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THE MILL RETREAT CENTRE
Beautiful peaceful centre with
spectacular lake and rivers
... Only a few hours' drive from London

 
NEWS


 


May 2011
 
May 2011 Heather George Yoga Retreat at the Mill Retreat Centre artilce written on the Om magazine click here for details
 

News letter from Stillness retreats who have closed down their retreat centre ( Duncton Mill) in England) and are now renting the Mill Retreat Centre for 2 months in 2010 and 2 months in 2011 onwards.

3rd November 2009  Stillness Reteats NEWS LETTER
                                                                                                                                         
 
Dear Friends, 
 
We hope this Newsletter finds you well and enjoying the beautiful autumn colours. What a great farewell from Duncton and what a wonderful new beginning in France we have just had.
 
It was a sad occasion and yet so heart warming to see so many people at the farewell party.  The sun shone, everyone sat in the garden enjoying a tea time feast, prepared by Julie, who is coming to France with us. More than a hundred people really did have a fond and lovely last time, that hot September afternoon, and we certainly went out on a high. At the end there were only two pieces of delicious cake left!
If it hadn’t been for Moira’s amazing help, (she has been our rock in these last hectic weeks and is an organiser par excellence), we wouldn’t have had such a smooth move. All in all, our things and ourselves arrived in France unscathed.
 
I never imagined that anywhere could possibly be as good as Duncton Mill.  Its charm and Shangri-La quality beguiled all of us for five years. However the Mill Retreat Centre in France quickly made its mark, with a wilder and more natural beauty. For ten days we worked like troupers getting it ready for Mike’s first group.  Curtains were dyed, pictures were hung and flower beds planted.  Our things blended in beautifully with Kolinka’s (the owner) and by the time the first group arrived, it felt like a gorgeous home.  Talk about ‘the Blessing of Insecurity’ – we were falling love, but didn’t know how our new ‘home’ would be received.
 
The Mill Retreat Centre is absolutely wonderful.  It has surpassed all our expectations. Being there is a transformative experience, with the water, the spaciousness, the tranquil natural beauty of the house and the surroundings.
 
These are the aspects of the Mill Retreat Centre which make it different and better that what we had at Duncton Mill.
The Privacy – many local people do not know of the Mill’s existence. It is tucked away and there are no walkers or people driving through.  When you come, the place will be your own and a haven, not the least, for this reason.
 
The Workshop Spaces – the attic workshop is nearly three times the size of the Apple Loft and it feels exceptionally good to teach in. Mike and the first group just loved it. Do look at the testimonials from them
The Large Ground Floor Meeting Room – is a very spacious and flexible room, with a tiled floor, and filled with light. It can be used for all sorts of activities, and for teachers who are sharing, this room can be used simultaneously. There is the extra bonus of a proper cinema facility available, with a full size, drop-down screen and great sound.  Bring DVD’s and popcorn for the evenings!
The Accommodation - with 17 bedrooms, allows small groups to have their own room. Imagine, 30+ beds, all with Egyptian cotton sheets and superb, thick blankets in spacious bedrooms.  There are plenty of excellent showers and some of them are state of the art, all of them, walk in/cabinet style.
 
The Centre Of The House - there is an enormous open fireplace in the wonderful entrance room which is the true heart of the building.
The Water - there is the extraordinary contrast of the swift river and canal, flowing through the garden, right in front of you. Then only a few feet away, the deep stillness of the lake.  These waters are completely accessible; a major part of the transformative experience of being at the Mill.  The canal runs under the house at the west end and joins the river again, forming the garden into a point, like the prow of a ship.
 
The Fire Circle
At the point where the two waters converge, the terrific fire pit and circle of seats for 30 people have just been made. (See the photo on the Facilities page of the website-http://www.stillnessretreats.com/retreat-facilities/ . We brought ashes from the last fire at Duncton with us. On the first course everyone took some from the bag for the first fire at the Mill.  Together, we all threw our handful into the fire with great glee. Even Pawel and Otto joined in. 
 
Pawel (pronounced Pavel) and Otto the gentle, black Lurcher look after the Mill Retreat centre, living in their own apartment. Pawel is a Polish engineer, and amongst all his other jobs, is in charge of renovating the Mill turbine and its workings. Otto oversees everything, with poise and elegance. Pawel made the fire circle in a few hours once we had drawn him a picture.  He doesn’t speak much English but is a total star.
We are just coming into winter at the Mill, starting with Lisa’s Yoga and Wine Tasting on 26th-29th November. This is the time when the log fires come into their own, making staying at the Mill cosy and an inviting experience. The house is lovely and warm and unusually there is a log fire in the dining room.
 
