Set Up For Summer
The best UK weekend breaks to rejuvenate and energise
From the organic eggs left on the doorstep of your cosy cottage to the world-class Reiki and massage treatments, at Witherdens Hall every detail has been taken care of to perfection. This mindfulness-based retreat, in the stunning Kent countryside away from the frenetic, draining influences of modern life, is the ideal place to relax and recharge your mind, body and soul.
Owners Louise and Craig Chester, long-term mindfulness practitioners, specialise in helping people equip themselves with the necessary tools for succeeding in business or personal life, and empower their guests to take steps that will produce meaningful change. Guests at Witherdens Hall focuse on learning about one’s own personal journey, and many guests return time and again to continue building on this process.
Run on a not-for-profit basis, Witherdens Hall takes the greatest care to respect the environment in everything they do. The beautiful, converted barn and treatment areas are designed to stimulate creativity and relaxation, and guests can create their own bespoke treatment programme or follow one of the pre-designed treatments, which include ‘Breakthrough for Health’, ‘Mindfulness Coaching’, ‘What is Your Purpose?’ and ‘Natural Juice Therapy’. They also offer a souping retreat, in association with MyFood, for anyone wanting to kickstart their improved healthy approach to eating.
Also offered is a range of treatments, among them acupuncture, facials, massage, reflexology, Reiki, 1:1 mindfulness training and yoga, with specialist practitioners visiting on-site. People apparently travel for miles just to see Marilyn Courtney for her unforgettable shoulder and back massage and Reiki, so soothing it’s almost impossible to have a care in the world. Similarly, Ben Barnett (www.benbarnett.co.uk ) provides a holistic spa experience that will leave you rejuvenated and full of positivity. Exactly what you need before you step back into the real world.
Some people can only relax when lying face down on a massage table, while others find true peace when immersed in the great outdoors. If you fall into the latter category, Comrie Croft should top of your weekend getaway wish list.
The award-winning, green destination is set on a 250-acre site on the hillside above Strathearn in Scotland. The local boasts sublime walking trails, unforgettable wildlife viewing – including endangered red squirrels – and some of the best compact mountain-biking in the country.
Andrew Donaldson, Comrie Croft’s founder, is passionate about rural regeneration and has set out to prove that an ‘average’ plot of land can be dynamic, profitable and contribute positively to the rural economy. Comrie Croft is a proud member of The Long Run, a conservation organisation that unites businesses who strive for the highest standard of excellence in sustainable tourism (www.thelongrun.com).
The Long Run uses it’s framework ‘the 4Cs’ of biodiversity (conservation, community development, cultural stewardship and commerce) to assess candidates, and Comrie Croft is currently working towards becoming accredited as a Global Ecosphere Retreat®. This means a stay here really is supporting the protection of our planet, rather than just lining someone’s pockets.
From the experts in the bike hire shop to a grocers that stocks fruit and vegetables from the on-site garden, Comrie Croft offers a hub of complementary businesses all based around the great outdoors. Accommodation options range from the cosy farmstead barn to kåtas (the Nordic equivalent of teepees), so there’s something to suit all budgets no matter the size of your clan. Clean air, wholesome food and green rolling panoramas await.