Lambay Retreat

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
~ Anne Lamott


Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th July 2020

Mind and Body Retreat on Lambay Island with certified therapist Sophie Samuel, island hostess Millie Baring and private nutritional chef Lottie Brook.

“A one-off, magical, time out of time experience”   ~ Retreat participant  2019

What is it?

A three-day / two-night retreat for only 10 people on the private and mystery-shrouded island of Lambay, conveniently located within easy access of Dublin International Airport.

This is a weekend of self-care and personal development. Over the weekend, I will be facilitating exercises that invite you to re-connect and reflect. Millie will be your host, warmly welcoming you into her island home and providing you with luxury accommodation. Lottie will be your private chef for the weekend, specialising in seasonal, local produce and nourishing your body while you take care of your mind and soul.

This weekend is an opportunity to take the time and the space you need to breathe and be restored.

How might I benefit?

For most of us the rhythm of life is busy, compartmentalised and often tough. We rarely get the time, support or space we need to be still and to connect. This weekend will offer you the opportunity to connect your mind to your body, your self to others, and to engage with the extraordinary natural world around you.

Slowing down and gaining greater connection can allow clarity and enable us to make more meaningful, deep-rooted choices. Though uncomfortable at times this process can free our energy and re-awaken a ‘joie-de-vivre’ from which the intensity of everyday life can alienate us. When unblocked you can return to your life more open and engaged.

This retreat is a rare chance to travel across the sea and leave behind those powerful forces of planning, organising and productivity. Come to an island where you will encounter something very different.

“The sense of deep time brings a deep peace with it, a detachment from the timescale, the urgencies, of daily life… a profound sense of being at home, a sort of companionship with the earth.”
~ Oliver Sacks

What to expect?

I will be facilitating exercises that draw on person-centred theory, neurobiology, focusing, trauma therapy, mindfulness and eco-psychology. This includes individual reflective and group exercises, breathing exercises and mindful walks, and possible wild swimming on the island.

The four key pillars of the retreat:

  1. Be Present. An established body of research from figures such as Jon Kabat-Zinn has allowed the West to tap into the power of mindfulness and meditation for our psychological wellbeing.
  2. Be Embodied. From neurobiology and developments in trauma therapy by pioneers such as Bessel Van der Kolk we are learning about the centrality of the body in remembering and processing our experiences and even in re-wiring the brain.  The hot topic of the microbiome and the ‘second brain’ of the gut again illustrates how our separation of the mind and body is so misconstrued.
  3. Be in Nature. Most people can speak from experience about the benefits of spending time in nature. In fact, both the physical and psychological benefits are well documented in eco-psychology. The famous psychiatrist Oliver Sacks wrote, “In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication.”
  4. Belong. Some eco-therapists, such as Mary-Jayne Rust, go deeper by pointing to the fundamental interconnectedness of our universe. Human beings are a part of the universe but so often we see ourselves as ‘outside of nature’. Being attuned to our position in this complex web of life can perhaps enable us to let go of some our fear and need to control. We can embrace a freer, wilder and more spontaneous way of being. It may also support us to develop a more reciprocal and respectful relationship with our Earth.

It is my intention on this weekend to draw on all these areas of knowledge and my core person-centred training to offer you the opportunity to ‘unplug’ and open up the possibilities this brings.

Click here for a more detailed schedule

“Sophie you have given me more than I knew I wanted or needed. I feel like I have learnt so much” ~ Retreat participant 2019

What will it cost?

Rates below are at a 20% discount from the standard rate. To avail of this discount then please quote SOPHIEWEB when applying to book:

EUR €700  per person for single occupancy bedroom

EUR €550 per person for shared occupancy super-king or twin bedroom


  • Lambay boat transfers to and from the retreat (€50 pp).
  • Personal development exercises and mindful walks and meditations.
  • 2 nights luxury accommodation on Lambay Island.
  • All locally sourced, seasonal meals prepared by your private island retreat chef: 2 breakfasts, 2-3 lunches, 2 dinners.
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments (tea, coffee, cake, fruit).
  • Use of island wi-fi, sitting rooms, library, gardens, and local know-how.
  • Be guided to see the local wildlife including deer, puffins, seals and even wallabies.
  • Personal hosting from Millie, a member of the resident Baring family​​.
  • Materials for the retreat workshops.

Bedrooms: Each person will have their own private super-king bedroom. Some bedrooms are en suite and others share one bathroom between two bedrooms. If you wish to reserve and en suite there is an additional charge of €25. There are also two twin bedrooms available at concession rates. Please email for further information.

Not Included:
• Transportation to Malahide Marina from where the Lambay boat departs, and any travel to Ireland.
• Travel Insurance (highly recommended as there will be no refunds for travel changes).
• Extras.

“Fantastic food, comfort , surroundings, place, people, care, support, sessions. Amazing!” ~ Retreat participant 2019

Further enquiries and booking

Click here for an example schedule and description of the weekend

Click here to make further enquiries or make a booking.

For further information, please read through the Lambay Island webpage which includes travel and weather tips and information about visiting Lambay.

“Sophie created a safe space for me to reflect, to share, to really get reacquainted with my true nature. She was gentle in her approach to uncover hidden pieces of myself…Lambay herself is magical, and you haven’t lived until you’ve been able to experience the majesty of this island, and her fantastic hosts.” ~ Retreat participant 2019