Suffering from lack-of- holiday blues? Give yourself a treat by taking to the water by ferry ....
Easy check-in processes, relaxing onboard passenger lounges and refreshment areas mean a chilled-out ambience from start to finish. Spacious public decks lend themselves to social distancing and give ferry passengers room to relax or stretch their legs, collect their thoughts and experience a more
mindful method of travel. Holidaymakers travelling by vehicle also avoid packing stresses, no baggage restrictions and bike racks, sports gear and camping equipment are transported fuss-free.
Abby Penlington, Director at Discover Ferries, says: “To inspire holidaymakers looking to enhance their wellbeing we have compiled a guide to escapes by ferry that stimulate the mind, body and spirit.”
Active trips to strengthen the body
To build core strength, flexibility and calm your mind, Isle of Wight visitors can attend sessions combining traditional Asana yoga with stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).
Travel from Portsmouth or Lymington with Wightlink; Southampton with Red Funnel; via Hovertravel from Southsea.
Operating with extra capacity for bicycles, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers means city dwellers and visitors can take in London's sights from the river, before continuing their commute or exploration of parks, piers and pathways on two wheels.
The Scilly Isles sandy beaches are perfect for open water swimming and kayaking, on a sunny day you’ll find it hard to believe you are in Britain. Embrace your adventurous spirit and take social distancing to the extreme by chartering a boat to an uninhabited island for a solitary stroll.
Isles of Scilly Travel offers services on The Scillonian departing from Penzance to St Mary’s Harbour.
For those who have taken up walking during lockdown and want to do this during holidays, the Isle of Man’s Raad ny Foillan Coastal Path is ideal. Covering nearly 100 miles, ambitious walkers can complete the route in four days or opt to walk the course in 10 days. Walkers are rewarded with spectacular views, fantastic picnicking spots and restaurants to suit all budgets.
Travel with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company from Heysham to Douglas year-round or seasonally from Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast.
Holidays to reset the mind
Retreat to the Holy Isle, a remote Buddhist island off Scotland's Isle of Arran, to indulge in Tai Chi, yoga and meditation. With relaxing activities that focus the mind in tranquil surroundings, it’s easy to see why visitors return to Re-Vitalise Retreats.
Travel to Arran with CalMac ferries from Ardrossan or Kintyre, departing from Clanoig in summer and Tarbert in winter months.
The Netherlands has a culture of indoor wellness centres that offer the ultimate in hot and
cold pools, steam rooms and saunas.
Travel with DFDS via its Newcastle to Amsterdam route; P&O Ferries departing from Hull to Rotterdam; Stena Line’s services between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.
Practise the Japanese art of forest bathing at St Brelade in Jersey, it reduces stress and improves concentration. Visitors are encouraged to take in the forest's fresh air under the guidance of local herbalists and if they wish they can forage for ingredients for a relaxing tea.
Condor Ferries operate links to Jersey from Poole.
Nourishing breaks that will heighten your senses
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so why not visit France’s apple region? Apple desserts, apple juice, cider and Calvados apple brandy mean no shortage of sampling opportunities across the region. From May to December, visitors can participate in harvesting the fruit.
Sail to Normandy from Portsmouth or Poole with Brittany Ferries; from Newhaven to Dieppe with DFDS; P&O Ferries and DFDS operate from Dover.
The Irish coastline is home to a variety of edible plant life making it a haven for foragers. Besides mushrooms, herbs, mosses and wild blackberries, there are more than 600 types of
nutrient-packed seaweed. Foragers can sustainably harvest by cutting the tips – never the root
– with a knife, it adds flavour to soups, bakes and infused oils. The food trail in Waterford is a great introduction to Ireland’s native plant life and local producers.
Travel to Ireland from the UK with Irish Ferries via Pembroke-Rosslare and Holyhead-Dublin routes; P&O Ferries from Liverpool to Dublin; Stena Line on Holyhead-Dublin and Fishguard-Rosslare services.
The Buddhist Samye Ling and Centre on Holy Isle are closed until the end of 2020 due to COVID-19, however, in line with Scottish Government advice, visitors can kayak, walk and enjoy nature on the island.
The UK government currently advises against all but essential travel to France and The Netherlands. Please monitor the FCO advise to check when it’s safe to travel.
Although the Isle of Man’s borders are currently closed to nonresidents, they look forward to welcoming visitors again soon.
Further information on how the ferry industry is responding to COVID-19 at
Image credits @Visit Isle of Wight @VisitJersey @Failte Ireland @ Mike Peel @ Visit Isle of Man
Discover Ferries represents 13 ferry operators in the UK, the British Islands and Ireland operating more than 80 routes. Its role is to promote ferry travel and holidays. The carriage of freight vehicles is also an important part of the business. Discover Ferries members are Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, Condor Ferries, DFDS, Hovertravel, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Travel, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 12 books. Published credits include the Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, Independent, Daily Express, BBC magazines, Country & Town House, The Scotsman, Sunday Times cruise, Selling Travel, Cruise Trade News, Cruise International, etc