Nature connection retreats for men
This men-only Woodland Retreat, away from the frantic pace of everyday life offers the opportunity to experience a combination of mindfulness practice, connection with the natural world and the opportunity to engage with other men, exploring how we meet the challenge of living authentic lives amidst the times we are living through.
In gaining greater self awareness and connection to others, we can add real value and meaning to what we do and who we are in the world.
The benefits of spending time in nature are well documented and understood, as are those of developing a mindfulness practice. Together they combine to create a powerful synthesis, often resulting in feelings of gratitude, calm, self-insight and positive emotions. Our experience has shown us that participants tend to go deeper when in a same gender group, something that our ancient forebears recognised fully.
- opportunities to develop mindfulness skills through guided meditation
- accessible and engaging nature connection activities - cultivating moment to moment awareness in the outdoors, including some ‘solo time’ on the land
- time for rest and replenishment in a very special natural setting
- opportunities for contemplation and reflection, exploring ways to sustain and resource ourselves in the face of life’s challenges
- sharing our stories in the supportive company of other men
The retreat is for you if you are:
- new to mindfulness or are looking to sustain and reconnect with your practice in a new way
- love the outdoors and nature or would like to experience nature in a different way
- feeling overwhelmed, over stretched or stressed by the demands and pace of modern life looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life
- feeling a longing to spend time in nature and the chance to explore and reconnect with your true and authentic self in a safe, trusting and supportive atmosphere
Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety our retreats might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and details of our booking process.
This retreat is for adults aged 18 and above.
Accommodation & surroundings
This retreat takes place in our beautiful woodland campsite area in the grounds of the historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House, set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart. You'll be surrounded by nature with 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate to explore. The Estate includes a diversity of natural habitats including reed beds, salt marsh, ancient woodland with a rich variety of wildlife, flora and fauna – all set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Your accommodation will be in comfortable and spacious bell tents, which include a mattress, bedding with duvet and a table. We like to call it comfortable camping rather than glamping!
All bell tents are single occupancy to give you time to yourself for rest and contemplation. The woodland campsite includes a covered outdoor kitchen and dining area and the retreat is fully catered with delicious and locally-sourced vegetarian food, as well as food foraged from the wild. There is a covered fire hearth area for wet weather. We use compost toilets on the site and there is a shower available in the courtyard of the house.
A welcome letter and suggested kit list of what to bring will be provided at point of booking.
Parts of the site are on uneven ground. Please contact us if you have physical health or mobility difficulties to make sure we can best accommodate your needs.
Please click here for directions to Sharpham Estate and follow signs on arrival to drop-off point for luggage and registration.
Our food & your dietary needs
The retreat is full-board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food.
In line with sustainable practices across the Estate, our cooks produce seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers. The Estate's farm tenants produce award-winning wine and cheese as well as organic eggs and vegetables.
We are used to accommodating a wide range of dietary needs including wheat-free, diary-free, vegan etc. Please indicate on your booking form if you have a dietary need. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.
We take sustainability seriously. We use compost toilets on the Woodland Campsite, while all of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art bio-mass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic arrays on barn rooftops. Our gardens are managed organically and we only use biodegradable cleaning products.
Arrive between 4-5pm for unload, welcome talk and settling in
|7am – wake up call||2pm – personal / free time|
|7.30am – walk & movement exercises||4pm – mindfulness and nature connection activity|
|8am - guided sitting meditation||6:30pm – Supper / Tasks|
|8.30am – breakfast / tasks / make packed lunch||7.45pm - Meditation|
|9.30am – mindfulness and nature connection activity||8.30pm – personal time / fireside time / night time activity|
|1pm - lunch||9pm – camp moves into silence except fireside area|
Depart 12pm - 1pm on the final day
This retreat takes place in our beautiful woodland campsite area in the grounds of beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House, set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart. You'll be surrounded by nature with 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate to explore. The Estate includes a diversity of natural habitats including reed beds, salt marsh, ancient woodland with a rich variety of wildlife, flora and fauna – all set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Please click here and follow the directions as per Sharpham House - BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WOODLAND RETREAT DROP-OFF POINT IS NOT AT SHARPHAM HOUSE ITSELF - Look out for and follow Woodland Retreat signs once on the Estate.
If you're coming by taxi, the drivers will know the way to Sharpham House but not to the Woodland Retreat drop-off point. Please look out for the signs.
£315 (full board) - includes furnished bell tent (single occupancy) and bedding. Please bring your own towel.
You can book easily and securely online below, by phoning 01803 732542 or by [email protected]
Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy
Caspar Walsh has over 20 years’ experience in facilitating groups, meditation and as a writing tutor and mentor. He is an author, journalist and founder of the award-winning charity Write to Freedom. His journey through life and work has been driven by a passion and belief that artistic expression, nature connection and contemplation lay the foundations for a reflective, fulfilling, joyful life.
Rupert brings over two decades of practice in the Insight Meditation tradition and a background in ecopsychology and outdoor education.
A long-time lover of wilderness, Rupert trained and guided in Contemporary Wilderness Rites of Passage with the School of Lost Borders in the U.S.
He currently lives, works and teaches at EcoDharma, a community in the Spanish Pyrenees exploring the engagement of contemplative practice with issues of social justice and ecological sustainability.
Jon is a nature connection guide, mentor and facilitator.
He creates safe spaces using natural settings as a mirror for our own inner growth and leads groups gently towards open-hearted, un-self-conscious realisation. He is trained in group mentoring techniques and has many years' experience in rites of passage for men and boys and mental health recovery programmes.
With a background as an engineer, Jon was head of Training and Global Customer Services with an international manufacturing company, but shifted priorities ten years ago knowing there was more to life.
"Finding a more meaningful way to live and still manage to pay the bills is a real 21st century challenge requiring changing not less than everything" He now works with companies or individuals helping them to find a more authentic, purposeful way to go about their lives or business, preferably both.
Jon is also a wood carver, photographer, rock climbing coach and loving father and lives with his family in Devon.