Our lives are hectic enough, these days, explains Jean Butler, and our goals can become distant and vague, such is the pace of modern living. Yet, I believe that I may have discovered an opportunity to recharge the body and feed a needy soul awaiting at the fabulous women’s-only retreat at Split Farthing Hall, in Bagby, North Yorkshire.

Needing a break but not really a holiday, as I have enjoyed so many of them, it was clear that a total ‘chill-out session’ was on the cards, with time for soul-searching to get me back onto the straight and narrow, both physically and mentally. I decided to book a Yoga and Healthy Eating weekend at The Retreat, which is run by Andrea and Claire Maguire, a step-mother and step-daughter team.

The train journey from London to Yorkshire was hassle-free and I received a warm welcome from Andrea, who collected me from the station. It is worth noting that The Retreat has extremely easy access for both road and air links. We arrived at Split Farthing Hall, a lovingly restored 18th Century Georgian manor house, set within 21 flowing acres and surrounded by stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. 

Andrea showed me around the property and, despite its luxurious elegance, it looked and would prove to be cosy, comfy and capable of providing picture-perfect views from large sofas located in both the drawing room and the library. My bedroom was spacious, impeccably detailed and decorated, with an adjoining bathroom. The bed was king-sized and dressed with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets. Perfect. A fluffy bath robe and paraben-free bath products were provided.

Worrying about hunger pangs and whether I might need the secret food supplies concealed within my overnight bag, I noted that each floor of the house has tea-making facilities, which offer a fabulous selection of herbal drinks and teas, along with never-ending bowls of organic fruit.

Later that afternoon, I was introduced to my seven fellow house-mates and it became apparent that the companionship would cancel out the lost feeling that can transcend, when resident in some establishments.

The dining experience was a delight, with the lovely Dr Claire Maguire preparing three mouthwatering raw food offerings per day. It was impossible not to be affected by her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge. We partook of several delicious dishes, including dreamy almond and blueberry porridge, pesto courgetti, beetroot chilli with guacamole, Indian curry, chocolate flan with berry coulis, apple crumble, divine brownies and yummy smoothies.

On both days that I was a resident I attended a fun raw food workshop that was held in the large kitchen and I received recipe notes to take home. One of my several indulgences was spending time in a luxurious hot tub overlooking the Yorkshire Dales but I also tried the infra-red sauna, where all of my aches and pains disappeared magically.

Daily Kundalini yoga and meditation sessions were included and I found both most intriguingly beneficial. The meditation was a revelation and I slept deeply on both nights, as I was just so relaxed (the mattress on my bed could only be described as the most comfortable I have ever slept upon). On the final day, I experienced an Indian Head Massage, which was wonderfully relaxing.

It was worth investigating the various workshops offered at The Retreat, including the life coaching, which also looked intriguing. My visit to Split Farthing Hall was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to arrive home, feeling hugely invigorated and ready to take on another stage of life’s challenges. Claire and Andrea’s attention to detail and their nurturing personalities made my stay very special indeed. Actually, whenever I reflect on my time spent there, I just long to return.

Standout feature:

An opportunity to explore one’s inner self, within a peaceful, nurturing setting, while revealing the motivational tools to take home.

The Retreat at Split Farthing Hall

01845 597 041