Scrap the sunbeds for a more energising escape on these great getaways for the body and mind

LOUNGING on a sunbed is no longer top of the list when it comes to enjoying a getaway.

Instead, holidaymakers are demanding a more energising escape from life’s daily grind.

Holidaymakers are swapping sunbeds for yoga retreats

And the choice of wellness and fitness breaks for mind, body and soul has never been greater.

Whether it’s a fitness bootcamp, sporting break, yoga retreat, spa awayday, or even just fun on a family farm – we’ve got the vacation for you.

Here, TRISHA HARBORD picks ten of the best from home and abroad.


Millions of TV fans saw I’m A Celebrity star Fleur East looking in great shape in the jungle – and she says it’s all down to her “gym in a box”.

The singer has been working out using her portable W8 GYM, which is being launched in a number of Caribbean hotels from May.

Fleur East’s gym in a box will be available in several Caribbean hotels

It can be used for more than 200 exercises, and Elite Island Resorts’ guests can keep fit at workout classes on the beach or even in their rooms to a video filmed by Fleur.

She says: “Being on tour made me realise how challenging it is to maintain a fitness routine if you don’t have a gym at your fingertips.”

It’s the latest wellness innovation from Elite hotels, including the 4H Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua, which offer mobile-free beaches, open-air spas, choir workshops, calm clubs, yoga classes, hiking and watersports.

GO: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 4H Verandah Resort & Spa, from Gatwick on May 8, is from £1,499 per person. See


Get away from it all on a retreat to the French Cognac countryside – and taste the famous brandy.

You can be as active or as restful as you want while staying in an 1881 distillery at Praana Wellness in Charente-Maritime.

Enjoy mediation and play table tennis at Praana Wellness Charente-Maritime

Take part in yoga, meditation and breathing classes, bike through local vineyards, swim in the outdoor pool, play table tennis, boules or work out.

Alternatively, just escape to a quiet space with a book and an organic juice.

GO: Rooms for two, including breakfast, are from £82 a night. See Flights from Stansted to La Rochelle from £12.99 one-way with


You are going to need some stamina for this one, girls – a GI Jane Bootcamp with a similar training schedule to a soldier’s.

Be ready to get up bright and early for a “fall-in parade”, circuit training, Iron Man drills, running, boxing, a two-hour trek and an assault course.

Enjoy a GI Jane bootcamp in Sittingbourne, Kent

But don’t worry, there are times when things slow down a bit. The camps, from three to 14 days, at a private farmhouse in Scuttington Manor, Sittingbourne, Kent, also offer meditation, nutritional advice and life-coaching for greater self-discipline.

GO: Three days’ full-board at the GI Jane Bootcamp from £390. See


It’s the best of both worlds – a sunshine holiday in the Algarve coupled with the best training, fitness and wellness facilities on hand.

The Magnolia Hotel gives access to Quinta do Lago’s new £9million centre The Campus, catering for couples, families, amateurs and pro athletes.

A sunshine holiday in the Algarve coupled with fitness and wellness facilities

There’s everything on offer from a top gym to a centre for active living and sports medicine, a recovery suite with sauna and steam rooms to a 25-metre outdoor pool.

Workshops include yoga and Pilates.

GO: B&B at the Magnolia Hotel from £86. See EasyJet flights from Luton to Faro from £31 one-way.


A Mexican resort has launched new wellness programmes for 2019 to “benefit your body, mind and soul”.

Find your zen doing floating yoga or hydro-Pilates in the pool at the stunning Unico 20°N 87°W on the Riviera Maya.

Floating yoga or hydro-pilates in Mexican resort

There’s a selection of fun lessons so you can learn a new skill from scuba diving to salsa, sushi-making to mixology and art to astronomy.

The resort on a white beach offers lots of opportunity for rest and relaxation with poolside beds and cabanas, steam and sauna rooms and luxury spa treatments – some included in the all-inclusive package.

