Tummy rubs & candy pink toes on a babymoon spa break at Chewton Glen

Retreat

Chewton Glen spa hotel Hampshire

‘The highlight, and something I haven’t experienced elsewhere, was a massage bed with a deep dip to accommodate my bump – I wasn’t the first pregnant woman to want to take it home with her’ – Louisa Carter experiences Chewton Glen

Meet Retreat Liaison & Editorial Assistant Sarah Garbett

Queen of Retreats Virtual Assistant Sarah Garbett

Sarah looks after our relationships with all the retreats featured on Queen of Retreats, making sure all the information alongside our independent reviews is accurate and interesting. Her role also includes creating our weekly newsletters, managing our social media and other site maintenance. After graduating in English Literature, Sarah worked for 9 years in communications and relationship 
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Farmhouse Farmhouse: B&B with natural therapies in Dorset

Retreat

In Short: Farnham Farmhouse is a gorgeous, family-run, ivy-clad 19th century farmhouse B&B set in serene Thomas Hardy countryside. In the grounds you’ll find Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre, built into the original stables, where a truly holistic range of treatments with expert therapists will help you find a new sense of equilibrium and set you back on track. From £80 per room per night based on 2 sharing, treatments from £30.

crown-pinkSee other wellbeing breaks we have reviewed

crown-pinkCheck out www.sarpenela.co.uk

Check out www.farnhamfarmhouse.co.uk

From £80 per room per night based on 2 sharing, treatments from £30.

Ask the owner a question or book

farnham-farmhouse

Farnham Farmhouse is a family-run, ivy-clad 19th century farmhouse B&B set in serene Thomas Hardy countryside. In the grounds you’ll find Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre built into the original stables, where a truly holistic range of treatments with expert therapists will help set you back on track.

Buzzing on a Buddhist New Year retreat

Retreat

LBC Adhisthana buddhist retreat

‘A simple ceremony on New Year’s Eve to burn our regrets from the last year on a big bonfire felt far more meaningful than staying up into the early hours and guzzling champagne’ – Imogen O’Rorke experiences an Open Winter Retreat with the London Buddhist Centre

London Buddhist Centre country meditation retreats: mindfulness for everyone in the UK

Retreat

In Short: The London Buddhist Centre (part of the Triratna Order) run various Buddhist retreats throughout the year in the English countryside that are ideal for people who have recently started meditation but want to take their practice deeper. They also cater for absolute beginners who want to leap in at the deep end, and offer longer retreats and solitary stays for those with a developed meditation practice. Please check the LBC’s retreats page for availability.

crown-pinkRead about our experience of an Open Buddhist Winter Retreat 

crown-pinkRead about our experience of an Introductory Buddhist Weekend

crown-pinkSee other meditation retreats we have reviewed

Check out www.lbc.org.uk

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

London Buddhist Centre country retreats meditation UK

The London Buddhist Centre (part of the Triratna Order) run various buddhist retreats throughout the year in the English countryside that are ideal for people who have recently started meditation but want to take their practice deeper.

Healing, dreaming & a spot of chocolate at a Gathering of Minds retreat in Essex

Retreat

GOM Foraging Graham Jeovon

‘The speakers have attitude and there’s almost a rock-star vibe about the organisation – it’s young, funky and sometimes controversial in its chosen subject matter’ – Olivia Mackinder experiences a Gathering of Minds retreat.

Wildfitness: fitness holidays all over the world

Retreat

In Short: Wildfitness offer highly inventive fitness holidays that use outdoor, natural surroundings to get you fit so you feel as far from an urban gym as you possibly can. They were created in 2001 by all-round athlete Tara Wood, who’s warm, funny and lovely to be with, and are run by a hand-picked team of trainers. There are 9 day fitness holidays at Chwaka Bay in Zanzibar and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, 7 and 14 day breaks in Spain and short fitness and cooking breaks on the Isle of Wight. It’s not a problem if the last time you did anything like this was when you were five, as you’re encouraged to go at your own pace and rest when you need to. Your body is pretty much guaranteed to change shape for the better, and you’ll feel it. From £690 per person for 3 days on the Isle of Wight.

