Best Locations for Weekend Retreats in the UK
Weekend retreats provide a welcome escape, offering the chance to get away and enjoy some valuable downtime. The best locations for a country weekend retreat offer lots of optional activities, such as on-site leisure facilities and country walks, while a city-based retreat will offer plenty of entertainment, culture and dining options.
A weekend retreat is ideal for a solo escape that promotes wellbeing and self-care. They are also great for couples seeking some valuable quality time together. Weekend retreats for hen (and even stag) parties are increasingly popular. Employers who want to reward their staff and encourage team building might also opt for a UK weekend retreat.
In this guide, we take a closer look at the benefits of weekend retreats and suggest some locations that might be perfect for your next getaway.
Weekend Retreats for Self-Care
With our busy lives, it can be easy to neglect our mental wellbeing. A weekend retreat can restore the balance, offering relaxed downtime with the chance to discover something new or to spend time doing something you love but don’t usually have time to enjoy.
You can choose a location with everything on-site, so all you have to do is arrive, unpack and unwind. Alternatively, opt for a location with plenty to enjoy in the surrounding area, whether that’s rolling countryside, lovely coastline, or the buzz of the city.
There are almost endless choices when it comes to UK weekend retreats, so you can return to a place you love or explore somewhere new. For a city-based retreat, Liverpool and Glasgow offer lots of great attractions and activities. If you prefer to spend your time in the great outdoors, the North East and South-East regions offer diversity, with lovely beaches and rural areas.
If you’re seeking a retreat where you can find everything under one roof, an all-inclusive spa can be a terrific option. For example, Ragdale Hall Spa in Leicestershire, one of our luxury spas, is set in 13 peaceful acres and offers an extensive range of leisure facilities, classes, and dining options.
Weekend Retreats for Couples
A couples’ weekend retreat offers a great way to enjoy some ‘we’ time filled with activities you both enjoy or to indulge in some time apart enjoying separate activities, before reuniting over a drink and evening meal. For example, a golf and spa break combines the opportunity to play 18 holes on a high quality course with spa treatments and access to the leisure facilities.
Alternatively, you might prefer an escape that offers access to lovely country or coastal walks and drives. Locations that might be especially suitable for a more rural couples retreat include the stunning Lake District, Scotland’s magnificent Highland, and the diverse South West. These areas include endless open spaces to explore, as well as buzzing towns, characterful villages and cosy pubs.
Of course, when we talk about a couples’ retreat, we don’t just mean romantic couples. These types of retreats can be equally wonderful for friends to share or to spend some quality time with a family member.
For more ideas on planning the perfect couples’ escape, take a look at our guide, The Best Types of Breaks For Couples in the UK.
Stag/Hen Do Weekend Retreats
If you’re planning a hen or stag celebration to remember, a UK weekend retreat can tick all the boxes. Weekend hen retreats are already a popular option, offering a fantastic mix of partying and downtime. Indeed, many city and country spa hotels are getting in on the action, offering hen party packages that feature a blend of pampering treatments, spa access and lots of goodies for the hen and their guests.
A weekend retreat can also be a great option for a stag do. Choose a hotel based in a city such as London, Edinburgh, Manchester or Birmingham and you have all the bars, restaurants and nightlife right on your doorstep, while having plenty of time to chill out and sleep in. You also have the advantage of easy travel via public transport, so you can leave the car behind and arrange a central meet-up point that’s convenient for locations across the UK.
The key to a successful weekend stag retreat in the city is to choose a base in the right location. For example, if you’re looking for lively nightlife, head to Birmingham’s Broad Street, one of the UK’s busiest weekend party streets, London’s West End, Edinburgh’s George Street or Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Oxford Road.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more relaxed stag do, a country hotel and golf resort might be the ideal solution. Enjoy a refined weekend retreat, with comfortable accommodation, great food and drink, plenty of things to do – including a first-class golf course – all in one location. Head to Scotland for terrific courses, such as Carnoustie, while England and Wales also have some superb options, such as The Belfry in Warwickshire.
While a men’s spa package may not be high on your list of things you want to include in your lads’ stag weekend, remember that hotels with spas usually have great leisure facilities, such as pools and steam rooms that your group might enjoy after a full-on night out.
Weekend Retreats for Work Weekends
Weekend retreats for team building can be a great way to both encourage employee engagement and reward a job well done. However, it’s important to choose your location and activities carefully. After all, a diverse workforce will have diverse needs and interests. Plus, if you’re asking employees to give up a weekend, it’s important that they enjoy themselves! One thing to avoid is weekend retreats that put people under pressure to join in with things that make them uncomfortable, whether that’s social events or physical activities. This can have the opposite effect to team building.
A corporate spa weekend can be a great solution, as it gives people choice. They can relax in their hotel room and enjoy the spa facilities, while the whole team can get together for trips out and meals, such as a relaxed buffet lunch or dinner that caters to all dietary needs.
Again, it’s important to choose the right location. Unless you’re organising transport for everyone, people will need to make their own way there, so a remote location may pose problems for non-drivers. Consider a town or city location with good transport links and plenty to do. For example, Bristol and neighbouring Bath are easy to reach by train and have lots going on. Likewise, locations such as Southampton and Cardiff are well connected and offer a great base for a weekend retreat. If you prefer a rural retreat, Yorkshire is a good choice, with beautiful open spaces and bustling towns, such as Harrogate and Ilkley, that have good train and bus links.