Lots of hostels have ideal locations for organised retreats; quiet, remote and in stunning scenery.
A few other very special places provide an atmosphere where sole travellers can take time out to focus among like-minded new people or simply enjoy being alone.
Often these hostels will be close to religious sites or pilgrimage routes and some are run on ethical ground by religious organisations.
Whether you join an organised retreat or visit an awe inspiring place alone, a retreat gives you the chance to take a break from your everyday life.
Retreats with accommodation
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses
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A friendly welcome awaits you in a unique setting at Airton Barn. Adjacent to the 17th century Friends Meeting House, Airton Barn is a simple bunkhouse sleeping up to 18 people over two floors, with storage space for up to 5 bicycles. Located on popular walking and cycling routes, and surrounded by some of Yorkshire's finest tourist destinations, the Barn is ideally placed for walkers and cyclists as well as small group getaways.More details
The highest hostel in Britain! Escape the crowds at this remote mountain hostel. No roads, no other buildings, and no phone signal; just uninterrupted views of beautiful mountain wilderness. But there's no need to compromise on comfort, with wood burning stoves, hot showers, a well-stocked bar and your bed made up for you. We're half way up Skiddaw but an easy walk or mountain bike ride from Keswick or Threlkeld.More details
Knoydart is a remote peninsula on the west coast of Scotland reachable only by boat or long hike. A community enterprise, the bunkhouse runs on green principals and is just 2 mins' walk to a quiet west-facing beach and 10 mins to Inverie with its pub, post office, shop and ferry. You are minutes away from wild, remote terrain. There are 4 bedrooms and comfy communal areas. Bed linen and duvets provided. Ranger-guided service and deer stalking available. Bring a torchMore details
Hagg Farm Outdoor Centre
Situated in the Peak District's Woodlands Valley Hagg Farm offers comfortable accommodation for up to 44 people with an additional 18 beds in the John Hunt Base next door. Part of Nottinghamshire County Council's Environmental and Outdoor Education Service, Hagg Farm is available for private hire by groups of friends, families, clubs and charitable organisations and can be booked on a self-catering or catered basis.More details
Perfect for those wanting a luxurious B&B on the Ross of Mull with the option to self-cater. Achaban House is close to Fionnphort with its ferry to Iona and day trips to Staffa, Lunga and the Treshnish Isles. Ideal for walkers, cyclists or wildlife lovers. Rooms are en suite or with private bathrooms, breakfast is included. Larger groups could consider Ross Of Mull Bunkhouse next door (Page )More details
Monkton Wyld Court
This Victorian Neo-Gothic mansion in Dorset's AONB, has easy access to the Jurassic Coast at Lyme Regis, and the Wessex and Monarch's Way long distance footpaths. Guests can use the vegetarian self-catering kitchen to prepare their own meals or purchase pre-booked vegetarian meals. There is camping in the grounds. Run by a charity that promotes sustainable living. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the organic garden and eggs come from free-range chickens.Jersey cows provide the milk.More details
Yealand Old School
Stroll from the doorstep to Warton Crag for views across the sands of Morecambe Bay. In early summer hunt out a host of wild flowers on the limestone scenery at nearby Gaitbarrows NNR and Hutton Roofs crags. Kids will enjoy Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, a small zoo close by. The New Inn is only 300m away. Relax in the grounds of the adjacent Quaker Meeting House. Car park. Groups only at weekends, except when there's a last minute vacancyMore details
Badrallach Bothy and Campsite
On the tranquil shores of Little Loch Broom overlooking one of Scotland's finest mountain ranges, Badrallach Bothy and Campsite offer a fine base for walking and climbing. Fish in the rivers, hill lochs and sea or simply enjoy the flora and fauna. Hot showers, spotless accommodation, an unbelievable price, and total peace makes the Bothy and Campsite a firm favourite. There is also a holiday cottage for hire.More details
Rhossili 4* Bunkhouse is situated at the end of the Gower Peninsula, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is within easy walking distance of three glorious beaches, (including Rhossili Bay voted the best beach in Europe and in the top ten in the World 2017). Ideal for families and groups and perfectly located for a wide range of outdoor activities including walking, surfing, cycling & climbing.More details
Bunkhouse at the Workhouse
The well equipped, community run bunkhouse at Y Dolydd Llanfyllin Workhouse offers a unique opportunity to stay in one of the last remaining Victorian workhouses still open to the public. Handy for Welshpool, Oswestry & Shrewsbury and close to the Berwyn Mountains National Nature Reserve it has access to a wide range of outdoor and adventure activities. Nearby attractions include Lake Vyrnwy and Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, the tallest single drop waterfall in the UK.More details
New Ing Lodge
