UK Christian retreat centres: Where to go and recharge your spiritual batteries

As well as the many exciting Christian festivals and conferences happening in the UK during 2019 we are also blessed with some wonderful Christian retreat centres, guest houses and hotels. There are many opportunities to simply put your feet up and dodge the crowds or expand your horizons by taking part in a range of inspirational activities. On offer are creative writing weeks, photography courses, peaceful sanctuaries and silent retreats. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite:

WikipediaMorecambe Bay looking toward Grange over Sands.

Thornleigh Hotel is located in the quaint town of Grange-over-Sands on the edge of the English Lake District. The hotel overlooks the dramatic landscape of one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe, Morecambe Bay, with its abundant bird life and diverse marine habitats. The hotel offers a wide range of activity weeks throughout the year. These include writing, knitting, craft, water colour painting, music appreciation, Christian studies, coach excursions and walking. Details are here.

St Beuno's Jesuit Spiritual Centre is the Jesuits in Britain's residential retreat centre located in an area of outstanding natural beauty in rural North Wales. St Beuno's offers a wide range of long and short individually guided retreats. The retreats are based on the Spiritual Exercises and the Ignation tradition. In addition there are many themed retreats which range from art to poetry and prayer. Details are here.

Scargill House is a diverse community of Christians located in the Yorkshire Dales in the north east of England. They have a busy programme of events which offer a range of holidays, retreats and conferences throughout the year. These include quiet retreats, creative and craft-based events, walking weeks, environmental and working holidays. Scargill House also hosts church weekends, youth events and gatherings large and small. Details are here.

Scargill HouseScargill House is in the Yorkshire Dales.

Westwood Christian Centre is a small retreat centre based in a converted church building on a windswept hill not far from Huddersfield in Yorkshire. The centre is operated by a two family community. Retreats are not guided but the hosts like to be available for guests who need one-to-one time. Accommodation is in five self-contained flats. Details are here.

Lochhouse Farm is a small Christian retreat and conference centre located in the Galloway countryside in Scotland. There is a range of accommodation to choose from. Lochhouse Farm is 'walker friendly' and their website states that there is 'superb and varied walking country, still undiscovered by many enthusiasts'. Details are here.

Lee Abbey is home to a Christian community that hosts retreats, holidays and conferences located on the North Devon coast in the south of England. Lee Abbey is a large, characterful facility with a beautiful chapel and library. In addition there are spaces to gather with others or to read and reflect alone. There's a variety of accommodation on offer including guest rooms, self-catering facilities and camping. Lee Abbey boasts a comprehensive programme of events, themed breaks and courses. Topics include needlecraft, silent retreats, photography, creative writing, divorce recovery, leadership, renewal and refreshing. Details are here.

Val Fraser is an author and journalist. Follow her on Twitter @ValFraserAuthor.

Lifestyle