Winter wellness at Homewood in Bath

By Lauren O'Neill | 10 Nov 2021 | Travel

Book yourself into a wellness retreat with Olympic gold medalist Amy Williams MBE for the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation

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Wellness used to be something of a shallow buzzword, but with both elevated stress levels and mental burnout becoming things we have all familiarised ourselves with over the past 18 months as work and personal life have blended into one, the concept of wellness is something that even the most cynical are now taking seriously. As the Instagram mantra goes: "If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness".

Wellness retreats abroad have been popular for some time now, but for those wanting something a little closer to home - and led by a GB Olympic gold medalist no less - look no further than the idyllic Homewood Hotel & Spa in Bath, which this year has launched its very own retreat.

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Having racked up a gold medal for team GB in skeleton during her debut at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Amy Williams MBE is now bringing her expertise - and Olympian mindset - to Homewood as its Wellness and Lifestyle Ambassador, offering both private training sessions and overnight retreats within its 20 acres.

"The pandemic has really made people reassess their priorities and consider their wellbeing," she says. "People are realising that they need to make time to look after their health and it doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul at first, it can just be starting to go for a walk at the weekend with a friend, or beginning couch to 5k."

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Having visited in the summer, Tempus can attest to the fact that Homewood does indeed offer wellness in the best possible way. Located in Freshford, just 15 minutes' drive from Bath city centre, the route to the hotel winds through stretches of lush, rolling British countryside enough to start the process of rejuvenation ahead of arrival and, with Christmas fast approaching, it's an ideal spot for a cosy winter getaway to unwind in preparation for the festivities ahead. 

The next retreat will take place from 3-5 December and will involve various fitness sessions led by Amy. Delicious, nutritious breakfasts and dinners served at the hotel’s Mediterranean inspired Olio restaurant are also included, which can be taken as a group or, if preferred, separately with your party. 

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"The beauty of the retreats is the flexibility, and they can be modified for all fitness levels," says Amy. "The retreat runs from Friday evening to Sunday evening and we’ll start with drinks at the bar on the first evening and an intimate Q&A session where people can get to know me and ask whatever they want.

"On the Saturday morning we’ll begin with a 30 minute stretch and flow session, then later we’ll do a morning HIIT session to get the heart rate pumping. If you want to, you can then hang on and do a glutes or abs session with me, or perhaps use that time to go to the spa and use the pool. None of the workouts require equipment so we’re really focusing on showing you what you can do with your own body and a mat."

When you are not working out, this country house hotel encourages relaxation - whether you opt to take a dip in its outdoor heated pool, book in for a massage at the spa, or indulge in a tipple or two in front of the log fire at the bar - it is all about balance after all. 

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For more information on private training sessions with Amy at Homewood or to enquire about joining the next retreat, visit https://www.homewoodbath.co.uk/about-us/amy-williams-mbe-oly/