Swinton Park Wellbeing Escapes

How to Destress…Escape to Wellbeing in Beautiful Yorkshire

Embark on world-class wellness in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire

Escape to Swinton Park for wellbeing
Swinton Park for wellbeing escapes

countryside. Swinton Park is a sprawling 200-acre park that focuses on nature to enhance your wellbeing. Here you’ll find space to breathe, relax and revitalize. Have an adventure, hike the high rolling hills or wander next to a gently flowing stream.

Stay in a yurt, log cabin or self-catering cottage. Or live like royalty at the gothic styled, ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton. Get pampered in the ambiance of a genteel country home.

Wellbeing activities abound…

Fish in pristine streams… rent a bicycle… ride the ponies… or watch falconry, the sport of kings.  Visit their walled gardens, one of the largest in Europe. Try your hand at shooting, or wander in the nearby market town of Masham.

Walk, hike, or cycle. There are over 63 miles of footpaths and bridle paths in the park and beyond.  With 20,000 acres of the private estate, you’ll never be bored.  Explore the farmlands, moors, rivers, forests, and reservoirs. Or the concierge can arrange a car or motorcycle tour if that’s more to your liking.

It’s a great home base to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park and

River Ure for peacefull wellbeing
River Ure Tranquility

the numerous quaint villages and nearby castles. Here, far from the crowds, it’s easy to imagine yourself in an earlier century.  Here the pace of life is slower, more leisurely.  Even the roads are narrower, encouraging you to slow down.

Stop for the view, meander down a path to view enchanting waterfalls. Tea shops, pubs, and farmer’s markets invite you to pause and browse.  From high escarpments to country lanes where the main traffic is free roaming sheep, you’ll find something unique at every turn.

Experiences abound indoors and out to restore your mind, body, and spirit.

Nourish wellbeing with farm-to-table food.

Choices abound. Savor fine dining at Samuel’s Restaurant. Relax with something more casual at the Terrace Restaurant and Bar. Collect a custom picnic for your day out. Maybe you have a private event in mind. Regardless, you’ll find the food is always amazing.

You’ll enjoy the freshest produce from their garden and the peak of the season’s offerings. Meat, fish, and poultry direct from the estate.  All raised with natural sustainable techniques. Swinton Park specializes in earth-friendly practices for the healthiest farming possible. They care for nature so nature can care for you.

Their cooking school events run continuously and offer something for every age and taste.  Both guests and visitors are welcome to sign up for a half-day, full day, or weekend cooking experience. You’ll go home with ideas and tips that will make cooking fun and a delight for the palette.

Make time for the spa!

The new state-of-the-art spa, built to bring nature indoors, opened in

restorative well being pools
Swinton park restorative wellness pools

July 2017. From the latest in therapy treatments to unique experience rooms, nothing has been spared for your ultimate restoration. Light, air, and water surround you. Though soaring windows, nature’s healing powers comfort you.

Whether your goal is rejuvenation, restoration or fitness, the Spa will exceed your expectations. It blends seamlessly into the historic architecture. At the same time, it reaches out in a modern way to embrace nature and draw it in. Both indoor and outdoor pools invite you to relax. Lounges poolside and on the covered and heated terrace beckon you, year around. Thick snuggly blankets are handy if there is a chill.

The aroma steam room, salt steam room, and Finish sauna will help detoxify and boost your immune system. Or visit with friends around the fire pit of the alfresco sauna.

The eight quiet treatment rooms and skilled therapists will have you feeling renewed… but don’t rush away.  Post-treatment downtime is available in the relaxation room, restful niches, or sleep room with heated waterbeds. Complete peace is yours for the having.

Wellbeing retreats

Escape for a day and enjoy the wellbeing programs or private bodywork sessions. Or slip away and join one of their ongoing wellness retreats.  Swinton Park offers both guests and the locals numerous packages choices.

Come alone, or come with friends. Immerse yourself in world-class wellness in the heart of Yorkshire.

Explore wellbeing now…

To explore all of your options for a fabulous wellbeing adventure visit http://hotel.swintonestate.com/.  Booking direct will always give you the best value. Direct booking is also the way to access all their unique experience offerings.

West Witton’s Old Vicarage Explore the Dales

West Witton’s Old Vicarage – Explore the Dales…

A charming village in the Yorkshire Dales, West Witton is a perfect

West Witton's Old Vicarage sits along the main road
West Witton’s Old Vicarage on Main Street

location to use as your base to explore. Picturesque. Quiet. Relaxing. Stay at the caravan park, a farm or a lovely Bed & Breakfast. Our personal favorite is the Old Vicarage.

