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The Creative Heart Sings!

New Forest Retreat 2024

at The Minstead Centre in the heart of the New Forest



      FIVE-DAY SUMMER RETREAT: 27th - 31st August 2024

Harmony Singing, Sound, Meditation, Intuitive Painting & Nature Art, Delicious Plant-Based Fare & Great Company in Stunning Nature.

Event Description

The Creative Heart Sings Retreat at the Minstead Study Center offers a comprehensive and immersive experience designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul through a harmonious blend of nature, creativity, and wellness practices. 


Location: Minstead Study Center, nestled deep within enchanting ancient woodlands, offering an exclusive oasis of tranquility.


Retreat Highlights:

  • Tranquil Nature Immersion: Restore your mind, body, and soul amidst the serene beauty of pristine forests, streams, and heathland. Experience the therapeutic effects of being close to nature, taking forest walks, and enjoying the peaceful gardens.

  • Wellness Workshops: Engage in two daily sessions designed to enhance well-being, including:

    • Singing & Sound Baths: Experience the relaxation and joy of group singing and the profound calm of sound bath sessions.

    • Meditation & Mantras: Discover inner peace through guided meditation practices and the repetitive, soothing cadence of mantra chanting.

  • Creative Expression:

    • Intuitive Painting & Nature Art: Unleash your innate creativity with workshops focused on intuitive painting and crafting art inspired by the surrounding nature. 

  • No Experience Necessary: The retreat is open to all, regardless of prior experience with the workshop activities, making it an inclusive environment for exploration and growth.

  • Nourishment & Company:

    • Wholesome Foods: Be nourished by delicious, wholesome meals prepared to fuel the body and delight the senses.

    • Great Company: Enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals, fostering connections and shared experiences in a supportive community.

  • Free Time: Afternoons offer free time for walking in the gardens or the forest, continuing a creative project, or simply relaxing in the company of others.

  • Exclusive Use Facilities: Participants will have exclusive use of the Minstead Study Center's facilities, including gorgeous gardens, a dedicated workshop space, an art room, a kitchen, the main house, and dormitories, ensuring a private and uninterrupted retreat experience.

A variety of accommodations is possible for this retreat, from dormitory to single room to camping to Air BnB!

This retreat offers a perfect blend of activities and relaxation, set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful natural settings. It's an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with themselves and nature in a deep and meaningful way.

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The Venue

The Minstead Center is set in 7 acres of beautiful gardens, in the heart of the New Forest. 

Accommodation and Dining at the Retreat

  • The retreat offers accommodations that is simple but comfortable. Participants can choose to stay in dormitories that are part of a spacious, tree house-like structure. This unique space, which includes our workshop room, is designed for comfort, equipped with underfloor heating and an efficient wood-burner for colder days, ensuring a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

  • The retreat's grounds are home to various stone circles and a newly refurbished roundhouse, modeled after an Iron Age home. Constructed from local materials like clay, rope, straw, and wood, the roundhouse offers an authentic and rustic setting for evening activities such as storytelling and singing. Its open design, without a door, and an interior fire pit create a magical ambiance perfect for gathering.



  • Five-Day Retreat:

    • Meals: Lunches and suppers are provided throughout the retreat, except Wednesday evening supper. For those staying on-site, breakfast is also included, ensuring a fully catered experience that allows participants to focus on their retreat activities without worrying about meal planning.

    • The meals emphasize plant-based fare, using high-quality, local, and organic ingredients to nourish both body and spirit.


This retreat promises not just a chance to engage in enriching activities but also an opportunity to connect with the beautiful nature of the New Forest. It's an ideal setting for those looking to deepen their connection to their creative selves, to others, and to the natural world.


                                     A Global Harmony

  • Energizing Harmony Songs: Immerse yourself in the vibrant and uplifting energy of harmony songs from across the globe. The sessions will include a variety of genres and styles, such as:

    • African: Experience the rhythmic and soulful melodies that are characteristic of African music, celebrating the continent's rich musical heritage.

    • Gospel: Tap into the powerful and emotive sounds of Gospel music, known for its inspiring vocals and spiritual depth.

