Surfing & Yoga Retreat With Freewave Academy.
Can you think of a better way to spend a weekend than learning to surf, practising yoga and connecting with new faces in Cornwall? Well, that’s what I had the absolute pleasure of doing. Based in Widemouth Bay on the outskirts of Bude, (North Cornwall) Freewave Surfing Academy have just launched their brand new Surfing & Yoga Retreats ready for 2019. And I was extremely lucky to have been invited to their very first one!
Having flown back from Thailand on the Wednesday of that week and experiencing a bit of a mishap whilst out there, I was so looking forward to escaping the hustle and bustle of Bath – totally ready to immerse myself into the Cornish lifestyle and yogic zen!
The Beach House.
At around 12pm Friday afternoon, I packed up my car and began the 120 mile drive down to Bude. Luckily, I managed to avoid a lot of the traffic which saved A LOT of stress on my part (I’m not the world’s most confident driver!).
About 2 hours in, I realised I was actually pretty nervous. I’ve never surfed before. I’ve never been to Bude and I didn’t know anyone going. Oh and by this point, the heavens had decided to open. Battling through the rain, hail and nerves, I arrived at the stunning Beach House at around 4:30pm.
In a word, WOW. A stunning, modern 5 bedroom house located about 200 metres away from the beach. A huge drive, beautiful open plan kitchen, 2 lounge/ chill-out areas and a garden that took your breath away. It was just spectacular.
Sleeping up to 10, it’s the perfect place to book out and enjoy with family and/or friends. 3 bedrooms downstairs, 2 upstairs – one with an en suite, its big enough and spacious enough to feel like you have your own space.
Bags dropped off, house tour complete, I sat with Robin and Anna whilst waiting for the others to arrive. Introductions done and dusted, we got ready for our first surf session of the weekend. And yes. We went surfing in Storm Miguel!! I mean if that’s not a way to get over pre-surf nerves, I don’t know what is. Plus, because of the rain, the sea felt surprisingly warm!
After a delightfully warm shower, we had our first yoga session with Anna. A relaxing 60-minute yin flow – just what the doctor ordered. Yoga mats away, we feasted on a two-course vegetarian dinner. By 10pm, we were all ready to hit the sheets to rest up for our first proper day – starting with a 6am alarm!!
Freewave Surf Academy is a surf school ran by a team of local instructors with A LOT of experience under their belts. Robin heads up the school and is a surf expert. He was able to teach and look after a really varied group. 2 of the girls had surfed before, and 2 of us were complete beginners! We stripped it right back to the basics which definitely gave me the confidence to just go for it. If you’ve never been before, please do not let this put you off. I can assure you you’ll be in the safest hands!!
One of my favourite parts of the surf retreat was the video analysis. During each surf lesson, we were filmed on both a camera and a Go Pro. After breakfast every morning, we’d re-group and watch the footage. It was such a useful exercise to do and makes it so much easier to see where you can improve/ change technique. Plus, it is absolutely hilarious to watch the wipeouts of which I had SO many.
Anna Young Yoga.
I’ve made it no secret that I love yoga. I really do see it as my primary source of #selfcare so when I found out that we’d be doing upward of around 6 hours across the weekend, I could not wait.
Anna is hands down, one of the loveliest yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure of practicing with. She has such a beautiful style and was able to again, cater to a mix of abilities.
Every morning, we did 1 hour of rejuinvating vinyasa and in the evenings, restorative yin to stretch out the niggles from the surfing. Its much more of a workout than I ever expected it to be!! We were able to practise both in the house and in the garden. Outdoor yoga is really something.
Typical structure of the weekend looked a little like this…
- 6am Surf Lesson
- 7:30am Yoga
- 9am Breakfast
- 10:30am Surf Analysis
- 12pm Free Time
- 3pm Afternoon Tea
- 5pm Dinner
- 7pm Yoga
- 9pm Surf Movie
- 6:30am Surf Lesson
- 8am Yoga
- 9:30am Breakfast
- 11am Surf Analysis
- 12:30pm Free Time
- 3pm Afternoon Tea
- 5pm Dinner/ Evening BBQ
- 7pm Beach Yoga
Saturday afternoon we were able to head into Bude for a bit of an explore. We visited Temple Cafe – a must if you’re heading to Cornwall this summer! It was really nice to get to know the girls outside of the house setting. We mingled, laughed and exchanged LOTS of photos. What else would you expect from a group of bloggers after all?
Anna, Frankie & I opted to stay in Saturday night and make use of the incredible kitchen (and save a few pennies!) but the others did head out to a local restaurant for dinner. It was great to have the option to do both.
The Beach Clean.
We were educated about plastic pollution, its affects and were also able to do our own. At a glance, the beach looked spotless. But as we began looking closer, we managed to fill a large bag. Mainly consisting of tiny plastic fragments, but we were told these are actually the most dangerous.
It was a really humbling and enjoyable afternoon especially as a lot of the community were also picking up as they went.
The highlight of the weekend was definitely meeting the girls. We had SO much in common and I honestly feel as though we’ll stay friends going forward. Anna (The Cornish Life), Frankie (Meet Me By The Sea) and I spent a lot of time together and are already arranging a meet up in the Summer!
Freewave Surf & Yoga retreats run either Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday. The retreat is ideal for those who are looking to just let go for the weekend. Let your hair down, embrace the Cornish sea breeze and connect with others. I also think it’d make for an amazing hen weekend!!
This trip was gifted but as always, all thoughts are my own. I had such an amazing weekend and would without a doubt go back!
All professional images were shot by the amazingly talented @www_tommyhatwell_com.