AdventureYogi, East Sussex, England
A peaceful haven for yoga weekends and mid-week wellbeing retreats in rural East Sussex
Best for: Over worked urban execs looking for a yogic re-boot in the country
Not for: Intense levels of activity
AdventureYogi run yoga-led wellbeing retreats to suit everybody at The Hideaway in rural East Sussex in England, where AdventureYogi HQ is based. These include midweek and weekend retreats that focus on wellbeing, detoxing or yoga for various stages of yogi. You stay in cosy double bedrooms in beautifully converted cottages and barns with modern large ensuite facilities, most with wet-rooms and big bath tubs. In the spring and summer months, enjoy the outdoor heated pool with views of the High Weald. Evenings are sociable, and usually the highlight of the day, with dinner hosted by the highly trained and expert retreat staff at AdventureYogi.
The well-organized, authentic, hugely experienced staff who really care about your experience.
The heated outdoor pool is only available May to October. The Yoga shala is functional rather than inspirational.
Read our personal review
Julian Calder reviews this midweek yoga and wellbeing retreat in Sussex after sustaining a foot injury and finds professional staff, authentic yoga and cleansing meals cooked by a pro
AdventureYogi runs a number of different retreats in East Sussex for Detox, Wellbeing, Intermediate Yogis and Beginners. Between yoga classes enjoy guided walks in the country, lounging by the pool or engaging in some private meditation in the Shala.
Whichever yoga retreat you choose, you’ll have choice of expert teachers all with a minimum of five years teaching experience. In the morning there’s usually two hours of energizing flowing Hatha yoga, while the evening sessions will be less dynamic and focus more on meditation, pranayama, yoga nidra and restorative yoga practices.
All levels of yogi are welcome on each retreat, but more advanced practioners may prefer the intermediate retreats which are aimed at those with at least two years regular practice. Rebecca Keenaghan and Chetana Thornton Teach here regularly, with Louise Gillespie-Smith hosting the New Year’s Eve Retreat.
The Detox retreats feature workshops to help you bring wisdom back into your daily life. What is a detox? Is it just food? What about mind body and soul? What is a balanced diet? What is the best way to eat? What about fat? How much is too much, and how do you make it taste good? Learn and be inspired.
AdventureYogi’s retreat in Sussex is right next to Bewl Water and within the High Weald, a protected area of outstanding beauty. Most retreats include guided walks around Bewl Water, and all include opportunity for some immersion in nature, from walks in the local woods to investigating the working farm on which the retreat is situated. For the energetic, the team can sometimes arrange water sports too.
Most retreats feature 30 minutes of silence in nature each morning, a beautiful way to start the day. Meditate, ruminate, focus on your surroundings, try to be in the moment. In the winter, rise with the sun, and in summer, enjoy all the wonderful early morning sounds of birds and insects alive and buzzing.
Between 1 and 4 pm each day on most retreats, the schedule offers a 30-60 minute slot for massage or other treatments in the yoga shala. These are not included in the basic price and are carried out by a number of local therapists. Book your massage ahead, and speak to the therapist on the day so she can tailor the treatment accordingly. Massages take place in the shala, which is a simple laminate floored room in a farm building.
AdventureYogi encourage you to take time out for yourself and just be. Enjoy your massage, indulge in a book, go for a swim, snooze or chat to the other guests. There are pigs, lambs, sheep and cows to visit and dogs to play with. The swimming pool is clean, clear, heated and big enough for lengths for most. It is also ideal for just hanging about in and drinking in the magnificent views of the Sussex countryside.
Bring a good variety of foot wear and walking gear. Keep an eye on the weather. Waterproof boots and over trousers may positively affect your enjoyment of the walks.
Take advantage of the downtime – this is just as important as the organized activities. Be sure to be part of the taxi shares from the station to save money.
When to Go
Snuggle down in a duvet for a cosy New Year retreat, or splash in the pool in your swimsuit for an energizing July activity retreat.
Spring and Autumn are good for detoxing. November is the most popular month, spanning the end of summer holidays and the beginning of December festivities.
Each meal is served buffet style on a table in the kitchen of the communal cottage. Guests then take their place on the long banquet table in the adjoining dining room. This is a great time to share your experiences of the day and chat about food and diet with the talented and experienced retreat chefs.
The food is healthy and filling, the menu balanced and delicious. Mostly the food is organic, always vegan or vegetarian, and largely wheat, dairy and sugar free, but there are options if this does not suit. Expect lots of good grains and fresh veg in hearty healthy combinations. Except for the detox retreats, the focus is on enjoying the food rather than denial, though they are all alcohol free.
Brunch will include a choice of mixed cereals, granola, quinoa porridge, boiled eggs as well as locally baked bread served with butter, jams and fruit compote. Real coffee is available, but more popular is the Chai, hand blended personally by the retreat staff. A light lunch is all that is required and might be a lentil soup served with kale salad and rice cakes. Evening meals may include parsnip and cashew curry, brown rice, spinach salad, raita and beetroot poriyal. Unlike many retreats there is always dessert – poached plums with cinnamon and star anise or the most incredible chocolate and beetroot cake.
AdventureYogi supports the local community by employing local people. The food is bought predominantly from local farmers to make sure it is fresh and seasonal. All food waste and plastics are recycled. Staff at AdventureYogi receive full support and development from their HQ and appear to love working for the company.
Near Wadhurst, East Sussex.
Nearest airport – Gatwick
Nearest train station – Stonegate
Transfer time – 5 minutes
Transfer Time: 1 hour