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Forest Retreats

Ancient Celtic rainforest offering a unique, otherworldly forest retreat experience

Discovering Wales’ temperate rainforest is like stepping back in time, or into another world. Increasingly rare, this indigenous forest connects us to ages past as we feel the majesty of these ancient spots. Wales’ Celtic rainforests are found in steep river valleys and characterised by green mosses, colourful lichens, a whole range of fungi, indigenous trees such as oak, birch, hazel and ash – and flowing water. The forest where Eco Retreats is based hosts over 50 species of lichen! Your forest retreat with Eco Retreats offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in this incredible landscape, wandering, meditating and drinking it all in.

Abundant wildlife all around

Every day of your forest retreat is a chance to experience abundant wildlife all around. The pasture land around is wonderfully rich in flowers and herbs, many of which are traditional herbal remedies. For example, the meadows are carpeted with buttercups and red clover – a traditional blood cleansing remedy –  when the weather turns warmer. Stitchwort is a beautiful companion to the bluebells in the woods which spring up every year. Trees include oak, ash, hazel, willow, birch and more.

You’ll also meet a range of animals on your forest retreat: not only the grazing sheep but perhaps also rabbits and hares, squirrels, badgers, foxes, and more rarely deer and even a pine marten! Buzzards, kites and owls fly overhead while the call of the cuckoo signals spring’s arrival and it’s possible sometimes to hear woodpeckers knocking on the trees. Meadow yurt is currently the best spot to hear the owl calling at night – a magical, memorable forest retreat experience!

River picnics and wild swimming

Your forest retreat also offers the opportunity to enjoy the sparkling river running through Eco Retreats: perfect for exploring, picnicking and even taking a cold dip for those who are brave enough! The secret splash pools are best accessed from River yurt (where you can also be lulled to sleep by the sound of the rushing river) but can be visited from any of the yurts, and there’s a lovely off-site forest walk along the winding river to some more pools and waterfalls (details in the yurt) for those who would like to venture a bit further afield!

Deepen your forest retreat with a spot of forest bathing

Eco Retreats offers a rejuvenating forest retreat experience through forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, a practice from Japan proven to enhance wellbeing. Scientific research shows that spending 2 hours in a forest can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve mental functions by inhaling phytoncides released by trees, which also boost our immune system. Our innate preference for nature over urban settings stems from our evolutionary history, emphasizing the forest’s role in psychological restoration by replenishing resources and capabilities diminished by stress.

Yoga and meditation

For many guests, it’s enough to spend your forest retreat in peace and seclusion, soaking up the peace and tranquillity of the forest. Nature is an incredible teacher and healer. For those who would like, we also offer yoga and meditation experiences to enhance and deepen your forest retreat experience – these are offered 1-1 in the privacy of your own yurt (or outside if it’s a nice day). Please contact us for more details.

Enhance your experience of slow, forest retreat living when you commit to a digital detox

Although each year the mobile phone signal at Eco Retreats gets better, we invite all guests to switch off phones and devices on arrival and leave them off while you experience slow, forest retreat living. Guests are amazed how profound this experience can be, and are reminded how much these electronics “steal” our time, sap our energy and distract us from being fully present in each moment. Read more about digital detox here. Keen to give it a try?

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