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Wonderful weekends: 48-hours in a family-friendly wellness hotel

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If you’re looking for a wellness escape to improve your fitness while also enjoying some quality time as a family in the great outdoors, this is the place for you. Everyone’s welcome, even babies.

Interest in our health is at an all-time high following the pandemic, and it’s no surprise the travel industry is capitalising on this after the hit it took over lockdowns. Wellness travel is growing exponentially compared to other sectors.

From health resorts and exercise retreats to detox programmes and training camps, there are options aplenty for those looking for a health-fuelled escape — unless you want to bring the kids, it seems. After having a baby in 2022, I felt like the door had been closed on me. If you want to take the kids with you, your options are limited — and the younger the child, the thinner on the ground they get.

I was delighted then, to discover Foxhills — a family-friendly health resort with more than 200 activities per week for grownups and little ones alike. I booked one of the family suites, strapped my one-year-old into her car seat and set off for a wintry wellness weekend in Chertsey, Surrey.

Read more: The best wellness retreats to boost your gut health 

Day one at Foxhills

Morning

On your way up the winding driveway the takes you from the entrance to the manor house, you’ll get a sneak peek of the 400-acre grounds waiting for you. Check in at the main house, built in the gothic revival style of the late 1700s. Beyond this you’ll find an array of slightly more modern cottages (this is where you’ll stay) with some being simple and quaint while others exude a little more luxury.





Afternoon

Head to Nineteen for lunch overlooking the golf course. Opt for something light, like fishcakes or prawns, or fuel yourself up for the activities ahead with global favourites like burger, cod chowder or lentil chilli con carne – with a kid’s menu too. Spend the afternoon on a family adventure in the surrounding forest. There are different walks to choose from at varying lengths, all signposted, but be sure to wear wellies or walking boots as it will certainly be muddy.

While one of you goes back to the room and gets themselves and the kids showered and ready for dinner, the other could pop to the spa. It’s kitted out with an indoor swimming pool, a hydropool with massage jets, steam room, two Finnish saunas and an outdoor hot tub but it is adults-only, so you’ll need to take turns.

Evening

Once everyone is showered and ready head to the award-winning Fox dining rooms in the manor house. In the evening it serves up modern gastronomy such as tempura cod cheeks, seaweed gnocchi and sea bream in a cider sauce, with an impressive wine list. The little ones can choose from spaghetti (meat or veggie), salmon with potatoes and vegetables or sausage and mash, with starters and desserts for them too. If you’re in the mood to make a little effort, feel free to get dressed up here – but don’t worry about it being too posh for the kids, no one batted an eyelid when my daughter threw food on the floor or made a run for it the moment I let her out of the high seat.

Read more: Five eco-friendly retreats across the UK





Day two at Foxhills

Morning

Depending on how early your little ones wake up, one of you could try and beat them to it and sneak off for an early morning class with the likes of circuits, virtual spinning and a ‘functional fitness’ class (using gym equipment) scheduled at 7am. Then when all the family is up and ready head back to Fox for breakfast, where you can pick from the continental buffet as well as ordering the likes of eggs benedict, or pancakes and waffles.

After breakfast one of you can head to an exercise class, the gym or take their turn in the spa while the other accompanies the kids to a Tint Tots class, with forest nook adventures, arts and crafts, aqua stories and ballet all scheduled for the morning.

Afternoon

For lunch choose from a mix of British and Middle Eastern flavours at Flo’s or tapas at The Manor Lounge (you can book afternoon tea here between 1pm and 4pm too), before joining another Tiny Tots class. The afternoon schedule includes jazz dance, acrobatics, and zumbini (a mixture of music and dance).

Before dinner, go for a family swim at The Pavillion. Choose from the heated outdoor pool or indoor pool, as both have dedicated toddler areas so they can play safely while you take it in turns swimming laps (of course, one of you could always join a class or pop to the spa instead).

Evening

Head back to Fox for the penultimate time, for the chance to pick another dish to try. The evenings are quiet here, but with it being your last night stop in at The Manor Lounge afterwards for a cocktail. You’ll find all the classics as well as The Fox Punch, the perfect sweet tipple to end the night on with vodka and coconut rum.

Book a stay at Foxhills from £180 for the whole of January (usually £220 or more on weekends). 

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