Rock & Soul Adventure retreats are dedicated to get people doing epic activities, moving in nature across the world. Our adventure retreats encompass rock climbing, yoga and lots more. This summer we launched our first adventure retreat in Croyde, Devon. There we rock climbed, surfed, trail ran and practiced yoga in the great outdoors. It was a weekend we’ll truly never forget. Read on to find out what we got up to….
As the UK summer of 2018 drew to a close after an incredible period of wall to wall sunshine, we took to the cliffs of Devon with team Rock & Soul. Together we well and truly rocked our souls; indulging in nature and exploration for one last UK epic summer adventure. And what an expedition it was! With a brand collaboration like The North Face behind us, we just knew this was going to be a trip to remember.
Climbing the Incredible Cliffs of Croyde
Late August, team Rock & Soul head to the infamous surfing and rock climbing spot Croyde in Devon. Our team of 18 strong, exploration driven squad jumped right into the deep end from the get go…awaiting their arrival? A 50ft sheer cliff face overlooking the ocean. Their activity? Abseil down and then climb back up it!
After we set into our climbing spot in Baggy Point, the team worked their way down the 50ft cliff face. Our chief climber in charge is the man the legend, Mr Robin O’Leary. Robin has years of experience coaching and leading some of the world best climbers all over the globe. Currently working with the GB Para Olympic team, we knew we were in safe hands. We steadily worked our way down to where the rock met the ocean. We had a tidal window to catch our climb before the sea level rose. The swell slowly lapped against the cliff, gradually heightened. It all added to the experience. The views, the adrenaline, the climb, we knew this was a moment that was special. We knew this was something we would remember a lifetime.
Many of our adventurers were first time climbers, surfers and yogi’s so we were beaming with pride to see them tackle the first (super challenging!) adventure activity. The team raced against the rising tide, tackling the climb route, whilst keeping an eye on the gorgeous surroundings. Culminating with a team sunset ogle at the top, listening to music, high in sprits from the incredible first days adventuring. With a full heart and happy soul we head to our accommodation for the weekend.
Evening Entertainment and Adventure Readying
Settling into our country cottage, we munched on beautiful nutritious food from our wonderful chef Adele Fielding. Refuelling our bodies from the days adrenaline fest. From there we gathered around to watch some adventure stoking mini films from The North Face. Seeing films with their ambassadors rocking all things adventure around the world, well and truly set the tone for the weekend ahead. With that we talked to the small hours of the morning (not forgetting that muscle relaxing hot tub dip 😉 ).
Sunrise Surfs Up
On to the next day, and we weren’t hanging around. We got stuck in with the adventures, starting with a morning surf session (including a lesson from the very cool Surfing Croyde Bay). Our team had the opportunity to put their learnings into practice riding some incredible sets. Croyde certainly put a beautiful swell for us. After the surf, came the soul!
After Surf Soul Session
What could be better than a yoga flow in nature overlooking the beach post surf? Not much if you ask us! So that’s exactly what we did! The crew joined for a beautiful, nourishing yoga flow (served up by yours truly – Kim!) to the sound and sights of the waves. Our bodies thanked us, our souls ever filling from the trip.
Valley of the Rocks
From surf side to cliff side. We grabbed lunch and were straight on to our second climbing destination aptly named “Valley of the Rocks”. The climbs again overlooked the incredible ocean, but gave even more climbing routes for the gang to have a play on. They learned to belay and had the chance to climb multiple routes, each possessing its own unique challenges. We were having such a good time we remained there for the rest of the day. Each person climbed, belayed and took time to soak in the surroundings. Some of our extra keen clan got involved in some trail running too, even smashing some hill sprints up and down surrounding rocks. A full on day of epic activity and epic adventuring.
Campfires, Marshmallows, Hot Tubs and Chats Under the Stars
With our bodies tired, but souls ever so full, we head back for another night of fun at the cottage. The campfires came out, the marshmallows toasted. We talked and partied under the stars before hitting the hot tub for one last soak.
One last slice of surf & soul for the road
With a weary head and happy heart we made our way on to our yoga mat for one last juicy yoga flow for the road. The surf remained as strong and steady as it had been all week, so we figured it was rude to not take the boards out for once last shred. We bathed our woozy heads in salt water, sunshine and one last pasty for good measure. Then begrudgingly made our way home. Saying so long but not goodbye to friends we’d made to last a lifetime. With a reunion and the next instalment of Rock & Soul’s planning well under way, we happily won’t have long to wait before we relight that stoke as we continue to move mountains mindfully.
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Peace & love,
Kim, Robin & Dave (the Rock & Soul crew) x
Words by: Kim Hartwell
Photos by: Tom Young Photography