NEW RETREAT: Connecting with Nature, Connecting with the Self

Friday 22nd October to Monday 25th October 2021

With facilitators John Leah and Ruth Radburn from Gaia’s Garden: Landscape & Being

A 3-night weekend retreat to press pause on life and to learn how to make connections with the inner healing power of nature.

During this weekend you will:

  • learn how to channel your inner connection with nature
  • understand the ancient stories and meanings of animals, trees and plants and their relevance to your life now
  • practice being present in nature, learning to be at one with peace and stillness
  • identify ways to continue developing deeper connections with nature in your everyday life

This three day retreat will include a daily programme of activities beginning and ending with a guided meditation. Guests will have time for personal reflection and creativity, as well as the opportunity to reflect collectively over a shared supper every evening.

The location

Guests will have exclusive access to the Dittiscombe Estate, a rewilded valley filled with an abundance of natural habitats including springs, streams and ponds, situated amongst meadows and woodlands.

The accommodation

Accommodation will be provided for all guests in the form of individual private rooms with shared facilities in the six beautiful cottages on site. A simple daily lunch and shared evening meals will be provided, however guests will be asked to bring their own breakfasts and snacks.

There are limited numbers on this retreat to ensure guests have space and can benefit from the tranquility throughout the 20 acre estate.

Find out more information about the cottages and surroundings.

Bookings & other information

An early bird booking discount of £450 per person for bookings before Friday 24th September.

All bookings after this date will be £475 per person.

To secure a place all bookings must be paid in full via the link here.

Please read the Retreat Terms & Conditions before booking.

What’s included in the Retreat

The retreat will include a private room in one of the cottages, beds are made up for arrival and hand and bath towels are provided.

A fire pit will be the gathering point, and this will be situated in the garden of Rafters cottage.

Using found objects there will be a session of creativity which will take place in Rafters cottage.

Ruth Saunders, custodian of Dittiscombe Estate, will share the history and chat about the valley and the process of rewilding.

There will be an evening stroll and chat with Dr Ken Neal, a local ecologist, about night time wildlife.

Lunches and evening meals will be served communally in either Willows or Rafters cottages.

There is Wifi available in all cottages.

As there will be time spent outdoors it is recommended that guests bring warm and waterproof clothing. There are airers in each cottage and a boot room and communal tumble drier will be available for guests’ use.

More about the leaders of the Retreat

John LeahJohn Leah
The close connections with the natural world formed while exploring the woods, streams, forests and hills where I grew up have sustained me all my life. In my working life as a therapist and educator, I have sought to share with other people the value of connecting with nature. Currently I work for an environmental educational charity as a lecturer, and also facilitate nature connection walks and retreats.

Ruth RadburnRuth Radburn
Growing up as the child of artists, the natural world was the source and context of mythology, story and imagery.  My career in health, social services and complementary therapy has always drawn from that place, as has my own individual artistic practice.

Good To Go 2021We have acquired the industry standard Good to Go certification which confirms we are following and implementing government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.

If you have any questions at any stage please drop us an e-mail at

  • Three nights in comfortable cottages on the Dittiscombe Estate

    The Owlery and the rockery at Dittiscombe EstateDittiscombe Estate rewilded valley in South Devon

  • Retreat led by experienced practitioners John Leah and Ruth Radburn

    John Leah Ruth Radburn

  • Book online with an early bird discount before 24th September 2021

  • Includes private rooms with shared facilities and exclusive use of the valley

    Gardens and Grounds at Dittiscombe Estate & CottagesDittiscombe Estate & Cottages

The cottages are nestled in a beautiful valley of wild flowers and hills and woods. Ruth and Jon have worked hard on the 20 acre estate, to develop it in an ecological way …It is a wonderful place to walk in and be surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Chris & MarniAugust 2021

The location and estate grounds are beautiful, with nature being at the heart of it all. I call it Eden. A utopian getaway from the rush and trials of life. Peace and tranquility abound. Loved every second.

Chris & LizAugust 2021
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