This is a chance for you to get to know a little bit more about your host and the team who will be guiding you through your retreat day.
I’ve lived at Whasdyke Farm with my partner John and our four horses since 2012. The plan was to find a small holding in the Windermere area but when we heard about Whasdyke, John and I both fell in love with it. However, with its 180 acres, it was no small holding!
I qualified as a BHSAI instructor in the early 80’s but took a break from horses whilst bringing up my two sons and running my gift shop business in Grasmere. But with a shared life long love of horses and Clydesdales in particular, it wasn’t long before I was really making the most of the farm’s fabulous location by setting up Hands on Heavy Horses in spring 2016. This is an opportunity for anyone to experience every aspect of owning a Clydesdale for the day.
The idea for Full Circle Retreats was born from learning to meditate with the horses, something taught to me by my friend Katherine. With the Lake District fells as a backdrop, the horses would freely join us in meditation. That spiritual sensation, the connection with nature, was the inspiration. It was so wonderful it felt like something that had to be shared.
I’m Katherine, founder of Meditate With Horses and The Happiness Hub in High Bentham.
Originally I qualified as a journalist after a period of working on newspapers, then transferred my skills over to PR and marketing.
I fell in love with horses as a child. This was a time of real innocence and happiness spent riding and wandering around the woods and on beaches, talking to my dog. Five years ago, while racing through life, trying to run a business I had no love for, raise children, and be everywhere at once, I had a riding accident. My horse literally flipped over backwards and landed on me. He made me realise that I needed to stop what I was doing through leaving me no choice.
So that’s what I did, I combined my love of yoga and meditation with sitting in the paddocks with my horses while I healed enough to be able to walk. Thats when I noticed the behaviour of my horses completely change… I feel that I came full circle, I ditched the business I was in, and focused on the things I loved; nature and animals.
I have spent a lot time training and practising and being absorbed in my own methods in order to heal and flourish. I firmly believe that animals and nature, not only have the power to heal us, but that they are essential in order for us to live a life of self-assured tranquility and peace.
I’m Ashley Holden, co-owner of Green House Floristry and curator of Full Circle Retreat nutrition workshops. I’ve been on a food path since I was knee high to a grasshopper growing up amidst the farmlands of Zimbabwe and over the ensuing years working alongside some incredibly talented and truly passionate people in the food and wine trade in Southern Africa, Australia, Europe and now in the flourishing foodlands Cumbria in NW England.
I’m so excited to share all I’ve learnt getting people passionate about the things that have inspired and influenced my day to day living in the English Lake District through our connection to soil both in terms of nourishment, creativity and mental happiness.
Hi, I’m Zoë aka ‘The Quirky Coach’, passionate about helping others to fulfil their potential and live their best life. As a teacher, trainer, business adviser, mentor and coach, I’ve helped hundreds of people fulfil their potential and live their best life. I also love travel and writing. Winning ‘Britain’s Best Travel Blogger’ with a piece about a little known-area of Cumbria, changed my own life and my blog ‘The Quirky Traveller’ is now read worldwide. I combine coaching with travel blogging, public speaking and running retreats and divide my time between the beautiful countryside of North West England, travels around the UK and gadding about abroad.
I love horses, especially the hunky boys at Whasdyke Farm and am delighted to be offering creative writing and coaching support for guests coming on Full Circle Retreats. They’re life-enhancing, transformative and fun and I’m looking forward to meeting you very soon.
I’m a Yorkshire based full time ceramic animal sculptor with a business called Twisted Earth Ceramics. As well as selling my work through galleries, I offer a pet sculpting service and run sculpting workshops throughout the north. Twisted Earth Ceramics has been established for several years and in this time I’ve won awards for my animal sculptures. I’m also a cyclist and on my rides, I take inspiration from the nature and field animals around me.
I studied a degree in graphic design at Central St Martins in London and went on to become a stylist and model coordinator at a photographic training centre based in the Lake District. It was there that I gained valuable insight and experience in training aspiring photographers to achieve their photographic goals and gain confidence with their camera, in turn this contributed to my own experience in the art of photography. After five years of working at the training centre I decided it was time to pursue photography as a career and set up a photography business under my own name. I have photographed many beautiful weddings in England and across Europe, I also shoot commercially for independent businesses.
I am looking forward to meeting like minded folk who are keen to express themselves through the medium of photography. I want to give guests the confidence to explore their creativity with their chosen photographic tool, whether this be a DSLR, an SLR and a roll of film, a compact camera or the ultimate portable photo taking device… their phone. My hope is to encourage guests to enjoy capturing a moment without feeling like a fraud, also known as imposter syndrome, as I feel strongly that we can move through those feelings to discover that we are all creative beings and must allow ourselves to enjoy the magic of childlike wonderment and magnificence of the world around us.
I will encourage discussions about our cameras but also about subjects like composition, the direction of light, how time of day effects our images, and post processing… no question is too basic because you can guarantee someone else in the group will have wondered the same thing at one time or another.