News from Budock Vean

Wellbeing Breaks

Without going into detail, we all know that things have been very different in our day to day lives since March 2020. But as things start to creep back to something akin to normality, many of us will be struggling with a hangover of sorts related to how Covid and lockdowns affected us on a personal level, especially regarding our mental and spiritual health.

We are hugely lucky here at Budock Vean to be situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with our own very private 65 acres of grounds, gardens and woodlands leading down to the banks of the Helford River. This in itself provides respite from a busy world for many of our guests, who enjoy finding a quiet spot to sit and read a book, relax, take in the views of the river and listen to the bird song and the wind softly blowing through the trees.

But there are many other things to be recommended locally to help you reconnect with nature and with your inner self. If you are looking for a wellbeing break where you can try new experiences, then we may have just the right suggestions for you.

Resonant Being

Ali Gunning is a sound and yoga therapist based on the south side of the Helford River towards the Lizard Peninsula. Having travelled widely through India and Nepal, Ali experienced and studied the power of voice and vibration and she now specialises in working with the majestic gong for self healing and meditation.

I went along to Ali’s beautifully crafted round house sound temple to try a session for myself. Stepping through the doors the sight of 6 beautifully crafted huge gongs was a real ‘wow’ moment, and the wonderful smell of fresh wood used in the construction of the round house in January this year was still strong and gave an instant connection with nature.

A typical sound session usually lasts about an hour, but I soon understood that time has little meaning while you are truly immersed in a ‘sound bath’. At the end, I could have been listening for an hour or 10 minutes, it was hard to tell!

Lying in the middle of the room with a comfy pillow for my head and wrapped in a cosy blanket, I closed my eyes and let Ali’s gentle voice guide me to a meditative state and to be receptive to the healing vibrations and frequencies of the sounds she creates with gongs, Nepalese singing bowls and other elements such as shakers, rain sticks, bells, drums and chimes.

I’ve always been interested in alternative therapies, but this was a new one for me, and I loved it. I was amazed by the depth and richness of the sounds, the frequencies that gently pulse through your head and body, how the highs and lows of the sound pitch affected me physically. It was amazing to hear this level of sound close up and created naturally from instruments that have been around for thousands of years.

Sound creates a profound sense of relaxation by rebalancing the nervous system. We see the heart rate, breathing and brain waves slow. The mind is very quickly entrained by the sound, creating inner space and quiet which allows the body’s natural healing resources to awaken. A purification may take place, of thoughts, emotions or memories.

Ali allows plenty of time for you to ‘earth’ yourself after this experience, and I certainly needed 10 minutes to come back to myself and my surroundings.

If you’re looking to re-set your inner self, then this is a wellbeing therapy that I would highly recommend.

Blog by: Nicky, Budock Vean Marketing Manager

Website:  Email:  Cost: £60 for an individual session, £80 for a couple or pair.


Forest Bathing

Many of our regular guests will know Paul Simmons from his piano playing days at Budock Vean, providing gentle background music during dinner. Or you may have joined him on some of the guided walks we’ve run over the years. A few years ago Paul started to organise guided Forest Bathing walks, and was featured on Julia Bradbury’s walking series on her Cornwall and Devon Walks show for ITV.

You might have heard about the healing effects of Forest Bathing. The research started 40 years ago in Japan in 1982 and is now recognised as a clinically proven therapy. It involves spending time in a woodland, slowly connecting to nature by stimulating all your senses. Our bodies still recognize nature as our home as 99.9% of our time as homo-sapiens has been spent in a natural environment. It is hard wired into our DNA. Just two hours in a woodland can act as a preventative of the build-up of many modern stress related maladies and can be beneficial for up to 30 days.

Here are some of the benefits that have been clinically proven and peer reviewed:

·         Lowers blood pressure
·         Reduces blood sugar levels
·         Lowers concentration of stress hormones (cortisol)
·         Lifts depression
·         Increases the number and activity of NK cells which are white blood cells which, with the help of certain proteins, kill unwanted cells
·         Decreases  pulse rate and increases energy
·         Improves sleep and concentration
·         Reduces anxiety and improves ones emotional state

As the conduit between you and the woodland or riverside, Paul will take you through some ‘invitations’, which are short engagements utilising your senses of smell, touch, hearing, sight and even taste and to slow down to the pace of your environment and observe its magnitude, peace and complexity. Your breathing will slow and deepen, your sense of hearing will become more acute, your brain will stop thinking of the everyday list of ‘to do’s’ and your natural surroundings will envelope you in their peace and serenity. We all deserve a bit of peace and to calm down, it’s just about rediscovering the slow ways. Something I reckon we all yearn for.

If you would like to try a forest bathing session as part of a wellbeing break at Budock Vean, head to Paul’s website and book direct. Web:  Email:


This is not a wellbeing ‘package holiday’, our suggestion is to reserve your hotel room for as many days as you would like, then contact Ali or Paul to book your session with them to coincide with your stay. You can then add treatments in our own Natural Health Spa to complete the experience.