West Witton’s Old Vicarage…

This Grade II historical property offers just five rooms. Built of stone, with

West Witton's Old Vicarage has ample parking in the rear
Old Vicarage ample parking behind rear garden

an intriguing history. Ask about the Vicar who made his home here. Some parts of the building date back over 300 years, but guest rooms have all the modern amenities and are en suite. From your windows, enjoy views of the garden or panoramic vistas of the Dales.

When you arrive at the Vicarage, relax with a spot of tea or coffee and maybe a homemade treat by your hostess Kirsteen. Besides treats, she also makes amazing preserves. You can even take one home with you to extend your memories.

West Witton's Old Vicarage
Old Vicarage guest lounge snug on a rainy day

The guest’s lounge has that very friendly English country feel. Relax with a book, peruse a map, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Enjoy the log fireplace when the weather is cool. It’s the sort of room you want to snug up in on a rainy day.

From the front windows, Bolton Castle invites you across the valley. It welcomes you to come visit the medieval castle, maze, gardens and birds of prey.  Explore, have an adventure or even get married there.

West Witton is only three miles from Leyburn and four miles to Aysgarth

West Witton's Old Vicarage guest room
West Witton’s Old Vicarage room with four-poster bed

Falls. In exchange for the short drive, the Old Vicarage gives you the peace and tranquility of the Dales. Though the house is right on Main Street, in the evenings it becomes very quiet.

Fox & Hounds is a favorite

Just a short way down Main Street is the Fox and Hounds, a local’s

Yorkshire steak and kidney pie at Fox & Hounds

favorite. Leave the car tucked in its space behind the Vicarage and walk. It’s only a block or two.

The pub specializes in quality home cooking, locally sourced and… some

amazing ales. Never tried a Yorkshire steak and kidney pie? This is a good spot to give it a try. Not quite that brave? They have great fish and chips and other classical pub favorites. Every Sunday you can have the traditional Roast Beef lunch.

Locals and visitors gather and chat, play games or cards or… darts. A 15th-

Fox & Hounds near Old Vicarage
Enjoy a game of darts at the Fox & Hounds

century pub, the Fox and Hounds oozes character. It’s homey, friendly and the classical juke box keeps the music going. They say you know it’s a good night when the manager, Blackie, is feeding the jukebox too.

 

After a quiet rest, the aromas of bacon and sausage grilling will tease you awake. Yes, fresh hot coffee, or tea if you prefer. While you enjoy their amazing homemade breakfasts, you can plan your tour for the day.

Explore…

Outdoor adventures await you. Hiking, bicycling, motorcycling or a drive

River Ure near West Witton

in your car. Visit waterfalls, castles or the Wensleydale Cheese Factory. Want to picnic? Plan ahead with Kirsteen, they will arrange a packed lunch on request. They also offer a flask filling facility.

Want to shop? Visit Hawes and Leyburn. They are both market towns full of quaint shops and history along with beautiful views. You’re in the country where stories of the famous veterinarian, James Herriot took place.

In an easy day trip, you can venture to Thirsk to the Herriot museum, or to Ripon and visit beautiful Fountains Abbey. There is so much to see and do in this area you can’t do it all in a weekend visit. You’ll need to come back again. Kirsteen and Roddy will welcome you, pamper you and make you feel at home.

Plan your next stay at the Old Vicarage…

For the very best rates and friendly service, contact them directly. Ask them about events and specials during the time you want to visit. Complete details are here: http://www.oldvicaragewestwitton.co.uk/.

Cave Castle Fairytale wedding venue

Cave Castle for Weddings and more

Cave Castle Hotel & Country Club

 Girls in the East Riding of Yorkshire all know of Cave Castle Hotel.  It is a favorite place to have your fairytale wedding. Large or intimate they can help the bride make her wedding day dreams come true. But they also offer a lot more…

 Set in the midst of 150 acres of meadows and park lands it is absolutely

Cave Castle Pond and Geese

stunning. A beautifully groomed golf course drapes around the manor like a cape. Across the drive, the pond fed by a natural spring used to be the main water source for the villagers. Now, with its resident geese, it is entertainment for the visitors. Children and adults alike enjoy their antics and quest for bread.

Cave Castle Manor
The current building was erected in the 1870s on the foundations of a previous structure. The history is a bit obscure but has tracked to the Domesday book of the 11th century.  The entrance to an underground tunnel that leads to the chapel hints at the lost stories.
 

Today guests enjoy the Victorian manor house built in the Gothic Revival

Cave Castle 4-Poster Bedroom

Style. It is complete with crenelated towers. Despite the “cannons” at the entry, it was never designed as a fortification. Inside it is a luxurious haven for relaxation and comfort.