We are truly blessed.  We can’t wait to welcome you and show you around the Mill….. and feed you again with Julie’s scrumptious food.
Until then, we send greetings to you all.  
Love,
 
Barbara and Mike
 
P.S. Barbara is teaching her first art group at the Mill in March 2010.
‘Painting and Drawing from Stillness’

 
October 2009 
I would like to warmly welcome Stillness Retreats run by Barbara and Mike Boxhall, who are going to run their own groups and retreats at the Mill Retreat Centre starting in October 2009, firstly for 2 months in 2010 and then for 6 months in 2011 onwards.
They have recently had to close down their beautiful Retreat centre  called Duncton Mill Retreat Centre in West Sussex, due to the dramatic increase in their rent, They were very sad to have to do this, but fortunately after contacting them following receiving their newsletter see below, to let them know about the new Mill retreat Centre and its availability, they of course fell in love with it straight away and have decided to transfer to the Mill Retreat Centre. They are now in the process of transferring some of their clients, and their own courses to the Mill Retreat Centre. Starting in 2009 and 2010 onwards and hopefully for the foreseeable future. So I wish them a harmonious transition and move.
 
Quotes from Their News Letter October 2008 from Duncton Mill:
 
It is with great sadness and not a little frustration that we are letting you know that, barring a miracle, Duncton Mill as a Retreat Centre will cease to exist from the end of next year.  We will be leaving when our five year lease terminates at the end of September 2009. The only reason for this is that the landlord is asking for an 85% increase in rent for the next lease and even with the best will in the world, we cannot stretch to that.
 
Quotes from their News Letter February 2009 from Duncton Mill:
The good news is that we have found our future home.........

  

The Mill Retreat Centre is surrounded by woods and water and in that way, very much like us.  It is very beautiful.  www.millretreatcentre.com.  Mike and I went for a visit before Christmas and fell in love with it.  We recommend it unreservedly. 

   

We have now finalised terms with the owner of this beautiful venue and are moving our programme to France, starting  from October 2009!!!

Kolinka Zinovieff, who is an exceptionally lovely man, has only recently converted The Mill specifically to run as a spiritual retreat centre, for life enhancing courses. This, of course, makes the whole venture a completely different proposition for all of us.

   

It is larger than Duncton Mill with twenty bedrooms, accommodating up to 40 people if rooms are shared. Situated 23 miles inland from Dieppe France, it is surprisingly cheap to get there, if you make a group booking, and so easy to reach - the quickest way is to take the EuroStar from St Pancras to Calais (59 minutes) and be picked up in Calais by a mini-bus from the centre (a 90 minute journey to the Mill) - only about two and a half hours in total! 

   

Alternatively a minibus or coach can pick up a group from anywhere in the UK.
   

There are many resonances between us and our new sister Mill. The surroundings are very beautiful - woods, a river and a very large lake, in which you can swim or just take a peaceful walk around. The workshop space is stunning and more than twice the size of ours and our eventual plan is to have the centre for six months of the year. .................................
 

 
Article from the Indepenent Newspaper By Simon Calde Saturda y, 20 February 2010
 
Photo Amiens Cathedral. a magnificent cathedral, the largest gothic building in France.

Good timing:, Amiens in just 181 minutes from London St Pancras (Amiens is just 25 miles from the Mill Retreat centre)

The high-speed link from London St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel has helped to transform travellers' chrono-geography. Locations that previously took many hours to reach by any means of transport are now accessible between breakfast and lunch. These are some of the finest French destinations within 240 minutes of central London. They are not "advertised" services on Eurostar (08705 186 186; eurostar.com), since some have short connecting times. Especially the first one...

Amiens

Around the World in 80 Days? If you are prepared to make do with 181 minutes, by noon you could be celebrating Jules Verne in this mesmerising Picardie city. "The House with the Tower" was the residence of the writer who inspired countless travellers, and it is now a shrine to his creativity and memory.

Amiens has much more besides. It is dominated by a magnificent cathedral, the largest gothic building in France. North of the river you find Saint-Leu, a quartier populated by primary-painted cottages. Amiens was an important Roman town (it is still possible to glimpse the foundations of Samarobriva, as it was known), and in the 21st century provides a fine introduction to a part of France that is often overlooked by visitors.

Perfect timing: depart St Pancras at 7.57am, arrive Lille Europe 10.24am; walk (briskly) to Lille Flandres station, depart 10.37am, arrive Amiens 11.58pm.

Total time: 181 minutes