The coronavirus pandemic has, of course, challenged everyone to think about how we can all move forward in such extraordinary times. Gayles Retreat centre is no exception.
Gayles Retreat centre is now limited to 11 people to comply with Government guidelines, thus allowing you the room to reflect, reconnect, feel nourished and restored in a relaxed and safe way. Please note that the venue is not able to provide yoga equipment at this time. Please bring your own mat, belt, blocks, blanket and a bolster if you have one.
Gayles Retreat is one of my favourite retreat venues. It's set in ten acres of land adjacent to the Seven Sisters Country Park (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), The National Trust Crowlink Estate and Friston Forest. The surrounding countryside is extraordinarily beautiful, and there are excellent walking opportunities all around.
With its open fire, high ceiling and refreshing artworks, The Stables is a beautifully converted 1930s stable which provides a warm and practical area for eating, chatting and relaxing. The ground level has an open-plan kitchen and dining room with under-floor heating. Immediately outside there is a large, decked, seated eating area which is wonderful for informal meals on warm sunny days.
The sleeping accommodation has been reconfigured to comply with social distancing regulations. The two dormitories have been thoughtfully updated to accommodate up to 4 people in each. Each dorm is now fitted with individual beds, sofas and tables providing space and freedom to move around safely. Duvets, pillows, linen and towels are provided.
In the main house, there is also one double room (suitable for a single) and one twin which is suitable for two friends (or a couple) in an existing support bubble. If you prefer, there are is also capacity to camp in the picturesque gardens.
If you choose to camp, you can either bring your own tent or use the tents provided by the venue. Campers will be provided with pillows and towels but will need to supply their own bedding and sleeping mats. Campers have their own dedicated bathroom and the much loved "loo with a view".
The environment and ambience at Gayles encourages an open, relaxed and intimate atmosphere that promotes learning and self-development. The venue owners believe that retreats should be fulfilling and inspiring and they do all we can to support you in making the most of your time here so that everybody leaves feeling stimulated, nourished and refreshed.
Good quality, locally sourced, tasty and nourishing food is served in the relaxed atmosphere. Breakfast, lunch and evening meals will be brought to your rooms if you are in the dorms, of will be served in the house dining room if you are camping or residing in the house accommodation.
If the weather is sunny there is the option of eating out in the open on the terrace. Food is vegetarian and organic and much of it is grown in the centre's own vegetable garden. It's a highlight of our stay at Gayles.
Dietary Restrictions and Allergies
It is essential that you inform Catherine of any dietary restrictions when you book so that she can liaise with the retreat venue and make the necessary arrangements.
If, for medical reasons, you follow a highly-restricted diet, we advise you to bring with you any essentials you might need for your well-being. We have our own dedicated kitchen, with a small fridge which you are welcome to use.
If you are prone to a severe reaction to an allergen, for example, a very small amount on a kitchen knife or board, it is essential that we be informed. Please note that we are unable to offer absolute guarantees for such allergic conditions.
Gayles retreat centre is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the South Downs, surrounded by stunning countryside and beautiful coastline.
The Seven Sisters Country Park is on Gayles doorstep. It’s made up of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open chalk grassland.
Friston Forest offers a number of waymarked routes for visitors to explore the beech woods. Its undulating terrain makes it popular with walkers who enjoy being outdoors. Quiet valleys within the forest offer sheltered habitats for many species of wildlife. Glimpses of rare butterflies, such as fritillaries, and elusive deer can reward patient observers.
Gayles is situated off the A259, 5 miles from Eastbourne and 15 miles from Brighton and about one mile from the picturesque village of East Dean. It is easy to find and access is excellent.
Travelling east on A27 from Worthing/Brighton, follow signs to Newhaven/Lewes. At the roundabout after the rail crossing you have a choice between Lewes and Newhaven; take A26 to Newhaven / Seaford. Alternatively follow the coast road A259 from Brighton to Newhaven. In Newhaven, follow sign to the left for Seaford A259.
Carry on the A259 until you reach Seaford and a mini roundabout with the train station on your right hand side. Stay on the A259 going out of town and continue in the direction of Eastbourne. You will come upon a small bridge spanning a water course. Continue over the single lane bridge and you will then come upon a farm house and the Seven Sisters Cycle hire shop on your left where the road begins to start to climb up a small hill. Approx 2 miles beyond these buildings, towards the crest of the hill there is a bus stop on the right hand side of the road where you will find the entrance to the private road leading to Gayles.
You may find that the postcode does not pinpoint the location exactly. These are the GPS coordinates:
Latitude: 50.76144 or N 50 45.686 or N 50 45 41.2
Longitude: 0.18097 or E 0 10.858 or E 0 10 51.5
There is a direct train line from London, Gatwick, Brighton and Ashford International etc. to Eastbourne Station. From there we are a 15 minute bus ride away – there is a request stop at the entrance.
The telephone number for National Rail Enquiries is: 08457 484 950.
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I send occasional newsletters which include updates on my forthcoming retreats, new courses and workshops, together with occasional meditations or inspiration to help you develop your practice.