If you’re feeling more overwhelmed and stressed than you’d like, and know life could be so much easier and joyful if you just had a little space, then it’s time to ‘take your mind on holiday’ and join us on the Isle of Cumbrae for a unique mindset retreat experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!
26 – 30 April 2024
EARLY BIRD PRICING – Save £200!
…waking in your sumptuous hotel room to the dawn chorus of marine birds – the only sound to interrupt the morning silence of the island. Stepping outside your hotel, the sun is rising and illuminating the beach with a golden light, welcoming a day full of possibilities. You take a stroll on the fine sand, admiring the colours of the sun on the water’s surface.
After a sunrise meditation, you return to the seafront hotel and join your new friends for a hearty homecooked Scottish breakfast. You talk about what the day holds for each of you; anticipating the magic that lies ahead in the day’s walks – to the island’s highest point, as a silent meditation through woodland to the ancient standing stone, or through the intriguingly powerful labyrinth. You know that after your morning explorations you will enjoy a spacious afternoon with one-to-one time for you, and plenty of time to relax and rest, or discover more of your new island home. All the while looking forward to an evening of delicious food and drink, conversation and laughter, with your retreat friends.
The Island Sanctuary Retreat is a blissful 5-day, 4-night break on the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland where you’ll enjoy a traditional Scottish island with its beautiful beaches, walks and wildlife, as well as the legendary warmth and hospitality of the islanders.
But it is so much more than that too. This Retreat is a space for you to let go of the demands of your day-to-day life, and allow yourself to be fully present in each beautiful moment of your time on the island. It’s an opportunity for you to ‘meet your mind’ and take it on the most nurturing, expansive and beautiful holiday. Through connecting with the nature of the island, taking part in gentle but powerful experiences, and sharing this time with a special group of like-minded people, you will return back to the mainland, and onward to your home, feeling refreshed, clear and calm in your mind – ready to meet life and embrace all of its challenges, opportunities and gifts.
Is this you?…
- You’re ready to invest in your wellbeing and are excited to ‘take your mind on holiday’!
- You dream of exploring new lands and love the special magic of staying on an island.
- You yearn to spend time both by yourself and with like-minded people to restore your physical and emotional energy.
- You’re curious about your thoughts, feelings and beliefs, how they impact on your life, and are open to self-enquiry.
- You crave time to relax and recharge, expand your thinking, spark your creativity, and soothe and nurture your mind.
If you said yes to any or all of these, you are going to love our retreat on the Isle of Cumbrae that was created with YOU in mind.
During our retreat time together you will share some special times in the group, have time where the focus is solely on you, and also enjoy plenty of free time to explore the island or simply rest. Your choice!
Here are the experiences I have planned for you:
*subject to changes due to weather, or any other issues outside of our control.
Ask the big questions, receive your answers, and map out your path in life.
Cumbrae is home to the smallest cathedral in the UK, and beside this beautiful building is a lawn labyrinth. You will be guided through walking the labyrinth to find answers and clarity on the big (and small!) questions. You can return to the labyrinth and repeat this powerful enquiry process at any time during your stay.
Think beyond the confines of your everyday life and become expansive in your dreams and plans.
We’ll walk up to the highest point on the island, the Glaidstone. The 30-minute route is fully paved and a gentle ascent – more of a walk than a hike. From our viewpoint at the top, you will have a 360-degree view of all the surrounding islands and mainland, and be surrounded by Scotland’s flora and fauna. A truly beautiful and expansive spot to contemplate your great potential and all the possibilities of life!
Calm and clear your mind, quieten the busy thoughts, and create space through meditation.
We will visit Gouklan Woods and drop into silence for a walking meditation, engaging all of our senses as we meander towards the clearing with the ancient standing stone at its centre. We will sit with the stone in peaceful meditation before making our journey back through the woods. There will also be sunrise meditations on the beach each morning if you’re an early riser!
Treat the mind-body as one as you drop into a deeply therapeutic space.
You will have two opportunities to have one-to-one sessions; a private EFT Tapping session with Sarah, and a treatment with Cumbrae’s resident holistic therapy expert, Karin. Choose from her vast menu of delicious treatments including massage, reflexology, reiki, crystal therapy and more.
Ignite your creativity and surrender to fun!
Creative pursuits and fun activities will be woven throughout the retreat, with a special final day that is being planned to celebrate the completion of our time together. More details soon!
