Wellness in Dorset

Our favourite spots across the county to soothe your soul

durdle door Dorset

Our list of wellness spots across Dorset

Table of Contents

Whether you live in sunny (sometimes) Dorset, are planning to come for a staycation or just want to be nosy – here are our favourite wellness spots across the county.
saltwater sauna Dorset interior

Saltwater Sauna

Best for: beach lovers & wellbeing adventurers

In Katherine May’s book Wintering, she writes of her realisation that her Finnish friend refers to being ‘in sauna’ rather than ‘in the sauna’. This perfectly expresses the spiritual significance of sauna in Finnish culture: a space to heal both body and mind, clear away chattering thoughts, sink into peace – a way of being rather than a physical space.

Saltwater Sauna is the Finnish dream living on a stunning Dorset beach. A gorgeous, wooden sauna overlooking the endless miles of Sandbanks. Available to hire privately (for 35 or 65 minutes), or to make new friends and book a communal spot. It is suggested to sit in the sauna for 5-15 minutes, let the heat seep into your bones before running into the cold wash of sea (or beachside shower if that’s more your thing!) – before returning to the cosy warmth. Let the ‘löyly’ (the hot vapour that rises from the stove after gently pouring on water) melt away any worries. According to Finish folklore, Löyly also means ‘life-force’. Saltwater Sauna may be just the thing to help you recharge your ‘löyly’ (whilst overlooking a grumpy lilac sky, crashing waves or amber sunrise – perfection).

Find out more here

Healing Haven

Best for: yogis (of all abilities) & spiritually curious

A pocket of peace in Parkstone: Healing Haven is a movement and meditation studio bursting with heart. More than the beautiful classes on offer (from a large array of specialised teachers), this studio hopes to create soulful community and facilitate personal transformation. Classes include yoga for beginners, men’s yoga, accessible yoga for those who feel left behind as they get older; traditional ashtanga; spiritual moon circles, sound baths and more.

Healing Haven is an open, loving and supportive studio hoping to invite in anyone curious about beginning this journey.

Find out more here.

Dorset Forest Bathing

Best for: nature lovers & peace seekers

If you’re seeking to reconnect with nature, Dorset Forest Bathing can help you along the way – with events from a Spring Equinox workshop (right up our alley!) to listening to the dawn chorus (a magical 5am start). Be gently guided amongst the trees, tune into the sounds of the millions of universes existing alongside us, sip rejuvenating herbal tea and just be.

Forest Bathing is originally a Japanese practice (shinrin-yoku), intended to encourage engagement with your senses to connect with nature, be present, and feel better (physically, mentally and spiritually). Bringing this beautiful Japanese custom into the lovely Dorset landscape is International Forest Therapy Guide Lindsey Death, whose decade working in wildlife conservation imbues the way she relates to nature and leads her guided workshops.

Find out more here and view all current events here

Almond & Co

Best for: shoppers and snackers

If you fancy a shop, Westbourne is a great place for a potter on a gentle afternoon. Whether you’re a complete plastic-free hero, are just dipping your toe into the zero-waste water or are somewhere in-between on your journey: Almond & Co can help. An emporium for sustainable shopping: the shelves are brimming with everything from to pastas to nut butters to beauty and household products to help you create nourishing rituals and routines. If you live between BH1-BH12 they also offer a collect & deliver service where they will fill up your jars of goodies for you & drop them back at your door!

Find out more here

natural candle making workshop in cosy Dorset studio
natural candle making workshop Dorset

Old Green Candle-Making Workshops

Best for: nature crafters & cosy creatives

If you’re craving some work with your hands, beautiful sustainable items for your home or the chance to ground into the wonder of nature – our range of cosy workshops is here. Held (mostly!) in our gorgeous Dorset studio, you’ll be scooped up into a creative space bristling with hot coffee, twinkly fairy-lights, dusty wildflower compendiums and essential oils.

Our natural-candle-making workshops guide you through this special process. You’ll make one of our large Old Green candles before crafting your very own essential oil blend, pouring it into a unique candle to take home with you.

If flowers are more your thing, join us for one of our flower-pressing collaboration workshops with the glorious Wilder & Wren. Spend a few hours learning about flower-pressing and preserving, crafting a gorgeous flower-pressed candle plus petal artwork. A soothing cocktail of natural candle making & flower power.

All of our workshops aim to encourage and empower you to create a home that you uplifts and supports you, in a kind and sustainable way. We’d absolutely love for you to join us.

Find out here.

The Retreat

Best for: Alices wanting to venture into Wonderland (or have a cracking vegan lunch)

Okay, we know this one is technically just across the border in Hampshire, but it is so lovely we had to include it!

Nestled in a Georgian Mansion on the fringes of the enchanted New Forest, The Retreat is a one-stop-shop for all things wellbeing: classes, workshops, retreats, a delicious plant-based café/restaurant, lovely rooms to stay the night in, ancient woodland to explore and more.

Classes and workshops are extensive. They range from women’s circles, to manifestation & journaling, to kundalini yoga, to astrology, cacao ceremonies to reiki – the list really does go on! Various treatments are also on offer, including sauna experiences, acupuncture and holistic therapies. If sipping on a steaming cup of coffee before getting lost beneath ageing oak-trees is more your jam – that’s totally cool too! You can sleep over in one of their individually decorated rooms, and step in the footsteps of the real-life Alice in Wonderland. Alice Liddell, the inspiration for this iconic story, used to play in the gardens of this timeworn house; so for just a day or seven, peer into this eclectic and rejuvenating world… or, perhaps, wonderland.

To find out more, click here.

Dorset Apple Cake

If you can’t make it down to Dorset, brew up a storm in your kitchen and taste a little slice of the county right from home. When fruits are in season (like the glorious apple season in the UK during September and October), use what you can and freeze the rest. Then for times when you want to cook up a fruity pudding – you’ll be good to go!

Here’s a delish recipe for a Dorset Apple Cake:

240g self raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp mixed spice

120g vegan butter

120 g light brown sugar

A few spoonfuls of demerara sugar

300g apples

80ml oat milk + 1 large teaspoon lemon juice for 80ml buttermilk (OR 8og vegan yoghurt)

Optional extras:

Chopped walnuts, apple juice, a pinch of salt

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4
  • If making the buttermilk, add 1 large teaspoon of lemon juice to 80ml oat milk. Leave for a little while.
  • Mix together all dry ingredients except the sugar & apples
  • Add the butter and rub together (like making a crumble topping)
  • Stir in the light brown sugar
  • Chop up the apples (popping the cores/seeds into your compost or food waste bin) and stir in
  • Add the buttermilk
  • *Add extra apple juice if batter is too dry, walnuts if you like an extra crunch or a sprinkle of salt if you like that bite!
  • Tip into your greased baking tin (around 20cm)
  • Sprinkle over the demerara sugar
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until a fork comes out of the centre clean
  • Serve hot, cold, on a plate, in the garden, on the bus, at your grandma’s – and enjoy!

(Inspired and hodge-podged together with a few added bits from these two recipes: Domestic Gothess & Linsfood)

We hope there’s something here that’ll help you nurture and nourish your wellbeing (and fall a little bit more in love with Dorset!)
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