 
Locals love it for social and business events small and large. They partner extensively with the local community and can meet a broad spectrum of desires.
Our guide Emma & Judi
Our hostess, Emma shared with us the fascinating building and its history. She was a wealth of knowledge on all it offers to guests. The spa, health club, golf course, country club all await both guests and locals. Cave Castle has made great efforts to tie itself into local life both as a social and business venue.
Year around events….
Emma keeps busy creating all the fun events at Cave Castle. Besides the daily activities, you’ll find lots more. Murder mysteries, concerts, and many special wedding events. There are also themed holiday events. For a quirky bit of fun, join them in December for “A Christmas Killing” murder mystery event.
 
Coming from the US, I was intrigued with the history. George Washington’s grandfather used to live at Cave Castle. He was a partial owner before he emigrated to America. A portrait of our first president still hangs in the house.
 

Both the cafe and the restaurant have first-class food. The cafe is more

Cave Castle Restaurant has views across the green park lands.

casual and the restaurant offers fine dining. If you stop by the cafe for a bit of lunch or a coffee, don’t miss their desserts. They are made on-site and are divine. 

 

Local sourced, fresh daily gourmet treats. The restaurant draws visitors for miles. Choose from the A La Carte menu or table d’hote menu which changes daily.

Cave Castle sandwich with 2 salads
Lovely Cappuccinos
 
Cave Castle hospitality attracts not only resident guests but local patrons alike. The golf club, fitness center and spa all provide opportunities for health, wellness and relaxation.

If you are ever in East Yorkshire, be sure to put this on your bucket list. Whether you are looking for a

Yummy dessert

golf retreat, spa retreat, romantic escape, or a fine dinner, this is the place to be.

Eugene tours for everyone, explore, see the sights, shop and dine

7 Unique Eugene Tours

Eugene Bike paths tour along the Willamette River provide miles of easy entertainment

There are no shortage of things to see and do in Eugene. I’ve created a pdf map that has different activity tours you might enjoy based on your interests.  From parks, events, adventure, the arts and the quirky, it’s all here.

Tour the University

This tour will help you explore all the University of Oregon campus and neighborhood have to offer.

Tour and play in the parks

This is your guide to the diversity of the Eugene Parks.  Most activities here are kid and pet-friendly, but you need to know the one place not to take your dog.

Downtown Shopping tour

Highlights of great spots to visit with your girlfriends. Between the highlighted spots you’ll no doubt discover many additional favorites.

234 Reasons to be here on Saturday

This is THE place to visit on Saturday and you won’t want to miss it.

Eugene Ale Trail tour

If you’re a beer lover you’ll want to experience this ultimate pub crawl before you die.  It’s a not to be missed exploration.

And more….

Download the pdf, click on the icons and have fun exploring.

Visit Eugene tours

 

Eugene Fun Enjoy the culture, diversity, outdoors without Portland’s traffic

Experience Eugene…. Portland Fun

Without the Traffic

looking south across downtown Eugene
Eugene, Oregon Courtesy Almay Photo
By Judith Culp Pearson
 

Eugene offers fun quirkiness and the diversity of Portland. But there is a key difference… you get that fun feeling and gorgeous scenery without the big city traffic. And, it’s

home to the University of Oregon Ducks! It’s laid back, casual, sophisticated, cultural and quirky all at once. It’s a beautiful outdoors playground.

 

At the southern end of the Willamette Valley, the hills tuck in and the valley narrows. The city takes advantage of two high Cascade snow melt rivers, the Willamette and the McKenzie. They create a habitat for wildlife and a place for people to have a great outdoors experience.

Whether you arrive by car, Amtrak train or air, you will find getting around Eugene easy. The airport is user-friendly. They say fly EUG, it’s EASY. Easy to get around, easy to park, easy to find a cab, a shuttle or a car.
 
Amtrak riders disembark only blocks from the heart of downtown and hotel properties. Cabs and the local bus service can whisk you wherever you want to go if you don’t want to rent a car.

 

Outdoors fun is one of the most popular activities.

There are over 46 miles of shared use paths. Want to hike? We have lots of

miles of walking / biking paths along the river
Wooden bridge along walking path

that too. Many of the trails run alongside the river and delta ponds.

See the town like a local. There are at least 10 different resources for renting a bike. With all those paths plus 187 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, it’s a great way to get around. Check out this web page sponsored by the city. You can even download a free bicycle map. https://www.eugene-or.gov/3260/Bike-Rentals
 
If you like watersports those are aplenty. Rent a canoe at Alton Baker Park and explore the inlets. Kayak, boat or sail at Fern Ridge Reservoir. With its 9000 acres, you can paddle narrow inlets, or sail across wide expanses. Catch white crappie, brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and native cutthroat trout. Many easily accessible parks dot the shoreline offering great picnic locations.
 