This 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom B&B and hostel offers comfortable, friendly, accommodation with delicious food. Shap is in the Eden Valley, just off the M6, on the edge of the Lake District National Park. The Howgills and the Pennine Fells are a short drive away. On Wainwright's Coast to Coast, the Westmorland Way and the Miller's Way and perfect for large, sole use groups.More details
Tucked into the rocky outcrops on a working croft, Iona Eco Hostel has spectacular views of the isles and mountains beyond. The land has been worked for generations, creating the familiar Hebridean patchwork of wildflower meadow, crops and grazing land. It offers quiet sanctuary for those that seek it, within easy reach of island activities. Whether travelling on your own, with friends, or as a group, Iona Hostel promises a warm welcome. Tourist board 4 star. Green Tourism Gold.More details
Coll Bunkhouse 5* self-catering hostel accommodation is a mile from the ferry terminal & close to local amenities. Ideal for groups or individuals, short or longer stays. A half hour from the mainland by plane, under 3 hours by ferry. This beautiful Hebridean island is ideal for walking, stargazing, wildlife, cycling, water sports or chilling amidst stunning scenery. Visit quiet and beautiful spaces and beaches and enjoy fine island hospitality. A warm welcome awaits you.More details
On an organic farm in the Teifi Valley this award winning eco-sensitive location is ideal for holidays, courses, retreats, events and weddings. Accommodation includes; Ceridwen an old smithy sensitively converted into high quality group accommodation for 19, Yurts, Eco Pods, B&B rooms, an up-cycled static caravan, a Romany caravan, a double-decker bus and spaces for tents and caravans.More details
Perfect for group and family gatherings, Corris hostel is a renowned haven from the stresses of the outside world; with its homely atmosphere, friendly staff and cosy wood fires. Outside there are landscaped hill gardens with barbecue and campfire areas. Situated in the Dyfi Biosphere and southern Snowdonia National Park, the hostel is close to Cadair Idris and Centre for Alternative Technology. A walkers and cyclists paradise in addition to many other attractions.More details
The Penquoit Centre, a converted courtyard of historic longhouses, provides hostel accommodation for groups of 10-25. The grounds comprising fields & ancient woodland give direct access to the Cresswell River and the Pembrokeshire National Park. The area is rich in bird life and is within easy reach of over 20 beautiful beaches, the Preseli Hills, castles, Tenby, Caldy, riding and canoeing. The Centre is ideal for family and friend get-togethers, art, yoga, drama, healing and dancing, with a long room ideal for group activities.More details
Tarset Tor Bunkhouse and Bothies
In the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and close to the Pennine Way. These striking timber eco-buildings integrate into their natural surroundings making the most of this remarkable location and providing the perfect base for outdoor adventures. The bunkhouse and bothies provide stylish, modern, versatile & comfortable self catering accommodation which can be used for events, conferences & parties.More details
Hebden Bridge Hostel
Expect a warm welcome at Hebden Bridge Hostel. Comfy and welcoming, with private rooms and dorm beds from £15. Nestled into woodland only a short walk from the town centre, and less than 500m from the Hebden Bridge Loop on the Pennine Way, the hostel makes the perfect base for hiking, sight-seeing, relaxing or experiencing Hebden Bridge's vibrant café, music, arts & culture.More details
Ninebanks Youth Hostel
Book a bed, a room, or the whole hostel! Ninebanks 4* hostel, an 18th century cottage, has en suite bedrooms, a sitting room with log-burner, a spacious dining room and a stunning rural location. There are now two new self-catering high quality chalets; 1 double & 1 family/double, fully self-contained and separate from the hostel. Dogs welcome with prior notice on sole use or in the chalets.More details
This purpose built 4* centre is quietly tucked away in Rhoscolyn, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Anglesey Coast. Just 5 mins' walk to the sandy beach at Borthwen and a stone's throw from the Anglesey Coastal Path. Perfect for friends & families, outdoor groups, schools and universities. Your ideal base for kayaking, climbing, sailing, walking, bird watching or beach holidays. Careful energy use is encouraged, with composting and recycling. Nearby Holyhead has ferry links to Ireland.More details
Old Red Lion
The medieval walled town of Castle Acre is on the Peddars Way, ancient track/long distance path. This former pub, continues to serve travellers who seek refreshment and repose. Stay in private rooms or dorms (bedding/linen supplied). There are quiet communal areas and 2 large areas suitable for group activities.More details
Lots of hostels have ideal locations for organised retreats; quiet, remote and in stunning scenery. A few very special places provide accommodation with an atmosphere where sole travellers can take time out to focus among new people or simply enjoy being alone. Self catering facilities and communal meals at these places provide opportunities to focus on new relationships. Often these hostels will be close to religious sites or pilgrimage routes and some are run on ethical grounds by religious organisations.
