Founded by singer activist and dreamer Charlotte Church, The Dreaming Retreat is nestled in the spectacular surroundings of the Elan Valley in the heart of Wales.
The Dreaming Retreat offers an escape from the complexity of modern life; connecting people back to the land, to themselves and to their journeys. From short residential retreats with daily wellness activities, to longer retreats with specialist practitioners, The Dreaming Retreat delivers a unique, exciting and nourishing menu of activities in keeping with the seasons.
When Charlotte Church decided to “have a nose” at a property in the Elan Valley in Wales, little did she expect Rhydoldog House to offer her an incredible challenge, allowing her to combine several of her passions in the creation of The Dreaming Retreat.
The grounds of the former home of Laura Ashley boast waterfalls, rocks and caves and, quite simply, an abundance of natural beauty. Charlotte could see this as a place to combine the three things she felt very strongly about: climate action, economic equity and wellbeing for all.
And so, The Dreaming Retreat began with the journey being witnessed by the many who have watched the documentary series on the Discovery Channel. Rhydoldog House has been transformed from a rundown property, into a stunning wellness retreat which works both with and for nature.
And now, The Dreaming Retreat is open for bookings. Whether you are a fan of the series and want to see the healing centre in the flesh or are looking to benefit from the outstanding offerings that it has to offer, a getaway at The Dreaming Retreat will boost your health and wellbeing.
What can you expect from a stay at The Dreaming Retreat?
The retreats are three days and take place at the weekend (The Journeyer) and mid-week (The Nurturer). During the stay, guests are offered a wide selection of wellbeing activities. Whether you are looking for something grounded and practical or are more interested in the deeply soulful and esoteric, or a little bit of both – there is something for everyone.
The activities include yoga, a sound healing ceremony, foraging, mythic storytelling, star-gazing, cold water immersion, singing at dawn, den building, sensory portal building, painting, dance, dreamwork, outdoor cinema, herbalism, woodwork, meditation, Qi Gong, silent disco and night time forest bathing.
Guests are invited to participate in as many or as few of these offerings as they like. They can enjoy a very full three days or simply curl up somewhere comfortable in the beautiful surroundings and read a book.
The building itself is conducive to relaxation and connection with the natural surroundings, with all the rooms carefully planned and themed, and tastefully and ethically decorated. From east-facing rooms which allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the sunrise; to the purifying Moon room that looks out over the moon garden; to a Japanese themed room echoing the beautiful forest which can be seen from the window. All rooms have ensuite facilities and three meals a day are provided in the equally stunning refectory, which offers spectacular views while you eat.
The grounds of the retreat are also impressive and retreat stays include access to all 47 acres. Walk through the natural beauty and immerse yourself in special spaces, such as The Waterfall Shower, Wood Henge and The Pool of a Hundred Reflections. For the super adventurous, The Den allows for outdoor sleeping to comfortably experience the nocturnal wildlife.
The curated gardens are central to the sustainability ethos of The Dreaming Retreat and form part of many of the activities. For example, The Physic Garden provides medicinal herbs for the apothecary, where guests can craft teas, balms, tinctures, soaps and other lotions and potions. While the potting shed is a place for retreaters to mix soils and pot seeds, offering skills and insight into compassionate and responsible horticulture that can be applied when they return home.
While many might love the idea, they will probably expect the cost to be prohibitive. But, with one of the founding principles being economic equity, prices start at just £450 for three nights including all meals and activities. Not only that, to allow access for people of all means, The Dreaming offers a “pay what you can” space on every three-day retreat.
Charlotte Church said:
“I have regularly tried to use my platform to campaign for climate action, economic equity and wellbeing for all. Some of that has turned out to be effective and meaningful, but I always felt there was more I could be doing. I think that’s why I fell so utterly in love with Rhydoldog House, as it gave me a vision of an integrated healing centre in line with my most deeply held values. The realisation of that vision has completely changed my life and I hope that we can help our guests change their lives too, even if it’s just in small ways.”