You’ll find diverse arts, music, and theater rub shoulders with baseball, track and field and football at Autzen Stadium. Kids sports, soccer, hockey, and golf are all there to tempt or entertain you.
 

Go for a Broadway play, the symphony or a ballet at the Hult Center.

Hult center offers diverse cultural entertainment, symphony, ballet, opera, Broadway plays
Hult Center

Wander through the many galleries located throughout the downtown. Like classical music? You can enjoy nearly three weeks of events at the Oregon Bach Festival. It runs late June to mid-July. http://oregonbachfestival.com/

 
And then there is the food. Many restaurants feature fresh, locally sustainable regardless of cuisine. Cafes, food trucks, fine dining… you will find the diversity delightful.
 

Here are 5 fun Eugene activities you might want to include:

 

1. Tour the markets.

5th Street Market has made a name for itself as a premium attraction. It’s located on the site of a historical market where vendors could rent space for $5.00 a day. Now you’ll find diverse boutiques and great food options like Marche, Provisions and the food court. Plus the market there are lots of local merchants along 5th and 6th Streets. Restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries vie for your attention. In good weather, your dog can join you in one of the outdoor patio dining areas.

 
Local produce,meats, flowers, baked goods and more at the Eugene Farmers' Market
Eugene Farmer’s Market

On Tuesday and Saturday, you can experience the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It

offers a wide diversity of fresh, organic produce and flowers. You find farm fresh eggs, meats and honey as well as a wide range of prepared foods you can enjoy there or take home. It’s held on Oak St and 8th, only a few blocks from 5th Street Market.

 
On Saturdays, the Saturday Market joins the Farmer’s Market across eighth street at Oak. Across two park blocks, you’ll find over 200 local artisans offer handcrafted wares. Before you reach the International Food Court, you’ll catch aromas and spices of Asia, India and local favorites. Made fresh on site with local produce when possible. Music from the entertainment stage carries across the venue. It features live music of every imaginable type. Bring the family, there is something for all ages. But please, no pets allowed.
 

2. Museums on University of Oregon campus.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is beautiful architecture. It was built without windows to protect the treasures inside. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you will find an extensive collection of American, European, Korean, Chinese and Japanese art. Visit Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm, Wednesday until 8pm. You’ll find it at 1430 Johnson Lane.

 
A short walk across campus is the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It highlights the university’s anthropological, zoological and paleontological artifacts. It focuses on the natural and cultural history of the area. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm. 1680 East 15th Avenue. Website: http//natural-history.uoregon.edu/.
 

3. Relax and enjoy a sunset

Sweetwater’s patio is a great spot to watch the Willamette River while you

Sweetwaters patio

dine or sip your favorite beverage. Located at Valley River Inn, it is blessed with an amazing river view. Accessible from either the parking lot or the walking path along the river, it is a popular place to gather.

 
The patio is perfect to enjoy a warm summer afternoon, the river and your favorite brew. If it’s a bit chilly to sit outdoors enjoy the views from the panoramic windows. They specialize in fresh, local Northwest cuisine. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
 
Whether you want fine dining, or just enjoy a glass of wine and the view, this is a popular place to relax and do just that. Sweetwater is located at 1000 Valley River Way (541) 341-3462 http://www.valleyriverinn.com/dining.htm.
 

4. Enjoy a game.

No matter what time of year you visit there are great

Autzen Stadium home of Oregon Ducks Football
Autzen Stadium

sporting events to watch. In summer, take in a Eugene Emeralds baseball game at PK Park. The whole family will love it. Kids love their special activities. They get to run the field, play games and visit with Sluggo, the team mascot. http://www.milb.com.

 
Track and field events take place on campus at historic Hayward Field. It’s great family entertainment. Parking nearby can be iffy. But public transportation will whisk you there and back again without any issues.
 
Starting In September, the acoustics at Autzen Stadium roar as fans cheer the Ducks football team. GO DUCKS! The games sell out so get tickets well in advance.
 
Come early and meet up for tailgating. Casual to sophisticated, it’s considered an art form and a great way to spend time with friends.
 
Avoid the traffic… take advantage of park and ride centers strategically located around town.
 
In the winter, it’s back to campus and Matthew Knight Arena for basketball. (This fabulous arena is also a great location to catch a concert or other special event.)
 
www.goducks.com gives you details for all the different sporting events associated with the college. For information on upcoming events and tickets visit http://matthewknightarena.com/ticketsales.php.
 

5. Experience the Eugene Ale Trail.

The area has a legacy of home brewing

Eugene's ale trail is the ultimate pub crawl
Ale Trail

before, during and after prohibition. The ultra pure water of the McKenzie is a brew crafters dream. Add a strong emphasis on local and regional hops and grains and you have a great recipe for great brews. The close proximity to many of the many beer tasting rooms makes it easy to do the ultimate pub crawl.

