I have to admit, as much as I love Zara for regular clothes, I didn’t hold high hopes for their active lines. These were confirmed when I first started scrolling through their offerings. It seemed to be focused on fashion activewear, think yoga leotards, lace up leggings, white trousers and plimsols.
However, reader, keep scrolling.
Beyond the fashion fitness items are some functional pieces that look great, are super soft and so comfortable. I cautiously purchased a grey tank (£9.99), some body shaping leggings in Navy (£12.99) and a blue crop jumper (£15.99).
I have worn the grey tank non-stop since buying it, with leggings, shorts and jeans. I opted for a Medium (I’m a size 10 with boobs) and love the fit of it. It sits like a slouchy vest, the right side of oversized.
The leggings in a small fit brilliantly, with the flattering high waisted flat stomach panel. However they don’t pass the ‘bend over’ test unfortunately, otherwise these would be the perfect yoga, Pilates and barre leggings. Instead I’ll be wearing them to Barry’s Bootcamp, 1Rebel and Studio Lagree where its dark enough to get away with showing a bit of bum. Unfortunately the lack of pockets means they’re not the most useful running leggings either.
They will make a very comfortable addition to my regular wardrobe with oversize jumpers and boots. Whoever said leggings weren’t trousers had obviously never worn this pair before.
The jumper wasn’t quite such a hit; with the bell sleeves and cropped length it isn’t the most flattering. I’ll be exchanging it for tanks in every colour plus another pair of leggings in a different style – hoping that they might be a bit more opaque.
These photos were taken at Lower Mill Estate on a recent press trip. I feel so lucky to have been on two press trips as a blogger this month (previously I’ve gone on journo press trips in my old role at Good Housekeeping Magazine). This was my first ever blogger only press trip, and I’ll be sharing more behind the scenes next week.
It turns out I’ve actually been to Lower Mill Estate a number of times before with my friends to stay at a friend’s holiday cottage there but had never tried any of the activities out before. On this stay we were shown the best of the active side of the estate.
Lower Mill Estate is set in the heart of the Cotswolds, about 90mins from London and has been designed as a family business to create sustainable holiday homes with a real community feel.
We hired bikes on site and rode around some of the 550 acres, admiring the wildlife, landscape and lakes they’ve created as part of the development. There’s a marked track that you can walk, run or bike around, as well as a mini cycling track complete with ‘jumps’ (I bounced over them trying to stay on the bike!)
We took advantage of the warm weather by taking to the lakes, where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. I enjoyed paddleboarding around Spinney Lake, the water was so calm (unlike the time I attempted paddleboarding in the Thames) that there wasn’t a constant fear of falling and I could happily paddle around the lake and between the houses – sometimes ducking to get under the bridges.
I managed to convince Guilia, one of the other bloggers on the trip to come for a run with me to further explore the estate. We ran a casual 3 miler along the marked path – there is a 5K route all mapped out but by the time we’d found the start we’d already run 2K and didn’t want to miss breakfast!
Of course after all of your active adventuring (or Prosecco drinking as I usually spend my time at Lower Mill Estate doing with friends) you’ll want to hit the spa. There’s an indoor, outdoor and natural pool (that one was really cool and is filtered by plants, but rather chilly) as well as steam room, sauna and treatments available.