the attic at Split Farthing Hall

More on the treatments: Split Farthing Hall offers a broad range of therapies by local therapists. These can be booked for an additional cost and include holistic massage, hot stone massage, reflexology, reiki, acupuncture and lymphatic drainage massage. Therapies start from £35 for a 30 minute Indian head massage and go up to £55 for a 60 minute massage with mini facial.

More on the yoga: Claire is a calm yoga teacher, who uses kundalini yoga as a tool to complement the other aspects of the programmes, concentrating more on the asanas, the breathing and meditation aspects of kundalini yoga rather than the spiritual. In Adventure for the Soul retreat, for example, this meant using pranayama and meditation to release energy and stimulate creativity. Emphasis is also placed on rituals, listening to the inner voice and letting go of past blockages.

Courgette spaghetti - a raw food supper at Split Farthing Hall

Courgette spaghetti – a raw food supper

Food and drink: Split Farthing’s meals are all raw, vegan, home-made and prepared by Claire, with many different nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits. This diet is offered because of its cleansing, health-giving properties, but also to help stimulate people into new ways of thinking about food and diet for the rest of their lives. The retreat is also alcohol free and you are encouraged to cut down on caffeine prior to your visit – though regular tea is available at the guest refreshment stations if you really can’t go without. Meals were imaginative, varied, healthy and very tasty and every meal (even breakfast) was different. Dishes included: courgette ‘spaghetti, a raw food pizza, cauliflower and coconut ‘rice’ and even a raw Christmas dinner on our December visit! Desserts weren’t forgotten either and included a decadent cashew nut ‘cheesecake’ and raw chocolate brownies. Mid afternoon, there were also snacks on offer.

Split Farthing Hall womens health retreat Yorkshire

The hot tub in Yorkshire

More on Split Farthing Hall, Yorkshire: The hall is lovingly decorated and furnished with artwork and artifacts collected from travels around the globe. A common observation from  guests is how quiet and peaceful it all is. Meals are taken and some coaching exercises conducted in the dining room, and the house also has a small library, a ‘snug’ with comfy sofas and flatscreen TV and DVD player, and a generous living room area with armchairs and sofas. There are generous grounds, with a fire pit and places to sit outside in the summer and the new hot tub and sauna are welcome addition.

Split Farthing Hall womens health retreat

The warm Red Bedroom at Split Farthing Hall

More on the bedrooms: All bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, of varying sizes and decent power showers. Our room was burgundy themed, with a soft brown carpet and a good sized double bed with red throw and red cushions. The biggest and best room (which includes a huge bathroom, lovely bath as well as shower, and two comfy armchairs) is allocated to the first to arrive – it’s the only one with its own bath, so if like us you like a good soak, get there early! Beds are comfortable with Egyptian cotton sheets, and two types of pillows of different levels of firmness. The bathrooms come with complimentary SUNDÃRI toiletries and a loofah. Most rooms have zip-link beds which can be either one super king size or separated into two singles.

Split Farthing Hall womens health retreat Yorkshire

An aromatherapy workshop

Fellow guests: This is a women-only retreat attracting educated women from their mid-thirties up to their fifties. Previous guests have included women facing redundancy, full-time mums, women recovering from relationship breakdowns, or just professional women needing some time and space away. Small group sizes mean that you will probably get to know everyone really well. Most guests come alone.

Queen of Retreats crown What’s queenly: Claire’s own health challenges with breast cancer and overcoming the devastating results of treatment have reinforced in her the utmost importance of our own self-worth, health and positive body image.  Using methods and techniques that she herself used to regain her own positive body image and self-confidence, she is now passionate about helping other women to do the same.

What’s lowly: There is a musical accompaniment to pretty much all activities – as it’s not loud, it can be tuned out, but ask Claire to turn it off if you’d prefer quiet at any time, especially during the relaxation.

Costs: As a guide group retreats cost from £345 per person for 2 nights sharing a room, £515 per person for 3 nights sharing and £995 per person for five nights in a room alone. The price includes all meals, accommodation, coaching and activities.

Reviewed by Ruth Rosselson

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Split Farthing Hall, a health retreat in Yorkshire

A view of afternoon light from Split Farthing Hall, the base for Raw Horizons health retreat in Yorkshire