The best UK wellness festivals 2023
With summer on the horizon and the UK’s festival season fast approaching, perhaps this year you’re looking to ditch the glitter and booze and opt for a more relaxing long weekend.
If the days of soggy tents and hangovers are behind you but you’re still looking for an escape to the outdoors, a wellness festival in the gorgeous British countryside could be the answer.
This new generation of festivals centres around rejuvenating mind, body and spirit, alongside a helping great music and delicious (and healthy) food.
With offerings popping up all across the UK, it’s impossible not to find something to fulfill your zen fantasies.
Here are the best...
July 14-16, Warwickshire
With 300 incredible events and 14 stages set in the stunning Warwickshire countryside, this quirky festival is celebrating its tenth birthday this year and it’s sure to be a magical one. Dubbed as both a wellness and ideas festival, ALSO brings health, education comedy, music and food together into one glorious weekend.
Workshops include a sound bath session in a beautiful natural amphitheatre at the lake stage, yoga and meditation, Tai Chi, creative writing classes, herbal tea ceremonies and more. This year’s event also features a star-studded line-up of speakers including Labour MP Jess Philips, author and activist Nimco Ali, broadcaster Jeffrey Boakye and comedian Sarah Pascoe.
Weekend tickets start from £130 for adults and £60 for children; also-festival.com
September 16-17, Wiltshire
Set in Cranborne Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty, Verve’s three focuses are health, wellbeing and nature (it is one of the UK’s first zero-waste festivals). Guests can take part in yoga, meditation, breathwork, gong baths, kirtan, fitness and dance classes, as well as listening to a range of talks from sober curiosity to finding your purpose.
Feast on the finest locally sourced food and drink, unwind with a facial or restorative massage in the Woodland Spa, then as evening falls, dance under the stars with a cocktail in your hand. The perfect weekend for healthy hedonists.
Weekend tickets start from £139, day tickets start from £69; feeltheverve.com
July 6-9, Gower Peninsula
The world’s first trail running and music festival, Love Trails transforms the stunning Gower Peninsula into a natural playground for revellers and fitness junkies alike.
During a four-day action-packed itinerary, runners can explore the dramatic landscape with non-competitive trail runs ranging from three to 50 km. With eight stages hosting inspirational talks, workshops, workouts, DJs and live acts, nighttime is when the party comes alive, with headline acts on the main stage performing under the open sky.
Combining the collective euphoria of watching live music on a big stage, “runner’s high” and the liberating freedom of the rugged Welsh coastline, it’s a magical event like no other.
Weekend tickets start from £149; day tickets start from £49; lovetrailsfestival.co.uk
August 3-8, Oxfordshire
If you’re not quite ready to ditch the glitter and late-night dancing yet, look no further than Wilderness festival. Set in the idyllic woodland and lake of Oxfordshire’s Cronbury Park, the iconic four-day festival combines live music, arts, wellbeing and an array of theatre, artisanship, late-night parties, outdoor pursuits and culinary experiences.
And the musical line-up is always sensational: this year features The Chemical Brothers, Christine and The Queens, Fatboy Slim, Sugababes, Confidence Man, and many more.
Weekend tickets start from £199.80; wildernessfestival.com
The Big Retreat
June 1-4, Pembrokeshire
From mindful movement classes, meditation and yoga to low-waste cooking workshops, gin workshops and talks on menopause, The Big Retreat has something for everyone. With more than 300 events, classes, workshops and talks attracting a range of age groups (particularly the 1990s fitness headliner Mr Motivator), there is fun for all the family.
Later, enjoy the buzz of live music from headliners including Scouting for Girls, Toploader, Gok Wan and more, as well as comedy sets with Rosie Jones and Daniel Foxx.
Weekend tickets start from £220; day tickets start from £65; thebigretreatfestival.com
17-20 August, Cotswolds
The brainchild of free-spirited couple Roman and Ella Wroath, Soul Circus is a wellbeing festival where music, yoga and holistic therapies meet glittery festival antics and DJ after parties.
Set to return to its beautiful home in the Cotswold hills of Elmore, Gloucestershire, festivalgoers can attend sunrise yoga sessions, hardcore HIIT and midday dance parties, before rewarding themselves with champagne from a lakeside spa armed with a sauna and hot tubs. With hot yoga, gin-tasting tours, and transformational workshops by day and an after party until 2am every night featuring Groove Armada, this is the perfect blend of wellness and high energy.
Weekend tickets start from £164; day tickets start from £82; soulcircus.yoga
July 14-16, Kent
Just 40 minutes from London in Sevenoaks’s historic St Clere Estate, LoveFit is a fitness-focused wellness adventure for those looking to get a sweat on. Aerial classes, pole fitness, HIIT, trail runs, stand-up paddleboarding, volleyball and dance classes are just some of the fitness offerings, as well as slower-paced wellbeing options like yoga, meditation and massages.
After dark the festival transcends into a night of dancing under the stars with boutique after where guests can pick between an after party in the woodfired hot tubs or listening to some of the UK’s hottest DJs and dance acts on the main stage.
Weekend tickets from £159; day tickets from £81; lovefitfestival.com
Wellbeing By the Lakes
September 7-10, Dorset
Set in celebrated 63-year-old sculptor Simon Gudgeon’s 24-acre sculpture park in the valley of the River Frome, the idyllic Wellbeing By the Lakes is back for a fourth year.
Its picturesque lakeside setting features a roster of inspiration talks on the Riverside Stage, as well as yoga, Tai Chi, fitness classes, breathwork, sound healing, forest bathing, drum workshops, meditation, Qoya (South American-inspired intuitive dance), and artisan cooking demos.
Treatments in the “Healing Hands” tents include aromatherapy, massage, reflexology, reiki and more. Past speakers have included Liz Earle MBE and Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten.
Weekend tickets from £75; day tickets from £20; wellbeingbythelakes.co.uk
19-21 May, Shoreditch
Taking place over three days in London’s iconic Old Truman Brewery, this wellness festival is a chance to workout with global fitness experts and gurus allowing you to understand some of the hottest new workouts and health foods on the market.
In addition to taking part in classes such as Barry’s and KXU, you can also expect a curated start-up village introducing the latest venues in the wellness sector, plus a meditation dome to help you unwind.
Weekend tickets from £69; day tickets from £17; balance-festival.com
17 June, Barn Elms
If you can’t commit to a full weekend away, this south London day festival could be just the ticket. Over the course of the day there are a range of different fitness, dance and yoga classes from martial arts an ballet yoga to stretching and flexibility classes, multiple experience tents, and some of the tastiest street food vendors on offer.
Music lovers can enjoy uplifting and energetic music throughout the day from various artists and DJs. The music stage is curated by Gardens Of Babylon and brings together the best in melodic techno, house and tech with magical fusion of electronic sounds from Parallelle, Patrice Bäumel, Francesca Lombardo and Magit Cacoon.
Tickets are £65 for a standard; £44 for students; £33 for young adults (13-16)and £22 for juniors (9-12); wellnergy.co.uk