Note: Because of the political situation Wildfitness are not currently running fitness weeks where they first started in Kenya. 

crown-pink Read about our experience of Wildfitness

crown-pink See other fitness retreats we recommend

Check out www.wildfitness.com

Wildfitness holidays cost from £690 per person for 3 days on the Isle of Wight, from £1970 per person for a week in Spain, from £2250 per person for a 9 day course in Kenya.

Ask a question or book direct

Queen of Retreats Editor Caroline Sylger Jones & her fellow fitness fanatics/wrecks on a Wildfitness holiday in Kenya

Wildfitness offer highly inventive fitness holidays in beautiful locations that use outdoor, natural surroundings to get you fit so you feel as far from an urban gym as you possibly can.

Zening: yoga & meditation eco resort in Cyprus

Retreat

In Short: Zening Elia Villa Resort is an eco resort in the peaceful Chrysochous bay of the Mediterranean. Set in Latchi, a small village on the North West coast of Cyprus, its focus is on the union between mind, body and soul through yoga. The Yoga Retreat package, which starts on Monday for 6 days and includes full board, is for beginners and intermediate yogis, delving deep into the postures and philosophy. You can also stay half board, dip in and out of classes or attend yoga teacher training sessions if you are advanced and wish to be more challenged. The yoga therapy, mixed with meditation classes and fresh vegetarian food promises to resurrect flagging souls and reinvent frazzled bodies and minds. Somehow the Zen gets in, and switching everything off allows your real self to switch on. Zening is simply done, but when the sun melts into the distant mountains, turning everything into crème brulee, you realise you are emanating an inner glow too. Destination Yoga also runs holidays here. In 2015 Zening will be accepting children.

crown-pinkRead about our experience at Zening

crown-pinkSee other yoga holidays we recommend

Check out www.zeningcyprus.com

Zening Elia Villa Resort yoga meditation healthy eating retreat

Zening Elia Villa Resort is an eco resort in the peaceful Chrysochous bay of the Mediterranean. Set in Latchi, a small village on the North West coast of Cyprus, its focus is on the union between mind, body and soul through yoga.

Finding zen in the ripe gardens of Zening in Cyprus

Retreat

Zening Elia Villa Resort yoga health Cyprus

‘There is something pleasantly disorganized about Zening – the slight sand in the sun cream only serves to make guests more zen in the end’ – Connie Allfrey experiences Zening in Cyrpus

Retreats for You: a creative space for writers & artists in North Devon

Retreat

In Short: Held in the home of Deborah Dooley and her partner Bob Cooper in the picturesque North Devon village of Sheepwash, Retreats for You offers a relaxing, cosy, creative space for writers, both published and unpublished – other artists occasionally book in too. Why come? Because all your needs will be met, so that you can focus on putting pen to paper. And, if you choose to be sociable, you’ll benefit from the creative chats that arise when you are in a community of like-minded writers. You can also go to the local beach, bike, walk, have in-room treatments and even book a woodwork workshop with Bob, who’s an artisan carpenter. This is a great value retreat that’s open all year, though closed on the 23-30th December.

crown-pink Read about our experience of Retreats for You

crown-pink See other creative retreats we recommend

Check out www.retreatsforyou.co.uk

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Retreats for You creative space for writers artists North Devon

Held in the home of Deborah Dooley and her partner Bob Cooper in the picturesque North Devon village of Sheepwash, Retreats for You offers a relaxing, cosy, creative space for writers, both published and unpublished – other artists occasionally book in too.

Awakening the muse at Retreats for You in North Devon 

Retreat

Retreats for You creative space for writers artists North Devon

‘All of our needs were taken care of and all we had to do was get up, eat, write and relax’ – Jini Reddy experiences Retreats for You.

Tea, tiffin & transforming ayurveda at Ananda in the Himalayas

Retreat

Ananda Himalayas luxury spa hotel health retreat

‘Four hands swirling and kneading in unison are too much for the brain to keep track of; there’s really no better way to journey into the senses and out of the mind’ – Rosie Walford experiences Ananda in the Himalayas.

On prana and pranayama

Retreat

Sara Campbell Prana Pranayama retreat Dahab

Conscious breathing is the key to releasing all of those uncomfortable blocked emotions and tension that we store in our body. Here free diving champion and yoga teacher Sara Campbell explores what prana is, and how pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) can help you feel better.