Millport, the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland
Just off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Cumbrae is known as ‘Scotland’s most accessible island’. You’ll find wild beaches and rocky bays around its 10 mile coastline, which is home to a wide range of wildlife. Seals, dolphins, oystercatchers, curlews and more are often spotted from the shore. Cumbrae’s only town, Millport is a traditional seaside resort with a long history as a popular summer holiday destination. But even at the height of the season, Millport still has an air of tranquility and there is always plenty of space on the beach!
Our Cumbrae story
I first visited Millport in June 2022 with my teenage son James on a day trip from Glasgow. We were looking for ‘something different’ to do during our city break, and were intrigued by the Scottish island that we could visit in an afternoon! As soon as we stepped onto the ferry and sailed towards Cumbrae we were captivated, and on arrival immediately understood why it is known as “Magical Millport”. Since that day we have visited the island at least once a month, and in November 2022 bought a holiday home and named it the ‘Island Sanctuary’. Cumbrae now feels like home to us and has a very special place in our hearts.
My son James would like to share his experience of his first visit to Cumbrae with you:
“After a noisy journey to the coast on a train full of dogs and crying babies, I was feeling overwhelmed. We boarded the boat to Cumbrae, and upon arriving in Millport the tranquillity of looking out to the sea instantly made me feel better. The atmosphere of the island was very friendly, calm and welcoming. Every time I have returned, it’s been very enjoyable!”
The Old Bank, Millport
You’ll be calling The Old Bank on the seafront home during the retreat, and we have the whole hotel reserved just for us.
The Old Bank is a small, family run B&B with big heart – here to bring you comfort and style during your time on charming Cumbrae.
Their products are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. They only use biodegradable toiletries. Supporting the island community wherever they can, they source produce from local farmers and retailers.
All rooms are en-suite with rain showers, have complimentary in-room refreshments, tea/coffee making facilities and wifi to ensure you have everything you need for your stay.
You’ll start each day with a hearty Scottish breakfast, comforting porridge, or anything in between. We have the hotel to ourselves, so you’ll enjoy breakfast just with your retreat friends in the private dining room of The Old Bank.
Each evening we will meet at the Round Island Café, a glittering jewel of a restaurant right on the seafront where you will choose from their menu of delicious home cooked food, including both traditional Scottish fayre and international dishes. They serve a wide selection of drinks including their exclusive own label Eilean Cruinn wines (Round Island in Scottish Gaelic), expertly blended by wine enthusiast proprietor Tom.
On our final evening we will move next door for dinner were I will host you at my home on Cumbrae. We’ll enjoy a relaxed home cooked meal, as we reflect on experiences of the last 4 days, and share our stories and insights. We’ll celebrate the time we’ve dedicated to ourselves, and prepare to say farewell to our new friends!
YOUR FREE TIME
You may choose to rest, nap, journal or just be… and there are many ways to feed your senses and soothe your soul on Cumbrae.
To name a few:
- Browsing the exhibitions and local history at the Garrison museum.
- Smelling the roses in their sunken garden.
- Swimming or kayaking in the sea (bring your swimwear or wetsuit!)
- Walking or cycling the island and discovering the wild beaches and bays.
- Beachcombing for sea glass and other treasures.
- Spotting playful seals and diverse marine life.
- Pottering around the island’s craft shops, art galleries and boutiques.
- Playing crazy golf, take a tour of the Cumbrae Gin distillery, lazing on the hammocks at Fintry Bay… what else will YOU discover on the island?!
- Pre-retreat get together on Zoom and WhatsApp chat group – it will be like meeting old friends as soon as we arrive!
- 4 nights ensuite accommodation at The Old Bank.
- 4 Scottish breakfasts in a private dining room just with your retreat friends (we’ve booked the whole hotel!)
- 4 delicious evening meals with drinks.
- All activities detailed in this brochure (and more to come!)
- One 60-minute private EFT Tapping session with Sarah.
- One 45 minute holistic therapy session with Karin.
- Goody bag on arrival.
- All tips and service.
What isn’t included:
- Travel to Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae – around 1 hour from Glasgow and an 8-minute ferry crossing. We can offer guidance in booking your travel.
- Personal travel, cancellation and medical (if needed) insurance.
- Lunches, snacks or other refreshments outside of breakfast and dinner.
