Freewave Surf Academy: Surf and Yoga Retreat in Cornwall
When you think of ‘Cornwall’ what springs to mind? Dramatic coastlines, family memories, cobbled quaint streets and….SURFING! Yep, if you didn’t already know, there is a huge surfing scene in Cornwall and I was kindly invited to Freewave Surf Academy’s first Surfing and Yoga Retreat in Widemouth Bay, Bude.
Freewave Surf Academy is a surf school with over 15 years worth of experience and run by the lovely Robin Ross. Robin and his team usually host groups, families, couples and individuals on surfing lessons and aquatic adventures around Widemouth Bay and Bude. Robin recently decided to use his incredible surfing expertise and contacts to create a fun filled retreat on the dramatic Cornish coastline, designed for those with an interest in surfing, yoga and Cornwall!
The retreat was pretty intense but what do you expect from a Cornish surfing retreat!? If you’re a ‘get up and go’ kind of person then this trip is definitely for you! To begin with, we were a little shocked at the early starts but we soon realised that the 6am surf meant that we could hit the waves and be back in time for a delicious breakfast and garden yoga session before midday.
SURFING FOR ALL ABILITIES
As mentioned previously, this retreat is designed for all abilities and capabilities - you may be a pro or alternatively a newbie, but Robin and the team makes sure that everyone is comfortable.
Believe it or not, I am quite nervous when it comes to waves (especially those white ones!) so I was a little apprehensive when heading into the water, despite surfing a few times before. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side for the first few days but that didn’t stop the group from heading straight in and enjoying the surf.
After each surf trip, the group would head back to the house and gather around the TV to watch video footage of the lesson. This was a great chance for Robin to chat through our technique and explain what we needed to do to improve and focus on for the following day. What did I need to improve on? Actually getting on the board and not letting the waves drift me all the way into shore….. haha (I blame it on the nerves)!
THE YOGA - Hosted by the incredible Anna Young
For me, the yoga was my favourite part of the trip. I am a COMPLETE beginner to yoga but I have always been interested by the idea. My body holds a lot of tension due to getting stressed easily and I’d heard that yoga is definitely a good way to reduce these feelings. Yoga goes hand in hand with surfing as it eases any muscle tension caused during the activity.
Anna is an amazing teacher. Each day we had two yoga sessions- in the morning we focused on vinyasa flow and in the evening we relaxed our bodies with a slower session. There were a number of different capabilities within the group, with many of the girls being complete yogis but Anna adjusted the session in a way that we could all get involved without feeling awkward.
During the rainy days, we had our sessions in the light and airy living room but as soon as the sun came out we moved out onto the lawn, stretching under the Cornish blue skies. On the last day, the group also had a session on the beach.
I cannot recommend Anna enough; not only is she a fantastic teacher but also so lovely and always willing to have a friendly chat.
THE LOCATION and beach house - Widemouth Bay, Bude, Cornwall
The 6 bed house is located in Widemouth Bay in Cornwall. The house is light and airy with a contemporary seaside style - a true Cornish beach house. Anna (TheCornishLife) and I shared an upstairs twin room and swooned over the en-suite bathroom and roof balcony which offered views over to the beach.
Just 3 miles from Bude, Widemouth Bay is extremely popular with families and of course, surfers. At low tide, there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. Being a South Cornwall girl, I’d noticed that North Cornwall boasts major differences, including the dramatic coastline!
On our last day, we made our way to Widemouth Beach to support with a local beach clean. Despite the beach looking pretty clean it was amazing how much rubbish and rope we found attached to seaweed and buried in the sand. It’s so important to keep our beaches and coastline clean - I have been so impressed by the number of people jumping at the chance to protect our shores over the last few years.
Each day we would have an afternoon dedicated to do what we wanted - an opportunity to explore the beach and local area. Anna, Amy and I decided to make our way into town for coffee at the popular cafe, Temple and then ventured to the beach to take some pictures. We ended up spending a lot of time together and I really hope that Anna and I stay in touch with Amy (The Bath Blogger)!
The town also offers a number of eateries and pubs (and a club if you really fancy) to try out and the coastal path which links smaller beaches and coves together.
THE FOOD - Delicious breakfast and afternoon tea!
Robin and Anna even served the most amazing breakfast and dinner each evening. With a selection of toast, porridge, fresh fruits and pastries for breakfast, we all ended up completely full and not needing to eat until later in the afternoon (weird for me).
From midday, tea, coffee and cakes were left on the kitchen table for anyone to dig into- my favourite was by far the lemon drizzle! Robin cooked up a storm for dinner on Friday evening and a BBQ on Sunday (which I sadly missed) and we had the opportunity to either cook for ourselves or head into town/the beach restaurant for dinner on Saturday. Amy, Anna and I all decided to run to Sainsbury’s and cook seafood linguine in the kitchen which we teamed with a welcoming bottle of wine.
Robin made sure that the group would NEVER go hungry and stacked out the shelves with all sorts of goodies that we could help ourselves to. We were truly spoilt for choice!
THE VERDICT - Surfing and Yoga in Cornwall
An absolute fantastic retreat for those who love to get up and go! All activities are optional but expect to be busy, busy, busy! You don’t need to be an expert surfer or yogi to enjoy this retreat - it’s been curated for all abilities and the team are fantastic. Heading off on a retreat is an amazing way to meet people and make friends from afar. Unfortunately, Anna and I had to miss the last morning due to work commitments but we still had a great time regardless. Thank you Robin, Anna and Charlie for an unforgettable weekend.
*I was invited to this three day retreat complimentary in exchange for a review but all opinions are honest - the retreat is great for those who really want to immerse themselves in the Cornish world of surfing!
Professional photos - @www_tommyhatwell_com