Self-guided retreats - 4 nights

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NEW for 2023

Design and structure your own Sharpham retreat, rather than following a group schedule.

A Sharpham retreatant prepares to write in her journal

You might be an artist or a writer and looking for some time away to meditate, to be catered for, enabling you to focus on your work. 

Or maybe you need time away for contemplation and reflection on life changes and transitions. Perhaps you'd like to turn away from the busy distractions of everyday life.

If you'd like a more flexible stay at Sharpham, immersing yourself in the beauty and peace of Sharpham House and the wider estate, then this retreat is ideal.

The retreat is suitable for those who already have some experience of meditation and retreating. 

A retreatant alone in nature on the Sharpham Estate

How will you spend your time?

To make your stay with us meaningful to you, we recommend that you spend some time setting your intention before the retreat, and considering how you might spend your time here. Your time with us might include:

  • Meditation and movement-based practicesA retreatant looks out of the window at Sharpham House
  • Nature connection and self-guided walks exploring the beautiful 550-acre Sharpham Estate
  • Letting go of your digital devices
  • Time for rest and recuperation, slowing down and time alone
  • Reading, journaling, writing or other creative activities like visual art, making, poetry
  • Swimming in our pool (in the summer months)
  • Listening to pre-recorded teachings (which you select and bring in advance, with a means to listen to them)  
  • Self-generated ceremony and ritual
  • Time for contemplating life changes, transitions and decisions

There is the option to share your intention with others at the opening circle (where we also cover basic housekeeping and practicalities).

Looking upriver to Totnes from Sharpham House. By Christian Llewellyn

Your retreat. Our simple structure

You will be hosted by our experienced retreat leaders who will lead meditation, movement and 1-1 enquiry sessions.

We offer the following as a simple outline structure for your retreat and the rest is up to you:

  • A comfy single room in beautiful Sharpham House
  • Delicious vegetarian and vegan food served in a shared dining room at set times 
  • Mindful movement
  • 3 meditation sessions per day before each meal
  • 1-1 mindfulness teacher enquiry session (optional)
  • Some simple household tasks to bring mindfulness into an everyday activity
  • Silent spaces for those who prefer more time for reflection and contemplation


A retreatant reads in her room at Sharpham House

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

This retreat is for you if you: 

  • In need of rest, recuperation, reflection and renewal in beautiful, comfortable surroundings
  • Have a project to work on in an intentional way
  • Love spending time in nature and would like some time out from your busy life, where day-to-day needs like food & drinks are taken care of
  • Looking for a digital detox and the chance to step away from your devices

Take your notepad out into nature at Sharpham. Pic: Jon Howell


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

Aerial view of the River Dart and Sharpham House by PT creative

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

Delicious food prepared by Sharpham's cook Antony

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. 

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

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


Every time I come here, the ambience of the House and surroundings

                infuse me with a wonderful sense of well-being

                      - a past Sharpham House retreatant

A new dawn - sunrise at the front of Sharpham House

Even on our self-guided retreats, 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.


Our outline schedule


Day 1

3.00pm - 5.00pm - arrival
5.15pm – Welcome meeting, House tour, settling in
6.00pm - Supper and tasks
8.00pm - Deep relaxation
9.00pm - House moves into silence until 8.30am, supporting individual mindfulness and reflection

Outline structure of a typical day

Mornings Afternoons
7.00am - wake-up bell  1.00pm – Lunch & tasks
7.30am - Mindful Movement 2.00pm – Personal time or optional 1:1 teacher enquiry sessions
8.00am - Guided meditation 5.20pm - Guided meditation
8.30am - Breakfast & tasks 6.00pm – Dinner, tasks and personal time

10.30am - Personal time or optional 1:1 teacher enquiry sessions

8.00pm - Deep relaxation
12.30pm - Meditation 9.00pm - Personal time. House moves into silence.

Final day

7.10am - wake-up bell 
7.30am - Mindful Movement
8.00am - Meditation
8.30am - Breakfast & tasks
10.30am - Final meeting
12 noon - Departure


This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade I-listed 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 Sharpham House

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

Aerial shot of Sharpham House and River Dart

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

£465 – Standard room, full-board

£525 -  Premium room, full-board

£625 – Heritage room, full-board

(see also bursaries below)


Because Sharpham House is a Grade I-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 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.


Nadia Abdel-Karim

Nadia Abdel-Karim

Nadia Abdel-Karim has practised mindfulness and meditation since 2015, influenced primarily by Insight Meditation and Mahayana Buddhist traditions.

As a freelance mental health worker, she spent several years facilitating support groups and offering one-to-one crisis support across London for the mental health charity Mind.

After training as a Mindfulness Practitioner in 2019, she began co-facilitating 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction courses specifically for people experiencing depression and anxiety.

Nadia relocated to Devon to live at The Barn Retreat Centre, where she spent almost two years co-leading meditation retreats. Alongside leading retreats for Sharpham, she works as a Focusing Practitioner and facilitates spaces for people to connect with their grief.

Her journey continues to be guided by her love for exploring and understanding spiritual traditions and practices.

Will Evans

Will Evans

Will has been meditating in various Buddhist and Non-Dual traditions for a decade, guided by a spirit of exploration and experimentation and a sense of wonder and possibility. He mostly finds his home in the Insight Meditation tradition. In 2019 he trained as a mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute under Martin Aylward and Mark Coleman, and in 2020 he joined the team at the Barn Retreat, where he spent over a year facilitating both online and in-person retreats. He has a passion for helping people find approaches and relationships to meditation that work for them, with the view that meditation practice is not a fixed path but a vast landscape to explore.

Maite Alonso

Maite Alonso

Maite has a background in general and psychiatric nursing, and Movement and Drama Therapy. Since 1990 she has been practicing meditation and attending retreats in different traditions, mainly Insight Meditation and Zen, in India, Europe, the UK, and the USA. 

She has trained in Sivananda Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Shakti Dance and has been working for the last 12 years as a yoga teacher and massage therapist. In the last 6 years, she has been co-leading retreats at Sharpham.

Maite's passion is co-creating spaces where people can find insights through connecting with their bodies, with nature, and with each other. Embodiment practices and using the body as a source of wisdom are also her passion.

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.