Queenly nutrition: chick peas

Retreat

chick pea burger

Nutritionist and retreat leader Rebecca Andrist tells us about chick peas and shares a tasty, easy recipe you can cook at home.

Puyssentut: an inspirational retreat in France for people with cancer 

Retreat

In Short: A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer. Puyssentut means ‘protected high place’, and this retreat is nestled in the glorious rural countryside of Commune of Homps, in South West France, just an hour away from Toulouse. Your base is a carefully restored, beautiful 14th Century Chateau in the middle of fields of sunflowers, with just 10 super ensuite rooms. Week-long group retreats run four times a year, in May, June, September and October. It’s a truly special place, offering calm and inspiration, and comes highly recommended. For those who want to go on retreat but can’t afford it, financial help is also available from The Puyssentut Foundation.

crown-pinkRead about our experience at Puyssentut

crown-pinkSee other healing retreats we recommend

Check out www.puyssentut.org

Puyssentut retreat for cancer recovery France

A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer.

Finding deep rest on a cancer retreat at Puyssentut in France

Retreat

Puyssentut health retreat France for people with cancer

‘By the end of the week I had almost forgotten that I was there because of my cancer diagnosis – a testament to how rested I felt both mentally and physically’ – Liz Veats experiences Puyssentut

Six Senses yogic programmes: luxury yoga all over the world

Retreat

In Short: The Queen of Retreats team rather likes the Six Senses resorts – they choose rather remote locations and build little eco-lux villages from scratch on them, all so that you can walk around barefoot without the risk of stepping on anything you wouldn’t want to. They’ve popped up all over the world, and now offer yogic programmes at many of them, designed for anyone who wants to find body/mind balance in a lovely, healing location with lots of one-to-one attention. The three programmes – Discover Yoga, Yoga Detox and Yogic Sleep – begin with an initial Ayurvedic lifestyle consultation and programmes run for up to 14 nights, which includes five personalized hatha yoga sessions.

crown-pinkSee other yoga holidays we recommend

Check out www.sixsenses.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Six Senses yogic programmes

The Queen of Retreats team rather likes the Six Senses resorts – they choose rather remote locations and build little eco-lux villages from scratch on them, all so that you can walk around barefoot without the risk of stepping on anything you wouldn’t want to.

Shanti-Som: a boutique hilltop health hotel in Spain

Retreat

In Short: Shanti-Som is a peaceful, boutique health hotel in a remote location about a 45 minute drive from Malaga airport. Come and enjoy a spot of healthy B&B, or book from a choice of rolling wellbeing packages throughout the year which focus on weight loss, yoga or detoxing. The hotel’s decor and architecture is inspired by the Far East, with landscaped outdoor areas and tasteful Buddhist-inspired artworks. Expect healthy food in the restaurant, and rooms which are comfortable enough to hang out in. The hotel is not overloaded with activities, though there are twice daily yoga classes, personal training and stretching, and the option of adding luxurious health-promoting treatments. A well situated outdoor pool will satisfy those who just want to relax beneath the Spanish sun. Shanti-Som also offers day yoga and spa packages for people not staying at the hotel. For an immersive yogic experience, Destination Yoga runs a few retreats here.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Shanti Som

crown-pink See other yoga retreats we recommend

Check out www.shantisom.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat Spain

Shanti-Som is a peaceful, boutique health hotel in a remote location about a 90 minute drive from Malaga airport at La Huerta el Noque in Spain.

Getting a fix of the east at Shanti-Som in Southern Spain

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat Spain

‘Mourad is a patient yoga teacher and approaches the kriyas with a sense of humour and a smile on his face’ – Ruth Rosselson experiences Shanti Som

Ananda in the Himalayas: palatial wellbeing in India

Retreat

In Short: Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet. Everyone floats around in fine white pyjamas but there’s no asceticism here. Instead there’s marble, personalized yoga teaching, a phenomenal array of topnotch treatments in fastidiously comfortable private rooms, and often four hands working on you simultaneously. The restaurant is far too good to obey the ayurvedic doctors’ guidance. Visiting speakers teach non-materialistic Indian spiritual concepts nightly, yet the overall feeling is of a grand, indulgent hotel.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Ananda in the Himalayas

crown-pink See other spa holidays we recommend

Check out www.anandaspa.com

Ananda Himalayas luxury spa hotel health retreat

Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet.