Barn FAQs


What previous meditation experience do Barn retreatants have?

Most retreatants have had some experience, and/or have been on retreat.  Beginners do come, and we give plenty of guidance.  Meditation sittings are up to 40 minutes, and many are not guided, so complete beginners might like to consider a Sharpham House Beginners' Retreat before coming to the Barn.


Can I come on retreat with a friend or partner?

We recommend you come on a Barn retreat without anyone you know.  If you bring an important part of your life with you then you aren’t really retreating!  However, we realise for some people it isn’t possible to come separately (eg visiting the country together). In this case we ask you to engage with the retreat as individuals.


What’s the difference between The Barn, Sharpham House and Woodland Retreats?

The Barn Retreat offers 6-day meditation retreats throughout the year in a wonderful converted old Devon Linhay. Retreats are based on a contemporary approach to Western Buddhism and participants have the chance to experience a schedule of mindfulness practice, teacher-led inquiry and working meditation in the organic garden.

Sharpham House offers secular mindfulness retreats with the opportunity to stay in a beautiful Grade 1-listed Georgian mansion house at the centre of the estate and surrounded by superb gardens. Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered for with cooks and house-keeping staff in attendance. Retreats include 3-day Beginners' mindfulness, as well as a variety of themed retreats such as singing, yoga and walking.

Woodland Retreats offer a unique chance to stay in our woodland campsite in the grounds of Sharpham House with a focus on mindfulness and connecting to nature. Guided by our experienced leaders, participants will explore mindfulness in the inspirational setting offered by the Estate’s woodlands, gardens and parkland.

All of the above retreats are set at different locations across the beautiful 550 acre Sharpham Estate with views over the river Dart in an area of designated outstanding natural beauty.


Why do retreats at the Barn cost less than at Sharpham House?

Costs are kept lower at the Barn because gardening, cooking and household tasks are shared in community by volunteer coordinators and retreatants.  

Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered. Also, Sharpham House is a large grade one listed building with far higher overheads.


What’s the food like? 

Excellent! All of our food is vegetarian, and 99.5% organic.  We can accommodate most dietary requirements – eg vegan, gf, etc.


Do I need to be fit to work in the garden?

No. The work is as easy as you like. We can find work to suit all abilities and physical conditions; even indoor tasks if you wish.


What time do retreats start and finish?

Arrival time for all Barn retreats is between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.  Departure time is after 9:00am and before 12 noon.


How far from the station is the Barn

Three miles by road.  We offer a free pick up from the station at 3:00pm, or a taxi will cost about £11.  Alternatively some people choose to follow the very pleasant 2 mile, 40 minute walk: a great way to draw yourself out of the world and into retreat.


Get in touch

If you would like to know more about the information on this page, please contact:

Name: Barn Manager Tel: +44 (0)1803 732661

Address: The Barn Retreat, Lower Sharpham Barton, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7DX