As part of my ongoing search for the most Zen corners of Sussex, last week I stumbled across The Enchanted Glade. Actually, I knew of the folk here but I’d never visited before.
Not far from Ardingly, The Enchanted Glade occupies a particularly quiet and rural corner of Sussex, with the main disruption being the occasional sound of a steam train on the Bluebell Railway heritage line. It’s very rustic, green and arboreal, very secluded and, as the name suggests, quite enchanting. And I was intrigued by their Wild Spa!
Forest bathing and woodland hot tubs
From across a field, a path bedecked with bunting beckons you into a wooded glade. Here, you can book yourself in for some serious Zen time. There is a hot tub, a Wim Hoff cold barrel or you can relax with a selection of different massage treatments in the heated tent, try Thai yoga, or take part in nature-based therapy.
I am definitely a hippy at heart because the idea of forest bathing in a hot tub or soaking in a heating mineral bath under a canopy of leaves sings to me. Dappled light falls through the leaves above, and there is a serenity here that makes you feel far from the beaten track and gives you a rare chance to stop and unwind.
Eco wagons and bell tents
I’m also a fan of glamping and dotted around the main Enchanted Glade field are a number of rather beautiful wagons. All refurbished and designed by hand with recycled materials, there is the Quirky Cabin, the Gypsy Wagon, Maggie the Wagon and the Wooden Wagon.
There are also three themed and heated bell tents, encircling a large fire pit. This is eco glamping and it is off-grid and ecologically sustainable (they use wood-fire, solar-power, biodegradable products and locally sourced / recycled materials).
There are hampers filled with organic and local produce and furniture and pottery are made by local craftspeople or upcycled. They also give a percentage of their profits to local woodland conservation projects and Treesisters (a UK registered social change and reforestation charity) who plant trees for change. The vision behind the glade is to create a holiday that resets and refreshes the body, mind, and spirit. It’s a family-run affair and Maria and Lillo are clearly very passionate about their values and the experience they create.
I didn’t have time to stay, but oh, how I wanted to pour myself a glass of something cool and put my feet up on the terrace of one of the beautifully rustic cabins. It’s a wonderful pocket of Zen here, and I must make time to go back.
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