GoWild: Dartmoor Retreat 2021
Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th August 2021
My Dartmoor retreat is a chance to really go wild! For this four day retreat we will be based up at a secluded, off-grid cabin (although most of us will still camp in tents), situated at the top of a beautiful river valley on the south-eastern edge of the moor.
As with all of my retreats, this is not your average "retreat"! Yes, it'll be deeply soul-nourishing and it'll also be profoundly transformational. And, this is definitely not a fluffy-towels-and-waited-on-hand-and-foot type of retreat. This is rustic, off-grid, everyone-getting-stuck-in, back-to-basics living. If that doesn't fill you with a little bit of excitement (and yes, there may be some apprehension too - that's perfectly normal), then this probably isn't the retreat for you.
As we take a leisurely but wild walk up to the cabin on the first day (about 1.5 hours), we gradually leave the rest of the world behind and unwind as we pause to picnic at the edge of a secluded stream, with plenty of time to paddle and cool our feet on a (hopefully!) warm summer's day. The good news is that your gear gets carried up for you by 4x4, so you'll only have to carry your picnic!
During the retreat we are properly off-grid, with no electricity, and no interference from the rest of the world. This retreat is loosely based around elements of air and water, so we’ll be exploring spaciousness, simplicity, and what’s possible when we open up to our real, wild selves as opposed to who we feel we have to be in “polite society”.
The delights of having a small intimate group is that the retreat will be co-created in line with what you most need at the time. As with all of my retreats we’ll be working together as a "village", cooking over the fire, exploring Wildfulness practices and back-to-basics in the wild, and sitting around the fire in circle. We'll also be making the most of our moorland setting to go for a walk up over the hills (weather permitting), explore some night work, and there'll be lots of time for downtime/hanging out in hammocks/bathing in the stream etc too!
£750 all food etc included.
This retreat is already proving popular - with four spaces gone already! Email me at [email protected] and let's chat about whether it's right for you and how to secure your spot.
Feedback from previous retreats
"What a special weekend. Whittling sticks for stirring food and baking bread over the open fire, foraging for natural tinder and rosehips for tea, cooking and tending the fire as a village, sharing stories, songs and ourselves. Thank you to Jen, our wonderful guide, whose light touch but deeply held leadership skills are exquisite. I thoroughly recommend making sure you get an invite to her next Wildfulness Retreat!"
"Before the retreat I was unsure what to expect however during the weekend I realised not having a fixed plan or knowing what was coming was part of the fun. I'm now looking forward to allowing more space to see what happens in the rest of my life."
"I loved all the beautiful offerings from the group - poems, songs, stories, games, love, support, food and laughter. So simple, so special."
"Jen is fabulous, knowledgeable, kind, welcoming and challenging - in a good way!"
"Back safely from my Wilderness Retreat with Jen and another five "wild women". Such a fabulous weekend. It was great to have so much time in the open and "me-time". Lots of fire making, whittling, walks, fresh air, food cooked on the fire, and LOADS of laughs! Thank you Wilderness buddies!"
"I enjoyed connecting with such a fabulous group of women, to help me expand my thinking and my comfort zone, and having the time to just think about me. Before this retreat I loved nature but wouldn't consider camping, however I'm now looking forward to the next camping trip! Mr W is going to think I'm nuts!"
"What has been most transformational for me is growing in confidence to be in nature alone, and letting go of some emotional baggage and tension from lockdown."
"The food was delicious! The stew was amazing - wholesome, healthy and tasty."
"Jen always manages to deliver peace and connection, a safe space to grow and live."
"I really needed space and to get away. During the retreat I really enjoyed disconnecting from "life" and reconnecting with Nature's timings and the heartbeat of the wood. It was so different to just going away with friends, and so different from my day to day life! It was great to have an experienced leader, and to have the permission to switch off, to not talk, to be introspective. My hair still smells of smoke even after two washes, but I wouldn’t change any of that for the world! I got a reboot, a reset. Like a laptop, changing the background, or glasses being cleaned, when I hadn't realised how dirty they were!"
"Jen has rekindled my love of being out in the wild"
Want to join us? Email me ASAP at [email protected] to claim your space!
What are the timings?
You'll arrive at 12pm on day one, and leave (around) 2pm on the final day.
Are meals included?
Yes. The retreat includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks while you are there. The food will be simple and wholesome and we will come together to cook over the campfire. Most major dietary requirements will be catered for. If you have very specific requirements please let me know.
I'm not very outdoorsy/I'm nervous about being out in Nature. Is this for me?
You don't have to be a die-hard outdoorsy person to enjoy and benefit from this retreat. In fact it is designed for those who wouldn't necessarily go camping or out walking on their own, but who feel drawn to nature and would like to experience something a little more wild and adventurous than you're used to. This will be a safe compassionate space for you to explore what it is like to be truly out in the wild, with the support of Jen and other like minded women. That said, this is not for the faint hearted! This retreat will challenge you - indeed that is one of the reasons it is so transformational. You may well meet your "edge", so you must be prepared for that. A certain level of self-reliance is needed, however if you are willing to explore courage and are willing to be a little bit uncomfortable in the name of connecting with yourself and nature even more profoundly, then yes, this retreat is for you. Of course I highly recommend (and in fact insist, if I don't already know you) that we have a conversation to check you understand what is involved and whether this retreat is right for you.
Do I need my own camping gear?
Ideally, yes, although I do have a couple of small tents and hammocks that you can hire for the retreat (£20), which will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are a couple of spaces in the cabin for those that wish (must be willing to share), and these are also available on a first-come-first-served basis. If you bring your own tent it MUST be a small 1-2 person tent (not a big family tent) as whilst all of our gear will be transported up by 4x4 we may need to do a small amount of ferrying to get to the camping site. You will need to bring your own bedding/mattresses etc. More information about what you need to bring with you will be provided when you book, but if you have any questions do feel free to email me to ask.
Are there loos and showers?
There is a compost toilet but no showers. This is truly back to basics! We are however very lucky to have a very beautiful, natural but cold bath right on site....in the form of a series of pools in the stream! It's fresh, but there's something incredibly invigorating about bathing in a stream-fed pool. Many women think they will find the lack of showers one of the most challenging aspects of the retreat but it just becomes part of the adventure.
What if it rains?
We'll dance in it! 😉 Rain is just another adventure.
Yes, it will change some of our activities slightly however we have a beautiful wooden cabin in which we can gather, which even comes with its own wood burners if the weather gets really awful. If you've ever been under shelter in a rain shower you'll know how heavenly it can be....imagine sipping steaming mugs of tea or hot chocolate, feeling the fuzzy warmth of the fire on your face, listening to the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof and in the trees.....
Do I need to be physically fit?
This is my one retreat where you really do need at least a certain level of mobility, if not fitness, to take part fully. Whilst all activities are optional - including the walk up to and back from the hut at the beginning and end of the retreat - your experience will be greatly enhanced if you can take part fully. Being Dartmoor, and given the nature of river valleys in that region, there will be some scrambling over rocks, tree roots and undergrowth, and some climbs up slopes, however nothing should be too strenuous that it is out of the realms of someone with a basic level of fitness. The area around camp and getting down to the stream (e.g. to bathe and to collect water) is uneven and can be slippery, so if you feel this may be a problem for you please discuss with me in the first instance so we can check that you will be able to manage.
What else is included?
Bonuses include a follow up group circle (online) following the retreat, and for those who pay in full you also get a bonus 90 minute 1-1 session with Jen.