 
You can pick up a Passport from any participating brewery or bottleshop. They are also available at The Downtown Eugene Visitor Center at 754 Olive Street, or the Adventure Center in Springfield.
 
As you visit each brewery, ask them to stamp your passport. Collect eight stamps from eight participating breweries in the Eugene-Springfield area. They will earn you a 64oz amber Eugene Ale Trail growler.
 
Visit their website for complete details. You’ll also find suggestions for safe transportation. They recommend either a chauffeured driver or designated driver. https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene-ale-trail/.
 
Eugene residents are a friendly lot and they love living where they do. They are happy to share their city, its beauty and its quirky side. For more help planning your trip, visit https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene/.

Discover Portland…Eclectic, Foodie, Quirky

Downtown Portland looking toward Mt. Hood
Portland looking east

Portland is Eclectic, Foodie & Quirky…

Eclectic and quirky, Portland offers diversity amidst natural beauty. You’ll find something for every type of visitor. Here where the Willamette River flows into the massive Columbia, Portland, the city of roses, spreads from the river out and up to the hills beyond. A center of Northwest history, it is the largest city in Oregon.

Straddling the River, Portland is a city of bridges. No two identical. Sunset on the east bank looking across the river and bridges to the downtown skyline is a photo opp not to miss.

Discover Portland

Discover art, music, theater, parks, biking, and hiking. Shop ‘till you drop… there’s no sales tax in Oregon. Year around Portland’s events calendar is crammed full, more than 54 of them annually.  Sure it rains here, that’s tree growing weather.  But here’s a link with 34 Things to Do in the Rain: https://www.travelportland.com/article/34-things-rain/.

Kicking off in April and running through September, outdoor events abound. On the site of a former freeway, the Tom McCall Waterfront Park attracts locals and visitors with music and festivals one after another. June attracts visitors from near and far for the granddaddy of all city parties, the Portland Rose Festival. It’s a full week of events, parades, concerts, a carnival next to the river, boat races and lots more.

On a budget?

Portland offers lots of free and inexpensive attractions and activities. Wander the neighborhoods. Portland is blessed with diverse neighborhoods full of quaint shops and awesome eats. Parks abound offering laid back or hiking experiences.

Walk one of the bridges. Hawthorne Bridge is over a century old. Tilikum Crossing is pedestrian friendly. St. Johns Bridge is tall and elegant.  All afford unique and beautiful perspectives on the city. Another great view and inexpensive treat is taking a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram.

Food scene

Portland is a food lover’s mecca. You’ll find 70 breweries in town and another 35 in the metro area. Renowned for coffee shops and food carts, you’ll also enjoy fine and family dining.  Seasonal fresh, local sourced and diverse. You’ll find vegans and carnivores munching side by side.

Explore

If you catch a bit of rain, enjoy one of the museums, galleries or bookstores. Blessed with sunshine, take a walk or hike in Washington Park, Forest Park, or the Rose Gardens. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city below and picturesque Mt. Hood rising majestically beyond.

For adventure, head to the Columbia Gorge 45 minutes to the east. Here you’ll find waterfalls, hiking and photo opportunities. Southwest of town about the same distance, you’ll be in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine country. More wineries than you could hope to visit in weeks, let alone a day.

Here’s a link so you can plan your Portland escape for a weekend, a week or more.  There’s lots to entertain you in the City of Roses.

https://www.travelportland.com/things-to-do/events/.

10 Tips for incorporating wellness into your travel

Wellness Lifestyle Travel

You feel good with your commitment to a healthier wellness lifestyle. Your stress is more controlled, your body feels better, and your clothes fit better. You exercise regularly. You focus your food choices on fresh organic, local, seasonal…

Now you want to maintain those choices while traveling. It can be a challenge. Long hours sitting in transit, airport and hotel food.

Here are ten tips to help you incorporate wellness into your travels.

1) Plan ahead and take favorite snack foods with you.

While you cannot take beverages through security screening, you can take

Healthy travel snacks

food. Proteins, (nuts, seeds, organic snack bars), firm fruits/vegetables, dried fruit… a little advance planning can have you feeling better about your choices.

2) Schedule time to move between flights.

Instead of racing from one flight to another, consider giving yourself a little more time. Walk the airport, explore, make use of the yoga room to stretch and rebalance. All airports have places to walk, more are adding gyms, quiet rooms and massage.

3) Check your destination hotel.

Look for those that feature healthy lifestyle choices. Fitness facilities, access to bicycles, walking paths, yoga and more. Increasingly properties are making healthy food choices available. Don’t see what you are looking for on their website? Call them and ask questions to see if they can accommodate your needs. If not, are there restaurants or grocers nearby that feature organic, seasonal local?

