In spaIdeasFoodWinter

Now that we’re midway through January thoughts are turning to how we can improve not just our waistlines, but also our general health and wellbeing. From forest walks to stimulate our mental health to clean eating, spas and getting out and about, we’ve come up with some great ideas to stimulate the 2020 you.

For a real treat, book yourself into a spa for a day, a morning or an afternoon and give your winter skin the benefit of a fantastic facial or relax in the hot tub or sauna and feel those toxins leave your body. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated. Lakeside Park Hotel and Spa in has all the pamper facilities you need, offers which run throughout the year and 17 acres of countryside to explore. Or you could head to Eden Spa at Melville Hall and enjoy a rejuvenating dip in the spa-cuzzi, a beautifying Decléor facial treatment or a healthy smoothie.

What you put into your body is hugely important especially if you have overindulged over the festive season. Clean eating and knowing where your food has come from is a great way to kick your healthy eating year off and the isle of Wight is certainly not short of places to buy what you need. Head to Briddlesford Farm and Bluebells café and restaurant for plenty of farm fresh produce both there and in the shop. Choose on- farm reared meat and milk, butter and cheese from the prize-winning dairy herd. You can add to your locally produced dinner with vegetables from Living Larder who champion sustainable and environmentally friendly farming on the Island, or a loaf freshly made from Cantina. You could also stay at the Garlic Farm and not just enjoy some fantastic food with health giving garlic, but use it as a base to explore the Island.

Vegetarian and vegan option on menus have become increasingly popular especially at this time of year when we all like to make that little bit more effort. But these options should really not just be for January but as a choice to actively improve our diets. Notable vegan offerings on the Island include Quay Arts, Chessel Pottery Café and Ventnor Botanic Garden  all of whom champion a plant-based alternative to meat or fish. There is also the relatively new Peach – an all vegan plant-based café and the Isle of Wight’s first zero waste store in Newport. You’ll not only be helping yourself but the planet too.

Of course, the best way to feel truly alive and to destress is to get yourself outside. Whether you have a blustery beach walk, a cycle or you get involved in a sport, you’re bound to feel better both physically and mentally. The Japanese believe that walking in a forest is one of the best natural ways to improve your mental health and we have plenty to walk in at Parkhurst, Borthwood Copse and Firestone Copse. There are also many miles of cycle paths and walking routes to enjoy across the Island with places to stop off including Peddlars Café which is a firm favourite with cyclists as it’s right on the Newchurch cycle path on the Squirrel Trail or stay at Rosemary Cottage which fully caters for walkers and cyclists alike. If you’ve ever fancied galloping along the beach, get in touch with the Island Riding Centre which has accommodation and all the horses you need to fulfil that dream. Or for hardier sorts why not try a spot of surfing with iSurf which is a fully mobile surf school on the Island which tracks down the best conditions to teach both surfing and stand up paddle board. Stay at Grange Farm which is brilliantly placed for cycling, fishing, fossil hunting, surfing, paragliding, stargazing, wildlife spotting and is a walkers' paradise.

Whatever you decide to do to improve your health and wellbeing, however small or big your intentions may be, you’ll find all the encouragement, shops, restaurants and facilities you need right here on the Island of Wight. And we have only just scratched the surface…

When you’re out and about on the Island, remember to tag us in your images, videos and stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we’ll reshare our favourites.

Getting Here

Whatever you decide to do and however you’re travelling, it couldn’t be easier to get to the Isle of Wight via Lymington, Southampton, Southsea or Portsmouth. There are regular rail connections to the south coast via SWR.

Travelling as a foot passenger is simple due to our excellent transport links with trains, buses, foot passenger ferries and our hovercraft service.