At the end of the pilgrim route on Mull, just a short ferry ride away from the Isle of Iona, Achaban House has comfortable soft carpeted rooms and large airy social spaces imbibed with a tranquil atmosphere. It is set in a natural environment surrounded by wildlife. Achaban House is a much loved place by guests looking for peace, simple companionship and an easy daily pilgrimage to the monastic isle.
Iona Hostel is on the island itself, close to Iona Abbey, started by St Columba in the 6th century, and now home to the Iona Community. A contemporary take on pilgrimage is as ‘transformational journeying’ and Iona Hostel has offered warm and homely sanctuary to individual travellers and groups of pilgrims for many years. Iona is described as a ‘thin place’ between the physical and spiritual and travellers come from around the world to experience its unique quality and astonishing beauty. Transformation needn’t be big and momentous but can be gentle and warm, like sitting on the beach below Iona Hostel and watching the sun sink quietly over over the Western Isles.
The Old Red Lion in Norfolk enjoys the special atmosphere of Castle Acre village, once a medieval walled town, which lies within the outer bailey of an 11th century castle. On the Peddars Way ancient trail the Old Red Lion carries on the tradition of serving travellers who seek refreshment and repose. There are quiet areas for reading and meeting and the flint and timber-walled pub cellar and garden room are used for regular yoga classes and organised retreats.
Knoydart Bunkhouse is on a remote peninsula on the west coast of Scotland and is accessible only by boat or a long hike. People who reach this wild location jutting out on the Atlantic coast say “just to be there is good for the soul”. Surrounded by sea and rugged, mountainous terrain and a National Scenic Area of mountains, glens and coast , Knoydart is a haven for wildlife. Bring walking boots and binoculars and you’re set for a retreat to remember !
The Penquoit Centre in rural Pembrokeshire is close to the peaceful Cresswell River Estuary. The unique blend of artistic conversion and ancient buildings in this backwater location makes the Penquoit Centre ideal for group retreats of 10 to 25 people. There is shared dining on large wooden tables and an event room with plenty of space for group activities. The centre is surrounded by wildlife and there is easy access to the large courtyard from all the buildings. From the mid-1980s the Penquoit Centre has been host to many retreats and creative courses.
Hebden Bridge is an old mill town reclaimed by artists, writers and green & New Age practitioners of alternative therapies. Hebden Bridge Hostel reflects its host town and is often used by yoga and zen groups for retreats and workshops.
Monkton Wyld Court in Dorset has a history of well-being education and is run by an eco community who promote self sufficiency in an idyllic setting.
Ninebanks hostel in the North Pennines host retreats organised by Buddhists, artists and well-being coaches. Organisers find the friendly feel of the building, the social atmosphere of the living space, the peaceful rural location and the wonderful view all combine to engender a feeling of fulfillment.
Badralloch Bothy is home to the EarthMind Fellowship, which runs nature-oriented workshops for health and wellness. This social enterprise organises workshops for exploring nature, both inner and outer, incorporating herbal medicine and nutrition, health and wellness, stress-management, HeartMath, Wilderness Therapy and creative approaches such as dance, music, art and writing.
Llanfyllin Workhouse, home to ‘the Bunkhouse at the Workhouse’ is owned and run by the local community. It uses a holistic and sustainable approach to provide valuable learning experiences for all ages including green crafts, gardening, creative arts and performance skills.
Corris hostel is a renowned haven from the stresses of the outside world; with its homely atmosphere, friendly staff, inspirational library and cosy wood fires. The hostel has a holistic focus and an interest in the ‘healing arts’. The garden is terraced up the hillside with a range of ‘nature-scaped’ themes and places of meditation and solitude and beyond the boundary there is deciduous tree forest continuing up the mountain and accessible. This retreat has a great ’spirit of place‘ and connection to nature.
Skiddaw House, one of the UK’s remotest hostels, have hosted laid-back weekends of walking and talking with like-minded adventurers. Called ‘Mind Over Mountains’ these weekends promote the benefits of UK mountains for mental and physical health. By climbing mountains, and sleeping on the side of one at Skiddaw House you can escape from modern life and make time for your mental and physical well-being.
Yealand Hostel and Airton Barn have peaceful locations and a Quaker connection. Yealand is close to three very small villages with little through traffic and good transport links.