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14 ideas to improve wellness in Yorkshire during 2024

Cuddle a cow - enjoy soem Highland heaven in Beverley. Leila  Coker; Getty
Cuddle a cow - enjoy soem Highland heaven in Beverley. Leila Coker; Getty

Resolving to a run a marathon or cultivate a six-pack might be how you get your kicks - but if you want to soothe your way into a new year, here’s how....

Cuddle a cow

A proper touchy-feely experience, at Dumble Farm, Beverley where you can enjoy some quality time with a gentle Highland cow. The farm takes you to the world of Highland cows, conservation and sustainable farming. You have the rare chance to get up close to cows, grooming, cuddling and learning about them, as well as feeling the wellness benefits of being near them. Farmers, Fiona, Will and James are your guides and you can meet alpacas and goats too. Dumblefarm.com

Go bracken bashing

Yorkshire-based adventurer and photographer Sarah Banks advocates a bracken-bashing climb to clear your head and get the heart pumping. A favourite trek is Blakey Topping which has the ruins of a stone circle to its south. The hills offers great views over Dalby Forest and Fylingdales. Route in Sarah’s book, Wild Guide North East. wildthingspublishing.com

Soak up big views

Watch a life-affirming sunrise or sunset from Lord Stones Country Park on the Cleveland Way. Take a flask and wrap up warm as you enjoy big views with the Wainstones and Roseberry Topping in your sights.

Sauna on the sand

If the festive season has proved a bit much, the folks at Whitby Wellbeing encourage you to peel off the layers and immerse yourself in a sauna on the sand. They have a New Year sauna schedule designed to provide you with the ultimate relaxation experience amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Whether you seek a quiet moment of reflection or a chance to bond with loved ones in a serene seaside environment, their blissful retreats might be the start of something new for 2024. There are also breathwork classes, waterfall sessions and solstice ceremonies throughout the year.

Saunas pop up from January 5-7 at Saltburn, Filey, Whitby, Runswick Bay, Bridlington, Scarborough. Whitbywellbeing.com

Book a retreat

Partners Lorraine and Mark, run Yoga & Spice, a mini retreat centre, welcoming guests to log cabins set in four acres of private woodland at Valley View on the edge of the National Park and just a stone’s throw from the coast at Whitby.

All the rooms open directly onto their own area of woodland so guests can soak in and enjoy the healing power of nature. They can offer personalised yoga and/or wellness retreats or relaxation breaks for groups of friends or family members. These might include various styles of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, diet and lifestyle consultations or plant-based cooking sessions. All the produce is grown organically on site. Yogaandspice.co.uk

Get writing

Will it be the year you start to joy your thoughts down in a diary – or start that best-seller?

Yorkshire-based writers Bec Evans and Chris Smith offer three tips to get your New Year writing project off the starting blocks.

‘Start now: There’s never going be a perfect moment to get going. Don’t wait for the house to be silent. Don’t delay until life quietens down. Start now, but when you do…

Start small: Don’t take on too much too soon. A paragraph a day, 15 minutes a day – do what’s realistic for you and your life. You can always increase the amount you write later on.

Don’t compare: Focus on your process, not on other people’s output. It’s easy to look at the finished work of successful writers and compare yourself unfavourably. Everyone has first attempts; nobody’s work is perfect first time. Good luck!’

Written by Bec Evans and Chris Smith is out in paperback January 4, £9.99.

Great British Life: Soak up the night skies in Wharfedale at an evening session beneath the stars at Broughton Sanctuary. (c) Paul ColleySoak up the night skies in Wharfedale at an evening session beneath the stars at Broughton Sanctuary. (c) Paul Colley

Stare at the stars

Experience the celestial wonders like never before at Broughton Sanctuary near Skipton. ‘Broughton By Night’ events are a chance to immerse yourself in the magic of the night sky and connect with the cosmos. Nestled on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, an International Dark Sky Reserve, this is a must-visit destination for astronomy enthusiasts and all those captivated by the beauty of the night sky.

Whether you’re an avid stargazer or a novice enthralled by our universe, bring your binoculars or use powerful stargazing equipment for the sessions with an expert astronomer.

Broughton By Night costs £36 per person with the option to add a Broughton By Dusk wild swim and woodland sauna experience for an additional £60 starting from 3:30pm. broughtonsanctuary.co.uk

Decipher the year ahead

Bring your brand new diary to the Arch Barn on the Harewood Estate, where Harewood Holistics holds a mindful and creative vision board workshop to decipher the year ahead.

