How does arrival and departure work?
Your Retreat begins on the Monday at 3pm. Parking is in the car park at the top of the hill when you arrive at River Cottage HQ, EX13 8TB. We will deliver your bags to your room and our tractor-trailer will bring you down the hill to the farm and you will be shown to your accommodation. Departure is at 3pm on the Thursday.
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Please see the accommodation page for details of the different options.
If you are sharing a bell tent please let us know if you prefer a double bed or twin beds by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What should I bring with me?
You are encouraged to stay on site during the retreat. There are no shops nearby so please bring what you need, including:
- Appropriate clothing for all weathers, (it can get cold at night, and of course it may rain)
- Loose clothing for yoga and your own yoga mat if you prefer not to use the ones provided, or to double up on mats as the floor can be hard (for wellness and nutrition retreats only)
- Appropriate footwear (for uneven ground around the farm)
- Sunglasses, sun hat, sun cream (you will be outside quite a lot)
- Ear plugs/eye mask
- Woolly hat, scarf, waterproofs and wellies
- Blankets will be provided, but feel free to bring your own for keeping you cosy around the fire
- Any medication etc
- Your own water bottle if you would like to have water with you around the site
- A reusable takeaway cup or flask if you might like to sit or walk with a hot drink during your free time
- A torch and spare batteries. A head torch is ideal!
- A hot water bottle – we don’t expect you to need it but it can make your tent extra cosy! (campers only)
- And most importantly, an open heart and open mind
Please note bedding, towels and, refreshments and snacks will be provided, and you can buy alcohol on site.
For campers, chairs will be provided at your tent. Please don’t bring a gas stove or candles with you as this is a fire hazard – there will be facilities for making tea available to you in the farmhouse.
If you smoke please be mindful of smoking away from other people and away from tents.
You are encouraged to leave your mobile phone in your room or tent during the day. No mobile phones will be permitted during the Yoga or Wellness Sessions.
If you would like to charge your phone there are sockets in the farmhouse dining room that you can use – please bring your charger with you. Please note your phone is left at your own risk but this room is assigned to Retreat participants only.
Please let us know of any dietary requirements you have before you arrive.
We will always try to accommodate those with specific dietary requirements, however if you have a severe allergy please call the office to check that we can cater for you on 01297 630302.
Making you comfortable
Some of your sessions will be under canvas, others under the stars or outdoors (weather dependent). If you have any particular needs, including mobility or hearing issues, please let us know in advance so we can make arrangements for your comfort. A session may take place in our yurt, where the seating is on straw bales. If you would rather sit on a chair please let us know so we can arrange this.
Taking care of you
We hope that you and your fellow participants will find the retreat to be a special shared experience. We will be taking great care to provide a nurturing, safe space and it is possible that you may feel emotional at times during the retreat. Please know this is of course completely fine and to be expected when we step away from our daily lives and give ourselves real care and attention.
For the Wellness Retreat sessions we will incorporate basic mindfulness and meditation, inspiration, reflection and gentle discussion. We will encourage conversation in pairs, or small groups, and occasionally with the full group, as well as time by yourself.
Please let us know in advance if there are any particular challenges in your life at the moment that your tutor should be aware of, or any particular triggers you would like to avoid. Please also feel free to talk to your tutor on an individual basis at any time during the retreat.
Reiki or Massage Treatments
Siobhan, a local experienced reiki practitioner, will be on hand to offer reiki and massage treatments at certain times during your stay. This can be a wonderful complement to the overall retreat programme. At the start of the Retreat you will be able to choose from a selection of allocated times (please note there are not that many available time slots so if you hope to have both reiki and massage you will need to check that everyone has had the choice of one first). This is an add-on so you will need to pay Siobhan directly in cash.
We will contact you nearer to the start date of the Retreat to request a sketch of your garden plot that Anna can draw into a scale plan, for this please follow these guidelines:
If you have a large garden please concentrate on an area that needs improving or you are at a loss with. If you have a town garden then measure the whole area (less than 70m2). To measure, start by measuring out one metre on a tape measure. Line up your stride to this 1m, you’ll probably get a nice achilles stretch. Draw out your garden's boundary shape, by eye, on a piece of paper, including any obvious existing features that are to be incorporated. Then stride like Monty Python’s silly walks around the perimeter of your garden, estimating how many metres are along each boundary. See the sketch example below.
Please also provide photos of each angle of your garden.
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