Frequently Asked Questions - Solitary retreats

  • What is the difference between The Barn, Sharpham House and Woodland Retreats?

    The Barn Retreat offers 5-night meditation retreats throughout the year in a wonderful converted old Devon Linhay. Retreats are based on a contemporary approach to Western Buddhism and participants have the chance to experience a schedule of mindfulness practice, teacher-led inquiry and working meditation in the organic garden.

    Sharpham House offers secular mindfulness retreats with the opportunity to stay in a beautiful Grade 1-listed Georgian mansion house at the centre of the Estate and surrounded by superb gardens. Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered for with cooks and house-keeping staff in attendance. Retreats include 3-night Mindfulness for Beginners, as well as a variety of themed retreats such as walking, silent and for stress/burn-out.

    Woodland Retreats are a chance to stay in our woodland campsite in the grounds of Sharpham House with a focus on mindfulness and connecting to nature. Guided by our experienced leaders, participants will explore mindfulness in the inspirational setting offered by the Estate’s woodlands, gardens and parkland.

    All of the above retreats are set at different locations across the beautiful 550-acre Sharpham Estate with views over the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  • Will I be working whilst in The Kuti or The Cabin?

    As part of your stay in The Kuti or The Cabin, we ask that you work approximately two hours each day on the upkeep of your accommodation, the surrounding woodland and the vegetable garden.

  • What if someone needs to get hold of me in an emergency?

    If someone needs to contact you urgently then please ask them to call us on 01803 732661 leaving a message if there is no reply.  This number will be checked regularly during your stay, allowing you the chance to relax into the retreat.

  • How do I eat and drink there?

    Both The Kuti and The Cabin have a propane camp stove for you to use. You will have access to a fully-stocked organic and vegetarian pantry in The Barn. Your midday meal is provided by The Barn retreat, and can be picked up at The Barn in a thermos tiffin flask.

    We can accommodate gluten-free and/or vegan dietary needs. However, our kitchen is neither gluten nor nut-free.

    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.

    Our water is provided from our own spring, UV treated and filtered.

  • When should I arrive to stay in The Kuti or The Cabin?

    If you have not stayed at The Kuti or The Cabin before, it is important that you meet with a Barn Coordinator to receive the information you need.

    Please arrive between 11am and 1pm on Sunday.

    Let us know when you plan to arrive either via phone on 01803 732661 or via email on [email protected] so that we can expect you.

    Some people choose to walk or cycle from Totnes - a great way to draw yourself out of the world and into retreat.

    Click here to go our our Find Us page, giving road, walking/cycling maps and directions


  • Why are Sharpham retreats so cheap?

    The Sharpham Trust is a registered charity (number: 285767) and a social enterprise which endeavours to keep the costs as low as possible by subsidising various aspects of the courses and retreats.

  • What is and where are The Kuti and The Cabin?

    The Kuti and The Cabin are small, rustic buildings in woodland near The Barn retreat centre.

    Neither has electricity and candles and torches are provided.

    The Kuti has no running water, though there is water nearby.

    There is a wood burner in each for heat. Clean bedding and wood are provided.

    Both are set in stunning hillside locations overlooking the River Dart, on the Sharpham Estate.