London is my hometown and I’ve always been a city girl through and through. At the same time, when my body and soul needs recharging, I love to be in the countryside, in nature and back to basics. That’s one of the reasons why the English countryside appeals so much to so many people, there is a magical tranquility about it that will help you to rejuvenate and restore your energy. Because of this, I have selected some of my favourite getaways to share with you, starting with Limewood, a luxurious retreat in New Forest Hampshire.
How to get there
Set in the gorgeous forests of Hampshire, this retreat is a little isolated but in the best way possible. The surroundings consist of fields and fields of woods, farmland and forestry. If you decide to drive there, it’s just over 2 hours from London City Airport just to give you a rough idea and if you take the train, the nearest stations are Ashurst or Brockenhurst and then it’s just a short cab ride from there. More information can be found here.
What to do?
There’s plenty to do on site but do try to adjust your mindset, this is a retreat to recharge your batteries so naturally expect a slower pace but breathe it all in and enjoy! In your rooms you will find walking, running and cycling routes which range from 5km to 20km. The grounds are unmarked so follow the instructions and enjoy the adventure! We got a little lost so be sure to allow yourself some extra time and take your phone with you. Wellies are provided in the boot room!
The spa is gorgeous, it’s one of my favourite parts of this retreat. Featuring treatments from the famous celebrity facials Sarah Chapman, it’s a great way to pamper yourself. But if you prefer not to have any treatments, the facilities are equally impressive, the indoor and outdoor pool are very relaxing and sauna and steam room are available to all in-house or spa day guests. (Just be sure to book your treatments ahead of your stay because the spa is usually very busy.)
There are so many different room options but I can honestly say that even the basic rooms are lovely and each room is different with it’s own character and charm so if it’s your first time, just take a basic room and enjoy the facilities and surroundings!
Usually the food at a retreat is not really worth mentioning. In fact, it’s one of the biggest factors which let down my experience at Champneys Spa. However, this is definitely not the case with Limewood, their restaurant is overseen by Angela Hartnett, the well known English chef who’s mentor was Gordon Ramsay. From casual lunch in the courtyard to the tasting menu in the main dining restaurant, you will not be disappointed. That’s coming from a foodie who rates food as a major priority for any weekend trip! The menu changes seasonally so you will not be bored and it is surprisingly reasonable given the quality too.
It’s not a cheap weekend away by any means, but there are some great packages if you keep an eye out on the website. The spa itself is gorgeous, the treatments I think are slightly less 5* than the rest of the experience but the food and surroundings by far make up for it. Its luxury meets cozy chic and I love the little details from the water bottles provided in the rooms to the gorgeous fireplaces and strategically placed boardgames. Get ready for a lovely getaway and no matter what you choose to do I’m pretty sure you will leave feeling far more refreshed than when you arrived!
A little extra…
If you fancy visiting the local town and highstreet, it’s really quaint and not too far at all by car. We had a great time exploring the little shops on the main street and we had a great traditional English pub lunch at this very cozy authentic pub: