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A new work-life balance

Roger Tempest, Broughton Sanctuary’s custodian, explains how a new working week could look to you and your family
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Friends and family sharing food at a long table in the woods at Broughton Sanctuary

This article first appeared in our ‘Love is all we need’ issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published on 14 February 2022. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

I sometimes dream of what life could be like in a perfect world.

Some are big dreams, while others would only require simple daily adjustments.

One recent dreamy moment was around how I could work and play a little better in 2022, for myself and my family.

The pandemic has caused such huge changes to so many people’s lives and lifestyles that for many there is a new opportunity for beneficial adjustments.

Many no longer need to work the same hours in the same location: work can be brought closer to family and friends.

This, in turn, can facilitate more short breaks in our homeland over the course of the year – mini holidays that are more environmentally appealing, more family friendly and more romantic.

There is essentially a new opportunity to ‘go on holiday to work’, and take family or friends along.

Broughton Sanctuary offers the kind of environment where this dream-like possibility can very much become a reality.

For one or all

The 3,000-acre historic Estate, nestled in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales, has over 14 holiday homes. They range from lovingly restored cottages, barns, farmhouses and gatehouses for families or friends to an off-grid hermit’s hut that is perfect for couples or anyone who wants time alone to write, think or get close to nature.

The immaculate historic country house – dating back to 1597 – can also be booked for bigger numbers or a special occasion.

This is one of the few historic houses in the UK that can be hired for exclusive use. It has been on TV a lot lately – in All Creatures Great and Small, Gentlemen Jack, The English Game and Ridley Road, for example.

Getting down to business

Beyond the accommodation, the wide range of activities on guests’ doorsteps offers something for everyone; a group or family can have breakfast together in the bistro in our walled garden before heading off for a wild swim and a woodland sauna, all before the working day has officially commenced.

When it’s time to clock in, the speedy wifi, business support, offices and meeting rooms make a working day pass with ease.

It can be broken for a family picnic, provided by the Estate’s plant-based food chefs, on the heather-laden Broughton Moor.

Winding down in nature

The therapeutic effects of being in nature can make a ‘workcation’ at Broughton feel like an informal restorative retreat.

If you find yourself with a free afternoon after a focused and productive morning of online meetings, calls and work, there are plenty of ways to wind down and allow the inner nature to be healed by the outer nature.

Follow the mountain bike course through the woods until you reach the indoor or outdoor swimming pool, or head for a sauna, steam, yoga class, dance or massage at Avalon, our state-of-the-art wellbeing centre.

A couple of work calls in between and an email clearance session (if you need them) and you begin to get the feel of what a workcation here could look like. The kids are happy and the adults are happy.

Down time can be used to explore the grounds, which are home to England’s biggest tree-planting and nature-recovery project. Insects, animals and biodiversity are surging here as a result.

Realising a dream

After a day of work and play you could reward yourself with a fire temple party – complete with drumming, dance, music, marshmallows and a group singing session. You would go to bed happy, free from the noise and light pollution of urban life.

My new dream life is getting closer to reality, and all these small dreams add up to a completely new way of living.

It’s the little things that make up life: time spent with family and friends and having the right balance of work and play. It’s time to recognise we all need this new way of living.

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