Mind Body Soul: A Guide To Holistic Breaks On The Isle Of Wight

For those on a spiritual journey the Isle of Wight has so much to offer. Not can you chill out walking the miles of pathways across rolling hills or along secluded beaches as the sun goes down , but we have a whole host of activities to refresh and renew your mind, body and soul.

We have picked out a few of the best Isle of Wight  Mind, Body and Soul retreats for you to choose from, so feast your eyes on these.

Be Mindful…

Sylvia Clare and her husband David Hughes run residential courses in Mindfulness at their beautiful home Clatterford House in Carisbrooke. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme was devised by Jon Kabat-Zinn and it is taught as a straight course or can be adapted to suit your needs through guided walking activities, yoga and general discussions about what you are looking for and what is missing in your life.

This is a technique designed to let you live in the present, not regretting the past nor worrying about the future. “Mindfulness is based on being fully present in the moment, in the now and giving that all of your focus,” said Sylvia Clare. “Your power lies in this moment. Living mindfully means living in full awareness of your potential and requires an in depth honesty with yourself of your strengths and weaknesses.

“We teach people how to communicate with each other honestly in a loving way. It’s about moving away from things that are detrimental to you.” If you want a totally different way of looking at your life then this could be the course for you.


Want to learn a meditation technique that will change your life? Transcendental Meditation (TM) is taught by Will Treend at his cottage nestled in the southern slopes of Brading Down and you can book bed and breakfast at nearby Adgestone Vineyard. Residential retreats at East Dene in Bonchurch are planned in the future – see his website for further details.

Will was taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who influenced The Beatles and believes that its effect on health and wellbeing can be life changing.

“TM is a simple, effortless technique that can be practiced by anyone,” said Will. “It’s the most scientifically researched form of meditation and self-development, scientifically validated for its beneficial effects.”

“If TM were a new drug it would be hailed as a major breakthrough.” Dr. Nicholas Argyle.

Will is affiliated to the David Lynch Foundation with whom he has helped to arrange TM workshops in the ‘sacred woods’ at Bestival. Many famous musicians have turned to Will in order to learn this simple technique, which only takes a few days to master. For more information on TM go to www.tm.org

Be Spiritual…

Quarr Abbey offer spiritual retreats in their Guest House that has recently being modernised and contains ten rooms with eleven beds. Three of the rooms are en suite and one of them has full facilities for use by a disabled person with a wheelchair. You take meals, work and pray with the brothers on a daily basis and generally a spirit of silence and prayer is encouraged within the guest house.

You can tailor your retreat to your needs, working with the monks, praying with them and eating with them too, or just choose to do some of these activities. Priests are available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and one of the community of monks at the Abbey will be available if a guest just wants to talk for any reason whatever. If you need spiritual solace or a space to make a decision this could be ideal.

Try Yoga…

Carol Macartney practices Hatha yoga, having trained in Sivinanda and has been teaching yoga on the Island for over 20 years and she is one of the best. She offers yoga weekend retreats in the spring and autumn at the lovely Nettlecombe Farm, where you stay in the converted traditional farm buildings nestled in the heart of the rolling Isle of Wight countryside.

Yoga weekends are also offered at Godshill Park Farm, again in spring and autumn, with a choice of four different yoga teachers. Sessions are held in the oak panelled hall of the old farm house with burning log fire.

Jo Macaulay

25 October 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles