Reformer Pilates at Retreat to the Hills

About Retreat Pilates

Hello! My name is Tess and I own and run Retreat to the Hills, teaching Reformer and Mat Pilates classes. Selling my online designer homeware business marked the close to my retail career which spanned over 20 years and included leading Buying teams at Next and Wedgwood. After a period of reflecting on my next challenge I set up Retreat to the Hills as a place for recovery and restoration of the mind and body.

Pilates has always been important to me and was key to my recovery from a road traffic accident. It has become a way of life and I’m keen to share the benefits with others. The strengthening, mobilising and realignment of postures brought through Pilates is well known, but the psychological benefits of giving people time out to simply focus on their breath and improve their proprioception is hugely rewarding for my clients and myself.

I initially qualified as a Level 3 Pilates Instructor with YMCA. Since then I have also successfully completed a conversion course to be certified by Body Control Pilates. Body Control Pilates is widely seen as a benchmark for safe and effective teaching of the highest quality, with teachers working in more than 40 countries. It is Europe’s largest professional Pilates organisation.

I am continuing my professional development with additional courses by Body Control Pilates, Can Rehab and Lisa B Pilates. I also have weekly lessons on the Reformer, Tower and Chair to work on my personal performance.

My loyal client base of different age groups and abilities come to Retreat to the Hills for Pilates and enjoy the time focusing on their own well-being. I hold small group classes, solo sessions that really help focus on individuals own needs, and husband and wife sessions for couples to learn together. Recorded sessions are also online to offer people the flexibility of training at home if they are unable to attend.

I love that there is always something to challenge you with Pilates and the fact that I am fitter and more flexible in my 40’s than I was in my 30’s is testament to what is possible.

Pilates Personal Training Malvern
Reformer Pilates Private Lesson in Malvern Ledbury

Reformer Pilates

The majority of the lessons I teach are on the Reformer.

Although the equipment can initially look challenging clients quickly come to love the way it can support their movement and as they grow stronger also challenge them more.

Depending on your starting level training may be a hybrid of Reformer Pilates mixed with some Mat work, and also the Springboard Tower.

Resistance is added using your own body weight, by adding (and sometimes removing springs), and also using free weights and bands.

Reformer Pilates sessions can be taught as a 1:1 or as a Duet. If you have any medical conditions that require more focus I always recommend that you have a few sessions on your own first before coming along with a friend. All clients will be asked to complete a simple Health Questionnaire.

I use Balanced Body Allegro Reformers and both are raised from the floor making it easier to get on and off them.

Clients train on a weekly or fortnightly basis and tend to have the same slot each week. Because of this I do run a waiting list so if an existing client is no longer able to attend their slot is up for grabs! If you are interested in starting Reformer Pilates do drop me an email and we can discuss what are the current options.

Private sessions are £30 per hour. A Duet session is £45.

Mat Pilates Classes in Malvern and Ledbury

Mat Pilates Group Classes

Our live Mat Pilates classes are taught in our studio, which is situated at the foothills of the Malvern Hills.

The tranquil space is the perfect place to focus on your own personal health and well being with a Pilates Training session.

Class sizes are kept small to ensure you get the maximum amount of attention and really get the most out of your training session. In the group sessions Tess is able to offer adaptations to enable you to get the most out of each session whilst enjoying the warmth and banter of a group workout.

We ask that you bring your own mat and block or towel.

As with the Reformer Pilates classes I have regular clients who attend in term blocks so if you are interested in Mat Pilates contact me to find out availability and to be added to the waiting list. Only three Mat Pilates classes are run each week so spaces are limited.

Mixed class bookings are £10 per person and are charged in half term blocks.


 – YMCA  – Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates

– Body Control Pilates – Level 3 Matwork Pilates Teacher Training

– Body Control Pilates – Pilates in Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

– Body Control Pilates –  Level 3 Physical Activity and Health Considerations for the Older Adult

 -Body Control Pilates – Level 3 Designing Pilates Programmes for Bone Health

– Can Rehab – Level 4 Cancer and Exercise Rehabilitation

– Lisa B Pilates Academy for Teachers – Introductory Reformer Course

– Lisa B Pilates Academy for Teachers – Progressive Reformer Course

– Lisa B Pilates Academy for Teachers – Springboard

Reformer Pilates in Malvern Ledbury

Recorded Classes

Pilates On Demand pre recorded Pilates sessions can be purchased for unlimited use with a monthly subscription.
Classes are taught as mixed ability and designed to compliment the live sessions. There are also some 15 minute short sessions focusing on key areas for those times when you don’t have the motivation or energy to do a full workout.

The On Demand sessions are available for a monthly subscription of only £10. Once you have subscribed you will be sent an email link every month to view the videos at a time that suits you on Vimeo. You can cancel your subscription at any time. If you are interested please send us an email and we will send you the BACS information.

What Are The Benefits of Pilates? 

Pick up any newspaper, online article on fitness and you will at some point read, (or be told by a Medical Professional), to try some Pilates. 

But what can you really expect to gain from regular practice. 

One of the greatest benefits I see clients gaining isn’t something they come in expecting to find; a greater understanding  and connection to their own bodies. That mind body connection is so important. We use breath work a lot and simple exercises like footwork on the Reformer can become almost mindful. 

Your circulation will be boosted, and due to the need to concentrate on your movement you can expect a reduction in both mental and physical fatigue. 

A more obvious benefit is a more uniform muscular development, not in a bulky way but stronger across all areas as in every session we we work every part of your body, and move your spine in every direction. 

Core strength is one benefit that is often touted and this is true, but the resulting more obvious benefits to this strengthening is a reduction in lower back pain, improved posture and better movement in all your daily tasks. 

Flexibility also does improve, along with your balance. 

There are so many other benefits you can expect, but one of the best ones I feel is progression and that sense of achievement on always challenging yourself to be more and do more. If you commit to a regular training schedule in and out of the studio you will find that you will see improvements in so many areas. But don’t just take my word for it, you can read my clients testimonials below and come and try a session. 

Tess x 

Reformer Pilates Private Lesson in Malvern Ledbury


The Mental Benefits are as good as the Physical

I really didn’t think Pilates was my thing being more of a boot camp enthusiast. I was surprised at how hard it worked my muscles without getting up a sweat. I am totally converted – I know that pilates will always be part of my life now. The mental benefits are as good as the physical. I really enjoy understanding how my body should be aligned correctly and thinking about different muscle groups to work them individually. I could see my muscle tone developing within the first weeks particularly around my waist. I am more conscious of how I sit and stand which can only be beneficial as I am in my early forties! Tess is welcoming, knowledgeable, dedicated and she has a good sense of fun. ;

My Body is Definitely becoming Stronger

I have had quite a few Pilates teachers in the past and I think Tess is the best! It is such a treat to have an hours session with her every week. I can feel myself gradually improving as I get to know the movements and my body is definitely becoming stronger, which for me, was the main attraction of Pilates. ;

A Wonderful Hour of ‘Me’ Time

Tess is an inspiring Pilates teacher, who has supported me both post-operatively and also helping to re-develop my core strength, balance and co-ordination as part of a return to competitive riding.
Tess is clear, structured and pays great attention to each member of the class. She ensures that exercises are performed correctly and to an appropriate level, whilst keeping a sense of humour which improves even the most challenging movements!
In a busy week my Pilates sessions are a wonderful hour of ‘me’ time whilst being physically challenged too!. 

Each Exercise is at the Right Level for each Individual

I get so much out of the lessons. The lessons are enjoyable and relaxed and Tess is adaptable in her approach ensuring that each exercise is at the right level for each individual. Each lesson is varied and I enjoy the sense of achievement after mastering a challenging move! Physically I am stronger, more flexible and generally more toned and the lessons have been invaluable in helping maintain a sense of well-being in amongst the stresses of everyday life! . 

Making a Huge Difference

Pilates lessons with Tess have been a revelation. She is professional but the sessions are fun. She caters for all abilities and is able to stretch some members of the group whilst being mindful of the needs of others. I have found myself really looking forward to our sessions. The next morning I can even reach down with ease to put my socks on (something that has challenged me for a few years)! These pilates sessions are making a huge difference and making me feel so much brighter and in tune with my body.  

A Peaceful Setting in Which to Practice Pilates

Tucked away at the foot of the Malvern Hills, you couldn’t ask for a more peaceful setting in which to practice Pilates. Tess is a fantastic teacher adapting each move to your individual level and incorporating new moves weekly, so there is no chance of getting bored. My flexibility is improving and I always leave a session feel very calm and relaxed.  

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Ambleside, Castlemorton, Malvern, WR13 6DA