Radical Sabbatical with Advivum Journeys, Kent, UK

Powerful, luxurious life coaching retreat at an elegant manor house

Talking therapy
Digital detox
Best go solo




Best for: ‘Successful’ people with a niggling feeling that there’s more to life than this.

Not for: Those looking for just a light relaxing break or mental health counselling.

In a nutshell:

One of many holistic adventures run by Executive Coach Tania Carriere around the world, this 5 day ‘Radical Sabbatical’ life coaching retreat runs once a year at the elegant 300 year old family owned Goodnestone Manor in Kent. Tania draws on her background in psychology, coaching, theatre and travel to help already successful people reconnect with what they really want out of life, using group rituals, workshops and solo activities designed to get you to listen to the stories you tell yourselves and to realise the answers you seek lie within you. You’ll enjoy tasty healthy food and downtime in a gorgeous environment, and the retreat is open to women and men of all ages and professions.

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Overall Rating: 5
Advivum UK Kent Queen of Retreats
Advivum UK Kent Queen of Retreats
Advivum UK Kent Queen of Retreats

What’s Queenly?

Tania is obviously committed to each and every guest and has a deep empathy and ability to juggle varying needs. Bedtime treats such as chocolates, spring flowers and a rose body lotion lain on your pillows each night will help you feel deeply cared for.

What’s Lowly?

There is an intense, deep-dive element to this retreat that may feel uncomfortable to cynical Brits used to ironising their experience. Go with it.

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Caroline Sylger Jones reviews this Radical Sabbatical life coaching retreat at Goodnestone Manor in Kent led by executive coach Tania Carriere and learnt to trust her instincts again through rituals, workshops and walks.

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Overall Rating: 5
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Retreat Activities

Pre-retreat workbooks and a private Skype session with Tania prepare you for the week, which consists of a series of inventive and varied group rituals, workshops and solo activities with at least six hours of workshop time each day.

Tania ensures that the retreat group ‘works’ is cohesive by interviewing people before they are accepted onto a programme. The retreat process is then a four month reflection process. After acceptance into the programme you will be supported with two workbooks (with reading, journaling exercises and packing lists) and a private coaching session with Tania. Community support is also offered through a private Facebook group. An additional workbook follows a month after your return home to support the integration of your experience.

Tania is deeply committed to being courageous and bold while answering life’s most important questions. Heartfelt, gracious and a believer in abundance, her passion is unlocking a sense of enchantment, discovery and possibility in just about everyone she meets. With over 20 years designing unique, transformational experiences for individuals and organizations, Tania Carriere leans on her degrees in psychology, coaching, change management, leadership and personal transformation and her experience in theatre and travel to create fully integrated, life provoking immersive experiences. She is known, above all, for her keen insights, deep compassion and willingness to walk with her clients wherever their paths take them. She also blogs at Celebrate What’s Right and Advivum Journeys and is always contemplating the next adventure. Tania also usually has a support coach with her to help participants through the process.

A series of interesting, engaging, personalised group coaching workshops are designed to get us to listen to the stories we tell ourselves and to realise the answers we seek lie within us. Self empowerment is key, and you’ll be encouraged to talk from the ‘second circle’ – projecting our voice and our power from an authentic place deep within us – rather than from the ‘first circle’ (weak and victimised) or the ‘third circle’ (loud and fake). Inspired by Jane Austen and her use of story to challenge the rules that limited her path as a woman and writer, you will also be encouraged to look at your own story and find the roles that you may wish to re-examine as you write your next chapter.

Each morning there’s a sharing circle under the Cedar of Lebanon, and each evening a polishing ritual to remind you why you are here. Community is built through shared meals.

Being in the gorgeous grounds and gardens here and going for guided and solo walks is key to your experience here. You’ll be asked to look for metaphors in nature that help you understand how you react to situations, and to reevaluate your values and dreams. A private tour of the gardens helps appreciate the history of the house and reflect on your own cycle of germination and growth.

Personal spaces

Bedrooms: Goodnestone Manor is a stately 300 year old home with gorgeously refurbished, hugely comfortable and elegant bedrooms of varying shapes and sizes. Some have ensuites, some shared bathrooms along a corridor, but all are comfortable, arty and inspiring places to be. Rooms are currently allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Personal spaces

Other spaces to be: The woodlands and gardens here are a delight. Sit by the pond, amongst pots of red tulips or on the bench under the Pear Willow in the walled garden, or head to a bench in the woodland for some more wild, creative spaces. Or head along the Serpentine Walk, which was created for the gentile ladies of old who wanted a taste of the outdoors without dirtying their dresses.

Insider Tips

Bring layers, and an open mind.

When to Go

These retreats are usually held in Spring or Autumn when the weather is warm and the surroundings pretty, but as this is England, bring layers, as you’re just as likely to get rain as you are sunshine.

Shared places

Goodnestone Manor is packed with beauty, from the wooden floors to the family heirlooms. Workshops and chats take place in a panelled, velvet-sofa’d library with a chandelier and shelves of leather bound hard backed books and a gorgeous multicoloured chaise longue, and a elegant drawing room, where grand 18th century paintings of the house’s previous inhabitants adorn the walls and there are expansive views of the grounds through giant windows. Be sure to take some time to chill in the Jane Austen room, with its pretty sofas and lovely outlook over the park. The 19th century novelist was a frequent visitor to Goodnestone because her brother married one of the family.


You eat around a circular wooden table in the lovely airy dining room, and in the formal dining room on the last evening. Freshly cooked tasty and delicious meals with meat, fish, vegan and veggie options are all put together with love by a chef specially selected for the retreat.

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For breakfast you can expect a cooked option such as smashed avocado with nutritional yeast flakes, tomatoes and parmesan or scrambled egg together with toast, muffins, granolas, berries and yoghurts and freshly squeezed orange juice. Lunches might be foraged wild garlic pesto with home made flatbread and Tuscan vegetable soup or a comforting roast dinner, while suppers include shepherds pie or vegetable and nut sausage rolls with home made chutney. There’s a comfort station continually stocked with home baked biscuits, fruits, cheeses, teas and coffee. You can pre-order wine to drink with each evening meal if you so choose.


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All food is sourced locally, directly from local shops/farms where possible in order to reduce their footprint. The kitchen holds a zero waste policy. Participants are provided with reusable thermoses; plastic water bottles are not provided and are discouraged. All staff (including the butler and the cook) are considered a part of the facilitation team and are fully engaged in the process planning and execution. Advivum Journeys provides one scholarship position, available upon application, to each retreat thus making it available to those of modest income.


Goodnestone Park Gardens, Goodnestone, Canterbury CT3 1PL, UK

Airport: London Heathrow

Adisham or Canterbury West

Transfer time: 2 hours

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