It’s a way of life for many, and for others, an indulgence that’s actually good for you. #SelfCare clocked up over 10 million posts on Instagram in 2018. The holistic mindset looks set to continue to evolve in 2019, increasingly influencing how we choose to spend our leisure time.
Our desire to seek out health and wellbeing is also impacting how and where we chose to holiday. According to influential travel journal Lonely Planet, wellness tourism is now the fastest-growing sector in travel, with growth of 10% in 2018 making it a market now worth over £380bn.
We know that increasing numbers of our guests come to North Wales to take some time out from the fray and push ‘reset’ for a better balance in their lives. If you’re looking for a holiday that will leave you with the healthiest of glows and a wonderful feeling of wellbeing, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top tips of how to improve your health and wellbeing in North Wales this year.
Ditch the digital and get back to nature
It is a universally acknowledged truth that we all spend far too much time on our phones, tablets and laptops fielding notifications, alerts, phone calls and messages. And that’s before we’ve even opened up our social media feeds. Whether for work or play, there’s a huge pressure to be connected at all times. And that’s no good for our anxiety levels and general mental health. The flip side of that is that a few days away from wifi and a mobile phone signal can have a profoundly positive impact on our overall wellbeing. We highly recommend it! Bryn Bach cottage on the outskirts of Bala, Snowdonia, is the perfect place to switch off from the noise. Set in beautiful farmland – your only close neighbours are the grazing sheep. Far-reaching views of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) and the magnificent Snowdonia mountains beyond, it is a traditional Welsh cottage with an exceptionally warm heart. Sleeps 4, from £400 per week. Short breaks also available.
Have a go at ‘Forest Bathing’
We know that forests and woodlands are an essential part of our ecosystem: they absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, cleanse the air we breathe and purify our water. But did you know that the simple act of just being around trees could actually have a significant effect on your health and wellbeing? A lot has been written in the UK press recently about the Japanese art of ‘shinrin-yoku’ or forest bathing – and the benefits of walking amongst trees and nature. We’re pretty sure people have been doing this since time immemorial (and hey, who hasn’t hugged a tree), and now we have proof that it’s really good for us! Scientists who study these things have linked ‘forest bathing’ to a boosted immune system, increased energy, decreased anxiety and reduced stress. And just think, you can access all of this for free! There are plenty of beautiful wooded spaces to explore in North Wales. Take a look at some of our favourites on this blog here.
Go Dolphin spotting on a North Wales boat trip
It’s hard to beat the thrill of seeing a pod of dolphins jumping and playing in the sea, but we reckon the positive benefits of seeing creatures enjoying their natural habitat extends to all species! The sea and coast are a big part of life for us here in North Wales, and it’s easy to charter a boat for dolphin, porpoise and bird watching. One of our favourite trips is out to St Tudwal’s Islands, about two miles off the coast of the Llŷn peninsula – summertime home to a certain Bear Grylls and family. The boat trip takes in stunning views of the mountains of Snowdonia, and the thrill of the wide open sea ahead. With a bit of luck, you’ll see those dolphins too. Read all about our favourite boat trips here.
Stargaze from your own hot tub between mountains and coast
Sure, stargazing is romantic, but its benefits go way beyond that – maybe even as far as infinity and beyond. A bit of astral contemplation is a great way to reduce stress, spark the imagination and inspire creativity. For this we have the perfect cottage: Melin Byrdir is a characterful one bedroom cottage flanked by Snowdonia’s mountains and coast. A splendid place to watch the sun go down, but what makes it really special are its big night skies. And what better place to take them in from than the woodburning hot tub on the cottage’s private terrace? On a good night you might even see a shooting star or two – and if that doesn’t sing to your soul we don’t know what will. Visit the cottage in springtime and the abundance of daffodils, lambs and magnificent ancient landscapes will make even the hardiest of hearts giddy. For sustenance of a different nature, you’re in walking distance of the local pub. Sleeps two from £280 per week. Short breaks available.
Climb a mountain with the people you love
Hiking in the mountains and hills is a wonderful way to improve your strength, stamina and general fitness, but it can also have a hugely beneficial effect on your mental health. For the ultimate in mountain feel-good we prescribe a few days R&R at this luxury barn conversion. Clogwyn Barn sits on the western slopes of Snowdon and enjoys stunning views of Snowdonia’s Nantlle Ridge from every window. There are plenty of wonderful walks including footpaths up Snowdon. Straight out of the front door, and you can’t beat the sense of satisfaction you get from being able to admire the peaks you have conquered from the comfort of your fireside armchair. You could even channel your inner artist and get creative with a sketchbook or camera. The landscapes here are simply stunning. Sleeps 4, from £600 per week. Short breaks available.