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News from Sharpham

New for 2015! Sharpham House Retreats

29/10/2014 12:32 pm

For over 25 years, the renowned Sharpham Barn Retreat has offered life changing retreats based on the Buddhist tradition.  Now, Sharpham House itself is opening its doors to a whole new secular range of themed mindfulness meditation retreats for 2015.  

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Our new retreats offer the opportunity to learn and develop mindfulness meditation and then mix it with calming yoga, creative cookery, qi gong energy exercises and techniques or outdoor walks in the hills and by the sea to help you de-stress and re-energise your body.

While Sharpham’s Barn Retreats integrate meditation into mindful work and community, the retreats at Sharpham House are different in that they are fully catered and include house staff who will support the retreat co-ordinators and teachers in the running of them.

Sharpham House Retreats will suit anyone, at any time in their lives looking to take a break from the everyday routine to restore, rejuvenate, relax, de-stress and reconnect with themselves and others in a tranquil, natural environment. 

See all retreats we have planned so far on our event calendar

You can also check to see if there are spaces available on all our retreats by looking at the Retreat Calendar .

Join our mailing list to ensure that you hear about new retreats as soon as they are ready to book.

Summer Wedding Offer

08/10/2014 10:25 am

Save £1000 on your wedding at our breathtaking venue here at Sharpham House.

If you have only just decided to pop the question and want to book a venue next summer, or you are trying to save towards your new home as well as the wedding, then take a look at our Special Summer Wedding Offer.  

Book a two-night wedding package in May or June 2015 at Sharpham House and with our special summer offer you’ll save £1000!

To help you celebrate, we have released extra wedding dates, so call today on 01803 732055 to check availability and arrange a venue visit.

*Offer not available on previously confirmed bookings or transfers of date.

See all our wedding packages here.

Apple Pressing Day and the Autumn Festival on Sunday 19 Oct

08/10/2014 10:25 am

While the days are still warm but the nights are crisp, come and celebrate apples and the season’s variety and richness at Sharpham’s annual Apple Pressing Day on 19 October  from 10.30am-4.30pm. This free fun event includes a community apple pressing, apple-themed activities for all ages and an organised bike ride with our partners, Sustrans, starting from Dartington. 


If your trees have borne more fruit than you can handle, bring your surplus along for a traditional pressing and take home bottles of apple juice but please don’t bring windfalls from orchards grazed with animals in the last six weeks. We will also provide clean, plastic bottles and, in return, we ask that you donate half your apple juice to support the work of the charity.

Take the fresh air route to get to us! This year, volunteers from our partner, Sustrans, will lead a cycle ride to Sharpham so bring your bike to join others on two-wheels. The Sustrans-led ride is around 4.5 miles either way along Route 2/28 of their National Cycle Network, and will start from Dartington Car Park next to the Primary School at 9.30 am to head along the riverside cycle path to Sharpham. The ride is free to enter but booking is essential as numbers are limited, though donations to Sustrans will of course be welcomed.

Sustrans volunteer, Kathy Taylor, said, “Cycling can help you get fit, save money and enjoy the great outdoors.

“We’ve planned a ride, suitable for accompanied older children and adults which will give you a chance to fall in love with your bike all over again – as well as the opportunity to see more of the area.”

Book here for your free cycle ride ticket .

After all that exercise, you’ll have worked up a thirst for a cup or two of fresh apple juice, which will be on sale, along with soup, jacket potatoes, cakes and other refreshments in our House Café. 

If you still have energy to spare then use some up at our Apple Olympics and compete on our apple-themed course. If that’s all too energetic, then you can have-a-go at our different nature crafts, listen to apple tales while you stroll with a storyteller, watch an apple pruning demo, go foraging for free autumn food, collect seeds to replant, create miniature fantastical worlds from natural stuff, or just sit and enjoy the autumn colours of the gardens. All activities are free.

If you are not cycling, then leave your car at home and for a small donation ride Bob the Bus. A shuttle service will run between Sharpham and Totnes all day.

If you do bring your car then there will be field car parking at Sharpham available for a £4 per car charge.

We are sorry but we do not allow visiting dogs. 

Spring to life is relaunched

03/09/2014 10:54 am

Following a successful funding bid, the  Spring to Life  project, is being relaunched from 8 October. This innovative outdoor approach, run by the Sharpham Outdoors Project, aims to help young people, aged 16 – 25 years, who are experiencing mental distress, recover by encouraging them to participate in activities outdoors.

Christine Carol from Ambios, partner of the Sharpham Outdoors Project, said: “ Spring to Life has been running for  three  years and during that time over 100 young people have benefitted. The project, a ten-week programme, combines outdoor and natural history activities with mental health support from qualified staff and peer volunteer help from people who have had direct experience of mental health distress. 

“Based in the beautiful environment of the 500-acre Sharpham estate, the programme combines our specific awareness approach, called Take A Moment, with activities to allow participants to fully experience the natural world around them, which then helps them through their difficulties.”

The national mental health charity MIND states that introducing just five people with mental ill health to this kind of project (known as ecotherapy) saves the state more than £35,000 each year in medication, Jobseekers allowance and healthcare.  

A survey conducted by Ambios showed that half of a group of 16 participants studied had progressed from the project onto employment and volunteering, and still used the outdoors as part of their self supporting coping strategy.  The South Hams alone has around 78,000 people aged 18-64 with diagnosed mental ill health and this project has become recognised locally as a beneficial and positive health care referral option for young people with mental distress.

Christine added: “For one day a week over the course of ten weeks, participants learn new skills, help conserve the natural environment or simply enjoy the surroundings and take time out by the outdoor fire with others. They work towards achieving the John Muir Award, a recognised and certificated environmental scheme focused on awareness and exploration. On completion of the programme, they are able to continue with us as wildlife volunteers.”

“Programmes are designed in consultation with a mental health specialist and other young people, and delivered by our trained staff team alongside volunteer mentors who have direct experience of mental health distress. To assist with practicalities, we are able to provide lunch and some travel costs.

“It’s encouraging that, because of the funding, we can continue this vital project for another two years.”

On the trail of cheeses

20/08/2014 11:23 am

With the help of the British Cheese Board, Clare Bourke looks at some of the county’s cheese producers including Sharpham and Ticklemore and discovers why this humble food will always be a firm favourite.

For full details of this article see the  online version of Devon Life  magazine.

Get in touch

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

Name: Ben Ballard Tel: 01803 731801 Email:programme@sharphamtrust.org

Address: The Sharpham Trust, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7UT