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Mindfulness for Beginners - 3 nights

Susan Papas

a month ago, on Google
The 6-day mindfulness retreat I attended at The Coach House on the Sharpham Estate in Devon, England, was an oasis of peacefulness, meditation, rural beauty, and - far more than I had expected - connection with a group of strangers (including two wonderful coordinators) who quickly became mindful companions. An unforgettable experience in gorgeous surroundings. 🧘‍♀️🌳🌼

Billie

a month ago, on Google
Have just returned from the mindfulness for beginners retreat at Sharpham House and what a magical, transformative experience it was! The house and the grounds are truly breath-taking, the natural beauty of the place is a big aspect of what you take away with you; a deeper connection with nature. The facilitators Steven and Lynette were both holding, humorous and skilled mindfulness leaders. Wonderful to learn from and be around. I felt taken care of on this retreat in many ways which I realised was something I deeply needed. The food is delicious and nourishing and the walled garden of veggies was one of my favourite places to spend time. The retreat strikes a good balance between discipline/structured practice with extended periods of silence and time to yourself. In my downtime I enjoyed chatting with others on the retreat, spending time alone reading, swimming in the pool or colouring, just sitting in the gardens. I left the retreat rested, calm and inspired. For anyone feeling a little frazzled by life and in need of slowing down for a reset, this is a good retreat for you. I will be back!

Louise Neicho (lou lou)

2 weeks ago, on Google
THE most magical and amazing place for a retreat. I cannot recommend Sharpham highly enough, I'm telling all my friends! The food is divine, the location is breathtaking and the facilitators are highly skilled. I'm creating space in my diary for the next one very soon!

Scotia Spice

3 months ago, on Google
I had a truly wonderful experience at Sharpham on the 5 day silent retreat. It was a deep delve into stillness and meditation, which was life affirming and nourishing. Sharpham looked after us in every detail, from the kind supportive knowledgeable retreat leaders to the truly delicious food and calm and beautiful atmosphere of the house. And of course the surroundings themselves take centre stage, beautiful gardens, stunning countryside and breath-taking views. Thank you to every one of you who made my stay so special.

Tessa Turner

in the last week, on Google
A wonderfully run property, very very beautiful, with various venues for meditation, to suit all tastes (and pockets?). I've been on two different retreats and although I really loved my time there, I don't feel the need to rush back but I may feel differently in a couple of years' time. It's all about "the group" you share your time with while there and it felt very middle class and not at all representative of "real life" here in the UK. This probably would not worry most people and I would very much recommend Sharpham to anyone looking for a retreat giving them meditation, peace and beauty.

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Hear FIRST about our retreats & events


If you want to start (or re-start) a mindfulness practice, then this retreat can help show you the way.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

Experienced leaders will introduce you gently to the practice of meditation with guided sitting sessions, mindful walking and periods of silence.

You'll be cared for full-board in Sharpham House, with enough free time for rest and reflection.

And you’ll be able to connect with nature in the very special location of the Sharpham Estate.

Read on for more details on this retreat and click the Leaders, Schedules and Venue & Directions tabs above for further information.
 

An  way to explore mindfulness


This retreat is for you if you:

  • are new to mindfulness and meditation
  • Want to re-start a lapsed mindfulness practice
  • Are aged 18 and above

Staying in comfortable community


There will be a maximum of 20 participants on this retreat working mostly in smaller groups to ensure that we can follow social distancing guidelines.

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

What you’ll experience on this retreat


  • guided meditation and practices to support you in everyday life,  
  • periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • lliving in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and the opportunity to bring mindfulness to some everyday household tasks
  • explore our tranquil Capability Brown-designed parkland and our Grade 2*-listed gardens designed by Percy Cane
  • have 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. Click here to explore our rooms.
  • enjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews
  • be cared for full-board in a Grade 1-listed Georgian House surrounded by history and art, with staff looking after you, in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to nature, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart
     

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

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

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

What you need to know


If you decide to stay with us, we’ll send you a list of what you need to bring for this retreat in your Welcome Letter that we send out after you've booked.