The practice of vision boarding is a way to get in touch with your aspirations, plans and preparations. You do not need to be artistic, just arrive with an open mind and heart, and meet other like-minded folk. Located in the Garden Lodge with a beautiful warming log fire and refreshments.

Whether you feel stuck and unsure of what is next, or have detailed plans for 2024 and beyond, this workshop can help you enhance those plans. harewoodholistics.com

Great British Life: Arm-knitting is a fun new hobby to try - here's one of Mizzknits workshops in Chapel Allerton. (c) Nicky Gibson Arm-knitting is a fun new hobby to try - here's one of Mizzknits workshops in Chapel Allerton. (c) Nicky Gibson

Cast on

Arm-knitting is a wonderfully calming experience – and you make great progress in a short space of time. Use your arms as knitting needles with giant balls of wool to make a throw in just a few hours. Leeds-based Mizzknits is headed up by lovely Miriam (Mizz) Evans who crafts brilliant things from chunky wool – wreaths, Christmas puds and stylish cushions and throws. She holds regular arm-knitting workshops in Chapel Allerton or you can book for a group. Mizzknits.myshopify.com

Great British Life: Enjoy a soothing facial with fruits of the vine. (c) Getty Enjoy a soothing facial with fruits of the vine. (c) Getty

Wine for good

We know the power of a nice glass of red wine but vine stems contain a component called resveratrol that does wonders for the skin. Here’s a way of getting a wine fix in Dry January - Caudalie Resveratrol Facial featuresi newly reformulated Caudalie Resveratrol skincare products, including 100% vegan collagen that mimics the skin's own collagen. For a nice January treat-to-self, head to Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, Leeds and experience Caudalie Resveratrol Facial (£78 for 50 minutes) featuring products from the range and promising rejuvenating results – just what winter skins needs. Thorpeparkhotel.co.uk

Join a re-wilding retreat

Get away from it all at Yurtshire. The North Yorkshire woodland forest retreat near Ripon holds Re-wilding Women’s Weekends which gather groups together for yoga, wild-swimming and mindful exercise. Home to eight magical tree yurts, each one beautifully furnished with a wood burning chimineer, hot tub and glass roofed showers so you can star gaze into the night! Gather in ‘The Nest’ for communal chat and enjoy home-cooked food nourishing food together. freespirit.co/uk/yorkshire-retreat1

Take a walk

Wellness Walks organises treks and trails in the Yorkshire Dales for small and medium-sized groups with a walk and talk’ approach. They’re organised with walking experts over varying degrees of difficulty – one to one walks can also be booked. Recent jaunts have taken in the River Wharfe and Grassington market as well as ‘Tempest and Tricky Woo’ - from the Tempest Arms towards Broughton & Pumphrey Manor (Broughton Hall) the home of All Creatures Great & Small’s Mrs Pumphrey & her mollycoddled dog Tricky Woo. Wellnesswalks.org.uk

Great British Life: One of the aspects of forest bathing is walking barefoot in woodland. (c) Getty One of the aspects of forest bathing is walking barefoot in woodland. (c) Getty

Try forest bathing

At Swinton Estate, Masham, join Forest Bathing UK for a woodland session of mindfulness in the 200 acres of lakes and gardens at Swinton Country Club. Trees naturally give off essential oils, and when inhaled, they have a beneficial impact on the nervous system. Resulting in reduced stress levels, a balancing of mood disorders and an improvement to the overall quality of life. Once aware of your surroundings, you will become happier and more rounded as an individual, relationships may be strengthened, goals achieved and hurdles overcome. Book forest bathing as part of a spa package or individually. Swintonestate.com

Great British Life: Michaela Hanna and Georgina Hickman run the Lunch & Learn workshops at Dunesford. (c) Will Stanley Michaela Hanna and Georgina Hickman run the Lunch & Learn workshops at Dunesford. (c) Will Stanley

Power your body

Where better to learn about healthy eating than a vineyard? Chef Michaela Hanna has teamed up with nutritionist Georgina Hickman, owner of NuMindSet Nutrition for a series of Lunch & Learn events at the Dunesforde vineyard in Upper Dunsforth. Georgina’s subjects next year are Metabolic Health, February 7, Eating for your Gut, May 9, Eating for the Brain, September 18 and Eating to Support the Immune System, November 21. The event includes a cookery demo from Michaela, a three-course lunch and glass of Dunesforde wine. Afterwards there’s also an opportunity to have a wander around the vineyard afterwards. Lunches, £95 pp,

dunesforde.com



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