Mountain Fitness & Wellbeing Weekend

15-17 March 2019

Come to the beautiful Ariege in the French Pyrenees for a weekend of mountain exploring, outdoor fitness and wellbeing activities.

The mountains in this area are majestic and we’ll take you to places with stunning vistas and far reaching views for your mountain walks and

fitness sessions. You’ll be thoroughly looked after every day; both on the

mountain and in the stunning surroundings and homely accommodation of Chez Hawkins.

Be prepared for spectacular views, mouthwatering food and professional training. Our aim is to have a wonderful time and our promise is to encourage you to go as far as you want to go.

Accommodation and Food

Chez Hawkins is set in an idyllic location: nestled in a wooded valley with views of the Gorge de la Frau and Montsegur Chateau from the garden; where our fitness and stretching sessions will take place. The accommodation is on the edge of a small Ariege village and the garden backs onto hectares of forest, giving peaceful inspiration in every direction. Chez Hawkins also has a fabulous wet weather alternative: a large, light and beautiful attic room where the light pours in and a wood pellet burner keeps a cosy warm glow.

Emma Hawkins is in charge of catering and takes great pride in feeding her hungry visitors; her meals are all home-prepared using locally sourced produce where possible. Emma ran her own very successful catering business in Edinburgh for many years before she moved to the French Pyrenees. Scrumptious creative food is her speciality. A continental breakfast and a packed lunch is provided daily and the 3 course evening meal will be hearty, tasty and a very social affair on a large table in the spacious warm dining area at Chez Hawkins.


When you join our retreat all food accommodation and activities are included. On top of that you can choose the wellbeing treatments which will be available throughout the weekend. Please check with Emma on booking what wellbeing slots are available and take your pick. Day visitors are also very welcome.

Day 1: Friday 15th March

  • Afternoon: Check in, accommodation available from 4pm
  • 30pm: Tea, cake, Prosecco meet and greet

Day 2: Saturday 16th March  

  • Stretching session
  • Strength & fitness session
  • Afternoon mountain walk
  • Various well being activities throughout the day

Day 3: Sunday 17th March 

  • Full day: Mountain walk with fitness sessions at inspiring locations
  • More well being activities
  • Final tea and cake at 5pm


In the mountains Louise Chandler, an International Mountain Leader will be your guide and mentor. Louise has worked as an outdoor instructor and mountain leader all over the world. The French Pyrenees now have her heart and she would love to share her favourite spots with you.

For fitness training you will be in the capable hands of Alli Suddaby. Alli is a fully qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor.  She is passionate about training outdoors to reap the benefits that moving in nature has to offer.

Wellbeing treatments will be provided by extremely talented Jeni Charlton; a fully qualified beauty and massage therapist (NVQ 2&3 and Diploma in massage BABTAC). These will be available at various times throughout the weekend and can be booked in advance at time of booking.


Accommodation food and activities 

Total cost: €320 per person for the weekend

For payment

  • €200 is required to secure your place, transferred to the account details below
  • €120 cash on arrival


  • Twin rooms with linen and towels
  • En suite bathrooms or a max of 2 rooms sharing a bathroom
  • Full board: Continental breakfast, packed lunch, 3 course set evening meal (from Friday evening meal until Sunday lunch)
  • 2 full days of mountain & fitness activities.


  • Travel (flights, travel to Chez Hawkins and transport to offsite activities)
  • Wellbeing treatments and drinks.

Day visitors/Activities only

  • €120 cash at 5.30pm Friday 15 March
  • Please contact Emma to book your wellbeing treatments.


Bank details

  • Credit Agricole Britline | Name: Emma Hawkins
  • Code establisement 16606 | Code guichet 25112
  • Account no. 84846678947 | Cle 12
  • IBAN no. FR76 1660 6251 1284 8466 7894 712

Well being treatments & prices

  • Back massage, 30 minutes (€15)
  • Feet soak and leg massage, 30 minutes (€15)
  • Indian head massage, 30 minutes (€15)
  • Facial, 45 minutes (€25)
  • Sauna & hot tub available all weekend (€10 per day)


To make a booking, stay additional nights, book wellbeing treatments or book meals as a day visitor please contact Emma at

Practical information

 Kit list

  • 30-50 litre rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Good quality comfortable walking boots
  • Walking poles
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Water bottles, minimum 2 litres
  • Smart wool / quick dry tops
  • Walking socks
  • Walking trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sun / base ball hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal first aid kit (plasters, pain killers, hand sanitiser)
  • Suncream and lip protection
  •  Fleece jacket
  • Duvet jacket
  • Flip flops / sandals for indoor use
  •  Sports clothes
  • Trainers
  • Comfortable clothes for relaxing
  • Water proof bags or a water proof rucksack liner
  •  Wash-kit
  • Ear plugs



Can allergies be catered for? Yes, just let us know.

What is the food like? The meals are wholesome and hearty, Emma cooks the food herself and has been a professional caterer for years. Breakfast is continental with bread/croissants, jams, cereal , juice and hot drinks. There will be a picnic table for you to make your own lunch at breakfast time. The evening meal is 3 courses.


What are the communal areas like in the accommodation? They are great places to relax at the end of a day out in the mountains or in the garden exercising. there is a pellet burning stove and big comfy sofas to curl up on. They are clean and comfortable and a great place for socialising with like minded people.

Will I be able to get WIFI ? Yes Chez Hawkins has wifi.

What plug sockets do you have? France uses the continental 2 pin with earth prong, adapters are readily available from many outlets in the uk and often at the airport.


How do I get to the accommodation and activities? There are plenty of car hire companies at Toulouse and Carcassonne airports. When we have enough people booked on we will share emails so that you can arrange sharing. We can also offer a transfer from Foix train station for 20e. There is a bus from Toulouse airport to Toulouse train Station and regular trains to Foix.

Health & Safety

What happens if there is an issue on the trip with a client- a fall or an illness? We have conducted detailed risk assessments and put the necessary plans in place to cope with any accidents or illness whilst on this trip. Our leaders are all qualified and experienced and hold first aid qualifications and who are used to working in remote environments. Should someone find themselves requiring further medical attention, the leader will organise for that individual to be taken from the trail or the accommodation and transferred to the nearest hospital. The leader will be on hand to offer guidance and support for insurance claims and contacting next of kin.

Is there a risk of altitude sickness? There is no risk of altitude sickness on this trip.

What is the weather like? Day time temperatures can be warm and sunny and we may have some rain. Mountain weather can change quickly. The evenings can be cool.

Guides / Instructors

Are your guides and instructors qualified? All the guides working on our courses hold the International Mountain Leader(IML) which is equivalent to the French ” Accompagnateur de Montagne”. We are also registered to work in France which is a legal requirement in France. Alli is a fully qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor qualified and insured to work in the UK and France.


Do I need insurance? Yes, you will need mountain insurance that covers you for rescue on the mountain up to 3000m. There are many organisations that provide this cover such as the BMC, Austrian Alpine Club and Mountain Training Association. We also recommend that you take holiday cancelation insurance in case of illness or un foreseen circumstances prior to your holiday.


Do we need crampons and ice-axes? You will not need crampons and ice axes for this trip.

What boots do we need? Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support. In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A wide range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local outdoor store. The leather / Goretex combinations are endless and each with their merits. Our best advice is to try them on – if you think they’re comfortable, and will be for several hours a day, buy them. It is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used on this trip.

Do I need a down jacket? A down jacket is a good idea as they are light and warm, we recommend you bring one.