Retreats in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

To complement our recent blog on Rural Retreats in the UK here we are specifically focusing on retreats in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or ANOB, to use the acronym. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are designated to protect these areas of particular natural beauty including conserving both the rural landscape and the lives of those who live and work in them.

In these spaces characterised by peaceful pathways, sweeping downs, wild meadows and ancient woodlands we can find a sense of tranquillity and be at one with nature. Lovely at any time of the year, our ancient countryside comes alive in summer with trees and flowers in full bloom.

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  • Rural Retreats in the UK

    As our cold winter has sprung into hot summer (for the moment skipping spring) we are drawn to the sunshine and to nature, and rural retreats. Instinctively we’ve known for many years what science now seems to prove, that being in nature nurtures us. A recent article in the Daily Mail discusses the ‘proven physical and mental benefits’ of spending time outside, from a walk in a forest (barefoot if possible) to a solo walk somewhere rural.

    There are rural retreats in the UK that offer the added bonus of glorious countryside where you can connect with nature, as well as enjoy yoga on the lawn, meditative walks, or outdoor activities like stand up paddleboarding or just bliss out by admiring the bucolic views from an outdoor hot tub.

    In addition to helping decrease stress levels, spending more time in nature helps us to re-energise and provides a heightened sense of wellbeing. The US Journal of Environmental and Public Health states (see published studies by NCBI): “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth – whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems – may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV (heart rate variability), … and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.” Could support for better health literally be located right beneath our feet? Read more…

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  • How To Sleep Better

    When the clocks go forward at 1 am on Sunday we’ll lose an hour of sleep. Even if you’re not one of the one in three people who have difficulty falling and staying asleep or the one in ten who regularly experience insomnia, this news is never welcome. So, how can we all learn to sleep better?

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  • International Women’s Day

    International Women’s Day seems more necessary than ever after a year where 300,000 women took to the streets across the globe in protest against President Donald Trump’s treatment of women as well as general anti-Trump feeling against his inherent sexism (and racism). This is all in stark contrast to 2011 when former US President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be ‘Women’s History Month.’

    International Women’s Day resonates following a time when allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the wider Hollywood film industry have quickly snowballed into an international-scale revelation of seemingly infinite abuses against women (and yes, men too) in all industries followed by reports of abuses of women by leading charities and BBC reporters resigning over the disparity in pay… the list goes on. Read more…

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  • Dark chocolate health benefits

    Easter is coming and the shops are already full of chocolate products, from eggs to bunnies. But as is increasingly known, there’s a healthier option that’s equally delicious: dark chocolate. The health benefits of eating dark chocolate, with a cocoa percentage of seventy percent or more (ideally 85 percent), mean the once-decadent sweet treat has now entered the mainstream. Certainly, here at Neal’s Yard Holidays we love our chocolate. Who doesn’t?

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  • New wellbeing holidays: is one of these your next escape?

    Some of our cherished Neal’s Yard Holidays devotees recently told us they’d like to browse our new wellbeing holidays without too much fuss.

    And why not? If you’ve been on a few of our retreats already, or if you’re simply pushed for time and want to know the latest destinations on offer, being able to see our new wellbeing holidays at a glance sounds like a pretty good idea. Of course, we couldn’t help but listen.

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  • Mother’s Day retreat ideas

    How about treating yourself and your mum to a wellness retreat this spring? Here are our hand-picked Mother’s Day retreat ideas.

    Wondering what to get for your mum for mother’s day this year? Forget about the usual flowers and chocolates. What better way to show your mum how much she means to you than taking her on a special spa break or wellbeing retreat. Treat her to a Mother’s day retreat (pardon the pun).

    No need to go far, we have some excellent UK weekend breaks that don’t cost the earth but offer the pampering your mum deserves. You could always join her and spend some quality time together. And if you want to treat your mum to something really special, read on for Neal’s Yard Holidays’ picks of once-in-a-lifetime holidays, and Mother’s day retreat weekends.

    This year Mother’s day is on the 11th of March 2018. So what are you waiting for? Read more…

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  • Wellness Trends for 2018: Find out what’s hot

    Last year’s wellness trends included the Danish concept of hygge, using coconut oil for pretty much everything and our old friend mindfulness.

    This year’s trends focus on food, both as medicine and nutrition, better sleep and an awareness of the environment as we nurture ourselves. Read on for the key wellness trends to watch in 2018. Read more…

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  • Valentine escapes: Are you solo and want to escape or whisk off your loved one?

    Are you solo and want to escape Valentine’s Day? Or want to whisk your loved one away for special Valentine getaways?

    What ever is right for you, there are plenty of Valentine getaways to choose from; including ‘love yourself’ wellbeing retreats for solo travellers where you are not alone. Read more…

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  • Could going vegan be good for you and the planet?

    There is no doubt about it. Veganism is on the rise. In 2016 there were over half a million vegans in Great Britain, that’s three and a half times as many as estimated in 2006, and that figure only looks to be increasing further still, as noted by the Vegan Society.

    As the vegan movement continues to gain momentum, we consider is adopting a plant-based lifestyle beneficial for both your health and the planet? Read more…

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