BORE PLACE, KENT
"I'm being shown to my room in a listed 17th-century mansion house set in the beautiful scenery of 500-acre Commonwork Farm in Kent. The farmhouse mixes the rustic charms of giant fireplaces and Agas with the urban health spa addiction to panniers stuffed with fluffy white towels. In the fridge of the homely kitchen, beer and wine are on offer. We may be here for our wellbeing, but I am happy to see that doesn't rule out a little self-indulgence. Besides, the beer - like the rest of the weekend's victuals - is organic." Harry de Quetteville of The Telegraph Weekend
THE VENUE - The Commonwork Centre and Bore Place House are set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, close to Sevenoaks in Kent. Bore Place House is an old Tudor manor house with Jacobean and Victorian extensions. There is a large comfortable sitting room with an open fire for those chillier autumn and winter weekends. It is surrounded by an ancient walled garden with a beautiful lily pond, and the working organic dairy farm, pottery and brickworks that make up Bore Place. This special and unspoilt environment makes for a very relaxed weekend with a great sense of freedom. There is wonderful walking amongst the thousands of acres of surrounding countryside. The Sunday morning walk follows the Bore Place Field Trail.
Yoga classes take place in the listed 16th Century converted barn, an atmospheric space, being part of a group of historic barns within a courtyard, which have been renovated and converted to provide a comfortable and peaceful environment.
"I have been going on Simon's Commonwork farm weekends for ten years. They are always a special treat - I know when I go I will meet interesting people, have great food and excellent yoga teaching. Sometimes I go on my own and sometimes with friends and I have an equally good time because everyone is so friendly. Simon has the ability to teach a class of very mixed abilities, from beginners to experienced and still make the class relevant for everyone. His teaching is always evolving so that every class is different. I always return to my busy job as a nurse in the NHS refreshed after a Commonwork Farm weekend - its equivalent to a week's holiday." Sara Moloney
LOCAL AREA - For those wishing to get out of town earlier on Friday, there are country houses to visit, good walks and an excellent local pub, ‘The Wheatsheaf’, serving great lunches.
ACCOMMODATION - Accommodation for the weekend is at Bore Place House and also in the converted Old Stables and the Small Barn. All rooms are comfortable and well furnished, and are mostly twin-share although some single rooms are available for a supplement. Bathroom facilities are shared.
If you wish to guarantee having a room to yourself, there is a single supplement to pay @ only £45 / night.
"I've been making a conscious effort to do more exercise and felt a need to expand my repertoire. Although I wasn't sure yoga truly qualified I had read that Simon's classes were very demanding and this combined with the amount of yoga proposed over a weekend encouraged me to try the idea. I also liked the thought of a weekend away in new company. At Commonwork Farm I found the yoga was manageable and Simon made a noticeable effort to keep the classes interesting and inclusive to the less flexible! I enjoyed them. The weekend as a whole was relaxing and the company welcoming and light hearted making the mealtimes enjoyable. There's a distinct absence of the hippy / holistic and a wealth of recognisable common sense and normality. I recommend the food, the massage treatments and frankly the whole thing if you're of a mind to try something different." Mr Chris Marsden, a newcomer to yoga and to Simon
TRAVEL - Travel by train from Charing Cross or London Bridge (average journey time of 35 minutes to Sevenoaks, with a taxi ride* to Commonwork Farm). Driving from London can take up to two hours on Fridays, so please allow plenty of time. Directions will be sent to you approximately 1 month before.
ADDRESS - Commonwork Land Trust, Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7AR