The Observer

If you are seriously looking to lose weight and kick-start a healthy regime, look no further than Fitfarms in Devon . Set on a 100-acre estate nestled in the peaceful Aville valley, they offer separate week long courses for men and women. This residential fitness and weight-loss holiday is not for the faint hearted. Dawn workouts and strict calorie-controlled diets are standard no cream teas. Spend a week under the stern gaze of up to 15 nutritionists, personal trainers and life coaches.

The 42 hours of challenging exercise per week are broken up with cookery, tai-chi and yoga classes and Indian head massages. It may not be relaxing, but Fitfarms does what it says on the tin: you will go home lighter and with a deeper understanding of your body.