- Bike/kayak hire, or other leisure pursuits.
- Any taxis, laundry or incidental expenses.
Sarah Holland, your retreat host
I’ve been interested in all things mindset and wellbeing for as long as I can remember. My first experience of ‘leading a retreat’ was at age 15 after I’d read about a self-hypnosis technique in Just Seventeen magazine! I led my friends through this thought programming experience at lunchtime as we sat in a circle in the woods in our school field. I think most of us used it to gain confidence to speak to the boys we liked….!
In my early 20s I began my training and work in complementary therapies and started practicing meditation. I have now been working full-time for over 20 years using EFT (Tapping) to help people optimise their mindsets and have happy, successful lives.
In my early 20s, I began training in complementary therapies and starting meditating. I have now been working full-time for over 20 years using EFT (Tapping) to help people optimise their mindsets and have happy, successful lives.
I believe wholeheartedly in the power and brilliance of your mind. I also know that life can get busy and complicated, and we can feel overwhelmed and held back by our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. That is why making space for mindset work is so important, and I’m excited to invite you to the Island Sanctuary Retreat on the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland!
Other things you may want to know about me…
I’m a mum to two boys after both fertility treatment and adoption. I also share my home with two cats called Charlie and Luna, one tortoise called George and a husband called Richard. I live in a quaint market town called Hitchin in Hertfordshire and over the past year, despite the distance of 400 miles, we’ve made Cumbrae our home too.
I love to walk, cook and eat delicious food, spend time in nature, read books, and continue on my lifelong path of self-development. So, you can see why I’m holding mindset retreats on the Isle of Cumbrae! I look forward to welcoming you to this special island and sharing this 5-day experience with you.
I’m happy to share, but coming alone. Will you match me with a roommate?
Yes! We will enjoy matching you with a lovely roommate, and all shared rooms have twin beds. If you prefer, you can also pay a supplement to have sole use of a room.
Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, you can. The non-refundable deposit is due on booking, then 50% of your balance on 1st February 2024, and your remaining balance on 27th March 2024.
Do I need to take part in all of the Experiences?
Above all else, we want you to get what YOU need from the retreat. So whilst we recommend taking part in the Experiences, you are free to opt out of anything that you wish.
What are the timings, and will I have free time?
The retreat begins late afternoon on 26th April and ends after breakfast on 30th April 2024. You have the option to book extra nights if you wish to extend your stay. You will have a detailed itinerary and free time every day to spend however you wish.
How much walking is involved? Do I need to be super fit?!
There will be some walking each day for up to 30 minutes at any one time. All walking is easy/moderate level with no climbing or hiking required.
Will my dietary needs for catered for?
Yes! Please let us know any specific needs and we will ensure you have delicious food options for breakfast and dinner, and direct you to the best places to eat lunch. I am a vegan who loves food, and understand how important it is to be well-catered for.
What do I need to bring with me?
Clothing layers and a waterproof jacket to allow for all weathers (sunblock too!), comfortable walking shoes, swimwear or wetsuit if you want to swim or kayak in the sea (Cumbrae has year-round wild swimmers but be prepared for Scottish sea temperatures!), a water bottle, and anything that will make your retreat time special for you.
How many people will be on the retreat?
There will be a maximum of 5, plus myself and Jan who will be assisting the retreat and be your go-to person with any queries. A small and beautiful group on a small and beautiful island!
If you have other questions please ask me!
There are 5 spaces available to join us on the Island Sanctuary Retreat.
EARLY BIRD PRICING – save £200!
£1,195 £995 – shared twin room (we can match you with a roommate / new friend!)
£1,415 £1,215 – sole occupancy of a twin/double room
**Prices go up by £200 on 31st January 2024**
- Book your place now with a non-refundable £300 deposit.
- 50% of your balance is due by 1st February 2024.
- Remaining balance is due by 27th March 2024.
Any cancellation will result the loss of the deposit. Cancellation made between 1st February and 27th March 2024 will result in a loss of 50% of the total retreat price. Cancellation made between 28th March 2024 and the retreat start date will result in a total loss of funds. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum numbers, and if we do so your deposit and payments made will be refunded in full. Cancellation insurance is always recommended when making travel plans.
How to book:
Get in touch now to reserve your spot. Please ask any questions you have too!
I look forward to hearing from you, and spending time with you in Scotland!