Treat yourself, you deserve it.
WELCOME TO ISLAND RETREATS WITH JO!
If you are looking for a luxury retreat where you can enjoy beautiful accommodation, fabulous food, wine, and have fun with like minded people, then you have come to the right place. Whether you are looking for Pilates, Open Water Swimming or an Art retreat, you can find the perfect retreat for you right here. I cater for all levels so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete newbie and want to try something different, or whether you are experienced and want to challenge yourself and improve your technique. There’s something for everyone.
My retreats are based on the stunning Isle of Wight with its dramatic coastline and picture postcard villages. Take a look and don’t hesitate to contact me if you want more information about any of the retreats.
Take a look at what previous guests have said about the retreats...
I’ve just returned from a swim retreat on the Isle of Wight. I’m not sure I knew initially what this would entail but at the time I had just lost my lifelong fur buddy Gracie, so my lovely friend Cathy (who also joined me on this trip) suggested it as something to look forward to. That was back in September ’21, now fast forward to June ’22 and we were headed across the Solent, full of anticipation, wondering what was to come!
We are both competent pool swimmers and I had used the sea during lockdown and was used to the waves, but we were still wondering what kind of swimming we would be doing, head up, bobbing about, ‘swimbling’ or face down front crawl!
After a warm welcome on arrival and getting settled in, we wandered out to the garden for tea and a some delicious cake. We met the others guests on the retreat and Victoria from Swim the Wight. Victoria set the scene for the days to come, imparting her passion and huge knowledge of the sea and the area, something that continued throughout our stay. We were able to say what we wanted to get out of the retreat and from the chat around the table, whilst there were a variety of swim styles, quite a few wanted to gain confidence in sea swimming and some knowledge about reading the sea for safety reasons as well as lovely swim spots for the future.
The first evening really put everyone at ease and enabled us to get to know each other better and break the ice. We went for an early evening swim, joining the regulars of Swim the Wight at Sandown beach. A fantastic group of hardy lady swimmers who welcomed us into their group. Some of us bobbed, some swam a bit, nevertheless everyone was getting what they needed and on our return to the Garlic Farm where we were staying, we jumped in the hot tub for canapés, fizz and more chat until dinner was ready, prepared by Ali and Patricia. The wine, chat and much laughter continued until we went to bed.
If this was to be the format for the next few days I would be very happy… needless to say I wasn’t disappointed!
At breakfast the following day, the itinerary was discussed and we headed out to the first swim spot (and probably my favourite; Steephill Cove). Victoria was there for guidance and safety along with Ani and Sandy, and as before we swam or bobbed as was appropriate for ourselves. A lovely relaxed lunch at the local crab shack/restaurant was followed by a walk and another wonderful swim in a different location. What I appreciated was once the swims were done we were free to do what we wanted, relax on the beach or wander away for an ice cream and then home for more hot tub nibbles, bubbles and chit-chat.
The next day served up two more fabulous swims that did not disappoint, one of which was with another of the Swim the Wight groups. Meal times were always accompanied by lots of laughter and silliness – great medicine after the gloom of lockdown and COVID restrictions.
Swimming, walking and of course laughing is tiring – but luckily we had plenty of time to recoup in the hot tub or browse a few local shops followed by a delicious and wonderfully prepared dinner before finally falling into very comfy beds at the Garlic Farm.
The stay from beginning to end was a tonic for a couple of tricky years. I don’t think I could wish for anything more (except maybe a bit more sunshine).
From all the helpful advice given by the leaders of Swim the Wight about kit and safety (flip flops for the avoidance of weaver fish and then stuffed down the back of your swimming costume amongst other things) to the company of a wonderful group of fellow retreaters, I had a blast! I know Cathy and I will be back given the slightest opportunity, we don’t need to be asked twice.
Thank you everyone!
Ever thought of a pilates retreat on an overseas island that somehow feels like both home and also a magical faraway place? Then island retreats with Jo is for you!
I attended my first retreat at Northcourt Manor… elegantly set in beautiful grounds, I felt immediately relaxed. The hosts Jo and Ali are an amazing partnership and each bring their own skills into play.
I love the range of movements, stretches and the approach Jo takes; different each time yet with a consistency that makes you feel at ease. I have a crocked knee and sometimes find I can’t do what others can… I can get a bit emotional sometimes as it shows my limits… Jo helps you through in a positive but not sickly sweet way. Authentic and practical, she’s a real trooper and her smile melts hearts!
As for “rations” you’d be forgiven for thinking that three full meals a day, three courses for dinner and an afternoon tea option might leave you wishing you’d gone to slimming world instead! But the balance is just right, dietary requirements were covered with ease, drinks are always available & served with good humour and a smile by the lovely Ali & her helpers.
Two sessions a day for pilates means you feel it (and you should feel it); free time to explore, chill, walk about, swim or do anything you want, means you’re gently encouraged back into the outside world and have to start making decisions. Great for the mind and the body on so many levels.
I came back feeling utterly refreshed, having both re-connected with friends and made new ones. It was a great place to spend time and a lovely way to unwind and re-engage with what’s important in life! Which is good food, good wine, exercise, a healthy body and mind.
Sign up… you’ll love it!
I recently had the good fortune to go on an art retreat organised by Jo Luckman in the beautiful Isle of Wight. I already knew the artist, Julie Sajous, because I had attended an online course she ran on a weekly basis. I jumped at the chance of going on the retreat for lots of reasons and was not disappointed at all!
Julie’s tutorship was outstanding and her careful instruction brought out the best in students. We stayed at the beautiful Northcourt House organised by Jo where our every desire was met along with fantastic food, freshly sourced and prepared for us by Ally.
It was a great opportunity for a group of like-minded people to come together and enjoy a carefree time doing something that was just for them. Feeding creative souls with gentle strokes of art and unlocking the door of their own private joy.
WHY AN ISLAND RETREAT WITH JO?
“An Island retreat with hours of Pilates? Really a holiday? Absolutely! And made perfect by the person in charge, the accommodation and the special place. Top notch instruction from Jo Luckman tailored to our needs and yet firm enough to be effective, she is knowledgeable and experienced and has a great facilitative style. Partnered with our chef for the week, they made a great family team. Accommodation and Pilates space was great and maybe the fact that we were all willing this to be ennoyable helped, but really …….. “pilateswithjo” really hit the mark. A very special week. Thank you.”
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