Christmas Retreat

This mindfulness and meditation retreat offers the chance to escape the often frantic festive period and to rest and be supported by the beautiful setting of Sharpham House as well as by our team of skilled and experienced coordinators. There is a simple meditation schedule (see below), with optional yoga sessions as well as plenty of free time to rest and connect with nature.

Experience mindfulness over the holiday season


Tuesday 22nd - Sunday 27th December 2015

Retreat Coordinators

Patti Summerville

Patti Summerville - 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, an Insight Mindfulness Meditation Retreat centre on Sharpham Estate. Patti trained as an Integral Hatha Yoga teacher in 2009 at the Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram and has undertaken a Mindfulness Teacher training retreat with Exeter University. 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.

Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro Ortega has practised mindfulness for over 15 years, and Insight Meditation since 2005. He teaches Mindfulness retreats at Sharpham House, as well as 8-week courses for the public, and also facilitates an Introduction to Buddhist Meditation at The Barn Retreat Centre. Ramiro trained to teach mindfulness with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.

Maite Alonso

Maite Alonso - The major influences on Maite have been Yoga, Buddhist Meditation and chanting. Maite trained in 1991 in Sivananda Yoga in India, in Shakti Yoga Dance in 2009 and in Kundalini Yoga in 2011 in the UK.

She has been attending retreats (especially Zen and Insight Meditation) in spiritual centres in the UK, Europe, India, Thailand and California, since 1990.

She loves creating, nurturing, healing and forming life-giving spaces in her work as a Shakti Yoga Dance teacher, and in her massage work in the Totnes area.

What people have said about the retreat leaders:

…deeply impressive, great experience and very complementary in could tell their respect for each other and us. Also good fun!

You were both so welcoming, warm and gentle – you achieved a great balance of leading and stepping back, enabling us to lead ourselves

(I liked) their wonderful soothing tone of voice...and their patience, openness and understanding

Ramiro's patience and spirituality made me feel confident...Patti's sense of fun and practicality gave me great reassurance

Typical daily schedule:

Tuesday:  Arrive between 4pm and 5pm.  

5.15 pm – Welcome Group Meeting.

6.00pm Supper and washing up

7.45pm – Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation, posture for meditation instruction and guided mindfulness of the breath sitting meditation, yoga nidra. 

Weds – Sat:

7am – Wakeup bell.

7.30am – Yoga (optional).

8am - Sitting Meditation.

8.30am – Breakfast and clear up tasks.

9.50am – Group Meeting

Personal Time. (see options below)

12.30pm – Meditation.

1pm -  Lunch and clear up tasks.

Personal Time.

4.30 -5.30pm – Yoga (Optional).

6.30pm – Meditation.

7.00pm – Supper and clear up tasks.

8.45pm – Yoga Nidra/Body Scan.

9pm - Silence until 9.50am the following day.

Friday: - Silence  all day.

Sunday: - As above till 9.50 Daily Meeting followed by Closing Circle and Departures by 12 noon.

Mindfulness Meditation Teaching Sessions with Q and A.

Wednesday and Saturday (1hr).

Additional Outdoor Optional Activities.

Guided estate walk on Wednesday, silent walk on Friday and bonfire on Saturday (depending on weather conditions).

Note: our Christmas and New Year retreats are usually fully booked by early autumn.

Venue and directions

This retreat is 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. The retreat is full-board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food. Click here for directions.

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.

Sustainability: We take sustainability seriously. All of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art bio-mass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic arrays on barn rooftops. Our gardens are managed organically and we only use biodegradable cleaning products.

Cost & booking

£395 - Standard room, full-board.

£445 - Premium room, with views over the River Dart, full-board.

All rooms are single occupancy, giving you your own space in which to relax.

There will be a maximum of 15 retreatants on this retreat.

Book easily and securely online below, or by phoning 01803 732542 or emailing us

Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the bookings secretary at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy

If you would like to know more about the information on this page, please contact:

Name: Barn Manager
Tel: 01803 732661
Email: [email protected]
Address: The Barn Retreat, Lower Sharpham Barton, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, UK, TQ9 7DX