Yoga Weekends at Gayles Retreat, East Sussex
Yoga, food, countryside and relaxation in a beautiful setting…
includes a Soundbath event on Saturday night
May 12-14 2023 - availability: dorm and camping spaces only
January 5-7 2024 - availability: single room, double room and dorm spaces
May 17-19 2024 - availability: single room, double room, dorm spaces and camping
Rejuvenate, relax and de-stress with Charlotte Watts over a long and luxurious weekend at a truly stunning location in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Your programme will include two daily yoga sessions, alongside options to join a silent walk, nutrition talk and evening mindfulness meditations – or simply take some time in the countryside, relax or chat with others.
Yoga content will vary according to time of day, more energising and opening in the mornings, moving to relaxing and restoring towards the end of the day and optional late night meditation. The teachings for the weekend will be somatic, explorative, restorative, meditative and influenced by Feldenkrais, Qi Gong and other practices that step away from an emphasis on reaching particular forms or goals within asana. Through embodied awareness, there will be an emphasis on recognising and offering kind attention to the habits and expectations we may spend our time retreading in our work and personal lives. See the full sample programme below.
There is also a treat on the Saturday night, with Ruth Summers of Dao Natural Health running a Therapeutic Soundbath. You can fully relax as the beautiful and therapeutic sounds of gongs, Himalayan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, rainsticks and therapeutic percussion wash over you; helping to relax the system on all levels of being; physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically/spiritually, bringing calm to the body and mind and inviting a state of deep relaxation similar to meditation. The sound initiates a ‘conversation’ with the system and creates a space within which an individual may see themselves and their process more clearly, offering the potential for deep transformation.
Gayles is a picturesque retreat centre ideally situated in outstanding countryside on the South Downs, five miles from Eastbourne and fifteen from Brighton. Here rural doesn’t mean hard to reach; there are excellent train services from the nearby towns that provide direct travel to and from London Victoria, Gatwick, Ashford International, Brighton and so on. Gayles is just one-and-a-half hour drive from London and there is a regular bus service that conveniently stops beside the entrance. For European visitors there is a ferry service to and from mainland Europe from Newhaven, which is only a twenty-minute drive away from retreat.
The environment and ambience at Gayles encourages an open, safe, relaxed and intimate atmosphere that promotes learning and self-development. The owners Derry and Roz believe that retreats should be fulfilling and inspiring; unobtrusive but available. They do all they can to support you in making the most of your time here so that everybody leaves feeling stimulated, nourished and refreshed.
Gayles is set in ten acres of land with beautiful sea views from the cliffs; adjacent to the Seven Sisters Country Park (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), The National Trust Crowlink Estate and Friston Forest.
With its open fire, high ceiling and refreshing artworks, The Stables, a beautifully converted 1930s stable and adjoining property, provides a warm and practical area for eating, chatting and relaxing. The ground level has an open-plan, well equipped, kitchen and dining room with under-floor heating. There is a separate stereo system with a CD player, DAB radio and amplifier (with an iPod connection cable) which you may wish to use to enhance your own ambience. Immediately outside there is a large, decked, seated eating area which is wonderful for informal meals and gatherings in more clement weather.
There is extraordinarily beautiful countryside, seaside and excellent walking opportunities all around.
All accommodation is in comfortable dormitories, with one single and one double room available and also four camping spaces. Please note that accommodation with covid precautions in place may mean this differs from the description here - please contact Charlotte for more current details.
The accommodation, studio and eating areas are situated close together around a thoughtfully maintained garden next to gentle meadows offering stunning, panoramic views, allowing you space between activities and room to wander and reflect. There are two recently renovated dormitories, ‘The Studio’ and ‘The Playroom’, which offer comfortable and spacious accommodation for up to seventeen people.
The dormitories are equipped with toilets, showers and washing areas as well as hot drink making facilities. There are good quality, sturdy single and bunk beds with individual storage drawers. Duvets, pillows, linen and towels are provided.
For the camping option, single person tents are provided and set up for you. You will have the use of the ‘Royal Horsebox’, an ingeniously converted pony trailer which has an excellent shower and a separate washroom. A pillow, towel and torch is provided. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and mat. If you wish to bring your own tent you may but it must be reasonably small, one room and designed to sleep no more than two people.