    • We will learn songs from other genres too.

  • Sound Baths & Mantra Singing: Dive deeper into the realm of sound healing with sound baths and mantra singing, designed to promote relaxation, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being. These sessions can take place in uniquely serene settings, such as:

    • Garden Sessions: If the weather allows, participants will have the opportunity to engage in singing and sound baths in the garden, surrounded by the natural beauty of the retreat’s location.

    • Candlelight Sessions by the Log Fire: For a cozy and intimate experience, sessions may be held indoors by candlelight, with the warmth of a log fire adding to the ambiance. This setting is perfect for the colder months or when outdoor conditions are less favorable.


These singing sessions are a journey into the heart of global musical traditions, offering a space for communal harmony, and a deeper connection with the universal language of music. Whether you are a seasoned singer or new to vocal expression, these sessions promise a welcoming and supportive environment to explore your voice and the transformative power of sound.

Intuitive Painting

Exploring Creativity with Visual Medicine™


Creativity as a Path to Well-being: Creativity serves not just as an artistic endeavor but as a profound gateway to understanding our inner selves. It nurtures well-being, allowing for a joyful exploration of imagination and inner wisdom. The act of creating, whether through making marks on paper, playing with colors and paints, or arranging natural elements into mandalas or totems, brings fundamental pleasure and a sense of accomplishment.


Intuitive Painting - A Journey into Inner Landscapes:

  • The painting practice introduced during the retreat is both profoundly simple and deeply transformative. It's designed to be gentle and meditative, encouraging participants to engage with the creative process in a non-judgmental and exploratory manner.

  • The artwork created is more than just visual; it's an energetic imprint of the creator's inner landscape and innate creativity. This practice underscores the belief that everyone is inherently creative and capable of expressing their inner world through art.

A Critic-Free Zone:

  • One of the core principles of this creative exploration is leaving behind the inner critic. This retreat provides a safe space where curiosity, rather than critique, is the guiding force. Participants are encouraged to let their intuition lead, allowing images to emerge naturally and effortlessly.​

  • Importantly, no prior painting experience is required to partake in this activity.

  • The practice is an invitation to explore creativity as a therapeutic and enlightening tool, emphasizing the process over the product and fostering a nurturing environment for personal growth and self-expression.

Through engaging with Intuitive Painting and other creative activities, retreat participants embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal enrichment. This exploration of creativity is not just about creating art; it's about unlocking the door to one's deepest insights and fostering a profound sense of connection to oneself and the surrounding world.

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Practical Info


Five Day Summer Retreat 27th - 31st August 2024



Five-Day Summer Retreat: 

Residential: £595 including all workshops, art materials, teas and coffees, all meals (except Wednesday's supper), all art materials and workshop sessions, and shared dormitory accommodation.

Non-Residential: £545 including lunches and suppers except for Wednesday evening.


There are 4 Twin Rooms available: £17.50 per night per person if sharing, or £35 per night if used as a single room.



There are three options:

1.Two spacious basic dormitories on-site, with 9 sets of bunk beds in each, and shower rooms.

2. Four en suite twin rooms on site. If used for single occupancy the extra cost will be £35 per night.  If used as a twin, it will be £17.50 per person per night. First come first served! 

3. There is a variety of Air BnB options available, from Glamping to Shepherd's Huts, to cute cottage BnB's. See below for examples.

4. Camping on site.  There is plenty of space to pitch your tent!

Below are links to a couple of examples of local Air BnBs.

This option is not included in the fee, and you will need to book it and arrange payment yourself.  It is advisable to book ASAP to avoid disappointment!  I can help you find suitable Air BnB if necessary.

1. A private garden suite in Cadnam New Forest currently £62 per night

2. A cosy studio space in Cadnam, New Forest, currently at £62 per night.

The programme offers everything that I (now) love including singing, harmonising, chanting, sharing, writing and the wonderful visual medicine (painting sessions!) All seamlessly directed by Sarah leaving us all wanting more!

- Helen B

To Book

To book your place a non-returnable deposit of £150 is payable.  


Email to book your place and for payment info.  

Image by Soledad Lorieto
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