6 best wellbeing festivals
Turns out festivals aren't just for mainlining pear cider - who knew?! Here are six wellbeing weekends to boost your health this summer. Namaste!
Alicia Roscoe is co-founder of &Sister, an Oxfordshire-based yoga retreat specialist, so I thought she’d be the perfect person to tap up for wellness festival recommendations. After all, there’s only so many years you can sleep face down in the mud at Glastonbury before you start craving something a little more civilised and enriching, right? Over to you, Alicia…
Festivals have woken up to the idea of wellness and are stepping up their game to provide you with a wholesome experience for one day or across a whole weekend. As well as dedicated healing areas at festivals like Wilderness, there are now whole events dedicated to health and zen like Wanderlust.
I’ve personally always loved going to festivals and I now realise why; it’s a rare way of being completely and utterly yourself and truly present in the moment (which is the ultimate aim of practising yoga and meditation of course). It’s not too late to book a ticket, pack your yoga mat and glitter and get it “Om”. Here are my six picks for this summer:
Love Trails, 4–7 July
Where: Gower Peninsular, Wales
What: Billed as “the ultimate trail and adventure playground”, this running festival is all about getting off-site and exploring glorious coastline. The trails (many are guided) range from 3km to 55km so there’s something for everyone, plus back at camp there’s music, cooking demos, wellbeing talks and – bliss – hot tubs.
Best bit: The insanely gorgeous beaches – squint and you could be in the Caribbean.
Who goes: Runners of all abilities.
Cost: £149 for full festival, £79 for Sunday day ticket.
Port Eliot, 25 – 28 July
Where: St Germans, Cornwall
What: An acclaimed boutique music and arts festival that has an extensive wellbeing offering. There’s all sorts of yoga – everything from yoga with aromatherapy oils to stretching on a paddleboard (don’t fall in), plus sound therapy, qigong, tree climbing, yarn bombing, foraging and night-time witch walks (wooooh!)
Best bit: How about the axe-throwing workshop for maximum random points?
Who goes: It’s very family friendly so take the whole gang.
Cost: From £65 for an adult day ticket to £460 for a family camping for the whole festival.
(PS: &Sister will see you there – we are supporting Vivo Barefoot with adults and children’s yoga classes.)
Wanderlust, 27 July
Where: Battersea Park, London.
What: A dedicated one-day wellness festival where you can do a “mindful triathlon” – a 5k run, yoga and meditation. There’s also craft stalls galore, healthy food, an intention setting ceremony, music and dancing.
Best bit: Want to learn for fly? Try aerial yoga.
Who goes: City slickers after a quick, easy-access wellness hit in one of London’s most beautiful parks.
Cost: From £35.
Wilderness, 1- 4 August
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxon.
What: Another family-friendly biggie that takes wellbeing seriously. There’s a lakeside spa, talks on everything from toxic masculinity to orgasms (oh, I say!), oodles of yoga options, dance, pilates, poetry writing and loads more.
Best bit: Go retro and dig out your leg-warmers with Frame’s ‘80s aerobics class.
Who goes: The Muddy crew – this one is in our ‘hood!
Cost: £180 for a weekend ticket.
(PS: &Sister will see you there – we’re teaching slow flow every morning at 8.30am in The Studio.)
Boardmasters Festival, 7-11 Aug
Where: Newquay, Cornwall.
What: The UK’s biggest surf & music festival, with heavyweight headliners (Wu-Tang Clan, Florence + the Machine and Foals this year), a wealth of wellness activities and of course, surfing.
Best bit: Don’t miss Oxford’s finest Foals’ set and, on the wellness side, morning beach yoga at Fistral with @thestrengthtemple sounds like a brilliant hangover soother.
Who goes: Beach bums, surf dudes and lots of teens. If you’ve got very young children in tow, it’s probably not top of the list.
Cost: 5 day camping tickets from £179.
Into The Wild, 23-26 Aug
Where: West Hoathly, Sussex
What: There are over 200 workshops over the weekend, with, as the name suggests, an emphasis on all things outdoorsy. Fairy den making, foraging, shamanism, chalk carving, Mongolian throat singing (it’s a thing!) – you name, it’s there.
Best bit: Sign us up for the hip hop Shakespeare workshop.
Who goes: Bohemian families – the kids’ area is award-winning. Boozers beware though: this is a dry festival.
Cost: £165 for adult weekend, under 5s are free.
&Sister, Poundon House, Poundon, Bicester, Oxfordshire. Tel: 07866453831.