Apart from the sensitively managed estate in which students are free to wander, there is also an open air pool that you are welcome to use in warmer months.
Good quality locally sourced food is tasty and nourishing and is served in the relaxed atmosphere of the beautifully converted dining room. If the weather is sunny there is the option of eating out in the open on the terrace. Food will be vegetarian and organic and Charlotte works alongside the chef to ensure it follows her exacting nutritional standards! Any food intolerances can be accommodated and you will be asked for details on the booking form.
Weekend Sample Programme (each retreat content may differ):
All activities are optional but it is best for the group if you try to participate in most, especially the yoga sessions. Content and times will vary according to the weather and the group’s needs, so more cosy in winter and evening meditations may be outside whenever weather permits – and warm blankets enable! There are plenty of nooks and crannies at Gayle’s for you to retreat whenever you need and the studio will be available as a silent space between classes. There will also be an optional nutrition talk on Easy Energy and Release from Cravings.
4pm – arrival and tea
5.30–6.45pm yoga – somatic, releasing and opening through to restorative
7pm – dinner
9-9.30pm – restorative yoga and mindfulness meditation
7.30-8am – meditation (non-guided, silent sitting)
8–9am – breakfast
10am-12pm yoga – energising, heart-opening and rejuvenating
1-2pm – lunch
2-5pm – free time to explore, walk, chill out – includes optional 3-4pm silent walk
5.15-7pm yoga – mindful, active relaxation and restorative
7.15pm – dinner
8.30-9.30pm – Soundbath with Ruth Summers
7.30-8am – meditation (non-guided, silent sitting)
8–9am – breakfast
10am-12pm yoga – energising, heart-opening and releasing
1-2pm – lunch
2.3-3pm – simple qi-gong practice to close
3.30pm – departure
Payment terms and booking
- Standard rate £340 for 2 nights
- One single room available for £420 for 2 nights
- One double room available for £470 for 2 nights for one person / £420 per person sharing double for 2 nights
- Camping available for £300 for 2 nights - single person tent provided, plus pillow, towel and torch
- Book early as less places available than usual, with some covid measures still in place.
Included: all food, yoga, soundbath, silent walk & accommodation
Not included: travel
A non-refundable deposit of £70 is required to confirm your place (Note: change requests - if I can fill your place, the deposit can be transferred to a future retreat). The balance is due no less than 6 weeks prior to the event and can be paid with credit or debit card or by any of the methods below. You may also pay in full at the time of booking if you prefer or in installments if arranged. Bookings made less than 6 weeks prior to the event must be paid in full.
Please choose your retreat date below and pay the deposit.
You will be the contacted for the remaining balance to be paid 6 weeks before the start date of the retreat. See the cancellation terms below.
Please note that whilst I will do everything possible to adhere to the programme and details laid out above, some things are outside my control, and therefore I reserve the right to make changes if necessary.
If you select a retreat date that is booked, you will be returned to this page to choose another date.
If you then cannot attend for any reason, please inform us in writing, but the following conditions apply:
- Whilst we would wish to treat cancellation sympathetically our spaces are limited and the following charges must be applied. If your space can be filled, there may be the possibility of transferring your place to a future retreat, but this is at our discretion, otherwise:
- From registration to 6 weeks (44 days) before departure – loss of deposit (*if I can fill all 18 places, deposit can be transferred to a future retreat if you need to change)
- 43-28 days before departure 50% of total price
- 27-14 days before departure 65% of total price
- 13- or less before departure 100% of price
If you are not sure you’ll be able to come, please let us know as soon as possible so we can discuss and find the best outcome.
How to get there:
Gayles is situated off the A259, mid-way between Eastbourne and Seaford and about one mile from the picturesque village of East Dean. It is easy to find and access is excellent. We have provided detailed directions on this page as PDF downloads.
Please feel free to contact them, Roz and Derry Robinson, by phone or e-mail them, if you have any difficulties with the PDF instructions.
Tel: 07721 023 845 or 07969 749 829
Download the driving directions here:
Coming to Gayles by public transport