Dawn
Coach House retreat
Sharpham Trust Coach House Retreat
Sharpham Trust Coach House Retreat
Rewilding at The Sharpham Trust

Wildlife Discovery Retreat at The Coach House

Summary

10 Reviews
6 nights - Seasonal
Any
Single
Short periods
Max. Spaces: 18

Overview

This retreat lets you get close to wildlife on the Sharpham Estate and reconnect with the natural world through mindfulness practice.

Sharpham is managed organically and we have been actively rewilding for the last three years, leading to increased wildlife across the estate.

You'll have the chance to experience the wonder of insects, butterflies, wildflowers, birds and mammals that are making Sharpham their home.

You'll spend time with wildlife experts exploring the habitats and species across the estate.

You don’t need any prior knowledge and activities will be tailored to the season and the weather.

This retreat is for you if:

  • Get close to wildlife and nature in an amazing location on the banks of the River Dart
  • Learn about our native wildlife and how to identify what you see
  • Develop a wider ecological awareness and understanding of your place in the world as part of, rather than separate from, nature
  • Explore the benefits of nature-based mindfulness, mindfulness meditation and nature connection
  • You want to learn about Rewilding
  • Are aged 18 and above
What is Mindfulness?

What you'll experience on this retreat:

  • a chance to witness our efforts to re-wild the Sharpham Estate 
  • an opportunity to get close to wildlife with our local experts - see below
  • be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks
  • experience guided meditations, relaxation sessions and periods of silence and quiet contemplation, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart
  • 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
  • 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. 
  • a safe and supportive community with like-minded people, sharing experiences in the kitchen gardens and on the wider Estate
  • delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews

Wildlife connection activities:

Activities will vary depending on the time of year and the weather but these are the kind of sessions included:

Our rewilding fields REWILDING TOUR
Introduction to our approach to rewilding and managing the land. Learn about the burgeoning rewilding movement in the UK.
A stonechat in close up

DAWN CHORUS BIRD WALK
Experience the early morning dawn chorus with our local bird expert. Learn to distinguish some common calls and songs and how to identify different species.

Red Campion close up

WILDFLOWERS AND FORAGING WALK
Learn how to identify our native plants and discover their medicinal and culinary uses with our botanist Lisa.

Speckled brown butterfly

BUTTERFLIES AND INSECT SAFARI
Get out in our rewilding meadows searching for bugs, beetles and butterflies and do a bit of sweep-netting.

Burnet Moth

MOTH TRAPPING
There are over 2500 species of moths in the UK. Set up our moth trap overnight and discover the secret world of our night flying moths.

A Barn Owl at The Sharpham Trust

BATS AND OWLS ON A NIGHT WALK
Sharpham is home to over 10 species of native bats, including a colony of Lesser Horseshoes in the Coach House. Witness these as they emerge at dusk using our bat detectors and spot our resident Barn Owls as they go hunting.

Identifiying trees on the Sharpham Estate

FOREST BATHING
Connect with our native trees and be nourished by creative mindful forest bathing sessions

What you'll 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
View our FAQs

Schedule

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.


Silence

All our retreats include periods of silence as a way of deepening into mindful awareness.

If you are new to spending time in silence in the company of other people, it can feel awkward to begin with. But we encourage you to explore the silent periods with a spirit of openness and curiosity - people usually find it to be a positive experience. 

The retreats typically move into silence each evening from 9pm - 9.30am the following day


Typical Schedule

These retreats typically run between May and September

Day 1: Arrive between 3 - 5pm for welcome meeting and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
6.15am - wake up  12.30pm - meditation
6.30am – morning movement/meditation 1.00pm - lunch
7.30am - household tasks 2.00pm – free time or group walk
8.00am – breakfast 5.00pm - group meeting
9.30am - wildlife session (silence ends)  6.00pm – supper
  8.00pm - meditation and deep rest
  9.00pm – personal time (Coach House moves into silence until 9.30am the next day)

Final day: depart by 11am

The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9.30am and on one day of extra silence in each retreat.

