New year, new you -- we've all been there. We’ve all sat down and made an epic list of resolutions before the clock struck midnight — to get out of London more, use the weekends to explore, meditate in the mornings, work out 5 times a week, enjoy a more plant-based diet and more — only for modern life to leave you feeling worn out, lethargic and on edge by the beginning of February.
But not this year. No, this year you’re going to hit pause, allow your body and mind to unwind, and kick burnout to the curb by starting the year with a British escape that will have you the most relaxed you’ve ever been.
From coastal retreats to middle-of-nowhere log cabins, we’ve rounded up the very best getaways for a stress-free escape.
1. Thera-sea, Cornwall
This is where everyone needs to check-in when things get too much; a place where you can slip into out-of-office mode within the grounds of a 300-year-old cottage on the banks of the River Fal. There’s no other way to put it: this is a retreat that focuses on the six tonics of lifestyle wellness -- physical activity, mental relaxation, life purpose, sleep hygiene, nutrition and healthy relationships – and they incorporate activities such as wild swimming, yoga, foraging, kayaking and therapy workshops to get you there.
2. Pachamama Yoga Retreat, Peak District
Any time spent in the Peak District is good for the mind, body and soul, but if you want to take your relaxation to the next level then the Pachamama Yoga Retreat is the way to do it. Set within a tranquil forest away from the hustle and bustle of everything, this is the one for mums and their young to get some peace. Staying in luxurious glamping tents, there are relaxing activities for everyone: forest schools for the little ones and vinyasa flow for the bigger ones, evenings full of yin-yoga sessions, moments dedicated to massage, moments made for meditation and afternoons for exploring the wilderness as you please.
3. River Cottage, Devon
Everyone needs to escape city life now and again, and that’s why everyone needs to throw some things in a backpack and head to this tranquil retreat. Found in the rolling hills of Devon on a stunning hundred-acre farm, this is the perfect place to switch off and unwind. From daily pilates to inner wellness sessions, cooking classes to foraging for food in nature’s pantry -- this place has everything to take your mind off things.
4. The Duck Nest, Scotland
This wooden lodge could not be more suited to those wanting to fall off the grid if it tried. The Duck Nest is every outdoor lover’s dream; a two-person eco lodge that’s sat in the middle a pine tree forest, on the edge of a lake, and surrounded by wildlife. Cosy, quaint, simple and epic, with a wood-fired hot tub and dry heat sauna to make your relaxing escape even more worthwhile. So pack your weekend bag, jump in the car and take a trip north to this middle-of-nowhere hideout.
5. Hiking Retreat, Sharpham House
Hiding on the banks of the River Dart, this is one of the most rejuvenating retreats out there; a retreat that’s all about boosting your energy levels as you embark on long, meditative walks through the dramatic Devonshire countryside. Each day you’ll get to lace up your boots and walk 8 miles -- up hills, down gorges and through some of the south’s most awesome landscapes -- soaking up the silence as you hike. Then, at the end of each day, you’ll get to unwind with meditation classes and relaxation sessions, before feasting on delicious vegetarian dishes that are cooked on-site and sourced both locally and sustainably.
6. Sky Ting Retreat, Cliffs of Moher
For a majestic getaway that will empty your mind of noise and fill your body with calm, grab your everyday bag, hop across the ditch and settle into an extended stay at Sky Ting Retreat on the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. Not only will you be able to double down on your downward-facing dog, you’ll also have the chance to unwind in a thousand different ways, from sweating out the nasties in the sauna to embracing the good vibes in the wood-fired hot tub -- and, yeah, there are plenty of Irish pubs nearby should you want to experience a more balanced and authentic trip to Ireland.
7. Slate Cabin, Snowdonia
You could walk from John O’Groats to Lands End and back again, you still won’t find a rural retreat quite like this. Tucked into the wilds of the Llŷn Peninsula, this smooth slate cabin knows how to let the mind wander from the moment you wake up to the moment you decide to call it a night. With panoramic views of the Snowdonia mountain range, this clever, compact and cosy lodge has effortlessly nestled its way into the surroundings. Walk through the wilds, eat at award-winning pub-pubs, talk, laugh, smile and wake up to endless views.
8. A Place To Heal, London
For those that don’t have the time to escape London for a dose of relaxation, A Place to Heal in Holland Park could be your ticket to a relaxed mind. This is a retreat that offers you an escape from the fast-lane of everyday life to reflect, learn and find some inner calm. It’s a sanctuary in the beating heart of the city that helps people explore their place in 21st-century life; it’s a quiet escape designed to show people how to live the best lives with joy and meaning -- and you can enjoy it for a day or a month, whatever you prefer.