Use internet search engines to help you plan. Find healthy choice restaurants and grocers near where you will be staying. Keep a list of those who meet your specific preferences.

4) Locate the nearest farmer’s market.

Farmers market

This is a great place to find

Healthy travel snacks

seasonal organic items. Often they include vendors offering prepared healthy selections.

5) Ship it ahead.

Consider shipping your own care package of non-perishable foods ahead of time. On arrival, collect the package at the hotel’s business office.

6) Schedule your travel to include time dedicated to your fitness activities.

Don’t let a tight schedule prevent you from a morning walk or time at the gym.

7) Opt for in-room fitness.

Incorporate exercise

Many savvy travelers carry lightweight packable devices like stretch bands. These plus normal in-room furniture allow them to get an exercise routine in. This is a bonus if the weather is inclement or the hotel’s fitness center gets high use. Some hotels also have fitness tools available for in-room use including DVD workouts.

8) Skip the elevators… take the stairs.

If you are staying at a larger property, select a floor that coincides with your fitness level. Then instead of standing around waiting for the elevator, take those stairs.

9) Track your fitness goals.

If you don’t have a personal activity device, there are free applications you can download on your smartphone. Most can track your distance, steps, kcal, time spent and movement speed. Some can be set up with alerts and reminders.

10) Relaxation time.

Relaxation and focused breathing is a proven way to

Time to relax

destress. Work stress, travel stress, too much technology stress. All benefit from dedicated time to relax. Yoga, meditation, and massage are recognized “safety valves” to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. Schedule some into your trip and renew.

With a little preparation and planning, your next trip can be a wellness fitness trip. You’ll feel better, be more alert, have more energy and come home rejuvenated.

Destress your love

DeStress your love with a deposit secret…

We ladies tend to put a lot of stress on the love of our life when it

help cupid out - destress your love
Courtesy Chopper Papa

comes to special occasions. I read recently that the day after Valentine’s day is the one where many relationships start to crumble.

The message went that if the guy doesn’t remember the gal up to some sort of “standard,” he fails. The woman may start looking around for someone else.

Sorry ladies, I think this is just sad, sad, sad. Relationships are two-way streets. We have to interact and support each other.

Keep making deposits…

Think of relationships like a checking account. You have to keep making deposits to assure good cash flow. Both parties do. But there is no manual that teaches us this. So we just use up what is there and then start to struggle.

For a relationship that is healthy in body, mind, and spirit, we need to use our brains and make regular deposits. It may sound corny, but it invites the other person to make deposits too.

destress your love - Making regular positive deposits keeps your love account full
Making regular deposits keeps the love happening

It’s not rocket science.

Why guys struggle

Why do guys tend to drag their feet at say taking us out for Valentine’s Day, or an anniversary or birthday? If your guy is like most of the fellows I’ve met, there are some clear clues.

Number one – failure. He doesn’t want to disappoint. No guy wants to fail, especially with his lady. Just like us, they need positives. They need to feel successful.

Number two – don’t dump all the dinner decision responsibility on his shoulders. Guys hate it when we don’t help them out. How many of us respond to “Where do you want to go?” with “Oh, I don’t care.”  Wrong.

Number three – he really doesn’t want to have to get gussied up. While we may like to put on special outfits, most guys have their own “comfort zone” that may not include a suit and tie. Even if he wants to go comfy doesn’t mean he will mind at all if you want to wear something a little special.

Some men enjoy “fine” dining. Most see it as posturing and positioning. They would rather have great food in a relaxed atmosphere. Somewhere they feel comfortable and not pressured.

Help your guy out – it’s win-win

We could make life so much easier. We could take the fear out of special occasions. We could remind them why they are the winner who chose us.

How? Well, there are a couple of ways to approach it. First, you probably know their ultimate food fantasy favorite place.  Suggest it! There are a couple of them in my hometown of Eugene, OR.

Cornucopia with its 8oz and 16oz burgers comes to mind. (Oh, yes, they do

destress your love with their favorite restaurant
Courtesy Cornucopia

have salads and other “girl” foods or vegan if you prefer.) Casual, friendly, fabulous food. Relax over beer or wine while they custom prepare that grill to your specifications. Make it even better by going with friends.

You could surprise them and make a reservation there…. Or you could suggest it. “How about we go to Cornucopia for Valentine’s day?” A sincere smile and a wink or a kiss on the cheek. But you must be absolutely honest and comfortable with this.

If you aren’t sincere in your offer, you are better not making it. He will know in a heartbeat. You will be making a big withdrawal instead of a deposit.

What guy wouldn’t jump at going out for an OTT decadent hamburger or nice thick steak at the local steakhouse?

You have taken him off the hook. You have avoided all the negatives. You have reminded him why he chose you. Now go have fun!