Reviews

The food alone would be enough to tempt me back but then, the views alone are also worth the visit!

Everything about my retreat was absolutely gorgeous, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to push the reset button and come back to themselves in a beautifully guided way.


I'm only back 24 hours and I'm already checking my calendar to see when I can come back!

Katie Crooks
June 2023

I don't ordinarily leave reviews, but my 6 days at Sharpham last week changed my life.

Having been sliding down darker mental slopes for months now, battling feelings of low self esteem, stress, feeling lost, but crucially not really realising it, a week's detox at Sharpham helped me come to a measure of acceptance about who I am, reignite my purpose and worth, calm me and rejuvenate me. Not to mention the beautiful scenery, wonderful tasting and nourishing vegan food and ever helpful, loving and supportive staff.

Would HIGHLY recommend to ANYONE, especially if you've become trapped in the 21st century all-rush-no-play. 100% worth the money.

James Graham
May 2023

A very well facilitated retreat with two skilled and empathic coordinators in a glorious setting on the Sharpham estate. Comfortable Coach House accommodation with most rooms ensuite. An opportunity to begin meditating or deepen existing practice and learn new ways of being in the world. Excellent, plentiful vegetarian food. Free time in the afternoon provides an opporltunity to chill out or explore the many wonderful nature walks around the estate. A calming and enjoyable experience.

Pat MacDonald
May 2023
See all Reviews

The Coach House nature mindfulness retreat centre at The Sharpham Trust

The Coach House

When you stay at The Coach House, you'll be in comfy, single rooms in a beautifully converted 18th century stable block, set in the stunning scenery of Sharpham's grounds. You'll experience daily meditation and movement sessions, time in our gardens and on the land and you'll eat delicious and homegrown vegetarian and vegan meals.

Coach House retreats focus on nature connection through a varied programme of retreats designed to connect you to Sharpham's flora and fauna, with plenty of time for you to rest and reflect.

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Leaders

Frank
Frank Gillet - volunteer coordinator Read more +
Julian Carnell
Julian Carnell - Trust Director Read more +
Lisa Carnell
Lisa Carnell Read more +
Mike
Mike Cooke - Ecologist Read more +
Nicky Reed
Nicky Reed - Volunteer retreat coordinator Read more +
Patti
Patti Summerville Read more +
Rachel Cottam
Rachel Cottam Read more +

Costs

The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats at The Coach House are accessible to all - regardless of 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.

Participants at The Coach House can select which rate they pay according to need:

Supported Rate £495

The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats are accessible to all - regardless of income. The Trust therefore offers a heavily subsidised Supported Rate for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate.

Standard Rate £545

Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Coach House and helping retreatants on lower incomes to access our retreats.

Benefactor Rate £625

If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, that means that you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a 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.

There will be a maximum of 18 guests on this retreat.

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

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact the Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-serve basis.

Book easily and securely online or by phoning 01803 732542

Terms & Conditions

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy

Room Types

Click here for more information on our types of bedrooms and facilities.

Bursaries

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 to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here

Available dates

2024 19 May

The Coach House: Wildlife Discovery retreat (6-nights)

With Lisa Carnell & Mike Cooke & Coach House Coordinators
2024 02 Jun

The Coach House: Wildlife Discovery retreat (6-nights)

With Lisa Carnell & Mike Cooke & Coach House Coordinators
2024 14 Jul

The Coach House: Wildlife Discovery retreat (6-nights)

With Lisa Carnell & Mike Cooke & Coach House Coordinators
2024 11 Aug

The Coach House: Wildlife Discovery retreat (6-nights)

With Lisa Carnell & Mike Cooke & Coach House Coordinators
2024 15 Sep

The Coach House: Wildlife Discovery retreat (6-nights)

With Lisa Carnell & Mike Cooke & Coach House Coordinators