If you love a holiday that involves both incredible luxury and buckets of adventure, then the Shore to South Downs luxury activity retreat is for you.
I was lucky enough to be invited on this trip at the end of last year to test out the new activity retreat.
This kind of weekend away is quite simply perfection for me. Though I have been known to do the odd bit of wild camping, I am more of a king size luxury bed and 6 pillows kind of person. But, I also want adventure, fun and exciting things to do, before I return to the aforementioned comfy bed.
The Shore to South Downs retreat has been put together by a group of small businesses in and around the South Downs and West Sussex… see told you it was perfect. Is there anything I love more than supporting a small business?
I hope more small businesses take note of this exciting collaboration, amazing things can be achieved when we work together and it makes me so happy to see and experience small business partnerships like this.
Shore to South Downs activity retreat itinerary
We did a condensed version of the Shore to South Downs activity retreat itinerary, fitting their usual two or three days into 24 hours.
It really was a perfect mix of high adrenaline adventure when mountain biking with MTB Marmalade to relaxed fun doing SUP Pilates on the lake with The Beach Littlehampton.
Here is what we did on our epic luxury adventure retreat in West Sussex and the South Downs…
Friday evening – dinner and beach hut relaxation
In the early evening we arrived at the Beachcroft hotel and check into our beautiful beach-hut. It is far more than a beach-hut, more like a little apartment, with luxury everywhere you turn, from the super comfy bed, to the Smeg fridge and little extras like a bottle of wine and homemade cakes on arrival.
The huts sleep up to four, with bunk beds, an ensuite and open plan living area with views to the ocean. It’s dog friendly too.
We had dinner at the hotel’s Tamarisk restaurant which is just across the road from the beach huts and enjoyed a delicious three course meal by chef Damian Czerny, before getting an early night.
Saturday – sunrise swims, mountain biking and SUP
I woke up Saturday morning and looked out our port hole window to the most gorgeous sunrise and knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity of a sunrise sea swim. One of those incredible unplanned experiences. An excellent way to start any day!
Mountain biking with Marmalade MTB
After the swim and a hearty breakfast at Tamarisk we were picked up for our first adventure, mountain biking with MTB Marmalade.
Sean from MTB was a brilliant guide. He was patient without being patronising and ensured it was a fun experience for all of us, despite being slightly different speeds. It was tough, but just tough enough to feel like a challenge, whilst still being manageable, with time to enjoy the views across the South Downs.
Lunch at the Beach Littlehampton
After a 2-3 hour bike ride we were more than ready for lunch and The Beach Littlehampton didn’t disappoint. The space they have created here is brilliant. A buzzy cafe with lots of seating on the beach, sofas and stand up tables.
They have a fab menu, with seaside classics and healthy options too. I recommend the smoothies for a refreshing drink.
I love that the Beach has a series of community events too, from live music, to pamper days, open mic nights and interesting talks. It really has become a focal point of the community.
SUP and Pilates
After lunch we had the opportunity to try some of the other activities The Beach Littlehampton offers. They do kite surfing, wingfoil, paddleboarding and more.
We did paddleboarding, but due to the high winds, we went on the lake which was a lovely calming experience, especially for someone who is far from an expert.
After learning a few tricks on our paddleboards we did a group pilates session which was brilliant and a perfect contrast to the mountain biking in the morning. We ended with a splash by running into the sea in our wet suits!
After an epic sunrise we were blessed with an epic sunset too. This time with a drink in hand from the roof of the Beach Littlehampton. As we toasted to a brilliant day I felt humbled to have experienced such an energising day with wonderful people.
Sunday – beach walks & Arundel visit
You have the option of staying an extra night on the retreat to make the most of your beach hut and enjoy the local area. We loved having an extra day to soak up the sea air and enjoy our luxury accommodation.
The day started with a lie in, followed by breakfast and a walk along the beach.
We then headed into the lovely market town of Arundel which is about 20 minutes drive from Felpham. I definitely recommend a visit. Then it was back for an early night as we fell asleep to the sound of the waves.
I honestly can’t recommend the Shore to South Downs luxury Activity Retreat enough. It was a brilliant weekend and I am envious of anyone who books on it and gets to experience all we did.
What to pack for a luxury activity retreat
If you’re heading on the activity retreat then here is everything I think you need to pack.
- Swimming costumes – for a swim in the sea or the Beachcroft heated pool & for paddleboarding
- Dryrobe or a big towel – to get warm after your swim
- Leggings or biking shorts – Whatever you feel comfortable in really, as long as it won’t get caught on the bike
- Layers – mountain biking can mean being hot and sweaty one minute when cycling up a hill and cold when you get to the windy top and want to take photos
- Waterproof – because you never know what the weather might do
- Walking boots – for a walk along the beach on your free day
- Flipflops – to navigate the pebbles when you take your dip in the sea
- Smart/casual clothes for dinner – you can wear what you want, but I like getting dressed up for dinner
- Toiletries – the hotel provides shampoo, conditioner etc, so just your personal stuff needed
- Camera – because there are so many beautiful photo opportunities
- GoPro – for some action shots on the bikes
- Alarm Clock – to wake you up for an early morning dip!
- All the other usual bits – pants, pjs and plenty of energy for a fun weekend!