Seven affordable gut health retreats in the UK and Europe

The Ocean of Tenerife is not only for lovers of nature, but also of the world famous FX Mayr fasting method

Listen to your instinct. What is he saying? If you’ve indulged yourself over Christmas and New Year’s… and frankly, who hasn’t? – it is very likely that he is asking you for a break.

Intestinal health has never been more present in the times. The numbers alone are alarming. The 100 trillion bacteria currently residing in your gut weigh about the same amount as your brain and may be having an equally considerable impact on your current well-being.

After all, 70 percent of your immune system is located there. Imbalances between these good and bad bacteria have been linked not only to irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, fatigue and low mood, but also to neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Those at the end of this scale will know how miserable it can be when things aren’t working as they should, but arguably we could all benefit from improving our gut health.

It’s no surprise, then, that its market is exploding. A series of stomach-churning supplements, workshops, and now even vacations proliferate. But many of these new retreats are wildly expensive and some certainly haven’t been organized by experts. So what supposedly gut-friendly breaks actually have the chance to help heal your microbiome, without destroying your wallet?

United Kingdom

Goodwood Gut Health Program Tasting Day, West Sussex

Duration: one day
Price: £220 for a day package and from £200 for bed and breakfast

Designed by clinical nutritionist Stephanie Moore, the Goodwood Gut Health Program is the gold standard in microbiome and metabolism management. For five nights at the country hotel, a nutritionist analyzes your body composition, massages your abdomen, brushes your body and examines your usual diet, while chefs serve you a program of gut-friendly meals. The premise is that virtually every aspect of health—from energy regulation, weight management, and immune response to stress resistance and sleep—requires a robust, balanced gut.

Still. If you find the £2,225 price tag hard to stomach, a more affordable solution is available. The Gut Health Taster Day will teach you the basics in a single day, including a body brushing treatment, abdominal massage, skin microbiome facial, and a locally produced, gut-friendly three-course lunch. After which, you can enter the gym to steam, swim and stretch.

Hawarden Estate, North Wales

Duration: maximum 2.5 hours
Price: from £30 per person (sessions cost £300, with a maximum group size of 10 people). Estate accommodation from £150 for Beekeeper’s Hut, sleeping two

Could there be a more idyllic place to de-stress your mind and gut than Hawarden Estate – 3,500 acres of ancient woodland, rural parkland, a magnificent lake and a medieval castle? Its very modern revival now includes beautiful, characterful holiday homes, an award-winning farm shop, wood-burning saunas and jacuzzis in the walled garden and a sincere, expert approach to wellbeing.

Hawarden Estate recently underwent a modern renovationHawarden Estate recently underwent a modern renovation

Hawarden Estate recently underwent a modern renovation

The Walled Garden School has an ongoing program of masterclasses in massage, yoga and more, while guests can also book a class on gut health and nutrition from local nutrition and wellness expert Emma Garland (aka the ‘yogi of the good food”). Classes are personalized: Emma speaks to each group and tailors each class to their specific needs. However, expect a hands-on focus on increasing plant diversity and fiber in your diet, as well as trying some fermented foods – key factors in promoting good gut health, boosting your microbiome and improving your immune system.

Gut Reset Retreat, Cheshire

Duration: four days, three nights
Price: from £720

Clarissa Lenherr, founder of the eponymous Harley Street clinic, is one of the UK’s leading nutritionists. Her retreats, in a stately home with an indoor pool, cinema room and 12 acres to explore, are aimed squarely at those seeking help with digestive symptoms and bloating. Participants receive three nutritious meals a day, are guided through relaxing meditations and gong baths, taught healing yoga sequences, and participate in nutrition workshops.

Healthy cooking is the key to good intestinal healthHealthy cooking is the key to good intestinal health

Healthy cooking is the key to good intestinal health – Gut Reset Retreat


Amchara Gozo, Malta

Duration: three nights (longer stays available)
Price: from £850 per person

Amchara’s retreats in Gozo are something of an insider secret (“a beautiful place and run by well-trained nutritionists,” says leading nutritionist Samantha Bloom). The setting is magnificent, with towering palm trees, blue skies, honey-colored stones and a sparkling pool. The 16 apartments are also quite ostentatious (designed by Sadie Frost, who has been coming regularly for a decade or more).

However, the approach is far from superficial. Personalized health screenings, juice, soup, broth and supplement diet programs, daily raw food demonstrations, nutrition talks and yoga classes are offered as standard. Additional treatments ranging from reflexology to reiki, as well as more in-depth health screenings, can be booked. Can’t travel that far? Amchara started in Somerset, where they still do regular pickups, at a slightly lower cost.

Mind-Body-Food Retreat, Dalaman, Türkiye

Price: from £1,650, all included
Duration: five nights

Nutritional therapy practitioner and intuitive eating coach Sarah Grant’s approach uses the latest research to help clients establish a sustainable, stress-free relationship with their bodies and diets. Her retreats, led by yoga teacher Emily Perrier, take place on the outskirts of the picturesque fishing village of Kalkan, in a small resort that meets the blue sea on a set of pretty terraces.

Intuitive eating coach Sarah Grant hosts a retreat in the pretty fishing village of KalkanIntuitive eating coach Sarah Grant hosts a retreat in the pretty fishing village of Kalkan

Intuitive eating coach Sarah Grant hosts a retreat in the pretty fishing village of Kalkan – Mindy Coe

For five nights (or eight, if you opt for a longer retreat), Grant offers daily meditations and workshops focused on intuitive nutrition, while offering you a carefully crafted menu of local and largely vegetarian foods designed to nourish your gut. Meanwhile, Perrier leads two rebalancing yoga classes every day, overlooking the ocean. Once she gets home, she will be able to do one-on-one consultations with both women via Zoom to make sure she maintains her newly acquired habits.

The magnificent intestinal retreat, Mallorca, Spain

Duration: four night
Price: from £750 per person

Nutritionist Hannah Richards has an impressive CV. She is founder of London’s The Gut Clinic (and author of the book of the same name), previously resident nutritionist at Petersham Nurseries and also co-director of Move Three Sixty, a gym and holistic health clinic in Hampstead.

Her retreats in Mallorca are carried out in collaboration with yoga and reiki therapist Jenni Enigk. The food is organic, seasonal and largely, but not exclusively, plant-based. The days are dedicated to doing yoga, reiki and meditation. There are gut health masterclasses, long meal cooking workshops, nature walks and breathing classes. In your free time, and at an additional cost, you can book naturopathic nutritional consultations, brahma massages and more. Or, totally free, naps and sea baths under the sun.

Ocean, Tenerife Spain

Duration: 10 days
Price: £1,100 for the 10-day programme, plus £1,393 for 10 nights’ accommodation

This retreat is not exactly cheap, but it is good value for money. Hidden from tourists, in the lush mountains of the northeast coast, Oceano is a destination not only for nature devotees, but also for devotees of the world-famous FX Mayr fasting method.

Enjoy yoga classes during your stay in OceanoEnjoy yoga classes during your stay in Oceano

Enjoy yoga classes during your stay at Oceano – OCÉANO Health Spa Hotel

The dedicated Mayr FX Center is built on the belief that overall health depends on the health of your gut. Booking a 10-day detox program is like checking your body for a full service. A doctor will examine you and develop a personal diet plan for the duration. It follows a rigorous process of lymphatic drainage, therapeutic massages, seawater baths, yoga classes and, be careful, colon hydrotherapy.

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