There’s a lot about the UK that captivates my inner wanderlust. Reading stories of brave Vikings and myths of King Arthur has long drawn me to the idea of exploring the land of knights, royals and castles. But beyond its old-world charm, what fascinates me the most about the UK is the idea of embarking on a spiritual “Tour De UK”, where I can travel within the island nation’s member countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—in one yoga retreat marathon. Of course, no one sprints on a yoga marathon, so I intend to take the journey slow and take four mindful pit-stops…
The Zest Life puts yoga front and centre of its wellness philosophy. It offers a diverse selection of retreat packages, from weekend yoga retreats to a female-exclusive experience called “Healthy Hen Retreat.” Yoga retreats are offered for either two or three days, so it’s perfect for transient travelers with a full itinerary, intending to hit as many spots as possible around the UK. The centre’s retreat calendar is full year-round, including an upcoming Yoga & Wild Swimming Weekend in September (a guided retreat to some of North Wales’ rejuvenating waters) and a Yoga and Wellness Weekend in October (focusing on building immunity resilience to welcome the changing seasons).
The retreats are held at Plas Cadnant, a secluded country home on the Isle of Anglesey. A maximum of 11 guests can be accommodated in the Coach house, the largest property on the 21-acre estate. Built in 2012, the yoga space is made with hand-crafted oak beams, high ceilings and heated floors so guests may comfortably meditate or practice Vinyasa even during the winter season. If summer’s more your thing, plan to travel during The Zest Life’s annual Zest Fest, which was held in June this year. The first yoga festival in North Wales, Zest Fest takes place at a family-run farm, located at the foot of the Clwydian hills. Aside from yoga, the festival includes craft workshops, dance, music, food, meditation, slackline, storytelling and camping.
To stay at The Clover Mill means getting a little taste of UK’s history. It’s believed that The Clover Mill (formerly Archer’s Mill and Beanhouse Mill) was among the properties listed in the Domesday Book. According to historians, the Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” in 1086 which was mandated by King William the Conqueror to help assess property value and determine taxes owed to the king. The old clover mill and house on-site date back to the 17th century, but an extensive restoration project was launched in 2009. The spa and yoga retreat officially opened in 2013.
What sets The Clover Mill apart is its dual emphasis on Ayurveda and yoga. Their retreats vary in length and price points, ranging from £550 to £1,245 per person for weekend, three- or five-night packages. Those wanting to understand the art of Ayurveda may attend the three-day Ayurveda courses with medical herbalist and Ayurvedic practitioner Anne McIntyre. Starting at £795 per person, the Ayurveda retreat is inclusive of meals, accommodation, study course, one-on-one consultation, Ayurvedic treatment and yoga classes.
Yoga Explorers is where yoga enthusiasts become one with nature. The eco-yoga retreat center focuses on the concept of sustainable living, so reconnecting with nature is a key part of the overall experience. Yoga Explorers co-founder Jim Tarran, a master yogi who has been teaching yoga for more than 23 years, will lead the five-day yoga retreat slated to take place in September. It will explore different practices of the art of yoga, including asana, meditation, pranayama and mantra. Starting at £525 per person, the retreat package includes a four night’s accommodation, daily meals, unlimited tea, coffee and water, and yoga classes inside Yoga Explorers’ studio, which overlooks a waterfall.
In between yoga classes, guests have several opportunities to meditate outdoors while taking in the splendid views of the Loch and rolling hills. Or, if a sauna dip or bath is in order, the eco-yoga center has multiple bathing areas that are powered by 100% renewable energy, with water sourced directly from a private spring. Guests have the option to soak away the world’s cares in a Japanese-inspired sento bathing dome with rainforest showers and a hot tub, or indulge in the Artisan Sauna which has a natural spring water plunge pool.
As part of a non-profit social enterprise wherein yoga and meditation are the core components of its philosophy, Dru Yoga offers different types of yoga retreats designed to address various wellness needs. For instance, guests who need to detox their system and learn to develop healthier food choices may attend the Yoga, Nutrition and Detox Retreat. For an ensuite shared accommodation at £336 per person, the package includes meals, Ayurveda workshops, balancing detox yoga classes, a superfood cookery demonstration, walks in nature and castor oil packs and other home therapies.
There are also targeted retreats for specific groups, such as a five-day Youth Weekend Retreat in Snowdonia or an Ayurveda: Prepare for Menopause Retreat for older female guests who need to naturally manage the symptoms of menopause. Guests who like to combine movement with meditation may join the Yoga & Dance Retreat in October, which combines Dru Yoga and Dru Dance for a unique retreat and fitness experience.
Looking for more information or more retreats? Yovada has a large selection of events in the UK, browse them here.
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