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on 16 January 2016
A beautiful escape. We purchased it as a Christmas gift and was a great addition to the first Escape novel published by Caroline. A wonderful review of the charming British and Irish culture. Certainly a must-read for anyone planning a trip to Britain. Easy to read and handy as a travelling companion. This book encourages you to take the time and mindfully enjoy your vacation. Wonderful.
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on 24 February 2010
Hi Ordered this book as I had seen it in Smiths. Some fab ideas for weekends and weeks away - can't wait to try some of them! Don't even need to persuade a friend to come as a lot of ideas were suitable for single travellers.
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on 14 May 2010
If you simply want to "chill out" or find meditation, yoga buddhism or a host of other peacefull retreats this is the book for you.
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on 31 March 2011
This is indeed a beautiful and well researched book. It's just sad that there seems to be no budget option in existence in the UK for people who don't earn much yet want to spend some proper quiet time alone, comfortably, in nature OR indoors in a room, without having to stay in a B&B or hostel which would kick you out at 10am. I say this from general research, not just from this book. Living in an expensive area like London, with no car and where public transport to any of the obvious quiet areas takes a long stressfull time and is expensive makes it quite a job to find anything. I can't quite believe there really is nothing out there in the UK, and I'm rather disappointed that the author didn't recognise the need for comfortable independent solitude near nature and research the possibilities, however hard that may be. I hope this will be addressed in future editions.
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on 3 June 2013
Very much tilted to the Glastonbury crystals set - you want ayurvedic / reiki stuff you'll love this book. If you want more mainstream retreats then The Good Retreat Guide is a better bet.
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on 2 February 2009
Sassy, insightful, honest and fun - also beautiful to hold and use - this companion to 2007's worldwide guide makes five times that book's coverage of these islands pocketable. Light-years beyond mere listings, Escapes reimagines the guidebook in the age of Google.

Searchers after a path with a heart through life - one encompassing growth, change and a spiritual dimension - risk time, money and self-exposure in choosing venues. So it's reassuring that Caroline Sylger Jones is no bandwagon-hopping journalist, but a yoga devotee and spiritual seeker herself - evident in her reactions to the full spectrum of establishments sampled, and in the dozen brief essays on such as Meditation, Buddhism and Finding Happiness.

The two hundred-plus entries are grouped by country, leavened with great photography and sprinkled quotations: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." (Maya Angelou.)

Most entries flow two to a page, with one in five given a full page spread where we sense her enthusiasm. "An outstanding Relais & Chateaux hotel with a fantastic energy... down to earth, charming and dedicated to her guests' wellbeing." A tipi retreat or modest farmhouse merit similar praise when the details, atmosphere and hosts or teachers are just right. All budgets are catered for.

Practical advice comes from one who's been there: on choosing an escape that will work for you; on group dynamics, on what to expect and what to pack; even what to drink when there. Caroline takes her loose-leaf organic white tea and devotes a double page to teas and tisanes, along with other features on eating healthily in season.

Clear maps, symbols and great indexing add more practicality. Then throw in a truly impressive glossary of a couple of hundred terms: abhyanga is "Ayurvedic oil massage where two therapists perform a gentle, rhythmic and synchronised massage with pressure suited to the client's dosha."

The Mamas & Papas section describes a dozen retreats dedicated to expectant or new parents. And brief Soul Food entries highlight inventive opportunities for voluntary work.

Plainly this is a very personal guidebook; one must warm to the author, and this is easy. Melding a sense of fun and wonder with her serious intent, she walks her talk and writes beautifully - highly recommended.
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on 27 January 2009
Simply handling this delightful volume stirs a feel-good sensation and there's therapeutic value between its covers too. Browsing reveals the wide choice of UK wellbeing retreats on offer. You'll find imaginatively compiled pages generously illustrated with views, vistas, interiors and accommodation - all interspersed with useful, clear, handy location maps plus inspiring photographs of healthy lifestyles and the natural world ...... a bluebell wood, endearing piglets, cool waters.

It's clear the detailed accompanying text, written in a fluent descriptive style, has been thoroughly researched by its author. It was a joy to find boxes on how to eat seasonally and locally - I relished the thought of tempting dishes made from the freshest ingredients - shown, mouthwateringly, in colour. There are lots of other healthy tip boxes, full glossary plus a helpful subject index and (the icing on the cake, for me at least) a selection of thought-provoking literary quotations for quiet contemplation wherever you are.
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on 21 January 2009
A real gem of a book packed full of unusual and inspiring places to relax and rejuvinate. What a joy to discover Britain and Ireland have so much to offer - whether you're after detox retreats, pilates and yoga courses, fitness holidays, family escapes or luxury pampering breaks, this book is full of fantastic options - we really are spoilt for choice. Written with enthusiasm and passion in a very accesible style and accompanied by beautiful imagery, I have had great pleasure dipping in and out of this book. The format is great- bigger than pocket-sized, more handbag sized, a perfect commuter companion and a wonderful antedote to these cold winter days.
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on 9 February 2009
Beautifully put together guide of close to home escapes that are particularly relevant during theses trying times. As a yoga teacher and massage therapist it's an absolute dream to have a complete collection of honestly reviewed activity holidays to choose from right in my back yard.

My parter and I have attended 2 of the 'escapes' and found the descriptions right on and got exactly what we are looking for. We'll be using this guide over and over again!
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on 25 September 2009
Great choice of well- researched, nourishing places to stay. The maps make it easy to locate the place of your choice. As well as being informative, this is a very relaxing read with all of the author's personal anecdotes; you almost feel like you've travelled with her. A recommended read for those who want to retreat from daily life without going too far.
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