Bonhays offers you a sanctuary of welcome, peace and simplicity: a beautiful, secluded Meditation and Retreat Center, nestled in the hills of West Dorset, between Bridport and Lyme Regis and just two miles from the sea. Our vision for the center is to support people in having an alive, embodied spiritual journey, a path with heart.
We welcome and embrace people of all faiths or none. We encourage freedom of thinking, of belief and of living. And we very much look forward to your visit.
Set around a central courtyard, with the soft curves of the straw buildings and the hills beyond, there is quiet and stillness here. The centre provides great communal spaces as well as many peaceful and secluded spots for quiet and reflection.
Whether you need to sit on the decking and watch the sunset, swim peacefully in the pool, share wonderful meals in the conservatory or sink deeper into meditation in the group room, we trust you will be replenished and revitalized from your visit with us.
If you are a course leader or are interested in hiring Bonhays, click here for information about what we can offer you.
We are gradually moving Bonhays further into a more ecologically sound environment, the two accommodation cabins and the main group room are all straw bale buildings. We were one of the first places to gain planning permission for straw bale construction back in 2000. Attitudes to energy use in buildings has changed enormously in the past 10 years, the standard of insulation achieved by straw bales is exceptional. There is a unique 'light' feel to the finished buildings and 90% of the materials used have been locally and sustainably sourced.
We have a Willow System to deal with all the waste water for the centre and attached buildings: The grey water enters the top of the wetland treatment system and passes through a series of ponds with reeds and earth banks planted with willow. By the time the water reaches the last of our four ponds it is completely clean with zero effect on the environment.
The willow is cut down annually leaving a foot stump from which the next years plant will grow. All the wood harvested from the system and land is stacked for two years after which it will be chipped and used as bio-mass fuel.
Energy Use: All our electricity is renewably sourced and in time, when finances allow, we will install the most effective renewable energy system, we are looking at bio-mass to supply hot water and heating, since we can use the harvested willow for fuel and we are uncomfortable with our current use of oil. The swimming pool uses a non-polluting, U-V light system for cleansing and hygiene.
Recycling: This is still in its infancy really, so we recycle what is possible in West Dorset, the usual bottles, cans, paper, plastic and take trips to the household recycling centre with metals, woodelectrical's, TV's etc as we need to, always combined with another necessary trip to town.