The Coach House: The Peace of Wild Things - 5-night silence & nature-connection retreats
Let silence take you to the core of life
- Rumi, Islamic poet and mystic
Deepen into silence and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world on this 5-night Coach House Retreat.
In an increasingly frenetic world, with so many competing demands for our time and attention, this silent retreat offers a precious opportunity for spaciousness and stillness.
You'll be cared for full-board, with plenty of time for rest, reflection and nature connection in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This silent retreat is for you if you
- are inspired to spend some time in silence in supportive company
- feel the need to slow down, rest deeply and reconnect with yourself
- are interested in deepening or reconnecting with your practice and with nature
- have some prior meditation experience
During this silent retreat you'll
- practice silence to develop a strong container for deepening meditation practice
- experience three daily 30-minute meditations including guided meditation, sitting meditation, walking and nature-based meditation
- explore embodiment with simple mindful movement and exercises
- have the chance to take mindfulness into the outdoors through walking, nature connection and sensing activities (weather permitting)
- form a safe and supportive community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and some simple daily household tasks
- be invited to learn about & witness our efforts to re-wild the Sharpham Estate
- stay in 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
- have a single-occupancy room and your own space, with free time to deeply rest and reconnect with yourself, far from the busy-ness of daily life.
- enjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian & vegan food that regularly receives rave reviews
Connecting through quietude
Spending an extended period of time in silence with others can feel challenging and awkward at first, however participants often discover that the experience can also allow for a surprisingly rich sense of connection and fellowship.
This is a chance to experience quiet and stillness, yet still be in supportive company, with the opportunity to let go of the usual social conventions and distractions.
How much silence?
The retreat is not in total silence the whole time. Each morning there is the chance to connect with a smaller home group to share your experiences and some of the meditation sessions each day will be guided.
Other than this the rest of the retreat will be in silence, including meal times and group activities, such as silent walking, nature connection
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
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
- accessiblity 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 are new to mindfulness, 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
We have an accessible en-suite bedroom in the Coach House that you can learn about here
I feel wonderfully rejuvenated and can’t recommend a stay here highly enough
- Sharpham Trust retreatant
Typical retreat schedule
Day 1: Arrive between 3 - 5pm for Welcome Meeting at 5pm and settling in
|6.15am - wake up bell||12.30pm - meditation|
|6.30am – morning movement/meditation||1.00pm - lunch|
|7.30am - household tasks||2.30pm – free time or group walk|
|8.00am – breakfast||6.30pm - supper|
|9.00am – home groups||8.00pm - meditation|
|10.00am - mindful gardening (optional)||9.00pm - personal time|
Final day: depart by 11am
The retreat will be held in silence outside of home groups and visiting teacher Q&As
The Coach House retreat was a very welcome pause in my life. Not only was the accommodation very clean and comfortable, the food was superb too. The structure of the days is really helpful with plenty of time to explore the local landscape and views which are inspirational. The team are also amazing with a genuine skill in looking after everyone, as well as providing a really supportive environment to practice meditation. I will return and would highly recommend this glorious place. Thank you.
What an amazing experience, the venue is first class, the facilitators were gold star, and the food was superb and tasty
Wonderful retreat centre, coordinators, teachers and content. The grounds are staggeringly beautiful. What better place for a retreat - a sensitive conversion of an old building into simple rooms. Excellent food. Thank you!
I had a fantastic time on retreat at the Coach House. What an absolute treat. Such a beautiful setting in stunning grounds, with lovely en suite bedroom for proper rest. The coordinators were genuinely kind, caring, and friendly, and the food was astonishing.
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.
|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|
|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|
|For those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate|
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.
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.