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A stylish wellbeing retreat on a budget

Want to start the New Year with a spring in your step? This new Wiltshire retreat is high on tranquility, but low on prices and mung beans

Over the last five years I’ve visited more than 50 of the UK’s more affordable wellbeing retreats, enduring more than my fair share of uninspiring veggie meals, old-fashioned decor, tiny beds and dusty crystals – even in places where I’ve encountered expert therapists and teachers with integrity.

Littleton Mill is refreshingly different. Like Tilton House in Sussex and the Grange by the Sea on the Isle of Wight (see panel), this converted 17th-century water mill which opened in May this year is part of a new breed of retreat where you can relax in comfort without having to pay silly prices or confront anything too alternative – unless you really want to.

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A walk into the heart of Scotland’s great wilderness

Michael Tait heads out on a lone four-day adventure into one of Scotland’s most remote and beautiful landscapes

Audio slideshow: Between land and lough

The Scottish Highlands have had a siren’s hold over me since I first opened a farmhouse window on to the Cairngorms as a boy, over 30 years ago. That first climb is a visceral memory – a party of boys, roped together, strung out along a snow-crusted ridgeline, the depth-less brilliance of the sky beyond the pinnacle, the insistent sound of wind and breath.

All my trips to the Highlands now seem to begin the same way: waiting for a bus, pints, the pub quiz machine, salt and vinegar crisps …

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