Hosted by James & Alex Wittering at our peaceful HQ on the river Avon, this nourishing half day SUP & mindfulness retreat will be all about you. With a real focus on wellbeing, this experience is designed to introduce you to the powerful combination of evidence based mindfulness practices with a fun (and inherently mindful) activity outside, close to nature in one of the UK's prettiest river locations.

We've packed this experience full of nourishment for your mind, your body and your tummy; a beginner friendly introduction to MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) teaching you effective stress busting, relationship boosting, insomnia quelling strategies in an experiential format, everything you need to confidently stand-up paddleboard (in a very-low pressure, anxiety friendly and super supportive small group) and a locally sourced, nourishing lunch from a renowned Cotswolds based foraging chef. 

Most of what we learn about mindfulness during this retreat we take with us and integrate into our experience on the water. We'll take a mindful paddle together to the middle of nowhere for some quiet, reflective and resourcing time close to nature. There will be time to swim and even to practice taking your yoga moves onto a paddleboard.

This is a completely beginner-friendly retreat and all our activities will provide opportunities both for experienced yogis to deepen their practice and beginners to move at their own pace.

It's really about sharing some time together out on the water, developing a deeper insight into the ways that mindfulness, good food and connecting with nature and each other can resource us and make us better equipped to deal with the challenges of everyday life. 

We all struggle in our own way; leave it all on the bank for a while.


Your retreat hosts:

James is an ASI-accredited technical SUP coach and MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) teacher via the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation.

Alex is an ASI-accredited SUP Yoga instructor, a qualified yoga teacher and an STA open water swim coach.

A quiet & resourcing half-day retreat

You may already know that we are not about big groups and this retreat is no exception. With just eight spaces available this retreat is a unique and intimate experience, giving you the space to reconnect with your body and mind at your own pace. We will provide a supportive, peaceful environment for you to develop your mindful practice, learn to paddleboard (or deepen your existing knowledge) and move at your own pace or simply take the time to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Small groups mean that we all have the time and space to get to know each other, to listen mindfully and to ensure that everybody feels included, safe and welcome. We love being present with our guests and we will have the space and time to encourage, support and answer any questions individually so that you get everything you can from the day.

Our retreat itinerary for the day

9:30am  Settling in and making new friends :)

10:00 - 10:30am: Introduction to the day

10:30 - 11:15am: Introducing Mindfulness on a Paddleboard: We will sit as a group in a circle of paddleboards, exploring the foundations of mindfulness.

11:15 - 11:30am: On-land learn to paddleboard lesson;

Here we'll run through everything you need to know; safety, equipment, how to kneel, how to stand, how to self-rescue, paddle techniques etc

11:30 - 11:45am We'll head out on the water once everybody is happy and confident (usually about 15 minutes), we will start to explore down the river, taking turns to practice transitioning from kneeling to standing (never rushing this bit, all at your own pace) and finding our feet. 

11:45 - 13:45pm - A mindful paddle, exploring the river, being with nature, mindful practices on the boards, perhaps even wild swimming and SUP yoga. We will allow the day to unfold as it does before we return resourced and a little peckish.

13:45 - 14:00pm - Hot showers, change and a comforting, homemade hot lemon and ginger drink

14:00 - 15:00pm Riverside picnic: A seasonal, locally sourced lunch (see menu) before we pack up and say our goodbyes.

Activity duration: 4hrs approximately
Location: Arden Sailing Club
Ages 16+ (under 18s with a guardian).
Maximum group size of 8
All participants must be able to swim 50m.
Cost: £99 per person (including everything you need and your lunch)

Sample Menu

  • Free Range Cured Egg Yolk on Baked Blini Canapé
  • Small Veggie Sausage Roll
  • Half Sandwich on Seeded GI bread, a choice of either
    Cheese & Chutney/ Egg mayo/ Ham & Mustard
  • Mini Scone with Jam & Cream
  • Fresh lemon, ginger and honey tea

    All our ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced where possible and prepared for you fresh at the cafe on site. Our retreat menu is always designed to provide you with healthy nourishment that doesn't compromise on deliciousness!

Additional Information

1On-site facilities
Free parking, hot showers, toilets, disabled access, cafe, seating, covered area.
2What is included?
We will provide you with all the equipment necessary for your retreat. You only need to bring yourselves but if there is anything you would like to bring with you for your own comfort then please do.
3What should you wear?
Make sure you have a towel, a change of clothes and perhaps a swim hat and goggles if you intend to swim. Plan ahead for the weather on your day - if the sun is shining bring sunblock and a bottle of water to keep with you. A hat can be really helpful to keep the sun out of your eyes whilst still allowing you free movement (sunglasses not so much). On cooler days be sure to bring plenty of extra layers and maybe a spare towel or dry robe if you have one.
4Feeling a little unsure?
New skills outside of our comfort zone can always seem a little daunting, but we are always SO much more capable than we think we are. We are passionate about making sure everybody feels safe, confident and happy with their experience; our approach is gentle, supportive and compassionate and you have nothing to worry about; we’ll look after you :)
5Refund & Cancellation Policy
We have to plan ahead and session spaces are limited so we offer a full refund if you notify us of your cancellation 2 weeks before your session or a 50% refund a week before your booked session (gift voucher sessions are non-refundable). We only operate under the safest conditions, as such if the weather (wind), or water (flow/flood) conditions are not appropriate for beginner’s lessons we will notify you and arrange a more suitable date for your experience.