Wellbeing by the Lakes


After we’ve spent what seems like ceaselessly in our properties, the promise of a competition set in 26 acres of beautiful Dorset park land, with area to dream, be taught and play, seems like our concept of heaven. That’s why we’re heading to Wellbeing by the Lakes this September, and we’d love you to hitch us, too!

In your thoughts’s eye, image your self in a serene area crammed with silver birches so far as the attention can see, with solely the birds as your companions, as you lie on the tender floor between the bushes. Take within the blue sky past their branches, and really feel your lungs fill with the candy, contemporary air as you breathe in deeply

That is the place my creativeness takes me as sculpture artist Simon Gudgeon paints a psychological image of Sculpture by the Lakes, a 26-acre nature park he owns and runs along with his spouse Monique – or Mo as he affectionately calls her. As he introduces me to their residence and fervour challenge over Zoom, I hear birdsong outdoors his studio and the solar seems on the wall behind him, throwing vivid gentle throughout a chic portrait of a swan. I really feel my shoulders calm down and drop as I think about what he can see from his window.


Wellbeing by the Lakes, 2019

I’m hanging on to each phrase Simon shares about this piece of heaven on earth in Dorset. Regardless that I’m greater than 100 miles away and our dialog is on-line, I’m joyful within the information that quickly, I’ll be attending to know the place he speaks so passionately about very effectively, as Happiful takes up residency within the grounds from 8–12 September as a part of the Wellbeing by the Lakes competition.

This glorious competition started again in 2019 pre-pandemic, occasion director Nasreen El-Mariesh (Naz), joins us to elucidate. She met Simon whereas working yoga retreats within the park, talked about the thought, and similar to that – Wellbeing by the Lakes was born.

The inaugural programme was phenomenal, with guided meditations from Gelong Thubten, a spectacular sand mandala creation from the Tashi Lhunpo Monks, workshops from Richie Bostock, talks from Liz Earle and Wholesome Residing James, and a lot extra.

Simon and Naz agree the primary competition was an emotional expertise to witness. “There was a joyfulness about the entire occasion, in addition to a way of tranquility. It appeared to be a magnet for individuals who wished to expertise one thing new, lovely, and mind-blowing,” she says affectionately.

Nonetheless, all plans for the way forward for the competition floor to a crashing halt in March 2020, when the gates to Sculpture by the Lakes have been pressured to shut. Simon frolicked filming YouTube excursions across the empty grounds, often accompanied by one among his six rescue canine, so that folks would nonetheless be capable of entry the park, even when they couldn’t bodily stroll round its 4 lakes, or absorb his beautiful sculptures and thoroughly rewilded areas, together with my favorite, the Dreaming Woods.

Luckily, Sculpture by the Lakes is open as soon as once more and celebrating 10 years of being a much-loved, inexpensive, and adult-only public retreat.

Getting out in nature and taking time to mirror and unwind appears to be extra vital than ever proper now, Simon says, drawing upon his in depth conversations with guests who’ve flocked to the park because it reopened.

“So many individuals come right here, and as quickly as they attain the tip of the drive they are saying they really feel immediately extra relaxed,” he says proudly. “There’s one thing very particular about this place. It’s fully restorative.”


Wellbeing by the Lakes, 2019

There’ll be an abundance of talks about all types of issues, from the enjoyment of motion, to menopause, men’s mental health, self-acceptance, meals and diet, tips on how to write a guide, and meditation practices. Then, after all, there’ll be Happiful Afternoons every day, plus bookable therapies, workshops, yoga, crystal therapeutic, breathwork, gong baths, and sound therapeutic baths.

“We’ll have pop-up occasions too, like a drumming circle within the woods and tarot card readings within the look-out,” Naz continues, beaming. “There’ll be surprises for individuals to seek out once they wander and discover the grounds as effectively. Then after all, there are the beautiful sculptures and the park itself.”

Naz pauses for a second and the three of us smile at one another in a cheerful silence over Zoom. There’s a palpable feeling of pleasure on the decision, as we ponder the thought of being out in nature, exploring, appreciating, and sharing particular moments with mates and strangers alike. What a beautiful prospect after life in lockdown. I can’t wait.

Wellbeing by the Lakes runs from 8–12 September, and entrance is simply £12.50 per day for entry to the park, competition, and talks. Further experiences are additionally bookable upfront.

All programme and occasions are topic to vary, and dependent
on Covid-19 rules.

To be taught extra about different therapies, go to


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