Eco Retreats Near London To Book This Autumn
Wellness, but make it sustainable: eco retreats are an effective way to both feel good and feel reconnected with nature. As we all become more conscious of our impact on the planet, natural, eco-friendly spas are also a no-brainer: good for the planet, and better for our health. Even better? Reducing your carbon footprint by venturing somewhere close to home or by public transport. With locations immersed in and activities inspired by nature – whether that’s outdoor meditation, forest bathing, or wilderness walks – this is the C&TH pick of eco retreats near London to book this autumn.
Eco Retreats Near London To Book This Autumn
Best Eco Retreat For: A Forest Fix
Lime Wood Hotel – Hampshire
The award-winning Herb House spa – located in the luxurious Lime Wood hotel – will be launching ‘Re-Wild Yourself’ retreats in September 2022. Designed to reconnect with nature, the retreats will make the most of the surrounding breathtaking New Forest.
For a day of holistic mindfulness, opt for the day-long Wild Wanderings Retreat on 27 September, focussed on movement, healing spa treatments and meditation. Or, if you’d like something more adventurous, opt for the Forest Fix Retreat, where forest runs and strength sessions preface a relaxing 60-minute spa treatment. For a slightly longer relaxation period, book the three-day Bamford retreat (14-16 September), inspired by harvest and the seasonal change into autumn, and devoted to relaxing and restoring the mind and body.
When? September to October 2022.
How To Get There: Take the train from Waterloo to Southampton Central (approx. 1 hour 14 mins), and then take a taxi to Lime Wood Hotel (approx. 30 mins).
BOOK: £225 per person for the Wild Wanderings Retreat, £325 per person for the Forest Fix retreat, £1905 per person for the Bamford retreat. limewoodhotel.co.uk
Best Eco Retreat For: Wilderness Activity
The Great British Adventure Package at The Montagu Arms – New Forest, Hampshire
Surrounded by the ancient woodlands of the beautiful New Forest, The Montagu Arms is a lovely, wilderness setting that feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Their new eco retreat offering – the Great British Adventure package – offers the ultimate countryside escape and immersion.
A two-night stay in one of 33 unique 17th century rooms and an action-packed itinerary will keep you occupied without feeling strenuous: an energising breakfast, kayaking, cycling, and time in the spa at the hotel’s siser property, Careys Manor & SenSpa, with its swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Dinner showcases organic and seasonal produce from the bountiful kitchen garden.
When? Available until 31 October 2022.
How To Get There: Take the train from Waterloo to Brockenhurst (approx. 1.5 hours), and then a taxi to The Montague Arms (approx. 15 mins).
BOOK: From £574 with a Standard Room. montaguarmshotel.co.uk
Best Eco Retreat For: Slow Living
Swallowtail Hill – Sussex
If intrigued by agritourism, a stay at Swallowtail Hill can’t go amiss. The 40-acre farm located in the Sussex countryside provides all the necessary components for a unique ‘glamping’ getaway – rustic accommodation, woodfired hot tubs, a charming farm shop, hill top tent and more – but with sustainability firmly rooted at the business’s core.
The environment is of vital importance to owners Sarah and Christopher, who have worked to make Swallowtail climate positive. 31 acres of the estate are included within the Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme, the toilets are eco-friendly, energy is renewable and sourced from Good Energy, and Swallowtail also produces its own energy through solar panels.
All of this nature is lovely to explore, too: from flower meadows to ponds and woodland, the farm is a haven for wildlife. Go off-grid and hunker down in your cottage – or explore the local area, slow-tourism style.
How To Get There: Take the train from St Pancras to Rye, changing at Ashford (approx. one hour), then get a taxi to Swallowtail Hill (approx. 15 mins).
BOOK: From £230 for a two-night break in the Woodcutter’s Cottage. From £310 for a two-night break in The Roundhouse. swallowtailhill.com
Best Eco Retreat Without Leaving the City
Soul Revival at The Mandrake – London
If your idea of an eco-retreat is more about lovely natural and botanical products than actually getting up close and personal with nature, try the Soul Revival Package at The Mandrake in Fitzrovia. Having launched the world’s first spiritual wellness concierge last year, The Mandrake launched this package to guide guests from lockdown into the light. Staying in one of the evergreen terrace rooms, guests receive dinner for two on a private balcony, an experience from the hotel’s Spiritual Concierge, and a Mandrake ritual – choose from a reading, healing, meridian activation or reiki facial. Or, opt for a shared experience: The Mandrake Signature Multi Instrument South Bath and Smudging Ceremony. It’s sure to revive the soul and the spirit.
How To Get There: The Mandrake is situated a short walk from the following underground stations: Tottenham Court Road (Elizabeth Line, Central, Northern), Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria) and Goodge Street (Northern).
BOOK: Package begins at £730. themandrake.com
Best Eco Retreat For: Luxurious Pastoral Wellness
Wilderness Reserve – Suffolk
Nostalgia for a pastoral England abounds at Wilderness Reserve, a 500-acre estate in Suffolk. A project that commenced nearly 20 years ago, landscaping architect Kim Wilkie was aiming for more of a landscaping than rewilding venture, but now the reserve is home to over 130 different bird species and over 200 types of plant.
To immerse yourself in this natural haven, check in to the Spa with its wonderful range of restorative treatments. Then, retire to one of the sumptuous rooms, from cosy cottages to the Chapel Barn, to Spa Houses. The latter are ideal for those looking to wind down, kitted out with private swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs and treatment rooms, as well as outdoor fireplaces and heated dining areas for self-contained bliss.
How To Get There: Take the train from Liverpool Street to Saxmundham, changing at Ipswich (approx. two hours) and then take a taxi to Wilderness Reserve (approx. 11 mins).
BOOK: One night mid-week stay from £535. wildernessreserve.com
Best Eco Retreat For: Treehouse Living
Chewton Glen – Hampshire
Set over 130 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland on the edge of the New Forest and the Solent, it’s no wonder nature is at the heart of Chewton Glen. Leading the way are the hotel’s eco-treehouses, which are built along the tree line and feature harvested rainwater, air-source heat pumps, solar panels, and low-energy lighting.
Many of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers used in the hotel’s restaurant and cookery school are harvested from the hotel’s walled garden and orchard. Head to the spa beforehand to wind down – or wander around the estate, where years of tree planting and creating wildlife habitats have led to a boom in biodiversity. There’s also more than 50 working beehives dotted around the estate, which help pollinate plants and vegetables grown on-site, and keep nature thriving.
How To Get There: Catch the train from Waterloo to New Milton, changing at Brockenhurst (approx. two hours) and then get a taxi to Chewton Glen (less than 10 mins).
BOOK: £1,350 per night for a Treehouse studio suite with breakfast hamper. chewtonglen.com
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