But what about your favorite spot that he likes, but isn’t as crazy about?

 Destress your love - Making regular deposits into your love account keeps the love flowing
Couple courtesy CoolProgeny

Well you could have lunch there with a girlfriend (never a bad idea.) Or over desert… while he feels sated from all that protein … Use your girlish wiles. You remember the early days of your relationship. Remind Him. Flirt a little and suggest your favorite spot one of these days.

You are making a deposit in your joint bank, your love account, and inviting him to do the same. Practice regular deposits into your account and enjoy the rewards.

Wellness abounds at Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls wellness unmatched

Winding your way up the long drive is like driving into a 3-d postcard.

Cedar Falls Manor has always offered wellness
Cedar Falls Manor offers wellness retreat

The 18th-century red sandstone mansion is the essence of beauty. Situated amidst 44 acres it’s a park with its gardens, woods, and lakes.

 Health farm and spa 

Designed as a health farm and spa, Cedar Falls has been offering wellness retreats since 1982. But the “health” tone has changed. Originally, you had to earn your way to the fabulous meals via diet and exercise.
 

Today’s guests retreat to relax and renew. Most guests are female visiting

Gardens offer a lovely place to walk or relax and unwind in nature
Cedar Falls Gardens

alone or with friends. Every year a high percent of them return for an annual retreat.

 
The atmosphere is that of a manor home, not a hotel. Built in 1830 it has been completely restored to better than original by local craftsmen. The detail of the craftsmanship is a visual delight. Luxury but deliberately unpretentious.

Wellness unmatched 

Cedar Farm doesn’t see themselves as a hotel with a spa. Instead, the focus is the health farm. Wellness abounds. Lots of nature to lure you out for a round of golf. They offer a 9 hole 18 tee golf course. The natural features make it fun and challenging for all levels of golfers. The golf course is complete with its own cabin to cater to the needs of the golfers.
 
A diversity of outdoor opportunities to encourage you to stretch and move:
  • Body conditioning

    The outdoor pool is open all summer for guest exercise
    Outdoor pool for exercise and restoration
  • Pool (summer only)
  • Pilates
  • Country walks alone or organized walk
  • Photography in the gardens or terraces
  • Tennis court
  • Golf
    Yoga and Pilates in the former ballroom
    Yoga and Pilates room

     

Or head to the gym to work out. Need some help? Your personal fitness trainer will guide you into the right moves.
Too cool for outdoors? Relax in the indoor hot tub, pool, and conservatory.
 

The focus is wellness and relaxing restoration.

Forget business. Lounge in your lovely plush robes and slippers. You are welcome to wander throughout the home and to the pool, spa or conservatory. No need to get dressed until you are ready for dinner.

Indoor spa offer wellness year around
Indoor Pools and conservatory
 

The spa is first class with a wide diversity of treatments and facilities. Enjoy its friendly caring approach and superb guest services.

Guests can relax and enjoy a beverage in the spa lounge
Spa lounge and beverage bar
  • Beauty treatments
  • Body treatments
  • Body wraps
  • Facial treatments
  • Hot stone therapy
  • Hairstyling services
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Spray tanning
  • Natural therapy treatment
  • Mother-to-be treatments
  • Men’s specialty treatments
 
Natural therapies are a unique twist. Their goal is to help you feel better about yourself inside. Back problems, headaches, depression are all dealt with. Likewise work-life balance, stress reduction, re-energizing and nourishing your spirit.
 
Guests can come and spend a health spa day, or opt for overnight packages. The Spa Stay package includes your room, meals and their most popular treatments. The Spa Overnight package includes your room and treatments of choice – build it yourself.
 

Groups

For small groups of up to four, they have the option of the South Lodge. It is self-contained and includes full access to all the facilities of the main house.
 
Groups can also reserve the spa for their private use in the evenings. It is a great option for a special event and to experience a sampling of what Cedar Falls Spa offers.
 
The Spa features Clarins and Espa products. Treatments are very popular. Advanced booking is strongly recommended.

 

Oasis of Tranquility is designed for enhancing wellness
Oasis of Tranquility
Take a break and visit the Oasis of Tranquility. This quiet zone is designed in the style of a Turkish Hammams. Enjoy sumptuous decor and lounging beds. Salt lamps, the furnishings, and aroma help you switch off and restore. Beware – this is a technology free zone. No phones or other devices allowed.
 

Dining is a healthy indulgence.

Meals here are healthy choices prepared to gourmet tastes and enhanced by views of nature
The dining room offers soothing nature vistas and healthy food choices

Lunch is a tempting buffet. Traditional afternoon teas, cakes, and pastries will tempt you. Want something more than coffee or tea? The bar is open with offerings for your pleasure.

