Move To A Smallholding retreat

A 4-day couple retreat structured to give you and your partner the opportunity to not only have a flavour of and gain insights into smallholding life but also to consider the personal impact of the move and prepare for the lifestyle change.

Not only is this retreat experiential, practical and an immersion into smallholding life, it also explores the often overlooked emotional and relational aspect of moving to the countryside as a lifestyle change. Such an event can be stressful and challenging and we are often not prepared for the strain stress can put on a relationship.

During your Move To A Smallholding retreat, you will take an active part in our smallholding life to give you a flavour of what you can create and what awaits you with land, livestock and rural living. You will also be invited to share and explore your concerns, fears, strengths, weaknesses, losses and gains, hopes and aspirations. Maryline is an experienced counsellor with the skills to listen to and guide you and your partner as you contemplate and prepare for a lifestyle change together. Her role will be to support you and, with her solid, attuned and trustworthy presence, contain your process and experience. We will also share our own experience of moving to a smallholding and a new life in the countryside, with all the challenges and rewards that brings.

Your accommodation will be a cosy, quirky and off-grid shepherd’s hut situated in the privacy of its own field, a few minutes’ walk from our house. We will look after you: from your meals, which are provided for the duration of the retreat, to the daily discussions aimed at giving a platform to the personal and relational aspect of a lifestyle change. We have also structured into the 4 days plenty of time on your own to give you and your partner space for reflection, discussion and maybe some homework tasks!

This retreat is not a smallholding course, nor does it replace one. Rather, the emphasis of this retreat is on you and your relationship as you consider and/or prepare for your move to a smallholding and change of lifestyle. The retreat is not couple therapy either; rather, it offers you a reflective space in which you can encounter yourselves as questions are given the opportunity to surface, worries are explored safely and respectfully and joys are shared. This can indeed be therapeutic.

This retreat could be adapted for one participant only. Please get in touch so we can discuss this option (not available for online booking).

Your Move To A Smallholding retreat includes:
  • 4 days in a peaceful rural setting on a smallholding in Mid-Wales
  • 3 nights accommodation in a cosy, quirky and off-grid shepherd’s hut
  • all your meals
  • a 90-minute discussion at the beginning of the retreat to set goals and intentions
  • immersion into real smallholding life by taking part in chores, animal care and gardening
  • daily 60-minute discussions (on day 2 and day 3) to explore concerns, gains and losses, stress management
  • a 90-minute discussion at the end of the retreat to review the experience and reflect on the process
  • a pre-retreat phone call
  • help with lifts from and to nearby railway station or bus stop if travelling by public transport
Who is the Move To A Smallholding retreat for:
  • couples contemplating the idea of moving to a smallholding in the countryside and wondering if such a lifestyle is for them
  • couples who are about to move or have recently moved to a smallholding in the countryside and are seeking support as they prepare for / start their new lifestyle
  • couples looking for inspiration, structure and guidance about how to set up their smallholding and create a lifestyle that works for them
  • Access
    • Parking is at our house, a few minutes' walk to the hut
    • Safe storage of bicycles is available at our house
    • Track is a little uneven and can be muddy
    • Entrance to the field is a little steep and the field has a gentle slope
    • Access to the inside of the hut is via 5 steps
  • Sleeping
    • Double bed with a deep, sprung wool mattress
    • Bed linen with extra pillows and blankets
    • Coat hangers
    • Storage space under the bed
  • Lighting and heating
    • Woodburning stove inside the hut with wood, kindling and matches
    • Low voltage lighting
    • LED lanterns
    • A torch
    • Fairy lights to light your way outside
  • Cooking
    • Outdoor kitchenette with single gas stove, food storage container and ice blocks
    • Kettle
    • Crockery, cutlery, teapot, coffee pot and basic cooking pans/utensils
    • Water container
    • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, herbal teas, sugar, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
    • Picnic table and deckchairs for alfresco eating
    • Table and chair/bench for meals inside the shepherd’s hut
    • Natural and eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Toilet and washing
    • Composting toilet
    • Wash basin
    • Towels and face flannels
    • Hand soap and hand sanitizer
    • Shower available at our house
  • Safety
    • Fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector and first aid kit
  • Entertainment
    • Games, books, magazines, maps, fauna and flora leaflets, binoculars and stargazing chart
    • Mobile phone and internet signal at the hut; Wifi and landline at the house

This retreat is fully catered and we serve home cooked meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will also have your own kitchenette at the shepherd's hut if you want to make yourself anything extra.

We source our ingredients from local producers, markets and small independent shops. We will also use some of our homegrown produce when it is available.

We can cater for many diets and we will discuss this during our pre-retreat phone call.

We are fully compliant with Environmental Health with regards Food Safety and Hygiene regulations and have been awarded a 5-star food hygiene award.

Map drawing

Our location in a quiet spot in the hills of Mid-Wales, near Montgomery, is attractive to many people, particularly those who live in cities and who seek time in the countryside to recharge their batteries without having to travel a long distance for a short break. We are about 90 minutes away from Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham whilst Shrewsbury is just under an hour away.

We are 2 miles from the main road and directions to get to us will be provided on booking.

Nearest train stations are Newtown (7 miles) and Welshpool (10 miles). Nearest bus stop is on the A483 between Abermule and Berriew. We are happy to assist guests who choose to get to us by public transport with lifts from/to bus stops and train stations.

Useful transport links to help plan your journey:

For rail travel: Transport for Wales

For bus/coach travel, we are on Route x75: traveline cymru