The gardens of Versailles
Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Globe Trotter: 18 January

Short breaks can offer help for those struggling with freshly made promises

Written by Wendy Gomersall
So how is the New Year promise to lose weight, get fit, stop smoking or take up a new hobby going? Don’t worry if you are struggling to stick to a new regime, help is at hand…

Stop smoking with a Kick The Habit break at Champneys. Guests can confront their bad habits during three, 55-minute hypnotherapy sessions and exercise classes. The three-night breaks can be booked any time, and are available at Champneys Tring and Champneys Forest Mere. The rate for dinner, breakfast, lunch, unlimited use of facilities and up to 20 classes per day, costs from £449.95 per person. 0843-316 2222,

If you’ve promised to go for more walks, start off with one of 98 tempting trails in Europe and beyond with Inntravel’s Walking And More programme of ‘slow holidays’. There are flexible options for all levels and, because the routes are self-guided, guests can explore at their own pace. New breaks for 2013 include the four-night Secret Suffolk, from £310 per person, a walk following the winding River Waveney and criss-crossing farmland, country estates and the market towns of Beccles, Bungay and Pulham Market. The price includes B&B, one dinner, two picnics and transfer to collect your car afterwards. 01653-617001,

Lose weight on a ‘game changer’ weekend over two, three or four nights. The fitness breaks in Morocco, Portugal, Italy or Spain with the Healthy Holiday Company, are for the time-poor, who find it hard to commit to healthy eating and exercise at home. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, detox or just get active, there’s an option for you. For example, the three-night, weight-loss weekend at Castel Monastero near Siena, Italy, costs from £1,865 per person with flights, detox programme, nutritional therapy, all meals, yoga, cardio-fitness activity and detoxifyng treatments. 020-8968 0501,
Travel-Jan18-02-590Champneys, Forest Mere

Running is the easy way to exercise more and Fitscape’s running clinics over seven nights, give tips on technique, breathing and stretching. New for 2013 is boutique hotel Kasbah Angour in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, 30 minutes from Marrakech. A week’s fitness training is available, 9 to 16 March or 1 to 8 May, from £1,395 per person, which includes accommodation, all meals and soft drinks, all group exercise classes, a personal fitness consultation and personal training session, and return transfers from the airport. 020-8968 0501,

If you want to take up a new hobby, try a pottery course by the sea in Welcombe, North Devon. During the morning’s tuition, explore the art of raku pottery and learn hand-building techniques. Courses for beginners (26 to 27 January, 23 to 24 February or 9 to 10 March) cost from £225 per person for a residential package. The prices include two days’ tuition, accommodation at Home Farm, breakfast and lunch.  01288-331416,

Contact Wendy at

Aldemar’s Royal Mare Hotel has won the title of World’s Leading Thalasso & Spa Resort 2012. Olympic Holidays offers a week at the five-star resort, near Hersonissos, including flights from Gatwick to Heraklion on 18 June. From £499 per person, if booked by 28 February.  020-8492 6868,

The first RHS Garden Holidays brochure, in conjunction with Collette Worldwide Holidays, features 10 holidays, with expert tours of public and private gardens. For example, the seven-day Gardens Of The Loire, from £1,869 per person, includes beautiful Châteaux de Villandry gardens. 0800-804 8710,

Desperately need a pick-meup? The Dolphin Square Spa, in London, offers the sublime Arabian Back, Scalp and Face Ritual from top spa brand, Comfort Zone. The treatment, £99 for 70 minutes, starts with a warm oil back massage, followed by a full facial and a face, scalp and foot massage. 020-7798 6767,

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"AS a general rule, one’s stern duty in life seems to be to avoid the things in life that are pleasant, especially in the matter of diet."

The Lady. Living Well. 16th August, 1928
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