You can also find out more about staying with us on our Frequently Asked Questions page, including

  • accessibility information
  • why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
  • what the difference is between our retreats

See our Sharpham House Covid-19 measures here

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust


Our food & your dietary needsMindfulness meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust


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. 

Food allergies & intolerances
Please tell us well in advance of your stay of any food allergies or intolerances you may have.

You can tell us this on the Booking Form via a link we send you in your confirmation email.


Your physical and mental health


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 psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, emotionally unstable personality disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and for our booking process

We have an accessible en-suite bedroom The Clare Milne Room – click here for details on how to book this room

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.

 

Sharpham was a great experience on many levels. It was an excellent introduction to mindfulness meditation - then to have those sessions woven through three days of stimulating company, delicious, healthy food in a setting so heavenly, made it the perfect still-point in a hectic life.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

Typical retreat schedule

Day 1: Arrive between 3-5pm for welcoming talk and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
7.00am - wake up  12.30pm - guided sitting meditation
7.30am – mindful movement  1.00pm - lunch
8.00am - guided sitting meditation 2.30pm – Personal time
8.30am – breakfast and tasks 5.00pm - guided sitting meditation
9.50am – meeting  6.00pm – supper and tasks
10.30am - walk of the grounds or personal time 8.00pm - Meditation / Teaching
  9.00pm – House moves into silence until 9.00am the next day
   
   

Final day: depart at 12 noon

The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9am, and till 2pm on day 3.

 

 

I wanted to write and thank everyone who is part of this wonderful place...it was my first ever retreat and I loved every single minute. I learnt so much and have never felt such peace...it is a very special place and I am looking forward to returning.

 

I found staying at Sharpham the most moving experience and am very grateful to all the people who help run such a wonderful place.

 

Your inspired guidance and support have enabled me to continue to be connected to my mindfulness practice, which is a tool I am grateful for every day.

 

I have returned from the Mindfulness for Beginners retreat at Sharpham today & I wanted to email you to say a huge, huge thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had an incredible time and discovered emotions I didn't even know I had!

 

At a time in my life when I have felt unfettered for quite a while, this retreat has helped me feel much more grounded and balanced.

 

Beautiful surroundings, delicious food and a very well facilitated retreat. Thank-you.

This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House set in a Capability Brown-designed 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 Sharpham House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to Sharpham House

Aerial shot of Sharpham 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 Sharpham 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


Sustainability

We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in the 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.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

£365 - Standard room, single occupancy, full-board 

£395 Premium room, single occupancy, full-board 

£475 - Heritage room, single occupancy, full-board 

(see also room types below)

Bursaries

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 to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here


Room types

Standard rooms
Our Standard rooms are smaller and cost less, but they’re still cosy and comfy. If you prefer a simpler or less expensive retreat experience, these rooms are for you.

Standard room at Sharpham House

Premium rooms
These are attractive rooms with good views of the stunning countryside that surrounds us. They are comfortable, giving you a restful environment in which to restore.

Premium room in Sharpham House

Heritage rooms
These are our most spacious & historic rooms, helping you deeply rest and rejuvenate in a nourishing and inspiring atmosphere surrounded by artworks and with river views.

Heritage room in Sharpham House

Bathrooms

Because Sharpham House is a Grade 1-listed mansion (with limits to the changes we are allowed to make to the building), few bedrooms come with an en-suite bathroom and toilet. There are shared bathrooms on every floor.

A shared bathroom at Sharpham

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.


Our accessible rooms

We have an accessible en-suite bedroom The Clare Milne Room – click here for details on how to book this room


All rooms have tea & coffee-making facilities and towels are provided. Click here to see more about our rooms

Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro is a mindfulness teacher and a retreat leader, and also a philosophical counsellor in training. He started practising in Spain in 2005 in the Soto Zen tradition, moving later to the UK to finish his studies in philosophy, where he came into contact with other different schools of meditation practice. 

