Set on a two mile surfing beach on the drive down to Newquay, Watergate Bay is the perfect destination for an active beach holiday.
Their philosophy, conveniently for us, is all about balance that includes eating well, getting out in the elements and rewarding efforts with a cocktail or two!
I team up with a buddy, throw my Labrador on the back seat (yes, they allow dogs so your four legged friend can get in on the action too), and drive down from London for a Cornish getaway.
We’re here for a weekend yoga break that includes daily yoga and meditation, accommodation for two nights with breakfast and dinner.
From the moment we arrive I feel a wash of calm sweep over me. The hotel that looks directly onto the ocean is the perfect combination of cool beach chic interiors and luxurious comfort.
It feels spacious, light and calming thanks to the gentle lapping of the sea that’s never far from view.
We check in at reception, settle into our room and make our way to the yoga studio that boasts floor to ceiling windows overlooking the entire bay. Here we meet with instructor Julia who takes us through the format of the retreat.
Our first class is a slow, meditative practice with a lot of focus on breath to release tension. The postures are fairly standard such as cat/cow, downward facing dog and bridge pose which makes it a great class for beginners.
We head for dinner in Zacry’s – a Cornish take on a classic brasserie. Find everything from grilled meat to seafood. See a sample menu here.
The morning starts with an optional outdoor group mindfulness session. A walk on the beach to clear the mind and create focus.
I find this a little odd at first. Meditating alone is one thing but I feel sceptical about the group participation.
I soon learn to appreciate the silence, accept the company of my fellow walkers and focus on the beauty of my surroundings.
After the walk we practice 90 minutes of yoga before breakfast. The style is a very slow pace focusing much more on the breath and realignment than fast dynamic flows.
Don’t be put off if you’re used to fast paced, sweaty yoga sessions. It really forces you to slow down to connect with your body, which a lot of us don’t do enough of.
We return to Zacry’s for breakfast which caters to dairy free and gluten free diets. It also has an impressive DIY waffle station – just saying!
There are optional yoga workshops to attend to help you take your practice further. From yoga for specific sports and activities, to an overview of different yoga styles, hip-openers, inversions and pair work.
After lunch we are left to relax by the 25-metre ocean-view infinity pool, explore the local area or get active.
We enjoy runs along the cliff tops to nearby beaches, a cheeky glass of prosecco in the outdoor hot tub and a surfing lesson at the Extreme Academy.
For gym goers there is a fitness centre in the Swim Club with a cardio room and a studio for cycle, yoga and Pilates classes.
There’s also a spa with treatment rooms and a manicure and pedicure room overlooking the bay. We choose a session of reflexology that works on massaging pressure points in the feet that correlate to different organs in the body.
I find i’m most sensitive in an area of my foot that corresponds to my adrenal glands. Perhaps all this slow, restorative yoga is what my body needs after all!
We round off the day with another yoga class, focussing on breath with guided relaxation before heading to dinner.
There’s an optional ‘after dark’ activity – essentially candle lit meditation to allow food to digest and ease us into a good night’s sleep.
You can always choose an after dark digestif instead!
I skip the group outdoor morning mindfulness and walk my dog on the Coastal path instead – which, to give you an interesting fact, stretches for 630 miles. The current record for running it stands at 14 days, 14 hours and 44 minutes. Maybe for another visit…
We finish with a slightly more energising yoga class at a faster pace than previous sessions, have our farewell breakfast and load the car for our journey back to London.
We leave feeling rested and rejuvenated by the sea air!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend, an active outdoor break in the elements, or just some fun near one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, then this is the place for you.
Drive 4-5 hours from London (depending on traffic) or fly to Newquay airport!
Book an Active break at Watergate Bay: