One thing of which you can be certain is that life is always evolving and changing. We have been running fantastic Transformational Breath® courses and seminars at Benburb Priory for so long that it became almost part of us. Lucy and I have such happy memories of all the incredible people we have met at Benburb, our amazing clients, and all of the excellent staff members at the Priory. Imagine our shock at learning that Benburb Priory is cancelling all of its events until further notice. We had become so accustomed to the beautiful library in which we held the breathing sessions, the excellent food prepared by the ever-busy Siobhan, the incredible woodland walks and not least the Blackwater River running through the landscape. All of this has been a marvellous experience and we want to thank everyone at Benburb Priory and wish all of them well for the future, both personally, and for the future direction of the Priory itself.
Finding a new venue
In the ten years that we have been working with Transformational Breath® we have only had three venues, Tobar Mhuire Passionist Monastery, Dromantine Abbey and Benburb Priory. All of them have been excellent and Lucy and I loved Tobar Mhuire so much that we chose to get married in a Quaker wedding at the beautiful chapel there. When you start to think about breath work retreat venues in Northern Ireland you quickly realise how few options there appear to be. Faced with starting all over again and finding a new venue I decided to avoid the logical approach and instead I asked the Universe for guidance. It didn’t take long to arrive! The next day I was walking down the main street in our village of Saintfield and I could see an old friend walking towards me. We hadn’t met in person for about three years and there was a lot to catch up on but I knew from when I first spied him that he was going to give me the answer to the question of a new venue. Casually, after about ten minutes of catching up on each other’s news, I dropped in the question, where would be a good retreat venue for our work? Immediately, he gave me two excellent options, and I chose which one best suited our needs and contacted them as soon as I reached home. I was able to visit the venue the following day and decided on the spot that it was ideal for our purpose and booked for three separate seminars in 2023.
Bryansford Cottage is a fine example of a 19th– century gentleman’s residence built at the foot of the stunning Mourne Mountains. Beautifully renovated and opened in 2019 as boutique accommodation with function room.
Built in the 1830s for the land agent of Tollymore Park, it’s steeped in history and has a whole host of period features. The house has been renovated over the last two years to provide modern twists and additional comfort.
Bryansford Cottage offers modern facilities in a traditional period setting within a quiet, yet convenient location with its own car parking on site and has easy walking access to the Mourne Mountains and Tollymore Forest where fans of the TV series Game of Thrones® can visit the filming locations found there.
All the bedrooms are unique with comfortable beds and fitted en suite facilities, free Wi-Fi, complimentary fresh water, tea, coffee and sweet treats are also provided during your stay.
The Bryansford Cottage proprietors are big breakfast fans and think a healthy breakfast will give you the perfect start to the day. They offer a number of options and change the menu regularly. For a lighter start, the options include granola with coconut yoghurt and berries or a super green smoothie. The cooked breakfasts include porridge with mixed berry compote, eggs with avocado, or the house speciality fluffy American-style pancakes with maple syrup. All of the bedrooms are twin beds sharing and all of the food is vegetarian.
You can walk into Tollymore Park from the Cottage and from there to the Mourne Mountains. You’ll need your own transport to get anywhere else. Within ten minutes you could visit the local seaside town of Newcastle or the stunning Murlough Nature Reserve with its sand dunes and long, golden beach.
See more about the cottage on their website: www.bryansfordcottage.com
Tollymore Forest Park
Tollymore has been a recreational park since the 1400s when this exquisite mountain landscape was first used as a deer park by the McGuiness family. In time, through massive political change in the 1600s, Tollymore passed through marriage to the Hamilton family, Earls of Limerick. The magnificent park that they created, mainly in the 18th– century, was based largely the work of the landscape architect Thomas Wright. Many scholars think that Tollymore is the finest designed landscape in all of Ireland and it is certainly a superb setting in which to hold our Transformational Breath® events. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/tollymore-forest-park
Transformational Breath® Seminars in 2023
You are welcome to join us for any of our three seminars at Bryansford Cottage in 2023. The springtime seminar will be held from 18 – 24 March and the whole landscape will be coming to life after its winter sleep. The next seminar is in early summer from 10 – 16 June when the evenings will be long and you can enjoy sitting outside around the fire pit in the garden. The final seminar is to be held in the autumn from 21 – 27 October and you can enjoy the autumn colours in the landscape and sitting by the wood burning stove in the evenings.