And locally sourced ingredients ensure healthy food is served in restaurants ranging from fine dining to a beachside buffet.

GO: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 5H Unico 20°N 87°W, including BA flights from Gatwick on May 8, is from £1,351pp. See


Sometimes you just need to escape from real life and your mobile phone – and a day spa or a quick overnight stay is the answer to recharge your batteries. has fantastic special offers to suit all budgets for time out at luxury hotel spas, fitness and wellness centres across the UK.

Spa break
Take a quick break in Manchester for a chocolate facial

There are even spa days with a twist. Spa Themes in Worsley, Gtr Manchester, offers a Willy Wonka Spa, which includes a chocolate facial, chocolate chip and salt body scrub and afternoon tea full of choccy treats.

And their Fifty Shades Of Spa gives couples private access to a candlelit, salt-infused cave spa with infinity Jacuzzi. It also includes a massage, afternoon tea and a bottle of bubbly.

New for 2019 will be an Igloo Ice Spa.

GO: The Willy Wonka spa is from £59.50pp and Fifty Shades from £74.50pp. See


Stargazing has never been more popular, and psychologists say it helps calm the mind.

Rudding Park in Harrogate, North Yorks, has launched starbathing – relaxing in the rooftop spa garden’s bath or hydrotherapy pool while looking up at the night sky.

Stargaze in Yorkshire in rooftop spa or bath

Guests will also be able to use the luxury hotel’s indoor pool and sauna, included in the Rooftop Starlight Experience, from 6.30-9.30pm every night.

Starlight Spa Evenings from 5-9.30pm on Thursday to Sunday also include a spa treatment and more stargazing zones.

GO: The Starlight Experience is from £48 per person and the Spa Evening £106. See


Sing your way through 2019 to feel happier and healthier. Experts say singing produces “feel good” endorphins in the brain as well as improving posture and reducing stress.

Combine stretching your vocal cords with your muscles on a short break called Sing & Stretch, held in the Peak District – one of the many wellness and walking holidays offered by HF Holidays.

Trek across the Peak District for a more active getaway

After singing and yoga sessions in the morning at Peveril Of The Peak hotel in the village of Thorpe, near Ashbourne, Derbys, walk in the beautiful countryside including the limestone valley of Dovedale.

GO: Four nights’ full-board at the Peveril Of The Peak from July 29 is from £505 per person. See


A new cruise ship launching in the spring is in a league of its own when it comes to facilities for a healthy and active lifestyle. Blue World Voyages offers the world’s first dedicated sports and wellness holiday on water.

One deck of the 350-passenger 5H ship – the first of three planned for the fleet – is designated for sports, exercise and wellness with golf and soccer simulators, a training centre, yoga and spinning studios.

Blue World Voyages offers the world’s first dedicated sports and wellness holiday on water

There are also three pools. A second deck is all about rejuvenation, with a spa, therapy tub, treatment rooms and solarium.

The ship, sailing the Mediterranean, will serve healthy farm-to-table cuisine.

GO: Seven nights’ full-board costs from around £2,750. See


Escape to the countryside on one of the new yoga and wellbeing breaks at a working livestock farm.

You are guaranteed peace and quiet at Godshill Park Farm in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Isle of Wight.

Escape the to the countryside at a working livestock farm

A barn has been converted into a studio for yoga and meditation and a variety of feel-good treatments, including massage and hands-on healing techniques, can be booked.

Guests can walk with the animals – such as taking the llamas or alpacas for a stroll – as it helps reduce stress and anxiety. Footpaths from the farmland lead to the Ventnor Downs where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island.

Other relaxing activities include fishing for carp, roach and tench in the ponds on the farm.

Accommodation includes en-suite rooms, self-catering cottages and a secluded hut.

GO: A two-night half-board weekend retreat is from £265pp or B&B from £70 per night.

See Car ferries operated by and


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