FAQ 2017-04-17T08:15:47+00:00

Gayles is an independent, family-managed retreat facility and we particularly value visitors with a more serious (but not humourless!) approach, who come here to learn and are open to self-development in whatever area; be it spiritual, psychological or emotional exploration or purely extending their physical practice. We try to encourage experienced teachers who offer well-informed, grounded, safe and properly held courses.

The immediate ambience and the surrounding countryside are quite uniquely special and ideal for allowing you the space to step back from the hectic pace of the everyday, to reflect and reconnect.

With this in mind, we ask that the people who come here respect that Gayles is also a family home, participate fully in the activities and appreciate that your experience will be enhanced by your willingness to learn. Although the facilities and catering are all of very good quality, Gayles is not a spa-type facility and would not be the right place for you if you are looking for a pampering weekend.

Gayles is mid-way between Eastbourne and Seaford on the A259 and easily accessible by public transport or car. You can get directions here

Although there is ample car parking at Gayles, we are mindful of the environment and ask that you car-share or travel by public transport if possible.

If you are coming to a retreat run by an ‘independent’ teacher please contact them directly for guidance.

If you are coming to one of our own ‘Gayles Retreats’ you can download a booking form from the panel below each retreat listing.

Please complete and return it to us and arrange an on-line transfer, or send a cheque, for the deposit (bank details are on the booking form) – we do not have a credit card facility. We will confirm your place with you when the payment has come through.

Please note that we cannot reserve places until your payment has been received and we are not able to send out individual reminders.

Bed linen and towels, along with basic toiletries, are provided. Please bring your own essentials and, if you wish, soap and shampoo.

We have lots of yoga mats, meditation cushions and blankets that you are welcome to use but, of course, please feel free to bring your own if you prefer.

It is sensible to bring a waterproof jacket or coat and outdoor shoes as Gayles is in a rural environment and the practice, dining/social and sleeping areas are in separate buildings.

We ask that shoes are not worn inside any of the buildings so please bring shoes or boots that can be put on and removed easily.

Please bring a beach towel if you are planning to swim.

If you are camping we will put up a tent for you and supply a pillow, towel and torch. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and mat.

If you wish to bring your own tent you may but it must be reasonably small, one room and designed to sleep no more than two people.

Independent teachers will have their own arrangements, please contact them for advice.

For Gayles Retreats, the deposits are non-returnable and non-transferable.

There are only a very limited number of separate rooms and these are often required by the teachers. Some teachers do allow students to use them on occasion so please contact the organiser directly.
Unfortunately, being only a small retreat we are not able to facilitate people arriving early, leaving late or staying beyond a retreat.

Gayles is situated in a very tourist friendly area and it is usually easy to find a B&B or hotel nearby. A google search for what you would like in East Dean, Birling Gap, Eastbourne or Seaford should find you somewhere accessible by bus. If you are driving, Alfriston and Jevington are also within comfortable striking distance.

Camping is available for up to six people at Gayles between April and September. Please let the organiser of the retreat know that that is your preference.

We will put up a tent for you (we have four Quechua 2 Seconds 2 ones available) and also supply a pillow, towel and torch. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and mat.

If you wish to bring your own tent you may but it must be reasonably small, one room and designed to sleep no more than two people.

No fires, please.

Campers have exclusive use of ‘The Royal Horsebox’ shower and toilet facility.

There are fairy lights around the central area and between the buildings so you are unlikely to become lost at night.

All our meals are vegetarian, organic where practical and largely sourced from the gardens at Gayles. We try to shop responsibly and to use local suppliers.

We usually offer dairy and wheat-free options at meals and we are happy to cater for gluten-free or vegan diets if you let us know. However, we can only accommodate specialist or individual requirements to a limited extent (although there is a fridge, cooker and microwave oven available in the social/dining area if you wish to provide for yourself). If you do have particular needs or concerns, please discuss them with us before you arrive.

You are welcome to arrive at Gayles after 4.15pm on the first day unless the organiser has arranged an earlier start. Similarly, most retreats end before 5.00pm on the last day.
Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities to cater for children or pets accompanying visitors.
Yes, you will need to make your bed when you arrive (linen is supplied), to help clear the dining area after meals and to strip your bed and tidy the dormitory and practice areas before you leave.

Some retreats also include a mindful work period.

Smoking is not allowed in any of the buildings but is permitted in the grounds.
As a general rule, we ask that you do not bring any alcoholic drinks with you to Gayles. Some teachers arrange for their group to have a glass or two of something with an evening meal on occasion and we are comfortable with this, although we are not involved in providing it. Please check with your organiser for more details.