Finally Ramiro made his home in the UK and after spending two years living in Gaia House, a Buddhist meditation retreat centre in the Insight Meditation tradition in Devon, he trained to teach mindfulness with the University of Bangor and with the University of Exeter. He is also participating in the teacher training programme with the Bodhi College.


Steve Banks

Steve Banks

Steve trained as a mindfulness teacher with Mindfulness UK. He started practising meditation in 1990 within the Buddhist tradition, and has attended retreats, mostly at Gaia house, with many different teachers. Steve is a qualified Psychosynthesis counsellor and has engaged in many forms of menswork over three decades, including co-leading transformative Rites Of Passages retreats for men. He leads workshops on Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral’ model and has presented seminars on sacred music, ‘The Power Of Music’, at many events, including the Integral European Conference, the foremost global gathering of Integral thinkers and practitioners. Steve has attended the one-week Mindful Self-Compassion retreat with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. He is passionate about passing on the gift of mindfulness and meditation.


Barry Thurgood

Barry Thurgood

For over 10 years, Barry has been guiding meditation groups and coordinating retreats at Lam Rim Buddhist Centre in Bristol, The Sharpham Barn Retreat and also online. He has also worked as the Sharpham Woodland Camp Retreat Manager and is a qualified Integrating Mindfulness & Compassion (CPCAB accredited) teacher.

Barry is inspired by sharing his passion for deepening a sense of connection with ourselves, each other, nature and something bigger than ourselves, all in a spirit of kindness.


Anne Winter

Anne Winter

Anne Winter has been practising meditation for over a quarter of a century. She has attended Buddhist retreats in India, Thailand, UK, Malaysia and Australia.  Her journey into Mindfulness began with an 8 week course, here at Sharpham, in 2011. Anne has been teaching mindfulness courses since 2014 and is a certified teacher of MBSR through Bangor University.


Ethan Pollock

Ethan Pollock

Ethan has been supporting retreats and mindfulness groups for over a decade. He spent five years training at Plum Village with the internationally recognised Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and currently offers retreats and classes on mindfulness and buddhism at meditation centers and local groups around the UK. His teaching helps people touch more calm and ease in their everyday lives by bringing awareness and appreciation to simple daily activities, retreatants especially love his guided meditations!


Lynette Robinson

Lynette Robinson

Lynette Robinson is a qualified Breathworks mindfulness teacher and accredited life coach. She teaches mindfulness to a diverse range of groups, such as seniors living in residential complexes, men in prison and women’s groups.  During 2020 lockdowns this diversity expanded to teaching online mindful-working courses for home-workers. Her freely given Zoom group ‘Stop The Week & Rest to Calm' supported the mental and emotional well-being of attendees from four different countries.  Author of the book 'Reclaimed', and' Mindfulness Mediations for Modern Day Women' CD, Lynette lives life with passion, following the energies of creativity and contribution. In 2016 she volunteered as Retreat Coordinator for three summers, at The Barn.


Rupert Marques

Rupert Marques

Rupert has practiced in the insight meditation tradition for nearly 25 years in Europe, America and Asia. His primary teachers have been Christina Feldman and Joseph Goldstein. The work of Toni Packer and John Tarrant have also been influential in his practice and teaching. He teaches at various retreat centres in Europe and beyond. For the past 4 years Rupert has lived and worked at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to exploring the role of the Dharma in the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability. At Ecodharma he directed the Nature based Practice strand of their work that marries contemplative practice with a range of approaches within the field of experiential ecopsychology in a wilderness setting.


Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.


Do check our Calendar to see and book for our events - or join our mailing list by clicking here to be kept in touch about Sharpham Trust news, retreats & events.