Walking retreats: connect to yourself through the land

Explore mindfulness and connect with yourself as you experience the incredible landscape of Devon.

Walking retreat at Sharpham

You’ll develop mindfulness and your meditation practice as you immerse yourself in the wildness of Dartmoor, Devon’s coast paths and the Sharpham Estate’s breath-taking surroundings. Increasing your mindful awareness will bring added appreciation to your walking and to the landscape.

The leaders of this retreat – drawn from our wide pool of experienced leaders – help you to develop and extend your mindful experience.

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


Be cared for at Sharpham

An active retreat in a hilly landscape

This retreat is for you if you:

  • Want to combine mindfulness teachings with the beauty of the Devon countryside
  • Enjoy an active, physical retreat and have medium to good levels of fitness
  • Are aged 18 and above

The walks average 7-8 miles and Devon is a very hilly county. The walks are suitable for people with medium to good levels of fitness. Please contact us using the details below if you are unsure whether this applies to you.

Sections of each walk will be held in silence (20-45 minutes).

There will be a maximum of 16 participants on this retreat. Click here to view costs and room types

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

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.

Be looked after at Sharpham

What you’ll experience on this retreat

During this retreat you’ll:

  • experience guided meditations, relaxation sessions and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • be living in safe community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the washing-up
  • be able to 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
  • Delicous vegetarian food at Sharphamenjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews and have access to 24-hour hot teas, coffee & infusions in our Toasting Room
  • 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


River Dart at Sharpham

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 might you bring?

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. But you might consider the following:

  • Comfy clothes for meditation, movement and relaxation
  • Slippers (we supply some, but you might prefer your own)
  • A journal or notepad if you want to write or draw during your time here
  • Swimming gear – we have a small pool that’s open in summer. Click here to read more.
  • Walking boots – we have wonderful footpaths and routes to explore
  • Running gear if you’re a jogger. Some participants love to run on the lanes and footpaths near Sharpham

Find out more about staying in Sharpham House on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Delicious food at Sharpham House

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, meat 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.

Your physical and mental health

This retreat is suitable for you if you are new to mindfulness, or 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.

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 Louisa Potter on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-serve basis.


I can't praise the Sharpham Trust enough for the wonderful experience I had on the mindfulness & walking retreat. I can highly recommend it. I have come away calm and relaxed and ready to go forth with gratitude


The River Dart from Sharpham

If you're coming to stay with us on retreat, it is important to make a commitment to arrive in time for the first group meeting and to attend all the days.

This ensures you experience the retreat programme from start to finish and helps your group of participants to gel.

Typical Schedule

Day 1: 

Afternoon Evening
4.00pm - 5.00pm - Arrival

6.15pm - Supper and washing up

5.15pm - Welcome meeting, House tour, settling in                                                        8.15pm - Guided meditation
                       9.00pm - House moves into silence until 8.30am, supporting individual mindfulness and reflection     

Typical Day:

Morning/afternoon Evening
7.00am - Wake up 6.00pm - Supper and tasks
7.30am - Meditation 8.30pm - Meditation 
8.00am - Breakfast, tasks & make packed lunch 9.00pm - House moves into silence until 8.30am, supporting individual mindfulness and reflection               
9.15am to 9.30am Walk (or minibus departure to walking destination)                                                           

On one of the evenings there will be a mindfulness and meditation question-and-answer session and also a yoga and relaxation class.

The final day is as above with a closing meeting at 10.30am, and your departure by 12noon.

We enjoyed walks surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, and were gently guided through mindful meditation in a friendly and supportive environment within the majestic house, which very quickly felt like home.

I opted for the walking, meditation and mindfulness retreat as I needed an escape from a stressful job and a busy London life. I'd never done anything like this before but I loved every minute. My phone was switched off from the moment I arrived and it was like transcending into a different life. The silence allowed for an new-found appreciation of our beautiful countryside and coastline as well as some much-needed time to clear the mind and recharge. A week without worry - bliss!

I had a fantastic time at the mindfulness and walking retreat at Sharpham. The people, the meditations, the silence, the setting, the walks, and the fantastic food made for a brilliant week when I was going through a difficult time in life. The week inspired me to continue with my practice, and also to look into the possibilities and start teaching mindful meditation to some of the patients I rehabilitate who suffer from recurrent or chronic dizziness. All in all, a great week which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in mindfulness - beginner or more advanced

It is the most amazing place; I had a fantastic time. The walks, the company, the food, the meditations and silences all really helped me re-balance and return to the world with fresh vigour. Highly recommended.

I came to Sharpham House quite tired and jaded. In a matter of days I was revitalised and able to practice mindfulness in a way that had evaded me before.

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


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.

4 nights

£385 - Standard room, single occupancy, full-board 

£435 - Premium room, single occupancy, full-board 

£495 – Heritage room, single occupancy, full-board 

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


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


Limited 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

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

Nigel Ohlson

Nigel Ohlson

Nigel trained in professional youth work and was a Senior Youth Worker for Torbay Council for 20 years. He uses mindfulness within his therapeutic work and has completed the 8-week course at Sharpham Trust.

After leaving the Youth Service, Nigel worked as the Head of Risk Management for a large expedition company, planning and leading remote journeys in the Australian outback. He has also worked as an Outdoor Education advisor for local authorities in Devon and Scotland.

A keen and experienced climber, mountaineer, caver and 5* canoe guide, he loves the outdoors and believes passionately in the therapeutic benefit of spending time in nature.

Nigel has worked alongside Sharpham for a number of years and is currently one of the directors of Sky Blue, a Community Interest Company that operates canoe expeditions on the River Dart from the Sharpham Estate.

Linda Vincent - walking retreat leader

Linda Vincent - walking retreat leader

Linda has been practising meditation and yoga for over 40 years and is currently focussing on integrating mindfulness into all she does. Linda spent 2 years at the Barn Retreat Centre as a residential co-ordinator where she had the opportunity to practise mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis, as well as oversee the weekly retreat programme. Linda completed the 8-week mindfulness course via Palouse Mindfulness in the USA as well as Vispassna retreats and yoga teacher training, also in the USA.

Linda is an enthusiastic walker in all sorts of terrains and all sorts of weather! She has led walking holidays and a weekly walking group in Greece, led treks in Morocco and to Kilimanjaro, and walked many miles of the Southern English coastline.  She is a great lover of Devon, with its variety of scenery – Dartmoor, the coastline, the villages and lanes, and is keen to share her knowledge of this area with you.

Patti Summerville

Patti Summerville

Patti began a personal meditation practice in 1996 after attending a retreat at the Tushita Institute, Dharamsala, India. Over the years her practice has been influenced by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions and in 2013 she took on the role of co-ordinator at The Barn Retreat Centre, an Insight Mindfulness Meditation Retreat centre at Sharpham. Patti has trained to be a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher with Exeter University and an Integral Hatha Yoga Teacher in 2009 at the Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram. On a personal level Patti has found great benefit integrating mindfulness practice into her busy, everyday, private and professional life as an Occupational Therapist and is passionate about supporting others on their journey towards more contented, peaceful and compassionate lives.

Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

Ring us or email if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.

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