The Retreat, Riding Mill, opened its doors December 2019, with the aim of creating "a new ritual in training and wellbeing". In what is the first of its kind, in this area, the Retreat offers bespoke gym exercise, nutrition and wellbeing programmes, set in the sprawling Northumberland countryside, so as to encourage outdoor exploration.

Founder, Katherine Wilkins, left her London life, as a solicitor, to launch the business, with the hope of "providing a place where people can come for an hour, a day or a weekend, to feel better". She said: " I wanted to create a place where people leave feeling as though they can hit the ground running".

The luxury personal training and holistic relaxation venue looks to embody the whole picture of wellness, with trained specialists working on a 1-2-1 basis with clients to provide sustainable, personalised programmes, according to ability, motivations and existing commitments. The hand-picked trainers bring experience of different disciplines, but are all united in their appreciation for sport, wellness and customer health and happiness. Lead trainer, Martin Johnston, a former royal marine commando said: "we have found it difficult to get the message across, but it really is simple. You just turn up and get looked after".

Bespoke half day, day and stay experiences are also available for groups of friends and families, with possible programmes including woodland walks, poolside yoga and mobility sessions. Food, provided by Real Honest Food, can be included, so as to create an all immersive experience.

The venue already plays host to monthly group retreat days and look to launch group personal training sessions this March, with a focus on creating a social hub for new and existing members.

For more information or bookings, visit