The Coach House retreat at Christmas
Give yourself the gift of a nature-based Christmas, on retreat in The Coach House.
You'll be cared for full-board in The Coach House, with plenty of time for rest, reflection and nature connection in the very special location of the Sharpham Estate at Yuletide.
This retreat is for you if you want to
- Spend Christmas in community on retreat
- Explore the benefits of nature-based mindfulness and meditation
- Rest and rejuvenate whilst deepening your connection with nature and your appreciation of wildlife
- Develop a wider ecological awareness and understanding of your place in the world as part of, rather than separate from, nature
What you’ll experience on this retreat
- three daily 30-minute meditations including guided meditation, sitting meditation, walking and nature-based meditation
- periods of silence and quiet contemplation, including a fully-silent Christmas Day
- full-board accommodation in a Grade II-listed Georgian Coach House set within Capability Brownian parkland, with Grade 2*-listed gardens designed by Percy Cane in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to nature, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart
- a single-occupancy room and your own space in which to rejuvenate, with free time to deeply rest and reconnect with yourself, far from the busy-ness of daily life.
- a safe and supportive community with like-minded people, sharing experiences in the kitchen gardens and on the wider Estate
- a chance to learn about & witness our efforts to re-wild the Sharpham Estate
- delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews
Getting your hands in the earth
Coach House retreats feature sessions helping in our Walled Garden and the grounds of Sharpham House, alongside our garden staff.
It is important that you are willing to participate in doing this as part of your mindfulness practice (we can easily find suitable tasks for people with health difficulties) and that you try to commit to all the scheduled activities during the week.
These are gentle, restful and mindful tasks that invite you to bring your awareness to the land, plants and the nature surrounding you at Sharpham.
Facilities in The Coach House
The Grade II-listed Coach House has been sympathetically converted to create accommodation in four wings surrounding a central courtyard.
The Coach House has 18 bedrooms, 12 of which are en-suite. The 6 others share 3 bathrooms, one for each pair of rooms.
We have an accessible ground-floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom in the Western Wing of The Coach House. Please contact us to book this.
The Eastern Wing features a lounge, library, kitchen and has a contemporary timber-frame extension which serves as a dining room and meditation/meeting space.
The extension has large French doors which open out on to a patio and garden with direct access out on to the south-facing lawns.
Not all of the gardens or the estate have disabled access, so do contact us to discuss your needs and what is possible.
Mindfulness in nature at Sharpham
When you experience Sharpham's inspiring and nourishing environment, we hope you'll connect spiritually with the natural world, so you’ll:
- become aware of how we are all part of nature - not artificially separate from it
- pay attention to and appreciate the natural world surrounding us
- explore nature through your senses and your natural creativity
- Tread more lightly on our finite planet, developing a respect and reverence for all living things
Click here to read our ethos and principles
What you need to know
- accessibility information
- why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
- what the difference is between our retreats
Our food & your dietary needs
We have a fully stocked, mostly organic and vegetarian kitchen. The main meal is at lunch time and is prepared by our Cook supported by retreatants. We try to use produce from our gardens as much as possible which retreatants help grow.
We can accommodate gluten-free and/or vegan dietary needs. However, our kitchen is not gluten, dairy nor nut-free. We do not provide gluten-free bread, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Please make sure you include dietary restrictions and any food allergies on your Booking Form. We may need to communicate further with you about specifics. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.
Our water is provided from our own spring, UV treated and filtered.
Your physical and mental health
This retreat is suitable for you if you have some meditation experience, or you are seeking to renew or reconnect with your practice.
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 for our booking process
I have been shown that I can be strong and I do have inner power if I get back to nature
- Sharpham Trust retreatant
Typical retreat schedule
Day 1: Arrive between 3 - 5pm for Welcome Meeting at 5pm and settling in
|6.00am - wake up||12.30pm - meditation|
|6.30am – morning movement/meditation||1.00pm - lunch|
|7.30am - household tasks||2.00pm – free time or group walk|
|8.00am – breakfast||4.30pm - personal time|
|9.00am – home Groups (silence ends)||6.30pm – supper|
|10.00am - gardening||7.30pm - meditation|
|9.00pm – Personal time (Coach House moves into silence until 9.00am the next day)|
Final day: depart by 11am
The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9am and on one full day in each retreat.
This retreat takes place in The Coach House, a historic Grade II-listed building behind Sharpham House set in a Capability Brownian landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.
Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.
Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to The Coach House
Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to The Coach House
If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.
Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in The Coach House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.
We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement
We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
We take sustainability seriously.
All of the hot water and heating in The Coach House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops feeding into Sharpham energy.
Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.
The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats at The Coach House are accessible to all - regardless if income.
All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with either an ensuite or a shared bathroom. All meals, bedding and towels are included. Rooms are randomly allocated, unless you have medical needs relating to your room allocation. If you have such a need, let us know on your booking form which will be sent to you once you have booked.
Supported Rate: £tbc
The Supported Rate is for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate
Standard Rate: £tbc
Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Coach House and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.
Benefactor Rate: £tbc
If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a Coach House retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Coach House, enabling us to continue our charitable work connecting people to nature and fostering mindfulness and wellbeing, as well as caring for the land, wildlife and wider estate.
Limited 50% bursaries offering reduced-price retreats are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.
Our bursary fund relies on donations. If you’d like to help another person to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here
How to book easily and securely:
- online on this page
- by phoning 01803 731803
Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.
Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.