Other Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people come to Nether Springs?

People come to the Nether Springs for many different reasons, including: making a retreat; giving themselves time to rest and reflect; seek guidance; study; or just out of plain curiosity about the Community or the Celtic Saints and the Northumbrian landscape. Whatever your reason, welcome.

We offer a programme of retreats where we focus on a particular theme, and you can find details of these here, but you can come at any time without taking part in the led programme if you just want some space to come and be.  We do, however, encourage all guests to make themselves at home and follow the rhythm of the day, whatever they are here for.


Can my children come?

Nether Springs is our community home and children are part of our community, so children are very welcome. Having said this, we have found that this doesn’t always work well during the individually guided retreat weeks. We also offer ‘family weeks’ where families can share Nether Springs with other families; details can be found in the programme.

Please note: Parents must at all times take full responsibility for their children, especially during times of quiet and retreat. We work hard to make Nether Springs a safe space for everyone, but we have many guests and visitors who are unknown to us.


When should I arrange to arrive and leave?

Most retreats run from Monday to Thursday and from Friday to Sunday. It is also possible to stay for longer periods, please enquire with the office. Whatever the length of your stay, we encourage folk to think about arriving between 3.00pm and 5pm on their day of arrival, and to leave by 3.30pm on their day of departure – this really helps the house community as it fits within the rhythm of the day, and also gives them time to prepare the house for the next guests.

If you are planning to arrive by train, we can arrange to pick you up from Alnmouth station (generally from the southbound train which arrives at 3pm or the northbound train at 3.09pm) and drop you back there, also around 3pm. We ask for a £5 donation each way.


I have a food intolerance/allergy, can you cater for me?

All of our food is freshly prepared on site. We cater for food intolerance as best we can, and we also offer a vegetarian alternative to meat dishes. If you have any specific dietary requirements please contact us before arrival. Important information for allergy sufferers: because of the limitations of our kitchen we cannot guarantee that food is free from allergens, please discuss your requirements with the office when enquiring about booking.


Do you have Internet? 

The only Wi-Fi Connection available at Nether Springs is through a pay-as-you-go BTOpenzone ‘Hotspot’ (a hotpsot of extremely variable connection!!) using your own laptop, phone, tablet etc. Guests without their own gizmo for connecting to the internet may do so on the office computer during office hours – for making travel arrangements or urgent contact only.

Or, try turning it off and experience a different connection?


Can I bring my pet dog/cat/hamster/budgie/python to Nether Springs?

We regret that pets belonging to guests are not allowed at the house, except for guide dogs. Information about kennels near to the Nether Springs is available from the Community Office.


What do I need to bring with me?

Things you may find helpful to bring with you are:

•    Torch

•    Towel

•    Comfortable walking shoes/boots (especially for pilgrimage)

•    Notebook/pen

•    Wet weather gear

•    Clothing in Layers


How do I make a donation for the retreat?

Generally we ask that guests make an initial donation via the website at the time of booking. The remainder of your donation can be made in the office during your stay – by cash, cheque or credit card.


Why is the ‘House Closed’ regularly?

As part of our commitment to monastic vocation we close the House the last full weekend each month, not only to give those living at the Mother House breathing space but also as a way of affirming the importance of the ebb and flow of life. For this period ‘the tide is in’ and we do not take day visitors or guests. Thank you for helping us live out the life we recommend for others.


Can I come to visit when I’m in Northumberland?

It’s always nice to see folk when they’re in the area, but please do let the office know if you’re planning to drop in and we’ll make sure the kettle is on. You’re welcome to visit at most times of the year, but we would ask that you respect the resident community’s ‘down-time’ during closed weekends.