Bespoke Retreats, Sussex, England
Private transformational healing, meditation & life coaching retreats tailored exclusively for you
Best for: Someone who wants to step away from their life, knows what they want to achieve and doesn’t want to work round anyone else’s schedule.
Not for: Someone who likes meeting people and being part of a group on a retreat.
Bespoke means bespoke with these unusual retreats devised by gifted healer Lynn Jackson. Meditation, healing treatments and life coaching with Lynn are always included – as many as you choose – and then on top you can pick whichever activities and treatments you would like either alone or with a friend or family member. Lynn will also advise, according to your wellbeing goals, on the type of venue you might like to stay in, and there are plenty of locations on offer across Sussex, from a luxury woodland cabin or gorgeous tree house to a beachfront villa or five star hotel. Then ask for whatever add-on you fancy – from massage to horse riding to gym visits to journalling to mindful pebble painting – and it will be given. Bespoke Retreats also offers virtual retreats.
The ability to choose your activities and the type of accommodation means you can craft exactly what your heart desires.
As the locations vary, you might not be able to get the exact place you want on the exact dates you choose – though this is rare.
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Activities on offer are limited only by your imagination, budget and what Lynn can rustle up in the Sussex environs of whichever venue you have chosen as your accommodation. In a ‘getting to know you’ phone conversation in advance of the retreat you can tell Lynn all about yourself, and ask for whatever you feel you need, be that horse riding along the sands, massages, gym visits, spa treatments, art resources, or simply time and space to walk alone in nature.
The main focus of one of Lynn’s retreats, wherever you happen to be staying, is one or more treatments with Lynn herself. She is a gifted healer and trained originally in London before supplementing her experience with long stays and trainings in Bali. In her sessions, Lynn tunes into your energy field to psychically remove energetic blocks, and it can be a hugely relaxing or energizing experience, depending on what you need. Sometimes the treatment might be supplemented by crystal therapy, an experience that can provoke physical sensations, colourful imagery or a huge desire to sleep.
Lynn leads soothing guided meditations, also drawn from her wide experience of different cultures. This being a bespoke retreat, you can let Lynn know how much meditation you have already done, and what sort of things you may want the meditation – or meditations, depending on how much time you want to spend doing this – to focus on.
Intuitive life coaching and spiritual navigation often accompanies Lynn’s healing work. She studied Metaphysical Counselling and Transpersonal Psychotherapy at the College of Psychic Studies from 1999-2001. These methods offer a holistic approach to life’s challenges with an emphasis upon the underlying needs of the spirit in navigating a meaningful path. She calls this Life Navigation, and has been using it in conjunction with her energy work for almost 20 years. Lynn has also done a 100-hour course with Educo, where she learned how to use a process called Unconscious Attention, to access the superconsciousness and galvanise change from within.
Lynn will book whatever other treatments you ask for, from massage and holistic treatments to facials and pedicures – just ask and she will make it happen to the best of her ability. All her therapists have been carefully hand-picked and ‘road-tested’ by her. Spa treatments like Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Shiatsu and Osteopathy tend to take precedence over facials and the more beauty-oriented treatments. Homeopathy, Sound Healing and Acupuncture can also be arranged.
As an experienced Healer, Lynn views all health issues – mental, physical or emotional – in terms of energy imbalances, so her approach is always energy based. She can especially help guests deal with any sleep issues they may have, and she runs a specialist menopause healing programme called ‘Hotstuff’ to teach women how to minimise and eradicate menopause symptoms, which is imparted in one-to-one bespoke retreats or quarterly group retreats.
Specialist dietary programmes such as keto, macrobiotic, raw, vegan, weightloss and detox diets can be devised by nutritionist associates of Talk, Eat, Laugh, an organisation with whom Lynn works closely. Cooking classes with professional chef Rachel of Talk, Eat, Laugh can also be arranged, and Lynn works with Natural Pathways to organise bushcraft and wild foraging.
Retreats usually include creative elements, and Lynn often supplies art and craft materials and offers intuitive suggestions as to their use and application. Other creative exploits such as chanting, journaling, photography can also be arranged, and the help of expert tutors – including photographer Oana Liliac, sound healer Anne Malone, sacred singer and voice coach Anaam Zen, gong baths and crystal bowls from A Touch of Sound, and drumming with Happy Drums – is enlisted as required.
Feel like surfing, sailing or riding a horse along the sands? Lynn will book you a lesson. Feel like a slow meditative walk around a labyrinth? Lynn knows just the place. Whether you are after quiet time alone to nap and read, prefer to commune with nature in a forest where you can walk alone, or if you want to pound the treadmill in the gym or do laps in a pool, Lynn will sort whatever activities you require. Yoga, taught by Kate Sabin, can be provided in the retreat residence. The use of a local Health Club with indoor and outdoor pool and state-of-the-art gym facilities (with personal trainer if required) is also available, where classes in Aquafit, Boxfit, various types of Dance, HIT, Pilates, Spin, Tai Chi, Tennis, Yoga, Zumba can be arranged.
Accommodation is chosen in conversation with Lynn to dovetail with whatever ‘feel’ you want for your transformative experience. Locations across Sussex are always luxurious and comfortable and the choice includes a yurt, a treehouse, a woodland cabin, a luxurious hotel or a calming, seaside-themed home right on West Wittering Beach.
The bedroom in the house on West Wittering beach where we stayed feels very much like the set of a Hollywood movie with whitewashed floorboards, cool, cream coloured walls on three sides, and a fourth wall made almost entirely of glass, its wafting, muslin curtains framing unparalleled sea views beyond, which can also be appreciated from the wide veranda outside, or from between the clean white sheets of the luxurious, grey sleigh bed within.
Be specific about what you would like – not just the food, activities and treatments you want booked, but also the feel and atmosphere you are after. This is England, so pack both sunglasses and raincoats if you want to spend time outside, the weather will of course be nothing if not unpredictable.
When to Go
Anytime – although this being England you may want to factor in weather issues if you are hoping for a more outdoorsy experience.
The alchemy of food is an important feature of each retreat, and menus are devised in line with the overall purpose/focus of your stay. In general, cottage retreats offer plant-based and largely organic fare as standard, but sustainably-sourced fish, as well as organic meat and dairy products from the Goodwood Estate, are also available upon request.
Your food choices are discussed beforehand – you can choose to have a chef, or to self cater, or if you’re staying in a hotel, to eat in the restaurant. If you self cater, the fridge and cupboards will be stocked with your choice of goodies accordingly. If you chose to go with a relatively healthy option you will arrive as we did to an overflowing fruit bowl, a cabinet of herb teas, and a fridge full of smoothies and Greek yoghurt. If it suits your retreat, Lynn might even cook you a meal on the odd occasion – on our one night retreat, she cooked us a delicious seabass with pureed sweet potato and delicately spiced green veg at dinner and a squash, quinoa, avocado and feta salad for lunch. The use of recreational alcohol is strongly discouraged, but a small amount may be utilised as part of a ceremony or ritual.
Bespoke Retreats recycles to minimise waste and pledges to use local, seasonal and organic produce wherever possible. Filtered water is offered in preference to bottled water. Organic Epsom and Himalayan salts are used in our hand-made bath potions, and we also use Himalayan salt lamps to help clean and ionise the air. Scented candles are soy with natural oils. Also, our therapists and facilitators are locally based.
Chichester, England, PO20 7EE
Transfer time: 1 hour