 
After you change from your robe and slippers you can enjoy an amazing dinner. Enjoy the exquisite food while you relax with stunning garden views from its generous windows.
 
Dinner a three-course foodie’s delight. Savory rich Venison Terrine, Five Spice Sea Bass Fillet, and seasonal specialties. The menu brings you the best of fresh local produce and regional offerings. Be advised… desserts are decadent.
 
After dinner relax on your own or join other guests for an evening talk in the drawing room at nine pm. Guests enjoy a wide diversity of wellness and local topics. After the evening talk, things go quietly. In its rural setting, it’s a serene tranquil spot for a great night’s sleep. Snuggle into that comfy bed and let your stress dissipate and your body renew.

Fishmore Hall SpaShell

 SpaShell at Fishmore Hall

Fishmore Hall has brought the unique SpaShell concept to the historic

Fishmore Hall is located outside market town of Ludlow
A mile from historic Ludlow is the restored manor Fishmore Hall

market town of Ludlow. Tucked just a mile down the road from the edge of town, Fishmore Hall is a lovely Georgian manor.

The property owner, Laura Penman, lovingly rescued this elegant home and restored it. The bedrooms are contemporary, the en-suite baths luscious. The result is warm, welcoming and delightful.

Adding a spa

When I visited the property last

Part of the back gardens were prepared for the spa with minimal disruption to guests
Part of gardens prepared for spa
Fishmore Hall Dining with view of spa gardens

August they were excitedly awaiting their new spa.  The spa is a real bonus as the nearest existing spa is 26 miles away.

As with any hotel, remodeling or construction can be a challenge. It can interfere with the guest experience. Noise, mess, workers. Ms. Penman wanted to add a spa but didn’t want to impact her guests.

She met Alistar Johnson of Spa Creators UK, Ltd. at a trade show.  With over 20 years of designing, developing and managing spas he offered a brand new concept. SPAShell. It solves many problems.

SpaShell project

The project includes five years of total management to assure its success.  With over 20 years experience, the SPAShell business model has proven successful. It allows properties to add a revenue stream with strong ROI. The facility itself increases the asset value of the property.

The turnkey concept comes complete with the spa and five years of total management. What truly makes it unique is the construction.  All off site!  Construction includes top end materials expected in any high-end spa.  But manufacture is done in a modular format.

l
Exterior of SPAshell at Fishmore Hall

The spa location is prepared and groomed simultaneous with construction.  Then they load the spa pods onto lorries (trucks) and deliver. Completion of set-up is usually about two days scheduled for minimal impact to hotel guests.

SpaShell facilities

Both one and two story designs are available. This single story spa has four treatment rooms. Each pair of treatment rooms opens to create a double room for couples services.

Each SpaShell treatment room has an en-suite shower and can be opened to create a couple's duo
SpaShell Treatment room

You will find all the expected amenities. Inside are a steam room, sauna, shower, locker room, reception and the treatment rooms. Outside is an outdoor Cedar wellness pool, lounge area. There is also an oversize hammock for snuggling. For the adventurous, there is a stimulating bucket and monsoon drench.

The SpaShell relaxation room offers guest views of nature and a cozy place to relax
SpaShell Relaxation room with view of cedar spa in background

A wide diversity of massage, facial, manicure and pedicure services.  They feature Elemis products and equipment. Packages also include Afternoon Tea or lunch and beverages from the highly rated restaurant.

The Spa nestles in the gardens next to the manor.  Here spa-goers enjoy lovely views across Shropshire’s rolling hills. There is a strong sense of serenity, relaxation, and privacy to enjoy the amenities. Built of natural materials, the spa blends beautifully into the countryside surrounding it.

SpaShell Cedar Spa gives guests a great evening retreat in a quiet relaxing setting
Cedar spa at night with Shropshire view in background

Since opening in late 2016, the spa has become popular with locals as well as guests. It has exceeded Laura’s hopes. Guests are now choosing to stay at Fishmore Hall to enjoy the spa.  Lunch and tea guests view the spa just outside the windows and are scheduling their own visits.

Spa Creators UK, Ltd. plans on

Drench Shower

offering SPAshell to boutique properties across the UK and Europe. For more information on SpaShell or Spa Creators, visit their website: http://www.spashell.com/.

Experience it yourself

To see and experience the Spa for yourself, visit http://www.fishmorehall.co.uk.   Arrange for a great room, fabulous food, and a delightful relaxing spa experience. Booking directly with Fishmore Hall will assure you the best value for your pounds.

Plan to spend several days… there is a lot to see and do in this beautiful area. Watch for my upcoming blog – what to see and do in Shropshire.

Here is a video on SPAshell with views of the spa at Fishmore Hall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g10FOEaMJoE&feature=youtu.be