about us

Biographies of those involved


Thornhall Chalet Proprietor, Pilates and Power Plate Instructor, Mindfullness and Yoga practitioner, developing NLP Life Coach,

I have practiced Pilates for over 10 years and have been Instructing for 7

My love of Pilates developed into Instructing after years of using Pilates as a tool to enable me to cope with a busy work / home schedule. exercise with Pilates, Yoga and mindfulness also directed my intensive recovery back to full exercise and mobility  after only 4 weeks post major surgery and which helped me cope with getting back to my normality.

I continue to work with myself and my clients to maintain a strong and flexible body and an open mind

The APPI  (Australian Physiotherapist Pilates Institute) method is a method specifically practiced by Physiotherapists and is a rehabilitation and prevention orientated Pilates method.

My Classes are specifically restricted at Thornhall Studio to a maximum of  6 for level 1 beginners and 12 at all venues for levels 2 and 3,  to enable person centred and 1:1 support from the instructor .

This method will help you  develop  controlled movements, strengthening  and lengthening your body with a strong CORE

The practice focuses the mind and helps you to find that bit of YOU time we all need

I look forward to welcoming you to Thornhall Chalet  for your holiday, and encourage you to sample our classes, workshops and retreats;

Pilates, PowerPlate, yoga, Life and Performance Coaching

We can also offer Beauty and Massage  treatments with Local Specialist Vanessa Stewart just a short walk from Thornhall Chalet,

We are happy to build a plan of  any of our services to fit in with your holiday if you would like to contact us with your requests in advance.

I Look forward to welcoming you to your  Retreat time




Valerie Ritchie, Yoga Teacher

I qualified as a yoga teacher with The British Wheel of Yoga and have been teaching for more than 8 years.   Since meeting my own teacher and mentor, Louise Simmons, I have continued on my personal journey of well-being, learning to undo my body’s tensions, aches, and inflexibilites and discover new strengths and ease (awareness?).   I have found this way of practising yoga to be deeply therapeutic physically, mentally and emotionally.

I am committed to experiencing this yoga and passing this on to my students.

This style of hatha yoga is often referred to as  “Scaravelli-inspired”, after the late Vanda Scaravelli – an Italian lady who pioneered this way of working.    It brings a sense of aliveness to the spine,  restoring vitality through the whole body.  It is passed on by direct experience rather than any fixed method or instructions,  so each teacher brings their own unique style and discoveries to the teachings which stay joyfully alive.

This yoga is helpful to people of all ages and fitness levels and is especially appropriate for the elderly and those who are working with disabilities.   We take the body we have in front of us and work with what we see, allowing people to access their body in a different way – working ‘with’ the body rather than ‘against’ it.

Forget any fixed image of what a yoga posture looks like!  We may move around or we may simply sit or lie down.  Movements may be tiny.  We work on creating a little more space in and around the joints, bones and muscles which softens unnecessary tensions and encourages us to listen to our bodies.   We learn how our bodies love to breathe,  practising from a soft, quiet place.   Sometimes only working with the breath is enough.  Freed from the mental stress of trying too hard, the body shows us an easier, (more fluid, child-like?) way of moving and offers a natural refreshing restfulness.

It is extremely difficult to describe what I do but it is remarkable how the body responds to movement when working at a deeper level,  helping to nurture and increase our overall health and vitality.



Vanessa and Chris

Vanessa provides Beauty and massage therapies in Dyke village in her purpose built treatment room. Her wonderful caring hands will leave you feeling pampered and relaxed. A full list of all treatments is available in the Chalet or by contacting Brigid directly

Chris and Vanessa together cook and serve our gastronomic delights on our Retreat weekends, feeding us with wonderful, tasty organic delicacies to nourish our bodies and minds.

We look forward as a team to welcoming you, one and all, to Thornhall Chalet and Studio


A percentage of all profits is donated to Maggie’s and other nominated Charities